One of the most coveted tickets in sports will cost Masters Tournament patrons an extra $50 this year.
And, for the first time, they’ll have to pay for it with their credit card via an automated process online.
Tournament patrons who receive series badges each year were notified this week by e-mail that the cost of a Masters badge is now $250. It is the first increase since 2009, when the price went up $25 to $200.
Augusta National Golf Club told patrons that application renewal and payment must be completed online by Jan. 31 or their ticket allocations will be forfeited.
The tournament is moving to the online process for greater efficiency, a club spokesman said. For patrons who do not have computers, tournament personnel are walking them through the process.
Augusta National announced in April it would hold a lottery and allow fans who currently don’t receive series badges a chance to get daily tickets for the coveted tournament rounds. That process was handled online and completed during the summer.
The Masters will continue with its Junior Pass Program, which was implemented in 2008. The program allows accredited patrons to bring a child (age 8-16) to each of the four tournament days.
A Masters badge has long been considered one of the toughest tickets in sports. A waiting list for series badges was established in 1972 and closed in 1978 when demand far exceeded the club’s supply.
Ticket prices for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday practice rounds will cost $50 each in 2012, up from $36 for Monday and Tuesday and $41 for Wednesday.