A Majority of Golf Fans Would Get a Masters Tattoo If It Meant They Could Play a Round at Augusta

A new poll shows just how badly people want to tee off on the famed course

Closeup of Masters logo on Sunday at Augusta National. Augusta, GA 4/10/2022
How much do golf fans love the Masters?
Simon Bruty / Sports Illustrated / Getty

What would you do to shoot a round at the Augusta National golf course, home of the Masters Tournament? If you’re a golf fan, odds are you would willingly make at least one permanent alteration to your body.

A Golf.com poll of 5,000 fans of the sport asked them 22 questions so the publication could gauge how they really feel about the Masters. Based on the results, it seems like the most major of all PGA Tour majors might rank about even with sunsets and sex, or perhaps higher, on their list of best things in the world.

They weren’t asked that exact question, though. Instead, the fans were asked things like which of the four major championships — the Masters, the PGA Championship, the Open Championship and the U.S. Open — was their favorite to watch. The Masters was the number-one choice by far, clocking in at 86.2%. I’m not sure if it matters whether or not I list the results of the other three because they’re so pathetic.

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Between the Masters Tournament and the Ryder Cup competition, where golfers from Europe team up to play a U.S.-only squad, 76.2% of poll respondents said they’d rather watch the Masters. More than three-quarters of people polled (78%) who have not attended the Masters said doing so was on their “bucket list.” And 22% of these folks must have awesome recliners because they said, “Nah, I’m good. Rather watch it on TV.” Literally, that was how Golf.com phrased the question.

And money is an object when it comes to potentially attending the Masters at Augusta National. Asked if they would spend “No more than $500” on a ticket, 81.7% of the polled fans said yes. Just 15.2% said they would spend up to $1,000, while only 3.1% said they’d spend more than $1,000.

If you’re like me, who has to pay rent in New York City every month, and you’re thinking “$1,000 isn’t that much money for a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” question these people’s commitment to the Masters no more.

When asked whether or not they’d be willing to get a small tattoo of the Masters logo (the yellow map of America with a red-colored golf flag stick sticking up from Augusta, Georgia) on or near their ankle — again, this is literally how Golf.com phrased the question, and you’ve gotta respect the specificity there — 50.2% of poll respondents said yes, indeed they would. The other 49.8% have apparently never been drunk in their late teens or early 20s and woken up with a mysterious pain emanating from underneath a bandage somewhere. Granted, I wouldn’t have expected too many Conor McGregor types among the golf faithful.

With all the heavily documented controversy and verbal sniping between golfers in the media over the LIV Golf breakaway league/sportswashing endeavor, you might think the inclusion of some players from the Saudi Arabian tour would make golf fans more interested in the Masters this year. That’s what Golf.com predicted in another article, but it didn’t play out that way here: 70.4% of poll respondents said they were no more or less likely to watch the tournament even with that wrinkle.

And while the cherished tradition of awarding a fabled, Masters-branded green jacket to the tournament’s victor ranked as the poll respondents’ “best” of all the yearly traditions at Augusta, it wasn’t by as wide a margin as you might expect. Just 31.1% said it was the best tradition of the tournament. Number two, which got 27.3% of the vote, was the Champions Dinner, a banquet at the Augusta National clubhouse hosted by the previous year’s tournament winner that presumably zero of the respondents have ever attended or even seen, as it’s not broadcast on TV.

For 4.7% of the respondents, they didn’t choose the green jacket or the Champions Dinner. They didn’t log a vote for the ceremonial opening tee shots or the Par-3 Contest either. No, 4.7% of respondents said, in their minds, the best Masters Tournament tradition is the “pimento cheese sandwich.” For clarity, fans at Augusta National can buy a pimento cheese or egg salad sandwich — a great value at just $1.50.

The recipe for the former includes crème frâiche, cayenne pepper, Worcestershire sauce and, well, lots of cheese, which all sounds awesome. But eating egg salad on a hot Georgia day doesn’t sound like the best idea — unless maybe you get to shoot a round at Augusta out of it.

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