As you may have heard, the key to succeeding in the Masters is avoiding the bad places. The water on the 12? This is a no go. The left side of the 2nd fairway? nope! The digital camera aisle at every store within 20 miles of Augusta during tournament week? Don’t even think about it!
On the Sunday before Masters Sunday, I experienced an all-time Masters failure. The following day, Monday, my parents and I were scheduled to do Augusta National for the first time—the culmination of a handful of lifetime dreams. But there was just one problem: we had no way of documenting it.
After days on my to-do list, I forgot to remind my parents that they could bring their digital camera to Augusta and onto the course during the Masters practice sessions. I myself had forgotten a camera at home. The icing on the cake? The GOLF photographer broke his computer screen the day before. He was off duty until at least early afternoon.
To make matters worse, I had planned to write about the pursuit of work. Nothing says “priceless family memories” quite like a story without visual proof that it’s actually happening, right? I quickly left our hotel and rushed over to the nearest Best Buy, where I met a friendly worker in the camera aisle.
“Are you looking for a digital camera?” He asked.
“Yes! Preferably something cheap,” I answered.
“Sorry man, we’re all sold out.”
Don’t worry, Mr. Best Buy staff. There’s a Walmart down the street, a Staples next door, and if neither works, a Target across the street.
45 minutes and three more ill-fated pit stops later I was, to put it mildly, royally screwed. There was only one digital camera for sale (as in, a unit of a camera), and it cost $650… path more than I was hoping to spend. I returned to Best Buy where I found the friendly camera center rep.
“Is there anything can I take a picture?” I begged.
“Uhh, maybe check over there,” he replied. “It probably won’t take the photos you want, but it’s better than nothing.”
Five minutes and $200 later, I walked back to the car with a relic of the past: a Polaroid camera and enough film for 16 photos. It was hardly an ideal solution, but it was a camera, and one I got to bring through the gates of Augusta National. My Masters nightmare had been averted, but it was an expensive mistake.
As you look to 2023, don’t be like me. Below are 10 things to remember when you go to the Masters:
1. A camera
The Polaroid worked. It worked really well. But it only worked so well because GOLF photographer Stephen Denton turned water into wine with the photos I took. You probably habit Get the expertise of a professional photographer when you land at Augusta National on a practice day, so do yourself a favor and pack a camera in your duffel bag. (Of course, if you’re going to Augusta National for a round of tournaments, be aware that cameras are strictly prohibited.)
Any type of digital camera will work. If you’re looking for something to add a retro feel to your photos, check out the Polaroid Now+ camera below, which got me out of a *serious* jam and captured some lifetime memories in the process.
All of our market tips are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you purchase a Linked Product, GOLF.COM may receive a fee. Prices may vary.
Polaroid Now+ camera
Polaroid’s most creative (and life-saving) camera. Use this bad boy in a pinch and get instant souvenir quality photos. Use the camera’s phone settings to control it remotely.
2. A clock
It is easy to understand the communication issues related to the master’s zero-tolerance mobile phone policy. Once your friends are lost…they are lost, and they will remain lost until you either a) find them or b) meet you at the car again. But one of the most understated roles our phones play in our everyday lives is time tracking.
Now you could Just travel with someone who knows how to tell the time by the sun – but Masters badges are EXPENSIVE. You might be better off investing in a wristwatch.
As someone who forgot his watch in the friendly confines of New York City, I spent the rest of the week asking strangers the time. don’t be like me Help me help you. Bring a watch.
3. A WHOOP
It’s true! Augusta National is hillier than it looks. But how hilly is it? And how many pimento cheese sandwiches do you have on the runway meanwhile? For this information and many other relevant health data you need the help of a WHOOP.
WHOOP is a wearable device that tracks an avalanche of different metrics. In everyday life, these readings are extremely helpful in understanding your stress, recovery and sleep. But in the scheme of a few days or a week at a tournament, they’re extremely valuable in helping you understand how hard you’re trying and how much sleep you need to play at a high level the next day.
It doesn’t seem relevant to them Watch after the golf tournament, but make no mistake, Augusta National will kick your butt if you’re not careful. So be careful and wear WHOOP.
WHOOP is an innovative piece of wearable health technology that keeps a close eye on your health and well-being to help you optimize your performance and recovery.
4. A jacket
As you may have seen on TV, that’s how it was cold at the Augusta National on Saturday. Really damn cold. And even colder if, like me, you forgot to bring a jacket to Augusta, Georgia.
If you’re a northerner, don’t let the promise of the Mason-Dixon line get you down, the weather can be unpredictable in April. Pack for the possibilities, not just for 80 and sunny.
5. More pants
Mornings in Augusta can be cold even in good weather, and when will you be spending about half your time on the golf course? In the morning!
If you’re going to be out all week, you don’t need to pack more than two pairs of shorts, max. You might even get away with one pair. If you’re only going for a day, pack a pair of pants.
From Lululemon’s new golf collection, these are a personal favourite. They’re not exactly the best pants I’ve ever owned – the perfect combination of jogger-level comfort and dress-pant-level comfort. If I could wear one pair of pants for the rest of my life, these would be it. Buy now and wear it for all your tournament rounds – Masters and others – until the end of time.
The best golf pants (or dress pants) I have ever worn. Well-fitting, stylish and oh-so-comfortable – getting a pair is a breeze.
6. Better shirts
Among patrons, the Masters can be something of a logo-off. The well-connected and pompous people all wear their status symbols for the world to see.
Reader, I’m not well connected or pompous. I enjoy my gear with as few logos and lettering as possible. You should do that too. Both Lululemon and Chervo have great, stylish, and minimally invasive options.
7. A pen
Great for exchanging info with new friends or getting autographs (if that’s your thing).
8. A notebook
You will have observations. You will tell yourself that you will remember these observations. You will not. Bring a notebook and use it to jot down your thoughts throughout the tournament week. Or, if you’re in a pinch, use the Masters’ brilliantly designed viewer’s guide as your canvas.
9. An extra duffel bag
At some point, buying Masters gear became a rite of passage for sports fans worldwide. This year seven people were on my shopping list… and that was it one third the size of the previous year.
Long story short, you’re going to be buying a lot of gear, whether it’s for yourself, your loved ones, or your weird colleague who Yes, really loves garden gnomes. That’s okay. what is not Okay is holding up the baggage line at Augusta Airport because your baggage is 17 pounds over the legal limit.
Pack another duffel bag in your duffel bag. Use the second for all your goodies and eat the cost of checked baggage. You (and every one of the people on your flight home) won’t regret it.
10. Golf Clubs
Obviously you’re in Augusta to watch the Masters. Obviously you don’t have a tee time at Augusta National while you’re there. But it’s worth bringing your clubs and staying an extra day to check out the area’s other historic golf offerings. Grab a tee time at Forest Hills, The Patch, or even Champion’s Retreat. They’re no Augusta National, but once you’ve seen Amen Corner you’ll be dying to rock so maybe they don’t have to be.