The gnomes have taken over the Masters at Augusta National… even Niall Horan wants one!

With a full collection selling at $16k, it’s no wonder The Masters gnome is a must-have souvenir with everyone from patrons and players’ wives to caddies and pop superstars chasing them.

You’ll have seen them by now. One-foot-tall ceramic figures that look like Richard Attenborough, dressed in a white shirt, striped tie, blue cardigan, tartan trousers, golf shoes, white fedora, and carrying a golf bag on a small patch of grass. The Masters Gnome. Or to be more accurate, the 2024 Masters Gnome.

Made available in 2016, the little figures disappeared in 2017, before returning in 2018. They’ve been here ever since, arriving with a different outfit for each tournament, making every iteration unique.

Limited in number each day (rumored to be 1,000), they sell out within an hour of the shop opening, well-organized queues snaking around outside as people race to get one. Along with the miniature Masters Gnome, which is dressed in the traditional caddies’ boiler suit and green cap, they are the only items restricted to just one per customer per transaction. And there’s no point in going back again because they’ll be gone. Same time tomorrow if you’re lucky enough to have a ticket.

Lady at Augusta Protecting her Masters Gnome in 2023

Augusta’s powers that be know just how desirable these painted figures are. They know just how desirable everything is here at Golf Disneyland. The Masters official Instagram account even announced this year’s gnome as a special guest in a post that flew at the start of the week. And it seems the public know, too. We’ve already seen this year’s figure selling for more than five times its $49.50 purchase price online and their desirability has seen their price jump by $10 since they launched eight years ago. But what if you have them all – the eight different gnomes released since 2016 (they didn’t produce one in 2017)? Well, you’re sitting on a goldmine. $16,000 is the current asking price for a pristine collection on eBay. And if you have the 2016 version, that’s the most valuable of all, selling for upwards of $5k.

I know what you’re thinking. Have you got one? Yes. I finally laid my hands on the little man (and his shrunken brother) on Friday morning, forgoing heading down the stretch to watch the conclusion of Tiger Woods’ first round to race after a figure even less flexible than the 15-time Major champion’s ankle. The hype had convinced me that I must have one. This is how cults start. As I stand in the queue my mind starts to wander. What if Augusta has fitted them all with cameras so they can monitor if we ever say anything negative about The Masters? But I can’t bring myself to smash it to find out because that’s what they want. They want me to spend $49 and then smash up my purchase while a Gnome King, who presumably resides in one of the smaller cabins, can watch me sobbing in my office back in the UK. That’s it. Augusta owns me now.

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

This is what happens at a tournament that doesn’t allow phones – your thoughts run wild when you’re standing alone in a winding queue, hand-twitching without an iPhone to scroll aimlessly through. Thankfully I’ve reached the front, have grabbed my basket, and am power-walking my way around. I can’t run – it’s banned here and anything beyond a speedy trot could see me asked the leave the property, my gnome heading off to someone else’s home in a scene straight from Toy Story. I’m desperately hunting for my coveted ceramic friend. Where the hell is he? I can see people have them. Surely, they haven’t sold out already.

Wait. I remember. I read an article (that’s right, I’ve researched the gnomes) that says the staff move them every day to create exactly this sort of scavenger hunt.  I grab a patron carrying one of the white boxes and pull him around to face me. “THE GNOMES. WHERE ARE THE GNOMES?” “Dude, what the f*ck, they’re right behind you.” Wait. What? I swear they weren’t there a minute ago. But I’ve come too far to be creeped out now. I grab my box from one of the smiling staff who wishes me a great day. Gnome cam will soon tell her about my day. I bear hug my new friend, grabbing a miniature version for good measure as I scan the shop for the safest way to the registers. No-one is getting my gnome. I pay, grab my receipt in case of any issues on the way out, and scarper towards the press center shuttle before locking him in the cupboard behind my desk. Can you hear something tapping?

The 2024 Masters Gnome

But it’s not just the patrons who want the gnomes. We’ve seen players’ wives and caddies strolling along with the boxes this week. It was reported that pop superstar and Modest! Golf boss Niall Horan and Italian jockey Frankie Dettori queued to buy one. And people won’t part with them either, presumably for fear of the gnome coming to life and disappearing if they drop it at checking or shipping. Instead, they spend the day lugging their new friend around the course, letting him see the sights of Amen Corner along the way.

If the idea of queuing for a gnome and lugging it around the course all day doesn’t excite you or, if you just aren’t quick enough, then never fear. The gnomes also adorn t-shirts, garden flags and other merch. Oh yes, the gnomes are taking over.


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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