4 Can't-Miss Tourneys for your Post-Masters Golf Fix
All photos courtesy of each tournament
So you watched the Masters on television again this year because you just can’t seem to win tickets in the lottery, and you don’t know anyone who is willing to give up their pair. There are plenty of other opportunities to see some of the greatest players in the world compete on some of the world’s greatest courses and not have to worry about the expense of the ticket price. Here are a few suggestions:
The Players Championship — Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Unofficially the “fifth major,” the Players Championship has the highest purse on the tour, and typically draws at least the top fifty players to its field. Originally played at Atlanta Country Club in Marietta, Georgia, it settled in Ponte Vedra Beach, and has been there ever since. Jack Nicklaus won the inaugural tournament, and since 2007 it always takes place on the week ending with Mother’s Day. Like the Masters, the Players Championship is broadcasted with limited commercial interruption. Tickets are quite a bit more accessible than the Masters and this year, German national Martin Kaymer will be defending his title.
The Memorial Tournament — Dublin, Ohio
Founded in 1976 by Jack Nicklaus, the Memorial Golf Tournament is a restricted field event where only the top 75 players on the tour are guaranteed a place in the tournament. Hosted by Muirfield Village Golf Club, its course was designed by Nicklaus specifically for the tournament. Although Jack did not win the first Memorial Tournament, Roger Maltbie and Hale Irwin went to four playoff holes to determine the winner, with Maltbie emerging as the victor. The tournament was created in Nicklaus’s hometown as a way to give back to the community, and has raised over $12 million dollars for Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing — Hilton Head, South Carolina
This is a little bit of a hometown pick here, as I did live in Hilton Head for 12 years, but the reasoning holds true. Always held the week after the Masters, the weather at the beach is normally quite nice, even if the water temperature is not quite swimmable. The Harbour Town Golf Links are in beautiful shape. The course was designed by Pete Dye, and first won by Arnold Palmer. They even give out a jacket to the winner. This jacket is not green, however; in the tradition of the heritage of golf, it is tartan. If you are lucky as they were in 2007 with Zach Johnson, and this year with Jordan Spieth, the current Masters Champion will play the week after winning.
The Tour Championship by Coca-Cola — Atlanta, Georgia
The culmination of the FedEx points tallied during the season, and the chase for the FedEx Cup is hosted at the East Lake Country Club (ELCC) in Atlanta. Tickets to this event are only $68 for day passes, and you get to see the top 30 players in the world all compete in one place. The small field makes for a great quick day, and tee times normally don’t start till the afternoon. ELCC is a beautiful course, with undulating hills and lake views from almost every hole. Billy Horschel was the winner last year and took home a purse of $1.4 million.
There you go, a chance to see the best at some of the most beautiful courses in the country. And tickets are way more approachable. Now, does anyone have tickets to next year’s Masters?
More by Tom Bastek
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