16 ways to throw the ultimate Masters party for your friends

April 1, 2016

So you want to throw a memorable Masters party? We’ve got all the info you need to honor the tradition unlike any other. Enjoy!

1. Serve a Southern spread fit for a champion
At the Masters, the previous year’s winner gets to choose the menu for the Champions Dinner, which usually reflects the player’s heritage or hometown. Make your own Masters-themed meal with these favorites, chosen with the help of the food editors at our sister publication Real Simple:

Egg Salad Sandwiches
A favorite from the Masters snack stand (though not so iconic as the pimento), the humble egg salad sandwich makes a foolproof addition to your Augusta menu. 

Fried Chicken Biscuits
Soak chicken in buttermilk and fry with panko bread crumbs for a simple version of a deep-fried Southern masterpiece.  

Add creamy grits, corn bread, and collard greens as sides. 

2. Greet your guests in a green jacket
You might never slide into the real thing, but there are many unofficial versions of this most iconic blazer available for sale to the public. Confident hosts open the door bedecked in vivid green.

3. Watch the tournament unfold on a seriously impressive screen
This year the Masters will be broadcast partially in 4K UHD, the sharpest and clearest picture available, which doubles the normal HD standard. Dave Bussen, director of sales and business development a Home Technology Experts, which outfits residences with the latest and greatest in technology, recommends setting up a system that lets you tune to multiple channels or sources at once.

Some have four side-by-side panels that can be operated separately; others allow you to control screens throughout the house using an app on your smartphone. The Rolls Royce of home theater technology, though, means combining an ultra-HD projector with a custom, life-size, 5-foot-high screen.

When you’re watching a game or tournament on a screen like that, “it looks like [the athletes] will come off the screen and land on you,” Bussen says. If you’re not looking to drop $25K, there are more affordable HD projector systems in the $400 to $1,000 range.

4. Immerse your party in the sounds of Augusta
Home technology has also come a long way when it comes to sound systems, especially for watching an event like the Masters. “A golf tournament is not like a rock concert in terms of the sound,” Bussen says. “You still want to have the depth and realism of the sound when the crowd roars.”

Companies like Sonos, Leon, and Beyond make sound bars that fit to your television and magnify its sound capabilities. Place speakers under couches or install into the walls to enhance the feeling of being there.

5. Put a cheesier spin on the famous pimento cheese sandwich
Want to honor the Masters’ favorite sandwich but afraid your guests won’t take kindly to the mushy white bread mess that it quickly melts into? Try these recipes instead:

Pimento Mac n’ Cheese Bites
The pimento cheese sandwich is the Masters’ most iconic snack. Make your own party-friendly spin on the classic Southern lunch with these mac n’ cheese bites that are studded with diced pimentos. Tabasco and cayenne pepper add a spicy kick.

Pimento Cheese Dip
Pump up the pimento with this quick recipe for cheesy, peppery dip containing mayo, cheddar, cream cheese, and of course, more pimentos.

6. Test your knowledge of a tradition unlike any other
Get everyone in the competitive spirit of play by challenging guests to answer trivia about the Masters’ decades-long history. Our editors can help you get started.

7. Create your own Masters pool to win big
The Masters offers many opportunities to bet on the proceedings, from the straightforward to the decidedly obscure. You can bet on the nationality of the winner, who will make the cut and whether a hole-in-one will be made. In 2015, you could place a wager on what kind of meat Bubba Watson would serve at his Champions Dinner. (Grilled chicken!)

If you’re mainly interested in laying money down on your favorite player to win (or an unlikely victor sweeping in), our guide to the current odds on the top golfers in the tournament can help.

8. Wreathe your living room in the floral scents of Magnolia Lane
What better way to transport your party to Augusta National than a house overflowing with the flowers that lend their names to some of the course’s most famous holes? Stock up on azaleas, white dogwood blooms, golden bells, juniper, and magnolia and breathe in the smells of April in Georgia.

9. Indulge your Georgia sweet tooth
No party is complete without plenty of chances to consume platefuls of sugar. Raise a fork to the home of the Masters with these Southern desserts.
Peach Cobbler
In the peach state, few desserts are as beloved as a cobbler made with Georgia’s most famous fruit.

Chocolate-Whiskey Pecan Pie
This pie is a boozy, chocolatey take on another Georgia darling: the pecan pie. Whiskey, brown sugar, and chocolate chips were meant to be together.

10. Rory McIlroy wigs for everyone
Are you hoping for a McIlroy victory this week? Provide pro-Rors guests with Rory-reminiscent wigs like the one Caroline Wozniacki wore in 2013. 

11. Tee up a bar full of Masters cocktails
The menu of Masters-related beverages is longer than you might think. There’s the obvious: the signature Azalea cocktail; the Stand 12 concoction of blue Gatorade, pink lemonade and sprite. And the tangentially Southern: mix up chilled mint juleps and mason jars of sweet tea to round out your menu.

12. Play a Masters-themed drinking game
There’s nothing like getting a little bit tipsy while you watch a sporting event, and the Masters has enough quirks and yes, lovably reliable traditions, to keep you and your friends going for days.

Take a drink when:
— An announcer says “patrons”
— The camera pans to a shot of the azaleas
— Jim Nantz says “Hello, friends.”
— CBS shows highlights of Jack Nicklaus’ triumph in 1986
— Someone says “the new Big Three”

Take a shot when:
— Zach Johnson reaches a par-5 in two
— 3-wood loving Henrik Stenson hits driver
— Justin Thomas is referred to as “Jordan’s friend”
— A ball lands in Rae’s Creek
— Someone says “pine straw”

Finish your drink if:
— Mike Weir makes the cut
— Someone mentions Jordan Spieth’s age
— Someone brings up Tiger Woods’ return
— Bubba Watson bogeys a par-5
— Rory McIlroy completes his grand slam

13. Set up a golfy game in the backyard 
Michelle Suyeyoshi, who runs an event planning business in nearby Evans, Ga., called Lavishly Posh, suggests incorporating games tied to Masters’ customs, like the par-3 contest or the habit players have of skipping shots across the pond on the 16th hole. (Disclaimer: This requires you having a pond in your yard.)

14. Wear a red polo to summon the Sunday spirit of Tiger Woods
Will he show up? Won’t he? Either way, you can celebrate Tiger’s four Masters wins (and his continuing grip on golf fans’ attention) with a nod to Woods’ Sunday outfit of choice

15. Sip from crystal goblets
Green jackets aren’t the only prize awaiting victorious players who earn a spot at Augusta National. The tournament also awards various crystal goblets and trophies for a variety of feats. You can bring this tradition to your kitchen with a pair of your very own Masters goblets—or you can buy a set of similar-looking glasses and toast an unparalleled event. Close enough.

16. Spin a Masters-ready soundtrack
Let’s face it: there aren’t a lot of songs about golf. Lucky for us, there is music that can be retro-fitted for golf party purposes. (Don’t forget to replay the Masters theme music ad nauseam.) 

A few suggestions:
Georgia On My Mind – Ray Charles
A Sunday Kind of Love – Etta James
April Love – Pat Boone
Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
Straight Down the Middle – Bing Crosby
Fly Like an Eagle – Steve Miller Band
Ace in the Hole – George Strait
It Don’t Mean a Thing (If I Ain’t Got That Swing) – Duke Ellington