Edson: Here’s How You Can Try For Masters Tickets

For years, I’d watch the Masters come to an exciting finish on TV, then head over to one of our local courses to hit some golf balls.

On Sunday, after watching Patrick Reed win his first Masters and his first major tournament, I walked outside and tossed some snow balls.

So yes, it’s frustrating for northern Michigan golfers right now. Not only is there snow on the ground, but the frigid temperatures are making it hard to even think about golf.

Unless you do this: Apply for Masters tickets within the next few weeks.

Right after the Masters tournament, their website shares a link about how to apply for Masters tickets for the following year.

Many times, lucky golf fans will have their names randomly drawn for practice rounds. Tickets to the tournament itself remain really tough.

But three years ago, a friend of mine had his name selected in the random draw. He won the right to purchase four tickets to the Tuesday practice round for $65 each.

So the Friday before the practice rounds were to begin, three of us got in the car and headed south. We stayed with a friend in Virginia, where we played golf on Saturday and Sunday. On Monday, we played an early round of golf in the Augusta area, then got a hotel about an hour from the tournament site.

On Tuesday morning we rolled into Augusta. Luckily, our host had been to The Masters many times and guided us through some shortcuts to the parking area.

One of the most unique rules about stepping inside the grounds at Augusta is: No cell phones.

So you will never visit a place where there are 40,000 fans and find it so quiet. The reason is simple – Augusta is the heaven of the golf world. If you have a cell phone or start yelling, you will be escorted out. Those are the rules of the private club. Either follow them or get tossed out.

What surprised me was this: The food is cheap – $3 for great sandwiches and $5 total for a filling lunch. When you visit the restrooms, there are attendants inside to wave you toward open spots.

With that kind of organization, I refer to Augusta National as the Disney World of Golf.

Maybe that’s why when we left after spending nine hours and walking six miles over 18 holes, I told my friends: I’ve been to every major sporting event in my life and The Masters was the most unique by far.

Everything about the place is immaculate and organized. Yet, you still feel as if you are free to roam where you’d like.

If you ever get the chance to go, don’t pass it up.

And if you have a few minutes during the next few weeks, go to The Masters website and put your name in for the random ticket draw.

If, by chance, you do win the chance to buy four tickets, it will make our long northern Michigan winters seem a little bit shorter.

Nick Edson is a retired Hall of Fame columnist and sportswriter. He worked 25 years at the Traverse City Record-Eagle, 18 as sports editor. He is a two-time president of the Associated Press Sports Editors Association and a member of the Michigan Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.