AUGUSTA, Ga.– The most sought after souvenir at the Masters is found in the trash.
Grown males attending the occasion can occasionally be seen sorting through refuse bins to take this valued jewel with the distinct Masters logo design.
If retrieved, it will be adoringly ushered off the grounds. Days later, it will presume a place of honor, perhaps included next to heirloom porcelain in a glass dining-room cabinet.
In Masters parlance, it is a memento unlike any other.
The treasure is a seven-inch-tall plastic cup used to serve $2 sodas or $4 beers to spectators throughout the Masters. Considering that it can be gotten just at Augusta National Golf Club during the annual tournament, it is zealously hoarded.
Just setting foot inside the stately gates of Augusta National can make completely grown adults act oddly. Some kiss the ground, while others cry, conquer upon getting here at a place they have imagined checking out for decades. One guy notoriously attempted to take a cup of sand and ended up in prison
With security paramount, there is a long list of prohibitions. Gathering drinking cups, nevertheless, isn’t one of them.
Which results in a familiar Masters sight: A cavalcade of spectators, numbering in the thousands, walking the home with four to 10 of the lightweight cups stacked in one hand, if not both.
It is the ultimate Masters insiders’ idea. Don’t buy the $30, 16- ounce, logo-adorned stainless steel tumbler at the retail shop when you can get the Everyman plastic version at an 80 to 90 percent discount at concessions stands all over the golf course. Since the majority of cups come with the year of the event embossed on the side, and sometimes vary a little in style from tournament to tournament, they are almost a series antique.
And they come with a beverage!
” A piece of sports history and a method to remain hydrated,” Jimmy Samuels, who resides in Tampa, Fla., stated as he stood near the ninth green Wednesday with a complete beer in his left hand and three empty cups in his right. “Then when you get it home, you make your pals envious.”
That’s right, these are not mementos to administer as gifts.
” No, it’s our great china,” Hollie Williams, of Memphis, said with a wry smile as she waited near the practice putting green.
The cups come in 2 styles. A frosted, off-white theme beautifies the cups for soft drinks, iced tea and domestic light beer. Imported beer, or what Augusta National calls “American craft beer,” is the highest-priced drink, at $5, and it is poured into green (more specifically, Masters green) cups.
Since Masters authorities restrict the size of the crowd allowed through the gates, and since the club uses a large service personnel, lines for the concessions are normally minimal, which helps with cup event.
Certainly, building up the most excellent stack of cups seems a parallel contest here, together with the golf competition everybody purchased a ticket to watch.
Adam Fraser, who came from Edmonton, Alberta, for his first Masters, was happily holding a stack of eight cups. Glancing at his watch, he chirped, “8 by noon, not bad.”
His friends Dale Scott and Mike Verhoski, who accompanied him to Augusta, stated their goal for the day was 20 cups each.
” It’s a long day, guy, and it’s hot,” Verhoski stated.
What would they do with all those cups?
” I’ll take a lot to my lake cabin back home and let my good friends enjoy them,” Fraser said. “That’ll be a success.”
Standing close by was Milt Druce of Salt Lake City, who stated he came to his first Masters several years ago with Billy Casper, the 1970 champion, after satisfying him through a shared pal.
” Before the tournament began, Billy Casper informed me to keep whatever I got at the Masters,” Druce stated. “He said I ‘d treasure those things forever.”
At that very first competition, Druce was confused when he saw people hanging around the garbage bins placed all over the course.
” Then I saw somebody toss out a cup and two guys dive into the garbage to get it,” Druce said. “So now I understand.”
And like lots of people who were spoken with, he had no strategies to hand out the Masters cups he stocked on one arm.
” My child is with me this year and I told him he has to get his own cups,” Druce stated. “When the guys come by for poker, I wish to break them out and have one for everyone.”
Masters authorities decreased to disclose information on how many cups of beer, soda, iced tea or other drinks are offered every year at the occasion, or how lots of plastic cups the club orders each year.
Hollie Williams and her companions– her other half, Brian; sister-in-law, Debra; and brother-in-law, Brent– were collecting with practical forethought.
The cups, Brian Williams stated, are dishwasher safe and “last a long time.” They signify entry through the Augusta National gates, no small accomplishment in the golf world. They are cost-effective, though the Williamses weren’t intending on squirreling away a couple of dozen empty beer cups in between them. They had a long drive home later.
But Rob White, who drove the 700 miles from St. Louis to Augusta, currently had 12 white frosted and green cups under his arm late Wednesday– and a pleased grin on his face. He had plucked some from the trash and combined in an iced tea or soda with his beer consumption. It was his second check out to the Masters.
” I have actually currently got about 15 of these cups back home,” White stated. “I might simply toss out all my other glasses and fill the kitchen area cabinet with Masters cups. How best is that?”