The Masters has strict rules not seen anywhere else in sports. Here are the things that can get you thrown out or even arrested.

Masters Rules official
The Masters is an old school tournament, barring patrons from even bringing their phones onto the course at Augusta National.

  • This weekend the best golfers in the world will meet at Augusta National to compete in the Masters.
  • Augusta National prides itself in tradition and carries some strict rules for patrons in attendance.
  • Check out the items that will get you stopped by security before you even take the course.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Phones

Golf cell phones

Fans looking to post Instagram selfies with their favorite golfers at the Masters will have to find another way to share their content, as Augusta National forbids any phones. While there are plenty of signs to help patrons find their way around the course, meeting up with friends if you get separated could prove difficult without communication. For fans who need to reach someone off the course, payphones are available.

Bulky bags and backpacks

golf bags

Not allowing big bags has become a somewhat standard practice at many sporting events of late, but still, taking in hours and hours of golf and walking the course without a sizable pack could prove frustrating for some.

Beepers or other electronic devices

golf beeper

Proving how old school the Masters is, the tournament still has rules on the books regarding the use of beepers. So yeah, doctors better leave their pagers at home, as most others have for the past 15 years.

Cameras

golf cameras

Cameras are allowed on the course at Augusta National during the practice rounds but not once the tournament starts on Thursday. With so many fantastic views and sites to capture at Augusta National, it makes sense that fans looking to take home some memories on film would get to the tournament a day early to take advantage.

Weapons of any kind (regardless of permit)

golf gun

While apparently there was a time, as the above picture shows, that bringing guns on golf courses was a thing that happened, Augusta National has a strict policy against weapons of any kind. Regardless of your permit, you won’t be allowed onto the course armed.

Alcoholic beverages

masters beers

It should also come as no surprise that Augusta National would prefer fans don’t bring alcohol onto their pristine course. Thankfully, beer is reasonably priced, so golf fans can still enjoy a brew while taking in the action.

Beverage containers and coolers

masters beers 2

Similarly, the Masters does not want patrons walking the grounds with coolers filled with drinks. Again, there’s plenty of reasonably priced food and beverages available, so planning a Masters tailgate may be unnecessary.

Flags, banners, and signs

Golf sign

While fans at some golf tournaments have been encouraged to be rowdier of late, the Masters is as traditional as they come, with flags and signs banned.

Folding armchairs, rigid type chairs, or stools

masters chairs

While Augusta National permits chairs, which are necessary for anyone hoping to watch up close at one of the greens for the majority of the day, it’s vital that patrons have the right type of seat. “If you bring a chair, make sure it’s a collapsible one without armrests,” is the official line, so the safest way to get a seat might merely be to buy one from the Pro Shop at Augusta to ensure it passes all inspections.

Ladders, periscopes, and selfie sticks

golf selfie stick

The people who run the Masters want to make sure everyone has a fair shot at the views offered at Augusta National, so selfie sticks and ladders are out of the question. If you want to be able to see a part of the golf course without jumping over the crowds, it’s probably best to arrive early.

Radios, TVs, and tape recorders

masters payphones

It’s probably for the best that any and all electronics of yours are left at home if you’re planning on attending the Masters. If you need to keep up with something happening off the course, your best bet will be to make use of the phone bank.

Strollers

golf stroller

While there is no age restriction on the course, it’s best to use your head when planning on bringing children along to the Masters. Strollers are not allowed, meaning that should you bring a young child, you’ll be holding them for a large amount of the day.

The good news is that children aged 8-16 can attend for free if they are with somebody with a patron badge. They do not have to be related.

Read more: How to get tickets to the Masters, and how much it costs to get into one of the most exclusive sporting events in the world

Walkie-talkies

golf walkie talkie

While you’ll see rules officials walking the course with walkie-talkies, fans watching from the sidelines are forbidden from having them, just in case you thought you had found a workaround on the course’s phone ban.

Souvenirs not purchased in the official Augusta National shop

augusta national sand

This may be obvious, but don’t even think about taking something from the course, even a cup of sand.

In 2012, a patron decided to collect some sand in a beer cup as a souvenir. He was arrested and later recounted how the incident cost him approximately $20,000 and left him depressed.

