If you’re looking to attend the Masters Tournament, there’s a good chance you don’t have a ticket. Annual weekly badges are practically family heirlooms transferable from spouse to spouse, and the single-day tickets sold to annual Masters ticket lottery winners are scant. So, unless you were born into a Masters family or you get lucky, that means you’re looking for Masters tickets through friends or through the secondary market, like a StubHub.
The folks at Augusta National know this (of course), as they certainly see the high four-figure prices for the most desirable tournament days, including Friday and Saturday. And they’re keeping track of Masters badge and ticket holders who sell their access to Augusta National.
Adam Schupak reports for Golf.com on Augusta National’s effort to eliminate ticket and badge scalpers, sharing letters the club is sending these ticket and badge holders they’ve identified as selling their access through third parties. Augusta National has told these holders that their tickets have been invalidated, their money will be refunded and they will be permanently removed from any and all future ticket lists. The ticket and badge holders are breaking an agreement they signed with the club when they purchased the tickets not to resell them for any reason.
Schupak notes the club has started color-coding their single-day tickets so they can sleuth out which tickets have been resold.
As for the buyers of these tickets, they could also find themselves in quite a pickle. Augusta National can refuse entry to these people who purchase tickets and badges in the resale market, which would mean potential patrons might not get to see the Masters Tournament and simultaneously be out thousands on flight, car rentals, hotels and other expenses.
Masters ticket prices, at least at face value, are priced well below what Augusta National could charge. Practice round tickets cost $75, and tournament round tickets are $115. The ticket lottery began in 1995, offering only practice-round tickets. A limited number of daily tournament tickets were added in 2012, when the Masters ticket lottery went online. Winners are allowed to purchase four tickets each when they’re selected in May.