AUGUSTA, Ga. – There’s a lot of hype surrounding the Augusta National Golf Shop, and rightly so. It’s a place where patrons make purchases to remember magical visits and splurge on gifts to share a piece of golf heaven with others. There are hundreds of items to choose from and thousands to be easily spent. However, the most popular Masters souvenir isn’t found anywhere in the Golf Shop, and it costs as low as $2.
Sure, merchandise bags are plentiful throughout the Augusta crowd filled with hats, polos, knick-knacks, and trendy garden gnomes. But the almighty souvenir cup is the premier take-home item.
Take a good look at any group of patrons on the broadcast this weekend and you’ll spot stacked cups in the background. With drink prices ranging from $2-$6 on the legendary Masters menu, this uber-popular souvenir doubles as the most economical one.
For $5, you can get domestic or international beer in a stylish green cup prominently featuring the Masters logo. At the same price, there’s the Crow’s Nest IPA that dons a custom design of its own on the same green cup. For my money, it’s the coolest cup of the bunch and it also appears to be a crowd favorite.
Soft drinks, which only cost $2 will get you the traditional clear cup. Old faithful, if you will. The hidden gem among the group is the smaller offering that comes with a white wine or cocktail offering for $6. It’s a much more sparsely found cup among patrons, but that’s not to say it’s sought out any less. Hell, some patrons clean up abandoned bar tops to grab a wider variety.
“I’m trying to get at least one of each cup, and two is my goal,” said Tim Fleck, a patron from New Jersey with a mix-and-match set of 6 cups. “You gotta have a set, right? I’m might not have that many drinks, but I’ll grab some laying around if I have to.”
While “cup stacking” isn’t unique to Augusta National, it’s most commonly spotted among binge-drinking crowds. That’s not the case at the Masters. Grandparents, parents, friends, couples, and children alike make sure to hold onto their cup of choice, which formerly held their drink of choice, to come home.
“These are from me and my girlfriend,” said Dave Christianson, a patron from New Jersey who had 8 cups. “She’s actually the one who came up with the idea to keep them. I guess that makes her a keeper.”
To clarify, these aren’t any old plastic cups. Like everything else at Augusta National, they are high-quality plastic that has enough durability to last for years to come. The plastic quality plays a very small part in why these are such popular mementos. But you knew that already.
“It’s 70 degrees out and I’m at Augusta National,” said Chris Olson, a patron from Iowa who had 6 cups. “I can’t think of a better setting to enjoy an afternoon drink with my buddies. I might never make it back here, so I’ll hang onto these cups for as long as I can to remember the day. These will most certainly become my Masters weekend cups at home this year and long after that.”
I have four clear plastic cups at my parents’ home from the 2019 Masters that I know my dad will put to good use this weekend. I also bought him a Masters polo from the 2019 Masters. That still remains in the plastic while the plastic cups are regularly used.
I might’ve brought those home empty but they have plenty of drops of memory left in them. From the looks of cup stacks this year, there are plenty more memories found in the bottom of cups going home this week. They are a great way to make a loved one and your credit card smile.