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I LOVE That Augusta National Has All Of These Crazy Rules For The Masters

Ahhh...the Masters. Greenery, azaleas, bunkers whiter than sugar AND....a whole list of rules to make sure that Augusta National and The Masters is never seen as anything other than the most beautiful and prestigious event in sports. Eddie and I talked about one of the co-founders and visionaries of The Masters this week on Dogwalk which you can watch above. I touched on a few of the rules that help make Augusta National what it is, but there's a dozen or so more that keep the fans, the broadcasters, and everyone in check as they take in the majesty of the first Major of the year. 

1) Don't you even think about running. 

This is Augusta National, not the Waste Management Open. If you want to get a good spot to watch the best golfers in the prettiest place, well you better plan ahead, get there early because the only thing that is tolerated is a brisk walk. Once you find your spot you just mark your territory with a folding chair. 

2) You can only sit your folding chair

When you place your Masters branded green folding chair down next to a green or along your favorite fairway the course essentially hands you a deed to property. That 12"x14" area is YOURS for the day. You can leave it there as soon as the course opens, spend the day walking the course eating pimento sandwiches and nobody sit, move, or steal it. THAT is gentlemanly. That is how you respect dibs. Honor system. It's one of those little facts and traditions that make me think our society and humanity still have hope. 

3) No sitting on the grass

If you don't have a chair and can't find a spot in the stadium style galleries around the course well don't even think about sitting on that finely cut grass or pine needles. Keep your feet. 

4) No sunbathing either

Supposedly this is a rule. Not sure exactly what constitutes sunbathing, but this is a rule on the books. If you can't sit on the course you better believe you can't lay out either. Keep your shirt on and you should probably wear SPF45 just to make sure. 

5) No Phones Allowed

Cell phones and smartphones are great. I am also addicted to it. Part of me longs for the days where we didn't have them as an extension of our bodies and we had to just rely on our brains for memories. Augusta doesn't let any electronics to be carried by patrons. You leave that shit in the car. I love it. Disconnected and engaged with nothing, but your eyeballs. You have to soak in your surroundings. The images you create are locked inside your brain for only you to remember. You'll never see anything like this at the Masters

and that is a wonderful thing. 

6) There are no "fans" at August National

Talked about this in the podcast clip above, but in case you scrolled...The Masters doesn't have "fans" it has "patrons". A CBS broadcaster referred to the patrons as a "mob" in 1966 and wasn't allowed on the broadcast again until 1972.

7) No Tipping Allowed At Augusta National

This is another rule that goes back to the founder and chairman, Clifford Roberts. Roberts didn't want any members to be treated differently based on how they tipped the staff. He wanted a sense of egalitarianism at the most exclusive club in the world. 

8) No Coolers On The Course

Not surprising here on this one at all. The iconic walk up 18 would be sullied a bit if some patron was reaching under his legs and cracking his own beer as a golfer approached his second shot. They're also not needed. The food prices at Augusta are priced like a Costco hot dog. You can get a chicken sandwich for literally under $4. Cheapest concessions in America. 

9) Shoes On

Augusta National would have issues with me and Jim McMahon. Shoes must be worn at all times. I can't even imagine how good that first cut would feel on bare feet, but we'll never know. 

10) There is no "rough" at Augusta National

The broadcast isn't allowed to refer to a "rough" at August National. There is only a "second cut". Another rule by Clifford Roberts

11) Ball Caps

Brother, don't even think about wearing your Masters Branded hat backwards. No no no. Forward only. Look like a ballplayer. Like you're supposed to be there. 

Break any of these rules and 

Giphy Images.

There's the old cliche that "rules are meant to be broken". I don't always agree with that. Sometimes rules are there to preserve something great and keep it pristine. Obviously Augusta was slow to change with some societal norms and that is wrong, but these little rules listed above keep the place special. Not every rule is bad.