Fred Couples and playing partners test Augusta’s greens.
Welcome to Masters week at the ARMCHAIR GOLF BLOG. Today Jason Kalin of TheGolfMembershipSpot.com shares his Masters experience and a few spectator tips.
Going to the Masters
I went down with a couple of buddies in 2004. We had a great time.
As far as having a full experience, get to Augusta National about an hour earlier than you think you should. That way you can avoid some longer lines and find some parking relatively close.
The nice thing about the practice rounds is that they’re never overly crowded thanks to the limited number of tickets.
Amen Corner: Number 12 tee and Number 11 green (left).
Be sure to hang around the par-3 16th hole for a while, especially for the Monday and Tuesday practice rounds. There’s a great tradition of the pros having to skip their shot across the large pond in front of the green. The crowd goes pretty crazy. In fact, I saw Darren Clarke skip it about 20 times on the pond. His ball rolled up over the bank and into the hole for a ridiculous 1.
Good spot to see approaches on 15 and tee shots on 16.
Also, be sure to plan your visit to the merchandise tent. It gets overwhelmingly crowded about an hour or so before the gates close, so do your shopping at least a couple hours beforehand.
If You Go
I suggest flying into Columbia, South Carolina, as it’s a nice small airport that’s easy to get in and out of. Plus, it’s only an hour’s drive to Augusta.
In fact, I would suggest staying in or around the University of South Carolina area since there are usually a good number of decent hotels available even as it gets closer to April.
Stay an extra day or two to play some golf if you can. We played some great courses, all within a short driving distance.
Tomorrow: Interview with John Derr, an inaugural winner of the Masters Major Achievement Award
Wednesday: The Masters by 10s
-The Armchair Golfer
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