The Masters is (charmingly) draconic!

The Masters at Augusta National is known as one of the tournaments with the most “barbaric” rules in the sport.

by Marteli Brewis
The Masters is (charmingly) draconic!

Even though the Masters is the youngest of the four major golf championships, it is widely considered the one where tradition and standards rule the day. Some of the rules and regulations seem to have nothing to do with the game at all.

Just ask Rickie Fowler. In 2011 he arrived at a pre-tournament press conference. It was his first appearance at the Masters. Fowler sported a baseball cap turned backwards. When spotted by club member Ron Townsend, he was immediately asked to wear it properly by turning it around.

At first, Fowler thought Townsend was joking and replied he wore his hat that way so that people could see his face. Townsend, however, was completely serious and repeated his demand, whereafter Fowler complied. “Augusta is unlike any other club in the world.

There’s such a long list of things you can’t do … They simply don’t stand for any nonsense,” admitted an insider who chose to remain anonymous. “It’s a wonderful place and a fantastic tournament, but they are utterly obsessed with maintaining this so-called mystique,” said another insider.

“I get it, but it’s 2022 and they deny people access to their phones for the entire day. It’s barbaric!” Augusta is one of the only places in the U.S. where there are long lines for payphones. . . Rules not made to be broken “Yes, the rules seem overly restrictive and draconian,” said the insider.

“But, in a weird way, they’re actually part of the charm of the place — everyone knows where they stand”. Some of the other rules include no beepers or cameras, and no asking for autographs. No animals are allowed.

There's a huge fence around the course to keep out animals. There has been one deer sighting in the last 65 years and visitors often talk of never seeing a single squirrel. Birds are also mysteriously rarely seen at Augusta National.

Bird sounds are heard during television broadcasts, but there is a rumour that those sounds are artificial. There is no advertising allowed on the grounds. Only 4 minutes of commercials per hour are allowed during the broadcast.

No running (unless you are a player) or sitting on the grass is allowed. You can bring your own chair, but it cannot have armrests. You can bring your child, but their stroller needs to stay at home. There are no signs, no coolers, no backpacks tolerated.

The lakes are also reportedly artificially enhanced to look immaculate on TV. Golf Digest tested the water on one hole in 1996 and found food dye. “We believe that [the no-heckling rule is] important, not only here at the Masters, but in every tournament,” Fred Ridley, chairman of Augusta National said in 2018.

“We take that part of our policies very seriously, and we will always take action to make sure that all of our policies are enforced, including that one”. TV commentators are not allowed to refer to fans as "fans" or "spectators." They are to be called "patrons." Patrons aren't allowed to wear their hats backwards.

Security marshals have been instructed in recent years to handle outbursts swiftly. There is even a list of phrases that no one is allowed to utter and can lead to immediate ejection from the grounds. Lately, the list has ranged from “You da man” to “Mashed potatoes”, Budweiser catchphrase “Dilly Dilly” and “RIP Harambe!”.

In 1994, CBS analyst Gary McCord said on air that the 17th green was so quick that it looked like it had been “bikin-waxed,” before joking that the “body bags” of golfers who had fallen victim to the hole were just behind the putting surface.

He was banned by organisers from working the Masters and has never been asked back. Golfers must return their green jackets to Augusta National one year after winning the Masters. After that, their jacket can only be worn when they are at Augusta National.

Also, if a player wins more than one Masters, he does not receive a second green jacket unless his size changes considerably. Always keep in mind, Augusta will kick you out if you don’t follow the rules. Tickets are dirt cheap; only $375 for a patron badge that grants you access to the entire week.

But getting one is a lot like Green Bay Packers season tickets. There is a waiting list and it has been closed since 2000. A limited number of single-day tickets are sold via lottery each year. Those are $115 for the tournament rounds and $75 for practice rounds.

Also, You can go to jail for selling tickets. You can also go to jail for trying to take sand home as a souvenir. Membership is by invitation only — and if you ever publicly mention that you want to join, you won’t be invited.