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Masters 2019: 10 rules you absolutely cannot break at Augusta National

April 12, 2019

David Feherty once likened his buttoned-up comportment while covering the Masters to holding in his flatulence for the week. So there’s one good suggestion if you’re going to Augusta: mind your bodily functions. But there are others. Many others. To simplify matters, we’ve drafted a list of 10 guidelines — the unspoken Masters rules to abide by — to maximize your experience once you’ve stepped inside the gates.

1. No running

Never mind that it feels as if you’re floating. Always keep at least one foot on the ground. That’s the distinction between walking and running. And the latter is not allowed.

2. Watch your mouth

When it comes to cleaned up nomenclature, George Orwell’s got nothing on a certain club in Georgia. The rough isn’t the rough. It’s the “second cut.” The fans aren’t fans. They are “patrons,” and now that you are one, you’re advised to talk politely. No expletives or crass proclamations. Bigger names than you have been booted for less.

3. Sit up straight

That plush grass sure looks comfy. But don’t you dare lie down. Napping is verboten. Even leaning back too far in a seated position has been known to draw rebukes.

4. No cellphones

Get over yourself. And your selfies. Personal electronic devices are not permitted. And anyway, given the security at the gates, good luck getting them onto the grounds.

5. Don’t go barefoot

Hey Flower Child, this isn’t Woodstock. Or an airport checkpoint. Never, ever remove your shoes.

Tournament patrons line the walkway in front of the Masters leaderboard.
Tournament patrons line the walkway in front of the Masters leaderboard.
USA Today Sports

6. Easy on the autograph requests

Unless you’re a kid or an e-merchandiser, it’s unclear to us why you’d bother groveling for someone else’s signature. But we’re not here to unpack your psyche. We simply want to keep you out of trouble, so you should know: autograph-seeking is permitted only around the practice range.

7. Dress the part

According to Augusta’s written rules, patrons are required to wear “appropriate clothing.” And while that phrase is open to interpretation, we can tell you this: this isn’t a strip club NASCAR race, so as a matter of good taste, ix-nay on camo, the sleeveless undershirts and stiletto heels.

8. No stealing seats

Outside the gates, in a dog-eat-dog world. But inside them, we temper our primal instincts and hold off on going for the other guy’s throat. We smile and say hello. We hold doors for one another. And when we come across a folding chair with no one in it, we don’t plop down and claim it as our own.

9. Chew with your mouth closed

This is a good rule everywhere you go. But especially in crowded venues with ample supplies of pimiento and cheese.

10. No blurting out inanities

Are you da man? Yelling this phrase after someone booms a drive is a clear indication that you are not.

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