28 things that make the Masters the quirkiest golf tournament

It’s been absolutely everywhere this weekend, The Masters. No escaping the coverage, no escaping the action. It’s out on it’s own as (probably) golf’s biggest tournament. But what makes it so different? Business Insider UK explain…

Food prices are ridiculously low.

Tipping is banned.

Tipping is banned.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Source: NYT

Cell phones are prohibited at all times and cameras are not permitted during the tournament.

Cell phones are prohibited at all times and cameras are not permitted during the tournament.

Andrew Redington/Getty Images

It’s one of the only places in the U.S. where there are long lines for payphones.

There’s a huge fence around the course to keep out animals. There has been one deer sighting in the last 65 years.

There's a huge fence around the course to keep out animals. There has been one deer sighting in the last 65 years.

Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Source: NYT

Only four minutes of commercials per hour are allowed during the broadcast.

Only four minutes of commercials per hour are allowed during the broadcast.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Source: ESPN

TV commentators are not allowed to refer to fans as “fans” or “spectators.” They are to be called “patrons,” and the rough is to be referred to as the “second cut.”

TV commentators are not allowed to refer to fans as "fans" or "spectators." They are to be called "patrons," and the rough is to be referred to as the "second cut."

AP

Source: The Age

The Masters banned CBS broadcaster Gary McCord in 1995 for saying, “They don’t cut the greens here at Augusta, they use bikini wax.”

The Masters banned CBS broadcaster Gary McCord in 1995 for saying, "They don't cut the greens here at Augusta, they use bikini wax."

Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Source: SI

Players had to use local caddies provided by Augusta until 1983.

Players had to use local caddies provided by Augusta until 1983.

David Cannon/Getty Images

Source: ESPN

Players are allowed to use their own caddies now, but they have to wear the Augusta uniform — green hat, white jumpsuit.

Players are allowed to use their own caddies now, but they have to wear the Augusta uniform — green hat, white jumpsuit.

Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Like many golf courses, there is good fishing at Augusta National, but the players don’t like to talk about it because it is forbidden.

Like many golf courses, there is good fishing at Augusta National, but the players don't like to talk about it because it is forbidden.

Scott Halleran/Getty Images for Golfweek

In 2011, Monte Burke of Forbes interviewed golfers about the best fishing spots on the PGA Tour. When Augusta was brought up, he described their responses as “squeamish” and they only admitted to hearing there were some good spots.

A former caddie was willing to tell Burke that the best spots are the creek in front of the 12th hole (“full of bream”; seen above) and the pond at the 16th hole (“brimming with bass”).

Fans … oops, we mean patrons … patrons aren’t allowed to wear their hats backwards.

Fans ... oops, we mean patrons ... patrons aren't allowed to wear their hats backwards.

Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Source: NYT

Patrons can bring collapsible chairs to sit on, but those chairs are not allowed to have armrests.

 Patrons can bring collapsible chairs to sit on, but those chairs are not allowed to have armrests.

Matt Slocum/AP

Source: Augusta.com

Running is not allowed, unless you are a player.

Running is not allowed, unless you are a player.

Harry How/Getty Images

Grounds crew members used to wear hard hats.

There is an odd myth that the grounds crew at Augusta packs the azalea plants with ice if spring comes early. The idea is that this will keep the plants from flowering too soon before the tournament.

There is an odd myth that the grounds crew at Augusta packs the azalea plants with ice if spring comes early. The idea is that this will keep the plants from flowering too soon before the tournament.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Read more: This year’s Masters may help disprove a bizarre conspiracy theory about the tournament and its flowers

There is a house located in the middle of the Augusta National parking lot because the owners refuse to sell it. The family has reportedly turned down “millions.”

There is a house located in the middle of the Augusta National parking lot because the owners refuse to sell it. The family has reportedly turned down "millions."

via Google Maps

Read more: A family keeps turning down millions for their house next to the Masters golf course

You can’t apply to become a member at Augusta.

You can't apply to become a member at Augusta.

REUTERS/Mike Segar

It’s nearly impossible to become a member at Augusta.

You have to be be nominated by a current Augusta member, and new initiations generally aren’t accepted unless someone quits or dies. The total membership hovers around 300.

Source: Augusta.com

Augusta is closed in the summer to keep the course in pristine shape.

Augusta is closed in the summer to keep the course in pristine shape.

Harry How/Getty Images

Even the press conference podium is immaculate.

Even the press conference podium is immaculate.

David Cannon/Getty Images

Players are given brand new Mercedes for use during the week.

Players are given brand new Mercedes for use during the week.

Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Golf cart drivers who are hired to drive the players around Augusta National also pick up the golfers at the airport in the Mercedes they will be using. The cars also have a number in the back window so that employees can always identify the players by which car they are in.

Read more: What it’s like to drive Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and other pro golfers around at the Masters, according to one woman who did it

Tickets are dirt cheap; only $325 for a four-day pass. But you have to win a lottery to buy them.

Tickets are dirt cheap; only $325 for a four-day pass. But you have to win a lottery to buy them.

David Cannon/Getty Images

You can go to jail for selling tickets.

You can go to jail for selling tickets.

Getty Images

Twenty-four people were arrested outside Augusta in 2012 for trying to scalp tickets.

The course is insane about who it lets into the tournament and it’s illegal to sell tickets within 2,700 feet of the gates.

You can only ask for autographs in one part of the course.

You can only ask for autographs in one part of the course.

Harry How/Getty Images

Fans always line the ropes at big tournaments in hopes of getting a signature. But this is tougher to do at Augusta.

You can only try and solicit an autograph on the Washington Road side of the clubhouse, near the practice facilities.

The bunkers at Augusta are filled with mining waste.

The bunkers at Augusta are filled with mining waste.

Harry How/Getty Images

You know those pristine white bunkers?

They’re actually composed of waste product from the mining of aluminum, according to Golf.com

Basically, there’s this company that mines feldspar (rocks) for aluminum. This process produces waste in the form of really bright, pure quartz — that’s what Augusta uses.

The old media center was enormous.

Augusta opened a new media center this year and it is gorgeous.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

 

The course used cows as lawnmowers in the 1940s.

The course used cows as lawnmowers in the 1940s.

A close-up picture of the fairways at Augusta.@DaveTindallgolf

Augusta is its own universe with a tenuous connection to the outside world (see: all the ridiculous anecdotes in this slideshow).

But WWII affected Augusta just like it did the rest of the country. During the war, Augusta didn’t have the manpower to maintain the course, so they set 200 cattle loose on the grounds in hopes that they would “trim” the grass by eating it.

 

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