Going to the Masters in Style
By Harry Rhodes
Short of the Super Bowl, the Masters could easily be considered the largest sporting event in the country. In fact, many will argue it surpasses the Super Bowl in many ways, including the shortage of tickets. If you are trying to make the trek, experts will tell you it can be the toughest ticket to get. What if you could not only gain access to tickets or badges to the Masters, but airfare, luxury accommodations, full course meals, and more? You can. It’s all available for the taking thanks to services that provide the ultimate in trips to golf’s greatest tournament.
We spoke to a couple of Texas based companies that provide the above mentioned getaways. First, was Kent Maggert from TeamGolf. TeamGolf works in many different facets of the golf industry all year long, but right now it’s largely about the Masters. This year they will have somewhere between 15 and 20 different packages to the 2007 Masters. The length of stay will range from 2 days to one week. Their client base is nationwide but this spring, half of the business is originating from Texas and California.
Kent Maggert expands on the Masters opportunities: “TeamGolf provides upscale turnkey packages for people who wish to attend The Masters for a few days or the full week. Our basic programs include tickets to the event, lodging in private homes, and transfers from the homes to the golf course and back each day. All the homes we use have a minimum of four bedrooms, 3 baths, and are over 3,000 square feet. Programs are often customized to include in-home prepared meals by a private chef, dedicated vans and drivers that handle all their transportation requirements, and golf in the Augusta area. Costs of these programs can range from less than $10,000 for a basic three night, three practice round package for a group of four to as much as $50,000 for a full week program that includes all amenities. The more expensive packages are usually purchased by our corporate customers who will bring in different groups of clients throughout the week.”
TeamGolf has been in business for thirteen years. The company is owned by touring professional Jeff Maggert and managed by his father Kent Maggert. We all know how tough it can be to get tickets to the more popular sporting events, but imagine having to organize tickets and all of the above.
“TeamGolf is somewhat unique in that we assemble all our packages from the “ground floor.” We do not go through brokers. We lease our homes directly from the homeowner; we purchase tickets from the ticket owners since all competitive round tickets are owned by individuals for life; all our van drivers are hired by TeamGolf locally to insure intimate knowledge of the local area. We also have several TeamGolf representatives that stay in Augusta during Masters Week to insure that all programs run smoothly. With this approach we can assure a first class product at a competitive price.”
On Point Sports is another company we spoke with that has full access to Masters Heaven. Like TeamGolf, they provide turnkey packages so companies can entertain clients, but they also specialize in programs that provide incentives to employees. Imagine being a salesperson and if you hit your quota your company rewards you with a trip to the Masters. On Point Sports works with companies that do just that. It’s such a popular program that they are sold out of many of this year’s packages. One they do have left is the Executive Masters Experience Package which includes 5 nights accommodations in a 4 bedroom private home in Augusta, Masters Badge for 4 days (Thursday–Sunday), daily VIP corporate hospitality, full-size SUV rental with unlimited mileage, and much more.
Philippe Tanguy is the founder and CEO of the company. He has been offering these trips for four years now, and is really capitalizing on success at the office translating into trips to the Masters or other sporting events.
“The corporate incentive travel program is one of the most powerful methods of attracting business, retaining profitable clientele, increasing profits, enhancing product awareness, and improving employee productivity. We are seeing a lot of companies realizing that cash based incentives don’t really have the same lasting impact as non-traditional incentives like travel. On Point Sports’ Corporate Incentive Travel Programs use sports and sporting events to bring people together and share in the same excitement and experience. The Masters is a prime example of a sporting event that companies are incorporating into incentive programs to drive sales force performance, etc.”
Of course, if you want to go to the Masters you can get there other ways. It won’t be as nice, but Masters badges are available for purchase just by themselves. They range in price depending on which day you would like to attend. Practice rounds can be found between $250 and $500. Badges to actual tournament days found online averaged in the range of $800–$900 per day, with the price increasing for the weekend.
Even with the Masters experience being one of the most difficult to attend due to demand, there is availability. It’s not cheap, but for the corporations or the avid fan it can be an experience you will never forget.