Masters etiquette: What you need to know
After thunderstorms canceled play at Monday's practice rounds, Masters Tournament-goers will indeed be ready to hit the golf course at Augusta National Golf Club today; however, club officials have a few things spectators should keep in mind before heading out.
The tournament is an international competition, and contestants are considered invited guests, so spectators are expected to behave with dignity and consideration at all times.
In the club's “Conduct, Customs and Etiquette,” Robert Tyre “Bobby” Jones wrote that etiquette and decorum are just as important in golf as rules governing play, and that excessive celebration by a player or his “partisans” is not proper.
“Most distressing to those who love the game of golf is the applauding or cheering of misplays or misfortunes of a player,” Jones wrote. “Such occurrences have been rare at The Masters, but we must eliminate them entirely if our patrons are to continue to merit their reputation as the most knowledgeable and considerate in the world.”
Running at the tournament is considered unacceptable behavior, and spectators are instructed to use crosswalks and never go “under the ropes” for any reason, according to the club.
Patrons are asked to remain silent when it is required, be still while a shot is being executed and to follow instructions from officials.
Excessive noise or shouting is not tolerated during the tournament and could result in the spectator being dismissed, officials said.
If you're looking to get an autograph from your favorite golfer, be warned that the golf course has a “no autograph” policy on its Practice and Tournament days. Autograph seeking is only allowed around the practice range and on the Par 3 course during the Par 3 contest.
If you want to snap a photo, cameras are allowed for personal use on the grounds only during the practice rounds through Wednesday; however, they are not allowed during tournament play.
Cellphones, tablets, PDAs and any other electronic devices are prohibited inside the golf course and will result in the permanent loss of credentials, removal from the course and a “substantial penalty” against your hosting company. These items may be checked in with concierges in the hospitality areas.
Each patron is allowed to bring one chair onto the grounds, according to the rules. Augusta National will also have chairs for sale on the course. Folding armchairs and “rigid-type” chairs are not allowed.
Other prohibited items in the course include alcoholic beverages; beverage containers and coolers; flags, banners and signs; walkie talkies; golf shoes with metal spikes; bags, backpacks or purses larger than 10 inches in width, 10 inches in height and 12 inches in diameter; weapons of any kind, regardless of permit; ladders or periscopes; radios and televisions; tape recorders; and strollers.
Pets and animals are not allowed on the grounds except animals trained to assist the physically-impaired.
Additionally, all ticket purchasers and holders consent to the inspection of their property before entering and during the tournament. Refusal of such inspection or possession of prohibited items will result in removal from the tournament.
Teddy Kulmala covers the crime and courts beat for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since August 2012.