Masters Tournament and Cheap Beer, a Tradition Unlike Any Other: The History of Budget-Friendly Menu at Augusta National

by Chris Haney
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On Thursday, the opening round of the 2022 Masters Tournament teed off as the top golfers in the world vie for the coveted green jacket at Augusta National. Badges for the iconic golf tournament are tough to come by and are extremely expensive on the resell market. However, once you’re on the golf course grounds, Augusta National has arguably the most budget-friendly food and beverage menu in professional sports.

Tradition at The Masters is part of the tournament’s storied history. From Magnolia Lane to Amen Corner to the azaleas themselves, the grounds are steeped in tradition everywhere you turn. Other traditions include the winner receiving a green jacket from the previous tournament’s victor, and the reigning champ getting to select the menu for the Masters Champions Dinner. But it doesn’t stop there. Even the menu items at Augusta National have a decades-long history and prices that seem to have frozen years ago.

Each year, thousands of lucky fans walk Augusta National’s hallowed grounds, and many immediately visit the concession stands upon arrival. They’re likely headed for one of the golf course’s famous $1.50 sandwiches – pimento cheese or egg salad. Additionally, plenty of fans will grab a cold beer to pair with their sandwiches. Considering most major sporting events easily charge $10 plus for even domestic brews, Augusta’s $5 beer options are a steal. It’s not just the game itself that’s a tradition unlike any other when it comes to The Masters.

What You Need to Know

  • The Masters is an expensive event to attend, but menu prices at Augusta National are budget-friendly
  • Food and beverage menu items cost between $1.50 and $5 max
  • Various beer options cost $5, but compared to other pro sporting events that’s still very reasonable
  • Low concession stand prices are one of the many traditions at The Masters that are here to stay

The Story Behind Cheap Concession Prices at the Masters Tournament

Menu Selections at The Masters, 2016 (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Augusta National via Getty Images)

During the early days of the Masters Tournament in the 1930s, officials knew how important concessions would be for those in attendance. Augusta National Golf Club co-founder Clifford Roberts realized that most people attending the event back then took a day trip to Augusta National. There weren’t many hotel options in the area in the 1930s. Therefore attendees needed food and beverage options to get by throughout the full-day events.

In those early years of the Masters Tournament, organizers created a simple menu of sandwiches, snacks, and drinks. They used local Augustan’s kitchens to prepare the food off-property, which allowed them to keep prices extremely low. Today, the same sandwiches are produced in mass quantities and come in green plastic wrapping, and shockingly they haven’t lost their cheap price tags. In 2007, Augusta National Chairman Billy Payne spoke about the importance of affordable options at the annual tournament.

“We want the experience to not only be the best but to be affordable,” Payne explained, according to the Masters Tournament’s website. “And we take certain things very, very seriously. Like the cost of a pimento cheese sandwich is just as important as how high the second cut (of grass) is going to be.”

Newest Addition to Augusta National’s Beer Menu

The menu prices at the Masters Tournament are impressive from top to bottom, but the $5 beers are hard to beat. Domestic, import, and craft beers usually come at a premium at professional sporting events. Yet Augusta National has stuck to their guns and always offered more than reasonable prices compared to their competitors.

The golf course does not allow those in attendance to bring coolers or their own beverages onto the grounds. But with such low prices, they don’t prohibit anyone from enjoying a cold beer or Georgia iced tea. In recent years, domestic beer has cost $4 while imported beers have a price tag of $5. Due to supply chain issues, all beer is now $5 for the 2022 event, but that’s still minimal compared to other major sporting events.

For the 2022 Masters Tournament, an additional option has been added to the beer menu as well. The famous event now has its own beer specifically brewed just for Augusta National. Masters Crow’s Nest craft beer is a Belgium-styled wheat ale that comes in its own branded commemorative cup. If you prefer non-alcoholic beverages, they’ve got you covered as well.

  • Bottled Water: $2
  • Soft Drinks: $2
  • Freshly Brewed Iced Tea: $2
  • Domestic Light Beer: $5
  • Import Beer: $5
  • Masters Crow’s Nest Craft Beer: $5

No matter your drink or food preference, Augusta National has something for everyone and at a price point that works for all budgets. It’s one of the many reasons The Masters is a tradition unlike any other.

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