Augusta National is one of the most exclusive golf clubs in the United States. The Masters host is also arguably the most famous golf course in the world. That combination means it can be very difficult for you, a member of the general public, to get a tee time.
But not quite impossible.
How can you access Augusta? Here’s a semi-exhaustive list:
1. Befriend a member
The most common way to play golf at Augusta National would be to get invited by one of the club’s members. While its membership roll is not public, Augusta has in the neighborhood of 300 members and most are allowed to bring guests on select days of the season to play. While members are required to be on property with their guests, they don’t actually have to accompany them throughout the round.
2. Befriend a Masters champ
Last week, for instance, Tiger Woods came and played Augusta National with his righthand man Rob McNamara, his son Charlie and Justin Thomas. If you become best friends or family with a Masters champ then you, too, could make some simple trips like this one.
3. Become a member
Just don’t ask to become one; that allegedly dooms your chances. Though you’ve likely already doomed your chances by being a normal member of society rather than a head of a corporation or state…
4. Volunteer at the Masters
Even without a connection to a member, there are still other ways to play the course. Volunteers who work a full week at the Masters are invited to an “Appreciation Day” each May, where they are allowed to play a round of golf. The only problem? There’s a waiting list to even become a volunteer!
5. Become a media member — and then get lucky
There are other perks to this gig, too, like access to unlimited chicken sandwiches in the palatial media center. But among the tensest moments of the week is when reporters and photographers rush to check the list of lottery winners on Friday afternoon. Roughly seven foursomes-worth of media (that’s 28 people) win each year. Only downside: once you win, you can’t enter again for seven years. In other words, this isn’t a recipe for regular play.
6. Join Augusta University’s golf team
Patrick Reed’s alma mater, the Augusta University Jaguars, play at nearby Forest Hills but get invited semi-regularly to the National for outings. Other Georgia golf teams reportedly also receive invites from time to time. The question is whether it’s worth it to get your game in shape and apply for school all for one round…
7. Get a job at the club
Near the end of each season, club employees get the chance to tee it up before Augusta shuts down for the summer. (Augusta National is closed between the months of May and October.)
8. Caddie at the club
After a season hauling sticks around the course, caddies get rewarded with a chance to put their learned knowledge to the test at the end of the season. We’re guessing they could beat most of the members…
9. Work for a big-time sponsor
In addition to media members, some select friends of Augusta National get to play the Monday after the Masters. We’re guessing that means a few folks from sponsors at AT&T, Delta, IBM, Mercedes-Benz, Rolex or UPS — but it’s tough to know for sure. The club doesn’t really like to talk about this sort of thing.
10. Qualify for the tournament
Making it into the Masters isn’t exactly a picnic. It requires winning a PGA Tour event, cracking the top 50 in the world rankings or taking down one of the world’s most prestigious amateur events. But once you do? Plenty of golf at Augusta awaits!
And if you’re a female amateur, the Augusta National Women’s Am is for you. Competitive golf is even more restrictive than the Masters itself — after two rounds at nearby Champions Retreat, just 30 players make it to the final round at Augusta — but every competitor at least gets to play the practice round on the Friday of the event.
There are other sneakier or more nefarious ways you could finagle a few swings at Augusta, but we can’t recommend those in good conscience; the security is too good around here.