For any golf enthusiast a tour to the US Masters is a right of passage and this US Masters package will give you the ultimate experience. This US Masters golf tour begins in North Carolina with 3 rounds at Pinehurst Village before making the pilgrimage to Augusta for an unforgettable week where you will witness history once again being written.
With eight world-class golf courses and The Pinehurst Golf Academy, this historic resort offers an unparalleled golf experience. Known for their immaculate presentation, you can be assured that all of the courses on tour will be in tournament condition. Perfectly manicured fairways and groomed greens, lined with the natural scent of pine will await you. Since 1895 epic championships and legendary golfers have met on the hallowed grounds of Pinehurst.
After your golf encounter at Pinehurst, there will be a scenic drive to Aiken, South Carolina. Well known for its horse races and polo activities and a short drive to Augusta, Aiken comes alive during Masters week with a number of excellent restaurants and bars all within a short walk from our accommodation.
An opportunity early in the week to snap some sacred images when cameras are allowed on course and the players are relaxed. A trip to the 16th will see the pro’s having some fun skipping balls across the pond and onto the green.
Before the real action heats up in the tournament rounds, the players join in a lighthearted Par 3 tournament and we’ll see a different side to the players who always appear so composed. The 2009 event saw golfing greats Gary Player, Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus go head to head with the games emerging players with a lesson in course management!
Before we visit the 2016 US Masters, we hit the fairways of the beautiful Reserve Golf Club, designed by Jack Nicklaus and rated as “one of the Top Ten Best New Private Courses in America”, this is sure to be a treat.
The 2016 US Masters golf tour will bring you close to the world’s best to arguably the most revered stage in golf where they will stun us with displays of unmatched skill, drive and determination. Enjoy 2 rounds on course following your favourites vie for the most prestigious title in modern golf.
You will need to ensure that your flight has you arriving in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina no later than today. Go Golfing Travel can arrange your international flights at competitive rates. Your transfer will meet you at the airport to begin your 90 minute picturesque drive through the North Carolina country side. You’ll check-in at the historic Carolina Hotel with its southern mansion appearance and warm hospitality.
If you wish to arrive early to rest before the tour begins, extra nights accommodation can be arranged.
Feast on a classic breakfast buffet while being accompanied by a pianist on a Grand piano. After breakfast, we’ll prepare for our first round of golf on Pinehurst No. 6, designed by Tom Fazio in 1975. The result was a more rugged, undulating track that demands bigger drives and more aggressive approaches. Tom returned in 2005 to carve new bunkers, soften angles and seed faster greens. The addition of native wiregrass throughout the course gives it a distinctive Pinehurst feel. Between the water, bunkers, wetlands and woods, there are plenty of perils on this par-71 track. Elevated tees, sharp doglegs and greens with false fronts make each hole interesting and unique. The back nine is among Pinehurst’s most challenging halves.
After your round, we’ll freshen up and prepare for a delicious welcome dinner and drinks in a private room where you have the chance to meet the rest of the group. (B,D)
Once again, enjoy a fully cooked breakfast buffet in The Grill Restaurant and relax with the morning at leisure – a wide array of recreational facilities are available including the boutique spa, mist pool or enjoy a cycle through the manicured gardens.
Today you can feel the excitement in the air as you set off to play your first PGA course Pinehurst No 8, the site to 2 PGA championships. It is a proven championship course that daunts and delights all who play it. A golf professional will be available daily for pre and post coaching, if you feel the need.
Choose where to dine from the Grill or any of the five restaurants at Pinehurst Village. (B,D)
Following breakfast you will tackle the famed No. 2 course, designed by Donald Ross in 1907 it has crowned greens and carefully placed bunkers. A strategic layout that tests both the long and short game. It is also top 10 in the country, and site of more championships than any other course in the country, including the 2005 U.S. Open Championship. A caddy is provided for your convenience.
This afternoon we’ll board the coach and transfer to Aiken, South Carolina. On this 4 hour drive, refreshments and videos are available for your comfort. This evening we check into The Carriage Inn—right in the heart of the Masters festivities.
