The merchandise shop at Augusta Nation is absolutely jam-packed with US Masters souvenirs, clothing and much more. Nick Bonfield explains...

Inside The Augusta National Merchandise Shop

Before I left for Augusta National to watch my first US Masters last year, I was inundated with requests for merchandise – hardly surprising given Masters gear is arguably the most coveted in all of sport.

I attempted to look around on Tuesday, but I’m not exaggerating when I say the queue was at least two hours long.

Every subsequent time I walked past the situation was the same.

I visited the shop in the clubhouse – press are given great access at The Masters – but it’s a much smaller selection in there.

Finally, on Saturday, I bit the bullet and queued up to enter what must be one of the best-run, best-stocked and most comprehensive merchandise ‘tents’ in world sport.

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It’s so hectic inside that you don’t know where to go, but it’s so exciting that you want to explore everywhere.

It’s best to abide by the unofficial one-way system and proceed in an anti-clockwise direction.

If you don’t, you might get trapped, as I found out when I accidentally ended up in a check-out queue with seemingly no escape.

It’s so hard to go inside and leave without having spent so much you need to take out a loan.

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The gear isn’t particularly cheap – especially the clothing – but it’s of an excellent quality.

Still, no matter how well constructed, I don’t think you’ll find many people who are willing to spend $175 on a belt.

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But that’s not to say there isn’t some value to be had. The caps, t-shirts, flags, markers and pitch-mark repairers make for excellent souvenirs.

I tried to find the most expensive, and the cheapest, items in the merchandise pavilion. I didn’t see anything more expensive than a $525 high-resolution print of Augusta National’s clubhouse, nor anything that cost less than a set of markers ($15).

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Some of the items you encounter are quite bizarre. I spotted an Augusta National cocktail shaker, an Augusta-branded laser rangerfinder and even a hip flask wrapped in some sort of knitted patchwork. What a place.

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