It’s the one course every golfer dreams of playing. Unfortunately, it’s also the course most of us never will.
For those lucky enough to know someone who knows someone who can get them on for a round at Augusta National, it’s the chance of a lifetime. For the rest of us, our dreams of Amen Corner and Butler Cabin will always be just that, dreams.
Membership at Augusta National is notoriously not-for-sale, nor is there any sort of application process for would-be members.
Though now a member, Bill Gates was famously denied membership for years after expressing interest in joining the ultimate boys club, which now includes two female members in addition to its 300 or so male members.
If you could pay to play a round, how much cash would you be willing to fork over? Or, how much of your dignity could you stand to lose?
We asked over 1,000 golfers exactly what they would do to play a round at Augusta National.
What’s a Round at Augusta Worth to You?
Suppose the golf gods smiled upon us and Augusta National was open to the public. We wanted to know how much golfers would pay to play a round. Our study included golfers in various income brackets. Those earning under $20,000 per year are only willing to shell out an average of $388 for a round. That won’t even get you an off-season round at some of the best public courses like Pebble Beach or TPC Sawgrass. However, it’s no surprise those who earn more are willing to pay more. Golfers earning over $100,000 per year said they would pay on average a whopping $3,189 for a single loop.
Of course, money can’t buy everything. So we wanted to know which conveniences, hobbies, or even family members golfers would give up to play a round on the world’s most famous golf course. Nearly half of respondents said they’d shave their heads to play a round. However, only 11.6% of the women in our study said they’d part with their precious locks.
Giving up essential forms of entertainment and gratification seemed to be a common theme among those surveyed. For example, 35.8% would give up drinking for a year, but only 21.3% would do so for three years. A trip to the tattoo parlor would be in order for the 17.0% who would get a tattoo that’s visible when clothed – we think an ANGC logo would be a nice way to commemorate the round.
Pleasures such as TV and movies are on the chopping block, as 9.9% reported the willingness to give them up for three years. Speaking of pleasure, 9% of those surveyed would give up sex for a year. To some, that may sound impossible, but for others, it would be a year just like any other.
Finally, a negligent 3.2% of golfers said they would miss the birth of their child in favor of playing a round at Augusta. While a shockingly-high 2% of those surveyed said they’d put their kids up for adoption. Don’t worry, we’ve already called child protective services.
Who Would You Play With?
You’ve been granted your dream round at Augusta. Now, who are you paying with? At 22.9%, the top answer was, of course, a friend, most likely a regular golfing buddy. Dads came in second, with 16.2% of the vote. Third place went to the most famous golfer on the planet, Tiger Woods. Who wouldn’t want to walk the course with Tiger and be regaled with anecdotes about his best moments from The Masters?
Other popular answers included spouses, siblings, and other family members. Among famous names, Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, Jack Nicklaus, Rory McIlroy, and Phil Mickelson each garnered more than 2% of the vote.
Top 5 Dream Golf Courses
Despite being the most dreamed-about course, Augusta National is far from being to only course golfers lust after. And unlike Augusta, the rest of the top five courses golfers dream of playing are open to the public, if you have the dough.
The second most dreamed-about course, Pebble Beach will run you $595 per round, plus $150 for the caddie. Reservations are required months ahead of time, but you can often skip the line if you can swing a room at The Lodge at Pebble Beach, which starts at $990 per night.
Home of some of professional golf’s most famous moments, the Old Course at St. Andrews is the most affordable course on our list. During the low season, a round can be played for just 98£, or about $130. Although in the high season this rate nearly triples. Getting on can also be tricky, as the course still practices its traditional ballot system for deciding who gets to play.
In February 2022, we surveyed 1,047 golfers, 78.9% male and 21.1% female from across the United States and Europe to find out what they would pay and what they would do for a chance to play a round of golf at Augusta National Golf Club.
We also asked them whom they would play their round with and which other golf courses they dream of playing.
Featured Image: Time2Play