A complimentary cocktail hour each evening will be hosted before your dinner at leisure.
Following breakfast we will depart for Augusta where players will be in their final preparation stages. Today is the day to bring your camera, a rare opportunity where you will be able to capture images of your favourite players. Cameras are not permitted on course during competition play.
It’s also a good idea to head to the shop for souvenirs before they run out.
A daily feature of your tour, is the Happy Hour at our Augusta hospitality zone from 4-7pm. Enjoy complimentary drinks and canapes with your hosts and friends. Regular daily transfers are provided back to your hotel from 4:30pm until 30 minutes after the end of play at Augusta.
Dinner will be at your leisure.
The traditional Par 3 Tournament on the Wednesday is a real highlight for spectators and possibly the best day of the week before the players get serious. Also, we’ll show you where to position your deck chair so you are right amongst the action— and you’ll love this… your chair will remain vacant until you return! Another great Masters tradition.
Dinner this evening will be at leisure.
Your day starts with breakfast.
The esssence of the private Reserve Club is the superb Nicklaus designed golf course. Jack Nicklaus has placed his signature on The Reserve weaving together soaring landscapes of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the alluring waters of Lake Keowee. Dramatic views frame every shot.
Lunch is included at the club after golf and you’ll be back at the hotel in time to watch the first round TV coverage that starts at 3pm.
Tonight you’re free to explore the nightlife of Aiken.
After breakfast, we will be following play at Augusta with your first look at the course during the tournament. Follow your favourite player around the course or place your deck chair at Amen Corner and watch all the groups come through.
After the Happy Hour, enjoy the party mood in the village tonight or one of the many wonderful bars and restaurants.
After breakfast, today is a day for the serious golfer with a round at the renowned Woodside Plantation Golf Club. A stream flows through the entire course and comes into play on a number of holes. Tree lined fairways and rolling terrain make for an enjoyable round but keep an eye out for its greens with subtle breaks.
This evening we will all come together for our presentation dinner and reflect on an incredible week of golf and friendship.
The hairs on the back of your neck will stand on end today… This is where golfing dreams become reality – the final round of the US Masters. You can wander the fairways or set yourself up on the 18th green and see the culmination of the tournament.
This evening at leisure.
Following breakfast we will be transferred to the Atlanta International Airport. We will have you at the airport by midday, allow 3 hours for check in, so book flights that depart after 2pm. If you have a later flight, you can store luggage at the airport and go shopping.
Go Golfing Travel Pty Ltd is a travel agent and flights associated with Go Golfing tours can be booked at preferential rates, directly with Go Golfing Travel.
Step back in time and discover the elegance and old world charm that defines the luxury accommodations at Pinehurst Resort from the historic holly, a warm and inviting luxury hotel that has hosted presidents, to the grand Carolina that has invited guests through its stately columns and into its gracious lobby for over a century. Built in 1901, it is a National Historic Landmark with everything a first-class traveller desires. Restaurants, shopping, wide verandas combine with state of the art business centres and meeting rooms. This is the way the warm South was meant to be.
The Carriage House Inn invites you to enjoy comfortably elegant accommodation amidst the charm and abundance of the many fine dining, cultural and shopping opportunities in historic, downtown Aiken. This luxuriously restored historic inn caters to all. All rooms welcome guests to a home away from home with their own unique luxuries, opulent bedrooms, private bath and Southern charm. Hotel amenities include full breakfast, complimentary wireless internet, and laundry and dry cleaning services. Located in a short drive from downtown Aiken, central to restaurants, shops and bars the hotel is well positioned to soak up the Masters atmosphere.
Golfer- Twin Share USD 14,995 pp
Non-Golfer- Twin Share USD 13,495 pp
Golfer- Single USD 17,790
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Seeing the Masters live at Augusta remains a bucket-list dream for just about every golfer. Go Golfing’s annual tour to the Masters makes this dream a reality and we share a first timers time on tour in 2014.
