The Masters at Augusta National, Georgia, USA
If you play golf, it is almost certain that you once daydreamed of making a putt to win the Masters. Jack Nicklaus turned this dream into a reality 6 times and Tiger Woods proved to be the best on the field on 5 occasions as well. Everything about this major is special.
The Masters is the only major that is only by invitation. Of course, the top 50 ranked golfers in the world are automatically invited, as well as other players completing specific requirements. But the best part about winning the Masters is that you are automatically invited to participate every year for a lifetime.
Bernhard Langer, the 64 year old German, was the oldest in the field at the 2022 Masters and we see no signs of him not showing up for the next years. He’s even made the cut 6 times in the last 10 years.
Bernhard earned the privilege of lifetime invitation for winning his first Masters in 1985.
1985. Bernhard Langer winning his first Masters. / 2021. Bernhard Langer Augusta, Georgia
The Masters is one of the four major championships in men’s professional golf with its first edition being in 1934. Apart from being reinvited, the prize for winning the masters is the famous custom green jacket and of course, a whole lot of cash ($2,070,000 in 2022). The jacket is a sign of prestige and is only to be worn by tournament winners and Augusta National Golf Club members. Another fun prize for winning the Masters is that you are given the privilege to choose the menu for the next year’s inaugural champion’s dinner (only previous Masters winners are invited to this dinner). As the Japanese, Hideki Matsuyama, won the 2021 Masters, he opted for sushi, miso glazed black cod and premium wagyu beef for the 2022 Masters champions dinner... yum.
Augusta National Golf Club is one of the most exclusive golf clubs to be a member of. There are about 300 members. It is said that the easiest way to play the course is to get really good and get invited to play the Masters, as becoming a member is near impossible. Even to be a spectator is difficult. Masters tickets are considered the second-hardest to obtain in sports, trailing only the Super Bowl. There are a few ways to attend the Masters as a spectator. First are Patron Badge holders, who pay $375 per year to have access to the entire week of play at Augusta each year for the Masters. However, there is a never ending waiting list for these badges. If a badge holder dies, it can only be transferred to a surviving spouse. Other family members are not eligible. If there is no surviving spouse, the badge goes back into the pool and is awarded to somebody on the waiting list. This said waiting list has been closed since 1978 and was only briefly reopened in 2000. Since 2012, Augusta National has offered a limited number of tickets to each round through a lottery on their website. Tickets for the 2022 tournament went for $115 each, and applicants were limited to two per round. However, as you may imagine, there are secondary markets for tickets where the prices reach ridiculously high numbers.
There is no doubt that the Masters holds a very important name in the world of golf.