150 miles from Atlanta
What it is Legendary Atlanta golfer Bobby Jones helped found and design Augusta National Golf Club, then launched the Masters Tournament in 1934. Traditions such as the champion’s green jacket and the preliminary par 3 contest add to its enduring appeal. masters.com
Why I go “This is obvious, but it’s the only major golf tournament in the exact same spot every year. Golfers and non-golfers know so much about the course. They know the breaks of the putts, the clubs that need to be used from certain spots. Then there’s the majesty of springtime and the azaleas. It’s really a combination of the Masters and that club—the lore of Bobby Jones. It wouldn’t be the Masters at all if it weren’t at Augusta National.” —Shea Sullivan, Atlanta-based partner with Burr & Forman law firm
What’s to love During practice rounds, golfers often take an extra shot on hole 16 to skip a ball across the pond and onto the green. “The crowd starts to yell, ‘Skip! Skip!’ When a pro gets close to the pin, the crowd just roars,” says Sullivan.
Insider tip The Masters has been called the hardest ticket in sports. The club began distributing a very limited number of tickets through an annual lottery in 2012. Before then, the waiting list had been closed since 1978. Ticket prices are actually modest: $50 for practice rounds and $75 for a competition day. (The application deadline for the 2015 lottery is the end of May.) Resellers offer passes for four figures.
Where to stay Plum choices like the Willcox and the Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation sell out early. Even Motel 6 can go up to $229 a night during the Masters.
This article originally appeared in our March 2014 issue.