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The highly revered Masters Tournament is just around the corner. Even though a lot has changed in the golf world in this foregone season, one thing that is bound to remain stationary in the first major of the season is its reliance on the sanctity of traditions. One such tradition is calling all fans and spectators at Augusta National as ‘patrons’.

But how did this practice turn into a tradition? It all started with the co-founder of Augusta National Golf Club, Clifford Roberts’s dedication to honoring the fans and providing them with a more deserving experience and unique identity. The term patron started in 1934 and primarily encapsulates the contributory role played by these enthusiastic sports lovers in its continuance.

“Roberts really did feel that it was the spectators who made the Masters possible—hence patrons. He wanted to remind everyone involved in the tournament that the focus had to be on constantly improving the experience for the people watching.” said David Owen, author of The Making Of The Masters. Even the weekly passes are formally referred to as ‘patron badges’.

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The rules are pretty strict on the use of this term, and TV commentators are restricted from deploying terms like ‘fans’ or ‘spectators’. Additionally, not more than 4 minutes of commercials per hour are allowed during the Masters in order to keep the broadcasting experience lively for all patrons watching the event from the comfort of their homes.
However, as glorious as being referred to as a ‘patron’ sounds, it also comes with an intricate set of responsibilities and restrictions. So what are these?

The flip side of being a patron at the Masters Tournament

The patrons are expected to abide by the following rules: no running, no shouting, no lying down and no photographs. If someone is obsrrved in the greens who is lying down or is leaning a bit to backwards is asked to sit up immediately. Further, there is a strict provision against napping on the greens. But that is not all. 

Read More: ‘Wins the Masters by 5’: Scottie Scheffler Breaks the Internet With an Unbelievable PGA Tour Milestone Moment

Patrons are also not allowed to make more than two gate entries per day, as part of the Masters’s etiquette. Taking off your shoes on the luscious Augusta National Golf Club’s greens is also not allowed. The spectators are expected to maintain the hygiene and decorum of the greens and not contribute to damaging the course in any possible way.

A quick fact: A fan was arrested in 2012 for their attempts to carry the pristine course’s sand as a memento.

So if you’re planning to visit the course and witness “The Grandaddy of Them All [Majors],” it is important to also remember the responsibilities that come with stepping into the role of a patron.

Read More: The Masters: Ranking Top 5 Champions Dinner Menu of All Time

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