How Much Do Golf Masters Tickets Cost?
Since 1934, the Masters (formerly known as the Augusta National Invitation Tournament) has been one of the most prestigious tournaments in the sport of golf, and today, the multi-day event is known as the second-most exclusive sporting event on Earth. With that in mind, many wonder how much tickets to the Masters cost and how difficult they are to obtain. To answer this question, we will look at the rigorous application rules for Masters tickets and examine the cost of passes to the fabled tournament on both the primary and secondary markets.
As one of the premier tournaments in golf, the Masters has a history of exclusivity, and the process of acquiring tickets to the event more than lives up to that reputation. Unlike many other major sporting events, tickets to the Masters are so exclusive that prospective attendees are required to apply for a chance to receive one, a process that comes with a very real chance of not being selected. Tickets for the Masters are awarded through a random lottery, meaning that fans can put in their names for a chance to be chosen randomly as a ticket holder. There are very strict rules governing this application process. There can only be one application per person or address, meaning that multiple members of the same household cannot apply for individual tickets. Applicants must also be at least 21 years old to apply. Student or temporary addresses, second home addresses, and business addresses are also ineligible for application.
Another important rule states that applicants cannot ask for tickets on behalf of another person or with the intent to sell. They must vouch that their tickets are for personal use and will have their tickets rescinded and their names made ineligible for future tickets if they are found violating their agreement. Applicants for Masters tickets can hope for two different types of tickets: tickets to the tournament itself or tickets to the practice rounds prior to the event, both of which we will examine in more detail below. Applications for tickets to the Masters typically open at the beginning of June in the year prior to the tournament, closing near the end of the month. Ticket winners are informed of their selection in mid-July.
Practice Round Tickets
There are two types of tickets awarded to fans of the Masters in the ticket lottery: daily tournament tickets and practice round tickets. Tournament ticket winners are selected first, and when all of those tickets are assigned, practice round tickets are raffled out. Practice tickets allow fans to attend the practice rounds of golf prior to the official Masters Tournament. While this is not as prestigious as the tournament itself, many fans still like to have a chance to see their favorite golfers at the practice rounds. When applying for tickets, fans can choose their lottery preference by either applying for tournament tickets, only applying for practice round tickets, or applying for both. Fans who apply for both tickets and are not selected for a tournament ticket are automatically added to the practice round lottery.
If one is chosen to receive a practice round ticket for the Masters, the cost will be $75, along with applicable shipping and handling expenses.
For fans who wish to attend the official Masters Tournament, applications for daily tournament tickets are the way to go. These tickets are the most exclusive of all and are raffled out first. Daily tournament tickets give fans access to one of the daily rounds of golf during the Masters Tournament. If one is selected to receive a daily tournament ticket, the cost is $115, plus shipping and handling.
In addition to the limited supply of tickets offered to regular fans, the Masters’ other means of gathering its audience is through lifetime patron badges, which sponsors of the event purchase in order to gain lifetime access to the tournament. Patron badges are similar to season tickets for sports like football and basketball, and Masters’ patrons have a tradition of wearing their patrons badges on their hats to show their loyalty to the tournament. The number of patron badge owners for the Masters is unknown, but the waiting list to obtain one is incredibly long because patron badges are limited in number and held for life. If a patron badge owner dies, they can transfer the badge to their surviving spouse but not to any other family members. If a badge returns to the pool, it is awarded to someone on the waitlist. When the waitlist for patron badges first opened in 1972, it grew so long that by 1978, Augusta National closed it. The list has only been reopened once since, in 2000, but was quickly closed again.
Patron badges for the Masters cost $375 per year and allow holders access to the entire Masters Tournament. Badge holders can also bring children aged 8-16 along with them to the tournament for free, even if they are not relatives.
Secondary Market Patron Badges
Unlike lottery tournament tickets, which cannot legally be sold, patron badges are often advertised on the secondary market, with owners selling the use of their badges daily to those who wish to attend the Masters. However, the cost of these daily badges is often far greater than a ticket won in the ticket lottery. Fans who want to try and purchase a daily badge from a patron will often have to make a sizable deposit and must return the badge at the end of the day they attend the Masters. During the 2019 Masters Tournament, patron badges sold on the secondary market often cost around $2,000 simply for the opening round and could cost as much as $9,000 for all four days of the tournament.
The Masters is undoubtedly one of the most exclusive and prestigious events in sports, and the process of receiving and paying for tickets reflects that. True fans of golf will have to cross their fingers to get a chance at tickets for the event, and while they may not be expensive if won, those who are not selected will often have to turn to far more expensive means to get into the most famous golf tournament of the year.