How Much Would You Pay To Play Augusta National?
By Chad Napier
With the golfer’s Christmas equivalent quickly approaching in two, yes two, days, my network of friends and I have hypothetically posed the question “how much would you pay to play Augusta National?” many times.
The figures have gone has high as $50,000 for one round on the historic grounds. Even though as an attorney people assume you have disposable money in the bank, trust me, that is not the case here. (Anyone want to buy a condo in Kingsport?)
The one time initiation fee for Augusta National is believed to be only $40,000 with monthly dues less than $300. Sign me up, right? You can’t ask to be a member; you have to be asked into this elite membership of less than 400. Therefore, you are going to have to have someone take you up on your bid or become great friends with a member.
I think my number would be in the $10-$15,000 range to play the course. I adore and respect the place but not to an extent of fifty large. I assume some people would shell out up to six figures for the opportunity.
Heck, some DA’s pay thousands for Cheetos shaped like Pat Perez. I played the Tour 18 course outside Dallas a couple years ago. Its holes are designed from the most famous holes in the game of course and has its own “Amen Corner” replica. “Meh” is the best description I can use to provide you for the experience. The holes are excellently crafty, but certainly not like playing the real holes. I akin it to the fake Legos your Aunt from out of town brings you for a Christmas gift. Sure they lock together, make something and hurt when you step on them, but they are not Legos.
My favorite childhood knockoff was the “Jordache” basketball shoes my mother bought me for basketball. They had a fancy “J” and everything, but were not Jordan’s. Let’s say you get your wish and your bid to play Augusta is accepted. Who are you playing with? I mean you parlayed some heaving coinage for this opportunity. Rest assure, your cheap friends aren’t going to be there with you. No way you have three friends who have wives who will appreciate the debt allowance for your dream round. Heck, I can barely find three friends who want to pay $40 for a Saturday afternoon round.
We have all taken our clubs on vacation and had that dude forced upon your group. Yeah, that guy none of you knows or even want to know. He is intruding upon your vacation and your people after all. He’s that guy who only brought clubs along because he didn’t want to go to the outlets with the in-laws. Heaven forbid, he is that guy who lifts weights, wears tight-sleeved shirts for his 20-inch biceps and thinks he can kill a golf ball.
The positive spin in this case will be having plenty of time for pictures when he is searching for his errant drives. He’s that guy with the bad swing, uses AimPoint reading putts, but is always having “one of those days”. Be careful because your dream round could be shattered with your grouping.
As an attorney, we have to consider all these scenarios and possibilities. Yes, this hypothetical question is like the one us 13-year-old boys used to pose concerning Jenny McCarthy. Sure the experience will make your friends jealous and you will get a few “likes” on social media, but what does this experience do for your golf future? How do you show up to your tee time at your home course the following weekend?
No one wants to hear about your Augusta experience each and every time you play golf for the rest of your life. Be careful for what you wish, you could become “that guy”!
Chad Napier is an attorney who when not in the court room travels around the country playing golf every chance he get’s. Along the way he has made friends with PGA Tour players, caddies, and fan’s like you and me. You can follow Chad on Twitter at @ChaddyNap