The first PGA major tournament of the season, the Masters is one of the most traditional sporting events today. From the etiquette the players must keep, to the way the green jacket is presented to the winner, the Masters is all about respecting the past. The tournament remains prestigious to this day as it is by invitation only. Therefore, who will be playing in the 2019 tournament is still somewhat up in the air, but one thing is for sure: attendees will see the best of the best tee off on April 11th at the world-renowned Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.
In order to kick off the golf season at Masters, players have to meet at least one of the following specific qualifications that earn them an invitation.
- Masters Tournament Champions (Lifetime)
- The 2018 event was won by Patrick Reed. The San Antonio native has six PGA Tour Victories so far after winning the green jacket. After his 2018 win, Reed is expected back in the field for next year's tournament.
- US Open Champions (Honorary, non-competing after 5 years)
- British Open Champions (Honorary, non-competing after 5 years)
- PGA Champions (Honorary, non-competing after 5 years)
- Winners of The Players Championship (Three years)
- Current Olympic Gold Medalist (One year)
- Current US Amateur Champion (Honorary, non-competing after 1 year) and the runner-up to the current US Amateur Champion
- Current British Amateur Champion (Honorary, non-competing after 1 year)
- Current Asia-Pacific Amateur Champion
- Current Latin America Amateur Champion
- Current US Mid-Amateur Champion
- The first 12 players, including ties, in the previous year's Masters Tournament
- The first 4 players, including ties, in the previous year's US Open Championship
- The first 4 players, including ties, in the previous year's British Open Championship
- The first 4 players, including ties, in the previous year's PGA Championship
- Winners of PGA Tour events that award a full-point allocation for the season-ending Tour Championship, from previous Masters to current Masters
- Those qualifying for the previous year's season-ending Tour Championship
- The 50 leaders on the Final Official World Golf Ranking for the previous calendar year
- The 50 leaders on the Official World Golf Ranking published during the week prior to the current Masters Tournament
The Green Jacket
Donning the famous green jacket is one of the most prestigious honors in golf. It can only mean one of two things: you're a member of the one and only Augusta National Golf Club or, of course, you're a Masters champion.
According to PGA, there are two stories about how the idea of the green jacket came to be. One story states that Augusta National co-founder and golf champion, Bobby Jones, attended a dinner at Royal Liverpool where club captains were wearing matching jackets, and Jones was inspired to pass on this idea. The other story is that fellow Augusta National co-founder, Clifford Roberts saw it as a way to identify club members as valuable information sources to visiting non-members.
Either way, every golfer plays hard to earn that green jacket and to be a part of the elite group who are the only ones allowed to take the jacket off of club grounds and into their homes: the Masters champions.
Augusta National Golf Club
Visiting Augusta National is like taking a trip back in time. The beautiful, lush green course is one of the most well-maintained in all of golf. Fans can attend plenty of PGA events during the year, but there is only one Masters. Unlike the other major tournaments on the circuit, the Masters has the smallest field. Ranging between 90 and 100 golfers, the Masters brings the cream of the crop of the sport together for the par 72 event.
Augusta comes alive during Masters week, and there is always something happening around town. Fans who want in on the action can play golf on one of the great courses in Augusta. This provides a chance to play alongside other golf fans and to experience the beautiful courses in the Georgia's city.
Off the Golf Course
Golf isn't the only entertainment during Masters week, however. Every year, there are concerts from various music guests. Some musical acts that have played in the past include Darius Rucker and Lady Antebellum. Alongside music, there are special breakfasts held during the week that allow fans the chance to dine with PGA players, past and present.
Dubbed by some as "Disneyland for adults," Masters week is a party for golf fans and an event that sports-lovers will savor. In addition to the various events, attendees can explore the Augusta Museum of History, the Morris Museum of Art or experience some of the local outdoor fun. Of course, most visitors will be spending their time at Augusta National watching the greatest golfers in the game. The 2019 Masters is an event that true sports fans shouldn't miss - so don't miss your chance for the ultimate golf experience.