Patrons flock to shop for Masters merchandise, mementos
AUGUSTA, Ga. - One of the must-have items this year from the bustling patron shop is the official Masters garden gnome. But then there are so many hats, shirts and other items, it’s hard for a shopper to choose.
The shop is easily one of the most traveled parts of Augusta National. At peak times, people line up outside just for a chance to get in. Other times, you can walk right in without waiting.
And once you’re inside, it’s like the busiest Black Friday you’ve ever seen.
One thing drawing shoppers is the official Masters garden gnome. Folks are flocking into the shop to get the full-size version and the companion mini-gnomes.
When someone is seen carrying one in its distinctive box, people point and yell out, “You got a gnome!”
“What is with the gnomes? They’re cute. We have two already out front,” said Eileen Culp, of Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Kim Womack said: “Well, you got to be there first thing. So, we got up this morning at 6 and we were here by 6:30 and we waited in line. We got the gnomes.”
Whether it’s a gift for a loved one or just something for themselves, people can’t wait to get inside the shop.
Most of the items are clothing with Masters logos, including every kind of hat you can imagine — including highly coveted bucket hats, another trendy item this year at the tournament.
But you can find an array of other items, from dog bowls and leashes to keychains, tumblers, coffee mugs and playing cards.
So there’s something for everyone.
“My wife made sure I got something for her, got something for my dad, got something for my mom, a few little things for me,” said Francel Smith, of Richmond, Va.
Some go in blind, but many veterans of the shop say the list is the best way to go.
“It’s easier when you do it that way. I sign it to him and he goes and does his part and I do my part,” said Pam Child, a patron from Augusta.
Despite the number of eager shoppers, employees keep the checkout lines moving fast.
And for those who make it to the checkout line but still think they don’t have enough, there are plenty of smaller items right there for you to add at the last minute.
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