Playing on the verdant rolling greens of the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia is the pinnacle of a professional golfer’s career. But what is The Masters and how exactly do golfers qualify to be in it?
What is The Masters?
One of the four major championships in the world of professional golf is The Masters. The event is scheduled the first week of April and is the first of the majors played each year.
The Masters pays tribute to one of the greatest golfers ever known, Bobby Jones. Bobby Jones was an amateur golfer who was influential in the history of the sport. He won the Grand Slam or all four of golf’s modern majors.
With the help of golf course designer, Alister MacKenzie, Jones built Augusta National Golf Club and it officially opened in December 1932. Augusta held their annual events until the first Masters Tournament in 1934.
How to Get Into The Masters
The Masters allows golfers to play by allowing the British amateur champion, the U.S. Amateur champion, and other amateur champions to enter into the tournament. Along with PGA professionals who have won, these are the general entry qualifications into the elite field of professional golf.
Here are the specific Masters qualification requirements below.
Who Receives Masters Invitations
1. Master Tournament champions
Winners of previous tournaments are always welcome back to play again at the Masters. But players are “encouraged” stop playing if they reach a point of having very bad scores.
2. Past five U.S. Open champions
If a golfer wins the U.S. Open, they receive a 5-year exemption into The Masters.
3. Past five British Open champions
4. Past five PGA Championship winners
In the case of each major, after five years, the exemption becomes honorary and non-competing. This rule means winners of the other majors can still show up at Augusta National during The Masters, practice on the course, sign up for the Par-3 Tournament if they wish, but lose the exemption into The Masters Tournament itself.
5. Past three winners of The Players Championship
Each Players Championship winner has a 3-year exemption.
6. Current U.S. Amateur champion and runner-up
Getting into the championship match, even if you lose it, gets you into the Masters since the U.S. Amateur is a match play tournament. Qualifying golfers must still be amateurs at the time of The Masters; turning pro forfeits the invitation.
7. Current British Amateur champion
The British Amateur champ also must still be an amateur at the time of The Masters, just like the U.S. Amateur qualifiers. However, the runner-up does not receive an invitation.
8. Current Asia-Pacific Amateur champion
9. Current Latin America Amateur champion
10. Current U.S. Mid-Amateur champion
This tournament is open to amateur golfers aged 25 and older. This allows a career amateur into The Masters field each year.
11. The first 12 players, including ties, in the previous year’s Masters Tournament
Finish inside the top 12 means you can come back to play again.
12. The first four players, including ties, in the previous year’s U.S. Open Championship
13. The first four players, including ties, in the previous year’s British Open Championship
14. The first four players, including ties, in the previous year’s PGA Championship
15. Winners of the PGA Tour events that award a full-point allocation for the season-ending Tour Championship, from previous Masters to current Masters
The “full-point allocation” refers to FedEx Cup points. Opposite-field tournaments on the PGA Tour (those played the same week as another, bigger tournament) do not award full FedEx Cup points. Winning a lower-point event does not mean entry into The Masters.
16. Golfers who qualify for the previous year’s season-ending Tour Championship
The field for the Tour Championship is made up of the top 30 golfers in the FedEx Cup point standings.
17. The 50 leaders on the Final Official World Golf Ranking for the previous calendar year
18. The 50 leaders on the Official World Golf Ranking published during the week before the current Masters Tournament
If you want to be one of the players who puts on a green jacket (a tradition of The Masters), you have to hit the course and practice. To be one of the best, you have to play like one of the best.