One of the biggest annual events in golf, the 2015 Masters Golf Tournament, kicks off tomorrow at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. Since most of us can’t make it down South for the tourney—much less secure tickets—we’ll be watching from home. And since we love to entertain, we’ll be hosting a viewing. We reached out to a pair of bona fide Southern gentlemen, Hobson Brown and Billy Nachman, founders of vintage-preppy apparel label Criquet Shirts, for their tips on hosting the ultimate Masters party. Read on for their entertaining wisdom.
Like many of you out there, we recognize the Masters as one of the greatest, tradition-rich sporting events around. Sure… the other major golf tournaments are special and bring out a unique sense of excitement for the fans. None, however, compare to the Masters, its history and tradition, and the competitive journey that the players endure to take home the coveted green jacket. For the players, the Masters represents an opportunity to etch one’s name permanently into the game's history. For fans, like us, it's a chance to live (if you are lucky enough to go to Augusta National), or recreate some of the traditions that make this tournament so unique and unparalleled.
We, at Criquet, are about to host our annual watch party at the Criquet Clubhouse here in Austin. Taking from our own personal Masters party experiences from years past, we’ve put together a list of suggestions that will be sure to take your own party to the next level. Get in the Hole!
Serve Country Club Food and Drink
One of the greatest but least talked things about being at the Masters are the concessions. Unlike any other Major golf tournament, or major sporting event for that matter, there are no visible sponsorships on the grounds at Augusta National. Meaning, no Coca Cola, Visa, or Budweiser signs anywhere. It’s glorious and makes it feel like you are at a party at a friend’s very exclusive country club, and there just happens to be an amazing golf tournament going on. For drinks—we’ll only talk about the frothy kind—there is light beer and regular beer, and it’s served from kegs. The best food at the Masters is the homemade pimento cheese sandwiches, which are wrapped in green waxed paper and cost $1.50. Serve the same at your party (without the $1.50 charge of course) and you’re guaranteed a strong foundation.
Give the Party Some Masters Ambience
Everyone immediately recognizes CBS network’s Masters theme music, which plays practically non-stop during the broadcast. Some say it transports them to their “happy place.” However, not everyone knows that it was written and performed by none other than long-locked jazz-meets-soft-rock composer Yanni. A nice touch at any party is to play the Masters theme song anytime a new guest enters the room. If you can’t hire Yanni (he’s a busy man!), we recommend a good blue grass or Americana band like The Harmed Brothers to keep things grooving. Other mood-setters include giving away prizes for the best dressed, the rowdiest guest (aka The John Daly), or the most pimento cheese sandwiches eaten.
Lay Down the Masters Law
Another great tradition of the Masters are the rules of fan etiquette off the course. These rules should also be applied to your party. Like at the actual Masters, seats are saved. Meaning, you get to the party early, you get pole position on the couch, and it’s yours all party. You can feel free to go to the bathroom as many times as you’d like. And like the Masters, cell phones must be turned off. Not even on vibrate mode. You’d be surprised how this makes for much better conversations.
Bring Your Style Game.
Of course, style is subjective, but it should not be optional… a Masters Party is no exception. Dress like you are there to win it. Like the Kentucky Derby, it’s an opportunity to show folks what you’ve got. For the gents, remember that you are not playing in the tournament, but are watching it. Leave the performance shirts, slacks, and golf shoes at home, and don your best 19th-hole attire. Of course, we would recommend any of our Players Shirts paired with your favorite shorts and shoes (flip flops and cowboy boots allowed). In general, opt for a casual, but put-together look. For the ladies, sundresses are always well received, and don't be scared of your favorite special occasion hat. Parties are always more fun when you look the part, so take advantage of the opportunity.
Behind any great golfer is a great caddy. It’s a team like none other in sports. At the Masters, caddies are required to wear the club's famous caddy suits. Nothing adds to the charm and authenticity of a Masters party than your own party caddies. Whether they are pouring beers, offering insight into the days round (Who has the yips?), or are helping read the putts of the crowd, they will be sure to take your party from a B to an A.
Criquet Shirts The Augusta Bucket Hat ($25)