Saturday, April 11, 2009

Yes you can play at Augusta National

If you want to play a round of golf at Augusta National Golf Club, there ARE several ways to do it. Some hard, some not quite so hard.

1. Become a professional golfer and qualify for the tournament (Not likely unless you're Ryan Palmer or Chad Campbell).

2. Become good friends with a member of Augusta National (Even less likely than playing as a professional!).

3. Become part of the out-of-town working media covering the tournament. During the weekend of the tournament, the names of the out-of-town members of the media are put in a hat and those who have their name drawn get to play the course on Monday. You only get to play once to give more members of the media a chance in the future.

4. Become part of local media covering the tournament. Before the course closes for the summer at the beginning of June, members of the local media who covered the tournament back in April can play the course. I was able to do this three times. At The Augusta Chronicle, most of the sports staff gets to play as well as other employees at the newspaper. The same is true for local television, radio, etc. Local media are not limited to just one year of playing the course.

5. Volunteer at the tournament. It takes a large contingent to work the cross walks, man the scoreboards and many other volunteer jobs for the week. Many of those who volunteer get to play the course at about the same time as the local media before the course closes. I'm not sure how you get a volunteer job, although you might could write the club and ask how to do it if you're interested.

6. Become an employee of the Augusta National Golf Club. I'm not sure that becoming an employee will guarantee you a shot at playing, but it sure couldn't hurt.

You could also join the Augusta Country Club, which is right next door to Augusta National. The Augusta Country Club can be seen on the other side of the 12th green and 13th tee. I'm not sure what ACC hole is next to the National, but maybe a wild shot could put you on the course. I wouldn't recommend it. I'm sure there is security galore around the course.

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