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.
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.
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).
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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