Phot of a Masters shirt in a plastic bag bought from the Augusta National Golf Club's pro shop
Augusta, GA -
Golf fans can't leave the Augusta National Golf Club without buying something bearing the Masters logo. While patrons are seeing green on the course, they're thinking about the red of Christmas when they hit the golf shop.
For pro golfers, this is the most wonderful time of the year to play. But for golf fans, it's the most wonderful time of the year to get a jump on Christmas shopping.
Ed and Claire Donahue are from Massachusetts and attending their first Masters tournament. "We're getting things that we would never, ever have been able to do...including Christmas balls for the Christmas tree," they explain.
The Augusta National's pro shop sees thousands of visitors a day during Masters week. Whether it's the highly sought after hat sporting the Masters logo, or the coveted shirts spelling out the name of the game's most prestigious tournament, shoppers like Kathy Aponte are hoping to hit a hole in one for Christmas. "They've never been to the Masters and who knows if they'll ever get a chance and the prices are pretty good," she says.
Since Christmas is more than 200 days away, the Lucky's, of Kentucky, are getting a jump on Easter. "We have adult children who are too big for Easter baskets, so gifts..." says Elise Lucky.
Meanwhile, other shoppers are banking on a gift from the Augusta National pro shop to provide the happiest of birthdays. Katie O'Brien says, "my 6-year-old about to be 7-year-old's birthday is coming up in June and then my nieces' and nephews' birthdays are all through September, so I buy all of them their birthday presents here."