From the time we landed in Charlotte, we were treated to America’s southern charm. Smiling staff to greet us at the airport and our first hotel – The Ballantyne – justified my expectations of this bucket list tour. After a long flight, a delicious meal accompanied by a smooth Pinot from the Napa Valley saw me retiring to a heavenly bed that recharged the batteries.
It was time to hitch the wagon and make tracks to “Planet Pinehurst”. Approaching Pinehurst you can’t help but notice the increasing density in churches; very fitting, as most golfers pray over those 3 foot putts. Welcome to the Bible belt Go Golfing!
We were all looking forward to our arrival at the stately Pinehurst Resort – an impressive welcome before a sunny afternoon of golf on the tough No. 4 Course. Scores reflected the masterly design and sense of history the resort captured. Seriously overwhelmed! Pinehurst is an absolute pleasure and even if you were not touring the Masters I recommend a visit! After golf if you’re looking for a commiserative ale, it doesn’t have a 19th hole – they have a 91st?? There are currently 8 courses at Pinehurst with a ninth planned to come online in May 2015, plus space for another 3 on the resort.
Our welcome dinner that evening allowed us all to get to know each other in a relaxed environment via a calcutta to decide Masters winners and a thoroughly entertaining fireside chat with player agent, Tony Bouffler who shared what it’s like to live life ‘inside the ropes’.
Our next round at Pinehurst was quite a treat on the much lauded No. 2 Course – caddies are arranged and you should take the advice of your caddie. They are extremely knowledgeable, experienced and will be worth the tip you give them! Funnily enough, the caddies were having a friendly wager on their players – not that our group needed any further distraction or intimidation!
What a day playing the course that will soon be prepared for the Men’s and Ladies Open in June. Whilst the group were playing I had plenty of time to immerse myself in “Planet Pinehurst” and for me, this was mind blowing looking at all of the history carefully secured behind glass cabinets in the clubhouse. Player badges from Ryder Cups past and so many other personal keepsakes from players really do illustrate a strong and proud American golf history. And, a seriously awesome golf shop was on my hit list!
Day #3 at Pinehurst and a wet, cold morning lay ahead for our round on No. 8. Many of the group described this as the most picturesque courses at Pinehurst and had the weather been golden it would surely have been the pick of the bunch. As the weather gods would have it, not many completed their round (and wisely so!!).
We had heard that the bad weather was rolling in at Augusta and to prepare for hurricane conditions. Play for the practice round at The Masters had been called off but that did not stop our bus of raucous Australians patriotically singing their way into Aiken, South Carolina. Hearty renditions of (Land)” Down Under” and “I Still Call Australia Home” announced our arrival. By this stage we were all pretty excited – tomorrow we’d be at the Masters.
Had to pinch myself, we were on the way to the Masters! This was the day many of the group had been waiting for their whole adult lives – to set foot on this sacred ground. And, I have to admit as host I was just as wide-eyed as my guests!!!
As a budding amateur photographer this was what I was eagerly waiting for. Even walking through the gates, you could not help but be impressed with the style of the buildings in tournament green ….and the grass. The grass you may ask? It was lush, dark green and despite a mini tornado and torrential rain the day before, it was perfect.
First stop, the practice tee. A large grandstand is positioned behind the tee, everyone had great views and the timing of my arrival was superb. Adam Scott had just made his way to the range and was welcomed by the huge roar that is only savoured for a popular past champion. Jimenez was also warming up, complete with stogie cigar and flowing ponytail. Among the usually conservative golfing community he is a breath of not fresh, but freshly lit air! Luke Donald and Vijay were also firing them down the range. It’s a congenial atmosphere that has complete strangers strike up a conversation, with everyone loving an Aussie here!
On the 1st Tee, I had the pleasure of watching Mat Jones, Mike Weir (who later nailed a hole-in-one), and The Walrus (Craig Stadler). What you don’t get on TV when you see the 1st hole is the undulation. I was surprised by just how hilly the layout is and my hind quarters felt it the next day! But after the fried food of the ‘deep south’ I needed a good walk and what a place to do it!
