News that the 2020 Masters will proceed sans patrons had to drop like a lead weight on the fortunate few who had managed to secure access to the event. Yes, their tickets will be honored at the 2021 Masters, assuming the pandemic has released its clutches by then, but that’s eight long months from now — aka, an eternity for fans who were craving a chance to stroll the grounds, park a chair down at Amen Corner or chase a pimento cheese sandwich with a $4 beer.
But chin up, would-be golf watchers, all is not lost! Turns out, 2020 Masters ticket-holders still will be able to partake in the holiest patron tradition of them all: shopping for merchandise.
This won’t happen in Augusta National’s sprawling shop, of course, but instead virtually via “an online shopping experience,” a club spokesperson confirmed to GOLF.com on Thursday, adding that more information would be provided directly to ticket-holders in the coming week.
When Augusta National does something, it does it right, so we can only imagine what this “experience” will entail — splashy, 360-degree product photography? User-generated reviews? Virtual shopping assistants clad in green jackets? The mind reels! Whatever fancy functionality is available, it’s a safe bet the shelves will be stocked with the usual overwhelming array of Masters-branded memorabilia, from umbrellas and folding chairs to coin sets and cheese trays.
In 2015, Golf Digest reported that the club annually takes in just under $50 million in merchandise revenue. Whether remote sales will be that brisk is hard to know. Loading up on merch from an event you didn’t attend seems a touch disingenuous. Then again, a 2020 Masters hat or polo would make for a terrific conversation piece. Also, avoiding having to schlepp shopping bags around the property and back home on the plane might actually entice shoppers to buy more than they would have if they were on site. A few scrolls and clicks and you’re done!
Happy shopping, would-be patrons. We’re envious.