If you’re a golfer, then getting to The Masters once in your lifetime should be on your bucket list. Sure, the British Open is amazing, and a great golfing event to watch with similar levels of cachet, but there’s something different about The Masters that makes it even more special – every single year The Masters is held in the same place, the beautiful Augusta National Golf Club. At Roadtrips, we work hard to create the best Masters experience for all our guests.
“Every bit of drama and history and tradition associated with that event has happened right there, whether that be from when the event was founded, or when Arnold Palmer or Tiger Woods was playing in it,” says our VP of Sales Duane Penner, who is very enthusiastic about the Masters, and has been many times with our guests over the years. “Golf fans have been watching The Masters for decades. The place is hallowed ground for golfers.”
Watching The Masters on TV is cool, sure, but Penner says that if you go just once it will entirely change how you view it forever. Seeing it on TV just doesn’t do it justice. “Being there you get the sense of the course and the topography, and the huge elevation changes, you’re kind of going, ‘Holy cow! That shot they have to make, they’re doing it blind because they are 40 feet below the green.’ You get a much more accurate sense of the golf course by actually being there,” he says.
Because Masters week is split into two, with the practice rounds on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and the tournament rounds Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, there are several ways you can enjoy The Masters (and vary how much you spend on a trip there).
“We tell people even if you can’t afford the tournament rounds, come to the practice rounds because you get to walk the course, see the holes, and you can bring your camera which you’re never able to do in the tournament rounds,” says Penner. The Wednesday practice rounds are especially fun as the players are on a Par 3 course that they (oddly enough) have on the grounds and have their kids caddy, which has become a tradition.
One thing that separates The Masters from other sporting events is that there is zero sponsorship or corporate hospitality happening within the grounds. “Because the members of that course are wealthy, the likes of Bill Gates, there’s no sponsorship, no corporate hospitality tent, this event is put on for the fun of it,” Penner explains, “Consequently you can get a beer and a sandwich for six bucks, which is great. Many companies, including us, do hospitality outside of the golf course but there are no logos anywhere. It is Augusta National and it’s a truly special place.”
One thing we are able to hook our guests up with is a luxurious home base for the event, something that isn’t always easy to do on your own. “Augusta is a small rural city. There’s no Four Seasons there, and it is a bit of a unique experience that most hotels there are three star at most, and you’ll see Beamers parked outside that week,” says Penner. “But what people in Augusta do is rent out their upscale homes in gated communities, and we’ll put groups or individuals in those houses, put in a private chef, and provide Escalade service between the golf course and the home, and work on the menus, the wines they want stocked, whether they want cigars.”
This way of doing things works very well for both the corporate groups that travel with us to the Masters, and the couples and smaller groups that come too. “If you’re looking for ways to build relationships with key clients, this is a great way to do it in an environment that is unsurpassed for a small group because it offers such intimacy,” Penner says, “You eat, sleep, breathe golf together when you’re there, and that strengthens bonds with your clients in no time.”
When our guests get to The Masters for the first time, seeing their faces light up is a definite perk, and there’s such a glow about them. “Often what happens is it is a successful son bringing his older dad to Augusta National and they have golfed a lot their whole lives, and watched the tournament together, and they come to the grounds and have this spectacular experience,” says Penner. “Seeing them experience The Masters for the first time, that’s just so wonderful to be there for.”
Ready to make 2017 the year that you get to the Masters? Contact us to start planning out your dream Masters package.