Getting an invitation to the Masters is quite an accomplishment. It means you've done something special in men's golf, garnering an opportunity to play in the only major championship conducted as an invitational tournament.
While the Masters is an invitational tournament, and Augusta National Golf Club determines who gets invited at their sole discretion, there are 19 different ways a golfer can earn an invitation to the Masters.
The best way to earn a Masters invitation is to win the Masters. Masters Tournament winners are effectively invited back for life, and they're celebrated as part of the tournament's lore frankly in a way the other majors don't or can't.
The next best way to earn a Masters invitation is to win one of the other three major championships. Winners of a major championship get invited to the other three majors for five years after winning, meaning a guaranteed 20 consecutive major starts after taking a major title. While not on the level of a major, The Players Championship is a huge tournament, and winners of the PGA Tour's crown jewel get a three-year exemption across the majors.
After those three ways, all the other paths to a Masters invitation come with one-time invites that have to be earned back the next year. The qualification criteria range from winning or getting to the final of a prestigious amateur event, to winning on the PGA Tour, to reaching the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking by certain cutoff dates.
Then, the Masters Tournament could always simply choose to invite who they would like, which they do from time to time.
If a player satisfies multiple criteria to earn a Masters invitation, they don't get multiple years' worth of invitations, just an invite under the criteria with the greatest weight and longest counting period.
The 19 different ways to qualify for a Masters invitation
- Former winners of The Masters
- Winners of the U.S. Open in the last five years
- Winners of the British Open in the last five years
- Winners of the PGA Championship in the last five years
- Winners of the Players Championship in the last three years
- Winner and runner-up from the last U.S. Amateur Championship
- Winner of the last British Amateur Championship
- Winner of the last Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship
- Winner of the last Latin America Amateur Championship
- Winner of the last U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship
- The top 12 finishers (including ties) from last year's Masters tournament
- The top 4 finishers (including ties), from last year's U.S. Open
- The top 4 finishers (including ties) from last year's British Open
- The top 4 finishers (including ties) from last year's PGA Championship
- Full PGA Tour event winners since 2022 Masters
- All players who qualified for the 2022 Tour Championship
- The Top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking at the end of 2022
- The Top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking published the week before the Masters
- Special invitations