The Masters 2024: I step inside the purpose-built Augusta shop that takes $1m every hour

The Masters shop is a unique experience, just like everything else at Augusta National.

The Masters is unlike any other golf tournament, and The Masters shop is unlike any other golf shop.

Other tournaments have shops or “retail villages” in large tents, thrown up for the week of the event and gone just a few days later. Not at The Masters.

Here you’ll find a multi-million-dollar purpose-built building that is more mall than shop. There’s not a sign of any PVC. No metal structures creaking in the breeze. The paint is pristine, the stonework exemplary, the staff all looking like they’ve been freshly steamed before starting their shifts. There are even balconies overlooking the arena where you shop. As with everything at Augusta, this is an experience unlike any other.

The length of the line waiting to go in tells you everything you need to know about people’s love of this tournament… and that this is the only place in the world where you can buy official Masters merchandise. (If you’re not there, you can make do with some great Masters-themed gear purchasable online.) If you’ve managed to get a ticket, and with photography and mobile phone use limited, you want to take home a lot of reminders of your time here, whether it’s for your home office or to make your pals jealous.

You could spend hours in this place and not have seen every item. On my first visit, I wandered the departments for just over an hour, feeling like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory. If the attendants weren’t all so polite I swear they’d have pushed my jaw closed.

Basket full, I stood in the queue for the register waiting to part with $535 (it’s all for reader giveaways, if my wife asks) doing some mental maths to establish whether I was about to face the ultimate embarrassment of my card declining. My ears pricked up as other merch maniacs made their way through the checkouts.

“That’ll be $2,112.” I’m sorry. How much?!

“That’s $1,744, please.” Oh, is that all?!

“$3,819 to pay, sir.” Do you play on LIV or something, pal?

So, at $500 I was the ‘cheapskate’ in my queue. And compared to the $30,000 a shop volunteer says one patron spent this week, I had barely parted with pocket money.

Thankfully a fellow British journalist made me look like a big spender upon my return to the press center as he stood holding a solitary mug, seemingly disappointed that he’d succumbed to the shop’s charms at all. “I only bought that because I didn’t want to have queued for 30 minutes and walk out empty-handed,” he said. I’ll brush over the fact he spent more than $1,000 during his first Augusta visit. Easily done.

Choose the wrong time and you could be queuing a long time just to get into the Masters shop

Pick your moment

Depending on the time of day you visit the shop, which only opens for one week per year, you could face Disneyland-length queues. That’s right, you pay a lot of money to come to the Masters. You queue to get in. Then you queue again to be granted access to spend… a lot of money.

On Wednesday morning they had to close the line when it reached a two-hour wait. Unless you want a high-demand item I’d recommend waiting until very late in the day when you can just breeze in. There are also smaller shops around the course selling caps, flags, and some smaller mementos if you don’t fancy the main event.

The prices

It’s testament to Augusta National (or perhaps a reflection on the amount being spent) that they keep the prices reasonably low. It’s certainly cheaper than the merch tents at The Open or Ryder Cup. For my $535, I got a hoodie ($85), sweatshirt ($75), two t-shirts ($32 each), limited-edition poster ($38), exclusive box of 12 Titleist Pro V1s ($68), two sleeves of Pro V1s (different logos, $17 each), a metal wall sign ($38), two caps ($32 each), two multi-packs of ball markers ($20 each – worth it just for the pimento cheese marker), a single ball marker ($10), and a golf towel ($19). You may shoot me down, but if you know golf and its prices, that’s decent value. This is the most exclusive golf venue in the world – if you so much as take a phone out of your pocket on the property then security will be on you quicker than Rory McIlroy’s ball speed – so they could charge what they like and people would still pay. If, like me, you’ve waited a lifetime to come to Augusta, you’re not going to walk out of the gates without an item or two (or 14 – but they’re for giveaways, remember).

So why don’t they bump the prices? For the same reason they don’t have banking or Rolex branding at every (any) turn on the course. They don’t need the money. It’s estimated The Masters Shop makes $1m per hour during the week. Yep, you read that right. $16,000 per minute. $277 every second. It’s little wonder that chairman Fred Ridley revealed a new underground players’ car park would be built in time for the 2025 tournament. With this much money coming in, you can do anything.

But enough about the amounts people were spending and let’s move on to what it is that’s making them spend the money.

Augusta National merchandise

You want a polo shirt or quarter-zip? They’ve got them in their hundreds. There’s every style, size, and color you can imagine. There’s no flicking through hangers hunting for the right one, either. You walk into the area of the shop known as the clubhouse and they’re all displayed on numbered mannequins (that don’t accurately depict most of the bodies buying the items – myself included). You tell one of the many staff members your number of choice and size and a pristinely packaged shirt is handed to you to drop into your Masters green basket.

You’ll find everything you’d expect in a golf shop – gloves, balls, markers, caps (so many caps), beanies, belts, umbrellas, towels. But there’s so much more. Wash bag, anyone? How about a dog bowl so your Cocker-Poo can show his pooch pals his love for Amen Corner? Or a coaster for one of the 50 Masters mugs, glasses, or travel cups you’ll be tempted to buy.

You’ll find hundreds of the famous Masters chairs (you must buy one if you want to sit down around the course as sitting on the grass is famously not allowed). Artwork, posters, and flags of varying shapes and sizes. Sunglasses. Rangefinders in yellow and green. Teddies. Shopping bags strong enough to hold the many items you’re about to buy in a fit of excitement. Fine glassware. Wallets. Playing cards. Dog collars. And Gnomes. The famous Gnomes.

The famous Masters Gnome is Augusta's hardest-to-get item

The Augusta National Gnome

You know the old phrase; you’ll have to get up early to catch me out. Well, at Augusta, you’ll have to get up early in the morning to bag yourself a gnome. The shop opens at 8am and by 9am they’re gone. It’s like a Black Friday Sale in Walmart when the doors open, just without the running. Running’s banned at Augusta. Power walking is almost as big as golf, here.  People lug them across the undulating course all day just so they can display a representation of a bearded old man wearing a Masters outfit in their garden. The things have become such a phenomenon over the last couple of years that a gnome black market feels inevitable. Almost as inevitable as being told to have a nice day by multiple attendants as I leave the shop. I will. But not as good as Augusta’s bank account.

The easiest-to-get Augusta National Masters momento

If the idea of a huge queue and a hammering for your credit card doesn’t appeal, there is an easy way to get a nice Masters memento. For $6 you can buy a beer (or $2 for a soft drink) and not only do you have a refreshing beverage, but you get a decent-quality Masters-branded plastic cup (green if you buy alcohol, clear if you buy a soft drink) that you can take home. And, boy, do people take them home. There were seas of cup snakes being transported of the grounds by patrons on Wednesday. Imagine the snakes of cups you see at baseball games (or cricket tests for us Brits) and you’ll have a good idea of some of the scenes on Wednesday afternoon. Augusta is a venue of the highest class but patrons are even checking the bins for these things! 

About the Author

Rob Jerram is Today's Golfer's Digital Editor.

Rob Jerram – Digital Editor

Rob specializes in the DP World Tour, PGA Tour, LIV Golf, and the Ryder Cup, spending large chunks of his days reading about, writing about, and watching the tours each month.

He’s passionate about the equipment used by professional golfers and is also a font of knowledge regarding golf balls, golf trolleys, and golf bags, testing thousands down the years.

You can email Rob or get in touch with him on X.

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