Every year, the Masters welcomes many first-timers to the hallowed grounds of Augusta National Golf Club. 

Whether it’s for a Monday or Tuesday practice round, Wednesday for the par-3 contest or one of the tournament rounds from Thursday through Sunday, there’s a reason the Masters is “a tradition unlike any other.” 

There’s no golf experience that compares. 

But roaming the Augusta National grounds should come with a plan to make sure the experience checks off must-see places on and off the course. You don’t want to leave the Masters unfulfilled, especially if you’re only there for one day. 

So, let this be your guide to make sure your Masters trip is a success, starting with some tips before you walk through the gates. 

Be prepared

What makes the Masters special is just how different it is from any other sporting event in the world. And rules must be followed. 

For starters, leave your phone at home, in the car, in a plant outside the course. Anywhere is fine as long as it doesn’t come in with you. No laptops, iPads or any other devices that can transmit information are allowed on the grounds. 

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Also, fans, don’t ask for autographs, don’t bring in signs and don’t wear backpacks. Smaller bags, like fanny packs, are allowed.

But how about capturing the course with pictures? That’s fine with any camera not attached to a phone — disposable, digital, Polaroid, you name it. But that is only allowed Monday through Wednesday. During tournament days, no cameras are permitted for patrons. 

It’s a good idea to look at the Masters website for all the rules details. 

Founders Circle

Founders Circle

At the end of Magnolia Lane, named after the majestic magnolia trees that line the driveway, is the main clubhouse with Founders Circle at its center. 

It doesn’t matter if it’s a tournament day or not, you can get your picture taken. The line for photos is bound to be long. But capturing the moment of standing there is a memory you’ll cherish for the rest of your life. 

Co-founder Bobby Jones was mesmerized by the magnolias leading up to the main clubhouse, and players still stop what they’re doing when they drive in through Gate 3 to bask in its glory. 

Masters Golf Shop

The exclusive merchandise at the Masters is some of the most sought after in sports. There is no online shop. The only way you can get the merchandise is on site during Masters week. 

Like Founders Circle, the lines are going to be long to get in, but you can’t leave Augusta without that Masters logo on some piece of merchandise. 

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The Masters thought of everything inside the Valhalla of golf shops, with every piece of apparel you can think of from head to toe. The amount of collectibles — kitchenware, glassware, teddy bears, flags, pins, posters — will have your head spinning. 

The only thing this guide won’t be able to help you decide is what you can leave the shop without when you get to the register. Take your time once you’re inside. And dont have second thoughts about purchasing an item. You won’t regret it. 

And if you don’t feel like carrying the bags you just filled, head over to the shipping department, which will send your merchandise to an address of your choosing. 

Players skip balls across water

Hole 16

Don’t worry, “Amen Corner” is on this list. But perhaps the coolest par-3 in golf comes at No. 16, and you can’t leave Augusta without witnessing its magic. 

“Redbud,” as it’s named, is a 170-yard hole that has seen some of the most memorable moments in golf, including Tiger Woods’ chip-in from just behind the bunker that won him his green jacket in 2005. 

Getting a seat in the grandstands or with an armless folding chair and posting up for a couple of hours will make for a great time. 

During practice rounds, join the crowd and yell “Skip It!” as players try to skip a ball across the large body of water they just hit over. On tournament days, watch how what appears to be a routine par-3 can eat players up due to the angles of the greens. 

It’s picturesque, it’s timeless and it’s one of the best holes Augusta has to offer. 

Amen Corner

Holes 11, 12 and 13, collectively known as “Amen Corner,” are the most recognizable three holes in all of golf. And while golfers love to play it each year, they also can’t stand what it does to them. 

Herbert Warren Wind used the term Amen Corner to describe the area in a 1958 edition of Sports Illustrated, and it stuck because golfers pray they can make it through without blowing up their scorecards. 

Amen Corner at the Masters

Be sure to drink it all in when you’re there. Look at the trees reflecting off the pools of water next to the No. 11 and No. 12 greens. Close your eyes and try to feel the wind like the players and caddies do, but also look at the trees swirling above the tricky 12th green. It’s likely they won’t be blowing in the same direction. Finally, watch the par-5 13th tee shot and how each golfer tries to bend a ball around the tree line on the dogleg left hole. 

And, of course, watch as players cross the Hogan and Nelson bridges to get to the 12th green and 13th fairway, respectively. 

On a sunny day with the azalea flower beds in full bloom, the mental snapshot will last a lifetime. 

Hole 1 leaderboard

Once out of the golf shop, make a right and start walking toward the first hole, where you’ll run into the famous leaderboard with big, bold letters that say “Masters” with various flags from around the world. It’s a perfect place to snap a picture if you have a camera. During tournament days, it’s always great to see where the standings are throughout the day. 

Ike’s Pond

When Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States and a famous member of Augusta National, visited the grounds, he suggested a dam be built in case a fishpond was wanted in the future. 

Today, Ike’s Pond lives on the par-3 course to the east of the main course and is always fun to see on Wednesday when players have their families caddie for them on a family-focused day filled with holes-in-one and friendly wagers between golfing buddies before it’s all business Thursday. 

Whether you’re there on Wednesday, head over and check out the large pond and look at its beauty.

Masters concessions menu

Concessions, concessions, concessions

What’s the best part about Masters concessions? Is it the classic pimento cheese and egg salad sandwich? Is it how cheap everything is compared to other golf events? 

No matter the case, you’re not going to go just once. So, make sure to try the different delicious options Augusta National has to offer. Other than the classics, be sure to try a Crow’s Nest beer, the chicken salad sandwich and, most importantly, the Georgia peach ice cream sandwich. 

Walk the course

While these are the must-sees at Augusta, be sure to spend time walking the entire course. Whether it’s following a favorite group or jumping hole to hole on your own, each one is filled with its own history and beauty that should be experienced. 

Other than the main holes where everyone likes to sit down and watch some golf, try to get a chair and sit below the Hole 6 tee box, which also has a great view of No. 16. Holes 1-6 are fun to see how golfers are going to attack the day, whether they want to be conservative or get aggressive. 

Masters hole flag

Hole 10 is a majestic, dogleg left, downhill hole to experience, especially if you can stand or sit behind the tee box. Watch how the golfers shape their shots and try to catch the hill that slopes heavily from right to left before their approach. 

Check off each hole, perhaps ending with a spot near the 18th green, before you depart and process the experience.

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