Sadly, we can’t get you a ticket to the 2018 Masters Tournament. But maybe, with a little help from the golf gods or your wallet, you can find your way to Augusta National next year.
The easiest way to do it is to enter the Masters ticket lottery, which last year opened on May 11. You can register now at tickets.masters.com and they will notify you when the lottery starts. It will be open for approximately six weeks for practice-round tickets (until around the last week of June) and only three weeks for tournament-round tickets (until around the end of May).
Before applying, make sure you understand the following:
- You are 21 years of age or older
- Nobody else from your household is applying (only one allowed per address)
- You are applying from a permanent residential address and not a business address
- You are not applying through the mail (only online applications are accepted)
You are allowed to apply for up to four tickets for each practice round and tournament round, although you are eligible to win tickets for only one day. This year’s Masters tickets were $65 per practice round and $100 per tournament round.
Around mid-June, you will be notified of whether you won tournament-round tickets. Around mid-July, you will be notified about the practice-round tickets.
If you win, tickets will be mailed to you early next March, about a month before the tournament. If you lose – which is highly likely given the scarcity of passes – and are absolutely certain you want to go without waiting for the following year’s lottery, get your checkbook ready.
Back in 2016, I resorted to the online ticket market for two of my friends to attend the Wednesday practice round. The total cost was around $1,800, or about $900 per ticket, which was a favorable price relative to everywhere else I had looked at the time.
Although the price fluctuates depending on what day you want to go, it is generally accepted that Monday and Tuesday are the cheapest days to buy, with somewhere in the neighborhood of $600-$800 being the typical cost per ticket. Wednesday’s Par-3 Contest drives the price towards $1,000 per ticket and tournament days are routinely north of $1,500 per ticket.
For those in the area, keep in mind that ticket scalping is legal in the state of Georgia as long as the sale occurs at least 1,500 feet from the event site. This is noticeably enforced, as those asking for or selling tickets do so a safe distance away from the Augusta National property.
While the options of winning the lottery or paying a hefty amount are the two main ways to get into The Masters without having some serious connections, they aren’t the only ways.
As a PGA professional, I receive one free ticket to each round every year. That means there are more than 28,000 members like myself who are welcome to attend if they are in good standing with the PGA of America.
Don’t worry, we won’t all attend at once. A very small portion of those 28,000 members attend each year.
Unfortunately, becoming a member requires that you, among other things, pass a playing ability test (shooting approximately 154 for 36 holes), go through three levels of tests and seminars, and pay a healthy $560 in dues every year. You must also fulfill MSR (mission service requirement) hours for continued education and training while you are a member.
In short, it isn’t a feasible route to just become a PGA professional in order to get free Masters tickets. However, it may be worth it if you want to work in the golf industry.
The offer of free tickets isn’t exclusive to PGA professionals. LPGA and Golf Course Superintendents Association of America professionals also have the same deal, although there are far fewer members in their organizations. This, too, requires formal education and training as well as substantial dues paid to the respective associations.
If none of these options sound appealing or possible, know that your pain is shared by the masses. Good luck!