'I paid $1k to tick off the number one thing on every golfer's bucket list and the prices were insane'

David Fenton (right) with one of his golf pals at The Masters
David Fenton (right) with one of his golf pals at The Masters -Credit:Phil Newnes

When it comes to the golfing calendar few events attract as much interest as The Masters. Attending the prestigious competition is said to be on every golfer's bucket list and it's been on my dad's for as long as I can remember.

Held during the first week of April every year, at Augusta in Georgia, only the world's top players are invited to take part and Sky TV pays tens of millions of pounds every year for the privilege of screening every birdie, bogey and albatross. Given the global attention and interest in The Masters tickets come at a premium.

So for many golfers attending the prestigious event is beyond their budget but my dad, who plays at Pleasington near Blackburn, was lucky enough to fly to the USA this month to watch his beloved sport earlier this month.


Tickets cost around $1,000 while the neighbouring towns are taken over by the many thousands of golf fans who stay in houses vacated by locals to cash in on the event. Surprisingly, my dad told me that food and drinks inside the course are reasonably cheap; $1.50 for a sandwich and $4 for a pint.

I asked my dad to write a first-person piece about his trip. He wrote: "At the top of every golfer's bucket list is probably a trip to The Masters in Augusta. Seeing it on TV is one thing but it doesn't prepare you for what it's like to actually be there.

"Once you have gone through the security checkpoints, which are much like you get at an airport, you come across the main shop and visitor concession areas. Be warned though; do your shopping at the end of the day as the queues are horrendous in the morning.

"Watching on TV the course itself looks quite flat but it's anything but. It is very hilly and you need to be reasonably fit to get around it all.

Golfing fanatics at The Masters in Augusta
Golfing fanatics at The Masters in Augusta -Credit:Phil Newnes

"The scenery is magnificent, especially around Amen Corner, the only downside being that you aren't allowed to take your camera on course from Thursday to Sunday. You also aren't allowed to run or wear your hat back to front!

My dad and his golfing pals arranged their trip through PGA professional and golf coach Phil Newnes from Bolton who has been to The Masters an incredible seven times. Phil, 48, said: "My core business is coaching golf but it's evolved into arranging trips. I really enjoy them; especially The Masters.

"I never really thought of it as a bucket list thing because I thought it was completely out of reach. When I arranged my first trip the places sold out within 48 hours."

Phil gets his tickets via Simon Wakefield who runs a business called The Golf Butlers. Simon arranges unique bespoke experiences to all sports events throughout the world.

The course at Harbour Town Links
The course at Harbour Town Links -Credit:Sea Pine Resorts/Harbour Town Links

"Obviously it costs quite a bit but everyone who's gone on one of our trips has said it's worth every penny," Phil added. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity so if you can afford it then it's something most golfers will dream of doing."

In Augusta, my dad and his friends stayed at the Sea Pines Resort on Harbour Town Links which is one of the most celebrated courses on the PGA Tour. Accommodation isn't cheap but guests get to play on one of the most stunning courses known to man.

My dad concluded: "It's not a cheap holiday but if you get the chance go for it and cross that number one off your bucket list!"