The Masters is traditionally the first major of the year and we are all getting giddy with excitement. Looking back on the glory from the last few years (Yes Tiger!) but also towards the new talent aiming to add a Major to their achievements.
While we watch re-runs on TV of players that have graced the game it whets our appetite for what is to come and the hype for the Tournament starts now.
Keep reading for our definitive guide to The Masters.
11-14 April 2024
First things first, the Masters tournament will be held in the second week of April from Thursday until Sunday. As you probably already know, that means that build-up coverage will start on the Monday as players start to arrive at Augusta National to get ‘Masters-ready’.
This is when we will see the players who managed to qualify working on learning any changes to the course and playing to areas of greens that they think the flags will be placed. We also start to get press conferences. These events are a chance to hear a bit more from the players and get some insight into their thoughts.
On Tuesday night we have the Champions Dinner. This isn’t something that we in the general public get to see but it is a huge tradition during Masters Week. The defending champion chooses the menu and it is always interesting to see what they come up with.
These dinners must be incredible evenings as anyone who has won a Masters Tournament is welcome. This is a meeting of true golf royalty, the stories that go around that table must be incredible.
Another very important date to add to your diary is the Wednesday, the famous par 3 contest. As you probably know, because we are always reminded, no one has ever won the par 3 event then gone on to win the Masters. The event is a great spectacle as players have a lot of fun and you can watch guys like Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player competing.
On Thursday we start. The ceremonial tee shot will take place on the crisp Georgia morning and the Masters Tournament will begin. After Friday, the cut will shrink the field. At the Masters they use the ten-shot rule or the top-fifty and ties. Just so you can try to work out who is in danger as you watch it.
It is always said that the Masters doesn’t truly begin until the back nine on Sunday. This may be the case in many ways but surely you want to see all of the build-up to that point.
In 2020 the coverage of the Masters had a big change, it was the first time that the BBC had no live coverage at all. Gone are the days of the soothing tones of Peter Alliss. Sky Sports will be providing all of the live coverage this year. Whilst the BBC will provide radio coverage and a highlights package, Nick Dougherty, Radar and the rest of the Sky Sports Golf team will be taking you through the action as it happens.
It has to be said that, over recent years, Sky Sports have created an incredible production with major championship golf. Their Masters coverage is excellent. You can even enjoy their Masters Breakfast show that recaps the previous day’s action and builds for the day ahead. All of the action will be on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Masters, the full schedule for the coverage is yet to be released.
The Masters accounts are an absolute must, they have some of the most incredible images and insights into this great week. You can find them on Instagram (@themasters) and on Twitter (@themasters).
Another incredible account for images of the tournament and the grounds of Augusta National is that of Christian Hafer. This guy is a wizard with the camera and some of the moments he captured at last year’s tournament were nothing short of stunning. You can get him on Instagram (@hafe_life).
For insights during the week then Michael Collins (@ESPNCaddie on Twitter) is great. He’s always good for an interview or doing things he probably shouldn’t be doing. For more serious insights and in-depth analysis then Alan Shipnuck is your man (@alanshipnuck on Twitter). He is a golf writer with decades of experience and will keep you in the know during the build-up and throughout the week.
You could also follow the big brands like Titleist, Scotty Cameron, Callaway, TaylorMade etc. They will give you a look from the range and the tour truck during Masters Week. It’s always fascinating to hear and see the kind of tweaks players are making to their bag for Augusta National. This is a great way to learn more about what these guys think about in the build-up too.
One thing we all want to see is a ‘player’s-eye view’ of the tournament though. What player accounts should you be following for the best inside look at Masters Week? Rory McIlory (@McIlroyRory on Instagram) is a great start. Not only is his content usually excellent, but the Masters is the only major that Rory doesn’t have so it’s always interesting to follow his progress at Augusta.
Another great Masters account is Bubba Watson (@bubbawatson) his content is a little more raw and less polished than Rory’s. Bubba, as you probably know, is a former Masters champion so this is always a big week for him.
Other great accounts to have a look at are those of Ian Poulter, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler. Poults has been on social media for a while and doesn’t hold back on opinions, as you can imagine. The other two guys there are great online and rocketed to social media fame through their trip to Baker’s Bay in the Bahamas. Smash those follow buttons and make sure that you have alerts on so you can see as soon as they post.
So, now that you’ve got the TV schedule sorted and you’re following the right accounts, it’s time to talk about the tournament itself. Will we see a record score this year? For us in the Yout Golf Travel office it’s really going to be hard to beat 2019, that was one of the best in a while. The comeback of Tiger was an incredibly special golfing moment.
We’ve mentioned it already but Rory is going to be one to watch this year. He must get bored of the stories at this time of year. Everyone is asking if this one will be his year. It would be great to see Rory win and complete the career grand slam.
Another big name that has never put on a green jacket is Brooks Koepka. One of the coolest guys in golf at the moment, no doubt his press conferences at the Masters will be entertaining. He’s an unknown quantity at this point but if he gets it going then he’s really tough to beat.
Spaniards love Augusta National on Masters Week. Over the years we have seen wins from Seve (the first European to win a Masters), Jose Maria Olazabal and Sergio Garcia. Well surely it is just a matter of time before another name gets added to that list, Jon Rahm.
That’s some of the biggest names to look out for this year. Who are the other guys in the field that are worth a look though?
Jordan Spieth is one of the most successful Masters players in recent years and someone who loves the greens at Augusta. He has had a good start to the season this year with a win and multiple Top-5 finishes.
15 Iconic Moments
Tradition & History
Where to watch
Whilst many golfers stay in Augusta itself for The Masters, there are many great locations within easy reach. Aiken in South Carolina is around 30 minutes away, whilst Columbia, also in South Carolina is around 60 minutes from Augusta National. Other options include Athens in Georgia which is around 90 minutes drive from Augusta.
Masters chairs are sold in the merchandise tent but you can bring your own collapsible chair that does not have armrests. Something that is unique to The Masters is the fact that you can place your chair next to a green or tee box and leave it, that is your position secured for the day.
Mobile phones and other electronic devices are strictly prohibited on the grounds at all times. Cameras are permitted during practice round days but not during the tournament rounds.
Masters Tickets can be applied for via The Masters Tournament website
The Masters Tournament Tickets cost $75 per day for Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday's Practice Days. The Tournament Days of Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday are $115 per day.
Firstly, you need to register on The Masters Tournament website, be over 21 years old and only 1 application is allowed per household. The ballot for tickets is highly competitive with people waiting decades for tickets.
Playing Augusta National is just a dream for most but there are some great courses nearby, West Lake Country Club and The River Club are within 15 minutes from Augusta while The Oconee, The National, The Preserve, The Landing and Great Waters at Reynolds Lake Oconee are just an hours drive away.
It’s nearly here and, if you haven’t already done it, you should make sure your diary is cleared for that weekend. The best thing about the Masters is that it gets you even more excited to play you own course again. You could even squeeze in a round at an Augusta lookalike course to whet your appetite. We will witness another chapter of golfing history being written and you have to feel that it could be yet another first time winner.
Our annual hankering for pure white sand, dazzling pink azaleas and pristinely prepared greens will soon be satisfied. We marvel at the footage of the ground crew in their choreographed lawnmowers ensuring the course is as perfect as a piece of land can be as the sun is setting.
The stop at Augusta National is one of the best fixtures of the golfing schedule and the tradition of the Masters is a joy to watch every year. Without doubt, this is a very special tournament and to be a Masters Champion must be the most incredible feeling. To whoever takes the prize this year, congratulations.