AUGUSTA – Great news, golf fans. Official, authentic Masters Tournament badges are plentiful and affordable, and available just steps from the Augusta National. You can easily get your hands on one for as little as 25 bucks.
One little catch .. they’re all vintage items.
“This comes from having collected for years,” said Duluth architect Andy Duckett, right, who with a business partner maintains a booth selling a vast array of official Masters gear at the Trends and Traditions Antique Mall on Washington Road, not far from the entrance to the tournament.
“My first Masters was in 1983. I went with my dad,” he recalled.
Masters badges, the most coveted item in all of golf this week, easily go for $2,000 and up. They aren’t sold like tickets to most sporting events, but are owned by specific individuals. If you’re finding them from third-party dealers it’s because the owners have made them available.
Last year’s Masters badge won’t get you into the Augusta National (and seriously, don’t even try – security here is formidable) but it might make a neat souvenir. At Trends and Traditions, the older badges are priced higher than newer ones. A 1976 one, for example, goes for $135. If 2008 is your year, that one is $48. More recent ones are as low as $25.
But badges are just a fraction of the collection. For the golf fan who has (almost) everything, add an official Augusta National crystal decanter for $795. Of course you can’t go without the matching pair of goblets for $395. Or how about a Tiffany sterling charm for $225?
A more budget-minded collector can pick up a Masters mug for $39.50.
Masters golf shirts, pins, tote bags, hats and visors, towels and flags also go for wallet-friendly prices.
Items associated with the late golfing great Arnold Palmer have been in high demand since his trip to the ultimate Amen Corner. A 2017 set of commemorative Arnold Palmer coins, complete with a certificate of authenticity (it’s No. 122 out of 750) is $1,950. Palmer-signed golf balls are $495 each.
“We look for things that are interesting,” said Duckett, who is down here for the week, staying in a house with a group of friends. “We keep all this here year-round.”
Masters memorabilia is popular with tourists coming to Augusta most any time, but Masters Week is the one time the general public has any chance of strolling the hallowed grounds of Augusta National. So Trends and Traditions can help the golf fan who pops in at some other time.
And the store sees plenty of fans this time of year. Apparently some folks (bless their hearts) will show up without credentials, thinking maybe they can just pop in to go shopping. The aforementioned formidable security gently, even genteelly, steers them toward Duckett and his merchandise.
“During the tournament,” he said, “most people come in looking for a hat.”