AUGUSTA, GEORGIA | At the heart of the Masters is the patron experience.
Just the terminology – patrons rather than spectators – suggests the attention paid to the fortunate ones who have access to Augusta National during tournament week.
Part of the experience is buying something – a shirt, a coffee mug or a cap – bearing the most recognizable logo in golf. Part of the allure is the fact that Masters merchandise isn’t sold anywhere except on site. The club does not allow internet sales of its merchandise, despite the fact it could make millions more if it did.
This year, patrons can shop in a new merchandise building, dubbed the Main Golf Shop, near the club’s primary entrance. It’s at the same site as the former building but it has been expanded and updated, essentially a new building that encompasses the area where the former media building sat.
As you might expect, it’s casually elegant. Its design fits the motif of other buildings on the property but it’s bigger and roomier than its predecessor. It’s still crowded – that’s a good thing if you’re in the sales game – but it feels like Augusta National with its tournament artwork and décor.
If you want shirts, there are dozens of styles from which to choose, though not necessarily the dress/golf shirt Phil Mickelson sported on Tuesday. Caps always are a hugely popular item and there’s even Masters stemware if you’re not happy taking home the plastic cups from the concession stand.
Like everything else associated with the Masters and Augusta National, it’s like nothing else.