The Masters is an event that tops the bucket lists of golf fans around the world. It’s widely considered to be the most prestigious golf tournament and each year, thousands flock to Augusta National Golf Club to witness this historic event. The Masters is steeped in history and tradition, including its own set of rules and customs. We’ve complied some of our best Masters etiquette tips to enable you to fully enjoy the tournament.
No phones or cameras
One of the most talked about rules at the Masters is the ban on phones and cameras. It’s one of the few places in today’s world where everyone is unplugged.
Even without your phone or camera, there are still a few ways to get pictures at the Masters. Cameras are permitted for the practice rounds so you are able to snap as many pics as you like those days. For the tournament rounds, there is a picture line near the first hole where the club will take a picture of you with the magnolias, Masters logo, and clubhouse in the background.
If you do need to make a phone call while you’re at the tournament, there are plenty of public phones on the course. Enjoy the rare opportunity to take a break from being available 24/7.
Leaving chairs on the course
For your visit to the Masters, you are permitted to bring your own chair provided it is collapsible and does not have armrests. If you don’t have one that fits the requirements, you can purchase an official Masters golf chair at the tournament, which also happens to make a great souvenir.
One of the great things about Masters week is that once you pick your preferred spot to place your chair, you can leave it there for the day and not worry about someone taking the chair or your spot. It’s pretty much unheard of at the Masters and one of the tournament’s many joys.
Referring to guests as patrons
If you’ve watched the Masters on TV, you’ll notice that fans on the course are almost always referred to as “patrons.” This tradition is attributed to Clifford Roberts, co-founder of Augusta National Golf Club, who strived to provide a more distinguished experience for spectators. The term dates back to the beginning of the tournament in 1934.
There are a number of items prohibited at The Masters tournament. In addition to phones and cameras, no electronic devices are allowed on the course. Other prohibited items include flags, banners, signs, food and drink, and bags larger than 10” x 10” x 12”. A complete list of Masters prohibited items can be found on our Masters Tournament Tips and FAQS.
What to wear
At the Masters, most patrons dress in “golf casual” attire including collared shirts and long pants or golf shorts. We recommend to dress like you are playing. Keep in mind there are a couple of items that are not permitted to wear at the Masters: denim (jeans) and golf shoes with metal spikes. If you are wearing a hat, be sure not to wear it backwards.
If you’re hoping to snag an autograph or two from the pros, your best bet is the Par 3 tournament on the Wednesday of Masters week. The atmosphere is a little more relaxed and the players are more likely to engage with fans. Other than that, the only other place autographs are permitted is at the practice range. Autographs are prohibited anywhere on the course during the Masters tournament.
Children and babies
Children and babies are permitted at the Masters, though they are expected to follow the rules and exhibit appropriate behavior. Guardians are considered responsible for their child’s behavior and may be asked to leave if it becomes disruptive. Strollers are not permitted at Augusta National.
Weather warning/inclement weather
In the unlikely event of inclement weather, pay attention to the scoreboards and message boards for the tournament’s weather warning sign. If this appears, for everyone’s safety you are expected to seek shelter nearby and avoid risky areas including bodies of water, isolated trees, open areas, grandstands and wire fences.
Two gate entries per day
Patrons are not permitted more than two gate entries per day, or in other words, you can leave the club only once after you have been admitted. But really, once you’ve arrived on the hallowed grounds of Augusta National, why would you want to leave?
No animals other than service animals
This one is fairly common sense but don’t plan on bringing your pet to witness the golf action. Service animals are permitted.
Be quiet during play. While the norm at some sporting events involves shouting and making noise, the Masters is not one of them.
Walk, don’t run
Running is not permitted anywhere on the course. As patrons move from hole to hole, you’ll notice plenty of people speed walking, but no running.
Stay behind the ropes
At the Masters, there are ropes blocking areas where patrons are not permitted. This rule applies whether there are players in the area or not. Never go under the ropes and be sure to use the marked crosswalks to get around.
As tempting as the plush green grass of Augusta National is, refrain from laying down for a rest, and from taking off your shoes at any point.
Leave the course as you found it
Augusta National is one of the most pristine courses you’ll ever see and it is expected that patrons will help keep it that way. Be respectful, don’t litter, and don’t help yourself to a souvenir; in 2012, a patron was arrested for trying to take sand from the course as a memento.
Be on your best behavior
Like most professional golf tournaments, proper decorum is rule of the day. So bring your best manners with you, make sure you follow the expectations and you’re sure to have the experience of a lifetime.
All of our Masters guests will receive more information about the tournament and Augusta National Golf Club in their travel documents. In addition, our pre-travel concierges are available to our guests to answer any additional questions about proper etiquette at The Masters.
For more information about the Masters and Augusta National, check out our Masters Tips for First Timers. If you’re ready to experience this illustrious tournament for yourself, we’d love to help you out. Contact us to start planning your ultimate Masters experience.