Golf’s Tough Ticket
By : Scott Kramer
Many golfers dream of attending the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. It’s understandable: the first of golf’s Majors each year is also one of its most prestigious tournaments, perennially attracting a star-studded field.
Tournament week is also the only time when the picturesque, historical and very exclusive venue is open to the public. Privileges are incredibly restricted at Augusta, and membership is only available by invitation.
Scoring tickets and a place to stay in Augusta during tournament week can be quite a challenge. After all, the event—which is being held this year from April 5-8—sells out well ahead of time. It’s generally relatively easy to come by tickets for the practice rounds that take place during the three days leading up to the competition, but you’ll need to try harder for the four rounds that genuinely count. If you’re without tickets before heading to Augusta, try contacting a reputable ticket broker, such as StubHub.com or other popular agencies, some of which tend to set up trailers just outside the club’s gates. You should be able to find last-minute tickets, but they’ll come at a premium. (If your heart is already set on attending the 2013 Masters, you can get on the ball now and apply for the official ticket lottery at masters.org.) Likewise, because hotel rooms in the area are booked well in advance, you can find multiple lodging options at mastershousing.com, a service that faithful attendees swear by.
If watching the PGA Tour pros gets you in the mood to play, venture out to one of the outstanding nearby courses. The historic Augusta Municipal Golf Course or Augusta State University’s Forest Hills Golf Club, an old Donald Ross course, was redesigned by the Arnold Palmer Company in 2004 and is currently rated the city’s best public course by Augusta Magazine.
To complement your golf experience, Augusta offers numerous other attractions. Downtown Augusta showcases Artists Row, which touts art and photo galleries, working art studios, specialty shops, eateries and coffee shops along the Savannah River. There are also several museums in town, as well as the boyhood home of Woodrow Wilson. Several malls are located in the area, including Surrey Center (located near Augusta National Golf Club); The Antique Market; Augusta Mall, which features more than 120 shops; and Augusta Exchange Shopping Center. Restaurants include TBonz Steakhouse, Rhinehart’s Oyster Bar and the French Market Grille for Louisiana-style cooking, all very popular among Masters-goers.
How To Get There
American Eagle provides three daily nonstop flights to Columbia, S.C., from Dallas/Fort Worth. Columbia is 61 miles from Augusta, Ga.
Book your trip today! Visit www.aa.com, call American/American Eagle reservations at 1-800-433-7300, or call your travel agent for more information.