Read more: A man who was arrested for taking sand from the Masters recounted how it cost him $20,000 and left him ‘seriously depressed’

Read the original article on Business Insider

The Masters is one of the quirkiest events in sports with rules and traditions not seen anywhere else

The Masters
  • The Masters is one of the best sports events in the world.
  • Some of what makes the Masters so great is the quirky traditions found only at Augusta National.
  • From cheap food to strict rules and a bizarre lack of animals, it is a tradition unlike any other.
  • See more stories on Insider.
Food prices are ridiculously low.

Masters food

Read more: Food at the Masters is so cheap, you could order one of everything, and it would only cost $56.50

Tipping is banned.

augusta concession stand

Source: NYT

Cell phones are prohibited at all times and cameras are not permitted during the tournament.

Rickie Fowler at the Masters

Read more: The Masters has strict rules not seen anywhere else in sports. Here are the things that can get you thrown out or even arrested.

It’s one of the only places in the U.S. where there are long lines for payphones.

augusta national payphones

There’s a huge fence around the course to keep out animals. There has been one deer sighting in the last 65 years and visitors often talk of never seeing a single squirrel.

augusta national driveway

Source: NYT

Birds are also mysteriously rarely seen at Augusta National. Bird sounds are heard during the television broadcasts, but there is a rumor that those sounds are artificial.

The Masters

“Also, there are no birds, squirrels, insects or any other living creature indigenous to planet earth at the Masters. Nowhere on the property. Well, okay, there must be some somewhere. But the Post’s Dave Sheinin and I made a multi-day quest for a single bird sighting. So far, none. Those bird calls that you sometimes hear on the Masters broadcast? The source remains undiscovered.” — Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post.

The lakes are also reportedly artificially enhanced to look immaculate on TV. Golf Digest tested the water on one hole in 1996 and found food dye.

The Masters

Source: Golf Digest

But like many golf courses, there is good fishing at Augusta National. The players, though, don’t like to talk about it because it is forbidden.

The Masters

In 2011, Monte Burke of Forbes interviewed golfers about the best fishing spots on the PGA Tour. When Augusta was brought up, he described their responses as “squeamish” and they only admitted to hearing there were some good spots.

A former caddie was willing to tell Burke that the best spots are the creek in front of the 12th hole (“full of bream”; seen above) and the pond at the 16th hole (“brimming with bass”).

Only 4 minutes of commercials per hour are allowed during the broadcast.

cbs masters

Source: ESPN

TV commentators are not allowed to refer to fans as “fans” or “spectators.” They are to be called “patrons.” In fact, weekly passes to the Masters are called “patron badges.”

Masters patrons with badges on their hats

The rough is also to be referred to as the “second cut.”

matt kuchar masters

Source: The Age

The Masters banned CBS broadcaster Gary McCord in 1995 for saying, “They don’t cut the greens here at Augusta, they use bikini wax.”

gary mccord

Source: SI

Players had to use local caddies provided by Augusta until 1983. Players still must use local caddies if they play at Augusta outside of Masters week.

augusta caddie 1984

Source: ESPN

Players are allowed to use their own caddies now, but they have to wear the Augusta uniform – green hat, white jumpsuit.

Russell Henley

Fans … oops, we mean patrons … patrons aren’t allowed to wear their hats backwards.

augusta masters hats

Source: NYT

Patrons can bring collapsible chairs to sit on, but those chairs are not allowed to have armrests.

Masters fan

Source: Augusta.com

Running is not allowed, unless you are a player.

The Masters

Grounds crew members used to wear hard hats.

augusta assistants hard hats

The course used cows as lawnmowers in the 1940s.

augusta national fairway
A close-up picture of the fairways at Augusta.

Augusta is its own universe with a tenuous connection to the outside world (see: all the ridiculous anecdotes in this slideshow).

But WWII affected Augusta just like it did the rest of the country. During the war, Augusta didn’t have the manpower to maintain the course, so they set 200 cattle loose on the grounds in hopes that they would “trim” the grass by eating it.

