The 2021 Masters Tournament will take place from April 8 -11 this year at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, USA.
The course was designed by Bobby Jones and Alister MacKenzie and opened for play in 1932. Since 1934, the club has hosted the annual Masters Tournament, one of the four major championships in professional golf, and the only major played each year at the same course.
Here are five ways you can attend this legendary event and see some iconic golfing landmarks such as Amen Corner, Rae’s Creek, and Hogan’s Bridge.
1. Qualify for an invitation
The current field of 85 players, hoping to put on the green jacket at the end of this year’s tournament, qualified to receive an invitation from the Board of Governors of the Augusta National Golf Club under a rather lengthy list of qualification criteria. Some of these are to be one or more of:
- A previous Masters Tournament champion;
- The first 12 players, including ties, in the last Masters Tournament;
- The champions, of the previous five years, from the US Open, The (British) Open Championship, and the US PGA major championships;
- The winners of the Players Championship of the past three years;
- The 50 leaders on the Final Official World Golf Ranking for the previous calendar year; and
- The current Olympic Gold Medalist.
Australians that accepted the invitation include Jason Day, Marc Leishman, 2013 Masters Tournament champion Adam Scott and Cameron Smith.
In addition to Scott, who has played in every tournament since 2002 and currently has odds of 40/1 at Betway Sports to win this year’s tournament, other past champions in the field include last year’s tournament champion Dustin Johnson, with odds of 6/1, and Sandy Lyle, the 1988 champion, with odds of 2500/1.
The highest-ranked player not currently in the field is Max Homa, who is #38 on the official world golf rankings. However, he may still receive an invitation from Augusta National if he remains in the top 50 of the World Rankings up to a week before the tournament.
It may be somewhat ironic and perhaps even bittersweet for Homa if he receives an invitation to play at the expense of his lifelong idol Tiger Woods. Homa won the recent Genesis Invitational. It was tournament host Woods who presented Homa with the winners’ trophy the day before he (Woods) suffered severe leg injuries in a car accident in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. Woods, of course, has a real history at The Masters, with his victory in the 2019 Masters ranked as one of the best sporting comebacks of all time.
So if you’re a golf professional or amateur with aspirations of becoming a professional, and you want to qualify to receive an application from Augusta National, then, like the much-vaunted pathway to Carnegie Hall, you need to practice, practice, practice.
2. Become a member at Augusta National Golf Club
This exclusive club, known colloquially as ‘The National,’ does not publicise its membership list nor even say how large it is. It’s unsurprising, therefore, that membership is by invitation only. According to some reports, new members only get invited if existing members move on – or die.
So if you’re thinking about driving down to the pro-shop to pick up an application form just before you go out to watch some golf, don’t bother. Concentrate on becoming wildly powerful and successful, hanging out with others who are similarly powerful and successful, and waiting for a letter from the Board of Governors of Augusta National Golf Club.
3. Secure employment at Augusta National Golf Club
Current job openings at August National include a Concession Operation Manager, a Landscape Development Technician, and a Culinary Intern. There is no guarantee that you’ll get to see any of the action this way, but if you are one of the successful candidates, let’s hope you’ll catch a glimpse of some golf or golfers in between making pimento cheese sandwiches, pouring beer, or cutting grass.
4. Purchase tickets (but not for this year)
Online applications for this year’s event closed on June 21, 2020. If you want to attend the 2022 event, you must apply for tickets online between June 1 – 21, 2021. If you win the lottery (i.e., your application is successful), you’ll be invited to purchase tickets.
Many people who purchased tickets (for 2021) won’t attend this year’s event because the club decided to limit spectators. Still, those that missed out will get preference for the 2022 ticketing allocation.
It’s not just the fans who will be looking forward to the opportunity to tread the hallowed turf or Augusta National in 2022. The players are also looking forward to the return of ‘patrons’, with many citing The Masters as the tournament most impacted by the lack of fans.
5. Join a tour group
If you can afford it, and especially if you’re traveling from overseas, joining a tour group is probably one of the more enjoyable golfing experiences you’re ever likely to have.
There are many travel companies, like The Golf Travel Agency, that offer a variety of Masters packages to suit your time constraints and your budget. Typically, packages can include flights, accommodation, meals, golf (at nearby or en-route courses), and spectator access to the tournament.