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This is what it's like to play Augusta during Masters week as an average Joe, according to people who've done it

This is what it's like to play Augusta during Masters week as an average Joe, according to people who've done it
  • Each year, the Masters holds a media lottery.
  • Winners get to play the course the Monday after the tournament ends.
  • Here's what it is like, according to those who have done it before.

Playing at Augusta during The Masters is the pinnacle of any professional golfer's career.

Playing at Augusta during The Masters is the pinnacle of any professional golfer's career.
Getty/Andrew Redington
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However, each year, certain members of the media get the honor of playing the course during the week of the tournament too.

However, each year, certain members of the media get the honor of playing the course during the week of the tournament too.
Getty/Rob Carr

Those who play are selected via a lottery, with winners getting to play the course the Monday after the tournament ends.

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Those lucky enough to be selected in the lottery have a strict schedule to keep. They're invited into Augusta exactly an hour before their tee time.

Those lucky enough to be selected in the lottery have a strict schedule to keep. They're invited into Augusta exactly an hour before their tee time.
Augusta National/Getty Images

Arrive any earlier and you'll be politely, but very firmly, told that you'll have to wait to be admitted.

On a golf.com podcast, journalist Ryan Asselta said that the year he was selected in the lottery he arrived and hour and three minutes before his tee time. Rather than being admitted to the club, he was asked to wait for three minutes. He was then admitted at 10.40 on the dot for his 11.40 tee.

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Once you're inside the club, however, it's a "serious thrill," Dylan Dethier, one of the winners in 2018 said.

Once you're inside the club, however, it's a "serious thrill," Dylan Dethier, one of the winners in 2018 said.
Getty/Jamie Squire

"Imprecision is roundly punished, but precision is rewarded big time," said Dethier in a golf.com article. "It's a genuinely fun golf course, and it's playable, and it was a serious thrill."

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He also said he was seriously impressed with the club's famous flowers.

He also said he was seriously impressed with the club's famous flowers.
Getty/Timothy Clary

"The birdsong seems real but those flowers? They change 'em out at least once a day. Every day," he said.

"There's a whole lot of Disneyland at Augusta — perfection's a pretty high standard."

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Former Golf World editor Nick Wright also played that year, and he called it a "once-in-a-lifetime experience."

Former Golf World editor Nick Wright also played that year, and he called it a "once-in-a-lifetime experience."
Getty/Patrick Smith

"In many ways it is the pinnacle of golf in that it has everything – beauty, variety, tranquility, risk-reward, towering pines, elevated open vistas and just the right amount of water," he said.

"Arguably, its greatest attribute is its ability to present the right type of challenge to each type of golfer. And that's where its design genius truly lies."

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He also said that while it is not the most difficult course he's ever played, the bunkers are likely to trip you up.

He also said that while it is not the most difficult course he's ever played, the bunkers are likely to trip you up.
Getty/David Cannon

"My perspective is that it is relatively straightforward for mid-handicappers who have a few shots to play with but a very stern test for scratch players," said Wright.

"But the traps are deep and, very often, you're struggling to see over the top of a lip. Not only that, you're either playing into either a sharp upslope or you have to be wary of a steep runoff the other side of the hole.

"It's often best to play sideways!"

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For NJ.com's Steve Politi, it was Augusta's notoriously undulating greens that proved the biggest problem, however.

For NJ.com's Steve Politi, it was Augusta's notoriously undulating greens that proved the biggest problem, however.
Getty/Jamie Squire

"This is where I gained a deeper appreciation of the PGA pros. I couldn't begin to read the greens," he said of his experience in 2018.

"Figuring out the speed was next to impossible.

"Even the best player in our foursome, a Seton Hall grad named Bryan Georgiana with a 7 handicap, struggled with that."

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CBS' Kyle Porter, who played in 2017, was particularly fond of hole 13.

CBS' Kyle Porter, who played in 2017, was particularly fond of hole 13.
Getty/Andrew Redington

"The sweetest place on the entire course is on the No. 13 tee box," he wrote.

"You can look back down No. 11 and watch shots into No. 12. Then you can look up No. 13, which looks totally different than you have ever seen it before. I wanted to stay back there for an hour and just tee balls up for folks who came through."

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"Even if I never go again, I couldn't have asked for a better ride," said Porter.

"Even if I never go again, I couldn't have asked for a better ride," said Porter.
Getty/David Cannon
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