There is an odd myth that the grounds crew at Augusta packs the azalea plants with ice if spring comes early. The idea is that this will keep the plants from flowering too soon before the tournament.

Jordan Spieth at the Masters

Read more: This year’s Masters may help disprove a bizarre conspiracy theory about the tournament and its flowers

There is a house located in the middle of the Augusta National parking lot because the owners refuse to sell it. The family has reportedly turned down “millions.”

Augusta House Skitch

Read more: A family keeps turning down millions for their house next to the Masters golf course

You can’t apply to become a member at Augusta and nobody outside of Augusta knows how many members there are.

condoleezza rice augusta talking

It’s nearly impossible to become a member at Augusta.

You have to be be nominated by a current Augusta member, and new initiations generally aren’t accepted unless someone quits or dies. The total membership hovers around 300.

Source: Augusta.com

Augusta is closed in the summer to keep the course in pristine shape.

augusta scoreboard

Even the press conference podium is immaculate.

tiger woods podium

Golfers must return their green jacket to Augusta National one year after winning the Masters. After that, their jacket can only be worn when they are at Augusta National.

Sergio Garcia

Also, if a player wins more than one Masters, he does not receive a second green jacket unless his size changes considerably.

Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods

Read more: Sergio Garcia does not get to keep his green jacket for winning the Masters, but he does get a replica trophy

There is no set field size for the Masters. Therefore, past winners who get a lifetime invitation to competing in the Masters are not taking spots from younger, more deserving players.

Bernhard Langer

Read more: How to qualify for the Masters, the world’s most prestigious golf tournament

Players are given brand new Mercedes for use during the week.

Mercedes at the Masters

Golf cart drivers who are hired to drive the players around Augusta National also pick up the golfers at the airport in the Mercedes they will be using. The cars also have a number in the back window so that employees can always identify the players by which car they are in.

Read more: What it’s like to drive Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and other pro golfers around at the Masters, according to one woman who did it

Tickets are dirt cheap; only $375 for a patron badge that grants you access to the entire week. But getting one is a lot like Green Bay Packers season tickets. There is a waiting list and it has been closed since 2000. A limited number of single-day tickets are sold via lottery each year. Those are $115 for the tournament rounds and $75 for practice rounds.

Masters Patron Badges

Read more: How to get tickets to the Masters, one of the most exclusive sporting events in the world

You can go to jail for selling tickets.

GettyImages 1962698 (1)

Twenty-four people were arrested outside Augusta in 2012 for trying to scalp tickets.

The course is insane about who it lets into the tournament and it’s illegal to sell tickets within 2,700 feet of the gates.

You can also go to jail for trying to take sand home as a souvenir.

augusta national sand

In 2012, Clayton Baker made headlines when he made a quick run to a bunker to get some sand to take home. He was quickly arrested and thrown in jail. The charges were ultimately dropped, but he says the incident cost him $20,000 and led to depression because of how he was treated. 

Read more: A man who was arrested for taking sand from the Masters recounted how it cost him $20,000 and left him ‘seriously depressed’

Meanwhile, those bunkers at Augusta are filled with mining waste.

Jordan Spieth

You know those pristine white bunkers?

They’re actually composed of waste product from the mining of aluminum, according to Golf.com

Basically, a company that mines feldspar (rocks) for aluminum has a process that produces waste in the form of really bright, pure quartz — that’s what Augusta uses.

You can only ask for autographs in one part of the course.

Jordan Spieth at the Masters

Fans always line the ropes at big tournaments in hopes of getting a signature. But this is tougher to do at Augusta.

You can only try and solicit an autograph on the Washington Road side of the clubhouse, near the practice facilities.

The old media center was enormous.

Masters old media center

Augusta opened a new media center in 2017 and it is gorgeous.

Masters Media Center

The new pro shop is unlike any other in sports. It is the only place to buy Masters gear, and they offer 125 different styles of caps.

Masters pro shop hallway

Read more: The Masters’ new pro shop at Augusta National will make any golf fan drool

Now check out what the biggest stars at the Masters used to look like.

Rory McIlroy

Photos show what golf’s biggest stars looked like when their careers started

Read the original article on Business Insider