After watching Bernard Langer (so incredibly stylish for a gentleman of a certain age!) and Vijay on the 10th it was time to walk the walk. So it was off to the 15th/16th/17th , a great spot to watch the players in a more relaxed atmosphere. One of the cool things they do once they’ve teed off on the 16th is to take another ball and skip it across the lake in front of the green. What follows is much cheering, banter and the atmosphere is really light-hearted, in this usually a buttoned up environment. Pretty special!
Time for a couple of Masters tips:
– Shop early! Merchandise at the Masters sells out, so don’t leave it to the weekend.
– Buy a chair and put it down at your preferred location. A great Masters tradition is that you can leave your chair and come back later to it…
– Top spots to watch: 6th/7th hole, Amen Corner, 15th/16th/17th tee and the 18th. Really there are no bad views and there are a number of clusters where you can see a few things going on from one spot.
– Try a traditional pimento and cheese sandwich. An acquired taste!
Par 3 Tournament at The Masters is such a special day for both the players and spectators. Whilst the layout is typical Augusta challenging with dramatic changes in elevations, framed by pine trees and azaleas, it is undeniably a different feel to the business end of the Masters Course. Watching the players interact with their families is an absolute highlight – seeing tomorrows legends with mini putters and drivers overalls and proudly striding down the fairways with their famed dads/husbands/grandfathers is great fun (cue Jason Day’s little boy – what a swing, one handed!). And who didn’t cheer when Caroline Wozniaki sunk that 30ft putt?
Perhaps the greatest roars and cheers came for three of the games elder statesmen; seeing Arnie (Palmer) shuffle his way around was an occasion not lost on the crowd. Watching the effortless play of the Golden Bear and Gary Player, you appreciate just how great they still are. And even better than seeing them, was seeing them give plenty of love back to the spectators – they sure know how to work a crowd!
By this stage our charming southern village of Aiken and base during the tournament was starting to rev up and Wednesday night was karaoke night. There were some brilliantly talented vocalists on tour and within our local operations team (myself excluded). Great fun and a memorable night at the Hotel Aiken with the rowdy crowd singing “Khe Sanh” in unison was a top way to wrap up an amazing day.
Rounds at The Reserve and Woodside Plantation were played by the group on the Thursday and Sunday. These courses were not only visually impressive but offered up plenty of challenges for golfers of all levels. Built in a beautiful residential golf community surrounded by azaleas – if you let your imagination run away with you, you could dream that you were once again at Augusta!!!
With early starts everyone was back in time to get their Masters fix – and on Thursday and Friday as Australian’s we were in the box seat riding Adam Scott home to a repeat! Sadly, it was not to be… this year.
Dawn had risen on the final day at The Masters and many of our group had varying strategies to land themselves the best view. For some it was a start at the crack of dawn and a scramble to the 18th green to place your chair down. Others decided to place their chairs down at the 16th or Amen Corner and spend the morning following their favourite players.
I walked the course with a group of six and we were really proud to be following leading amateur, Oliver Goss for the first nine holes. What a talent and such a cool and composed young man. We then relaxed at the back of the 6th green watching all of the groups come though. But it was very clear, birdies were double the price today! Nobody was buying them!
Freddy Couples ‘All American Guy’, clearly the coolest man on the course, was welcomed at every tee and green with hearty cheers and a standing ovation. We watched Bubba launch a massive drive down the 10th – he really can send them down, it’s crazy how far he drives a ball! As an aside, the 10th hole along with the 18th is extremely deceptive on TV – it looks like gentle slopes but they are anything but!
My own Masters strategy was to make my way with a couple of hours to play to the 18th and get a spot before the crowds descended. Worked brilliantly! I was inline with the pin, 3rd row back with a perfect view of the pin and green.
The bellowing sounds of ‘KOOOCH’ when Kuchar hit it into the crowd just a few metres from me drew plenty of laughs (the ball landed on a spectator’s lap – now that’s a difficult lie!).
From Scotty through to Bubba’s last putt – this was better than I had ever hoped or dreamed!
And my last tip for a tour of the Masters – savour every moment!
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