So you've finally scored the golf fan’s holy grail: a ticket to the Masters tournament at Augusta National. That's the good news. But beyond its historic rolling hills and spectacular greens, Augusta's also home to a maze of rules and prohibitions for visitors. What's a newbie patron to do? Lucky for you, we checked in with GOLF.com's veteran staffers (who've spent a collective lifetime covering the Masters from the scene) for their recommendations on how to pack for Augusta National like a pro.
SHOES: Augusta’s hilly terrain is infamous, and since you’ll want to get the most out of your time there, you’ll likely be on your feet all day. Invest in padded, ultra-comfortable shoes.
We recommend: FootJoy Contour Casual Men's Golf Shoe, $99 Buy It Now
BINOCULARS: Because of the crowds and the ropes, binoculars are the perfect tool to get closer to the action.
We recommend: Bushnell Falcon 133410 Binoculars, $22 Buy It Now
CAMERA: Augusta National prohibits cell phones at the Masters throughout the tournament, but cameras are allowed during practice rounds. Bring a point-and-shoot for snaps on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
We recommend: Sony DSCWX500/B Digital Camera, $348 Buy It Now
HAT: A hat or visor is essential at Augusta—both to keep you safe from sunburn and keep your eyes shaded so you can see every shot.
We recommend: Nike Ultra Featherlight Cap, $15 Buy It Now
SUNSCREEN: No matter how much you love the sun, your skin will thank you for slathering on a coat of high-SPF sunscreen. Augusta’s trees can only offer so much cover.
We recommend: GolfersSkin Golf Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30, $6 Buy It Now
WATCH: Because of the ban on cell phones, you should plan to wear a watch so that you can keep track of time while you’re roaming through the azaleas.
We recommend: Fossil Commuter Three-Hand Date Blue Leather Watch, $115 Buy It Now
SUNGLASSES: Protect your eyes and up your on-course cool factor with a pair of shades.
We recommend: Maui Jim 423 RED SANDS Sunglasses, $230 Buy It Now
SOCKS: This goes along with those comfortable shoes you’ll be wearing: baby your feet with padded, blister-proof socks. Don’t let sore toes ruin the experience.
We recommend: KENTWOOL Tour Profile-Gameday Socks, $17 Buy It Now
PEN: Pack a sharpie in your pocket and pick up a Masters flag at the golf shop. Then head to the rope lining the practice putting green to try your chances at nabbing an autograph from your favorite player.
SEATING: While a chair is a great idea for grabbing a prime viewing spot on the course, the Masters has rules for seating. No folding armchairs or rigid stools are allowed inside the gates—so go for a collapsible, green number that’s also lightweight and easy to tote from hole to hole, like the ones sold at the golf shop at the tournament.
ALLERGY MEDICATION: With so many azaleas blowing in the wind, pollen levels are often intense at Augusta in April. Even if you think you’re not inclined to springtime sniffles, over the counter allergy meds are a must-have.
MONEY: Bring money to buy souvenirs like flags, hats, t-shirts, balls, umbrellas, and towels. You can also purchase those legendary pimiento cheese sandwiches, coffee, beer, and iced tea at concession stands (or bring your lunch and check without charge at the stands near the parking lots). You can pay with cash or credit card for food and souvenirs. You don’t, however, need to bring change to use the pay phones on the property—they’re free.
DON'T FORGET: At Augusta, the list of prohibited items is long. Keep in mind that you may not bring: cell phones, flags, banners, signs, bags, backpacks, purses, packages, alcoholic beverages, ladders, selfie sticks, radios, TVs, beepers, tape recorders, strollers, walkie-talkies, or weapons of any kind. You're not allowed to run on the property or bother the players while they're on the course. If you're caught selling or buying tickets within 2,700 feet of the course, you could face a misdemeanor charge.
Still need more advice? Here's our Augusta National "dos and don'ts."