Many people view visiting Augusta National to watch The Masters as a pipe dream, but making your fantasy a reality is easier than you might think…
How Can I Get to The Masters?
Do you turn on the television in early April, take in the verdant fairways and blooming azaleas of Augusta National, dream of attending The Masters one year and then sigh as you concede it’s one of those life ambitions you will simply never be able to realise?
Admit it – you’ve had that train of thought. We all have. Of course we all have. Augusta National is like heaven for any golf fan and The Masters – owing to the course its played over, its positioning in the schedule, its history and its penchant for producing dramatic moments – is the one event the vast majority would elect to attend above all others.
Still, most people view that prospect as virtually impossible. Augusta is one of the most exclusive clubs in the world, they reason. Getting a ticket must be harder than escaping from Alcatraz.
Happily, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
YourGolfTravel has been taking golf fans to The Masters since 2007. This year, the specialist golf travel company will be taking its 5,000th client. That’s right – more than 5,000 people who previously had the same thoughts as you have been to this pristine corner of Georgia.
To find out more, we spoke to Gareth Llewellyn, YourGolfTravel’s Rest of World Sales Director, to find out more…
Why is The Masters so popular?
Tradition and history surrounds the tournament. It's the only major to be played at the same venue every year, so golf fans who have watched it from a young age know the course inside out. Nostalgia is often mentioned in feedback from our clients – if it brings back memories just watching it yearly on the TV, imagine what it does to you when you are actually inside the gates and walking the course!
Is there any local knowledge visitors need to have?
Leading up to departure, all of our clients receive a detailed 'Masters Info' pack – this is their 'golf bible' for the week; what to see, what to do (and NOT to do), local area guides and more. Augusta National is steeped in tradition and all patrons have to abide by the rules! This doesn't deter from an unbelievable atmosphere – roars here can be heard from the other side of the course.
Is it true YGT clients have the chance to meet Darren Clarke?
Yes, there is an exclusive party on the Saturday night and Darren Clarke will join guests for a Q&A session.
What is the cost of a typical package and what does a typical package entail?
Our most popular packages are the 'Long Weekend Columbia and Athens Self-Drive' – this year from £2,399pp – which includes flights, car hire, four nights’ B&B, two rounds of golf with buggies and tickets to the Sunday action at Augusta. Clients are based in these fun and vibrant cities (just over an from Augusta) and get to experience the finest in local 'Southern hospitality' and some great golf. The trip finishes in style with the final day’s action at Augusta.
This formula has worked from day one, but we've notably branched out into more bespoke packages over the years – offering anything from VIP-hosted trips with past players, Augusta-based options with daily ticket access and golf holiday bolt-ons.
What are some of the courses clients can play nearby?
Augusta Country Club is next door and shares the infamous Rae's Creek. Sage Valley, West Lake and Champions Retreat are all within 15 minutes of Augusta National. Most of our clients stay in Columbia, South Carolina, which is surrounded by great local Country Clubs, all open to Masters patrons for the week – Wood Creek, Windermere, Lexington, Columbia Country Club to name a few.
It’s also just two and a half hours to Kiawah Island, Hilton Head and Myrtle Beach – these South Carolina golf destinations are some of the best in the world. Pinehurst, the US home of golf, is just three hours away.
How do prospective customers go about booking?
Enquire via the website (www.yourgolftravel.com/us-masters) or speak to one of our Masters Specialists (0800 043 6644). Either way, you’ll talk to someone who has been many times and sent thousands of golf fans. 'Masters Badges' are like gold dust but we strive to make the process as easy as possible.
Do you have any feedback from previous visitors?
Some comments are below…
“From my very first phone call to landing back at Heathrow things couldn’t have gone better. We thought everything was spot on and would like to thank everyone at YourGolfTravel for making our time at The Masters a most memorable one. It was beyond our expectations by a country mile.” – Mick McCarthy
“The Masters was everything and more. It was an experience I will not forget. The YGT team can be very proud of what they achieved.” – Dave Donovan
“It was truly a brilliant experience – whatever I had hoped it would be was surpassed many times over. It is something I will never forget and as long as you promise not to tell my wife, it was one of, if not the, best week of my life.” – Allan Mclennan
Want to go to The Masters in 2018?
Your Golf Travel have been working hard to create packages for 2018 and are excited to launch a new website. In 2018, clients will have the choice of 5 handpicked locations and over 20 bespoke Masters experiences.
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Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, commissioning and feature writing. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel win The Masters and PGA Championship respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email email@example.com with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
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