For regular folks like you and me, getting into Augusta National is just about as hard as getting into Area 51.
The prestigious home of the Masters only has around 300 members, and membership is strictly by invitation only. Even Tiger Woods, winner of 15 majors and a 5-time Master champion (not to mention maybe the most famous golfer of all time), isn’t a member of Augusta National.
In fact, only two pro golfers are current members at Augusta: Jack Nicklaus and John Harris. (Arnold Palmer was also a member prior to his death in 2016).
And even getting onto the grounds is a nearly impossible task: There are approximately 40,000 patrons per day allowed into Augusta to watch the Masters, and an estimated 2 million applicants who enter the lottery for tickets every year. So even if you enter to buy tickets to attend the prestigious event, your chances of actually scoring Masters tickets is around one half of one percent.
So yeah, most of us will never get into Augusta National.
But you’d think Jack Nicklaus, a member of the course and 6-time Masters winner, wouldn’t have any trouble entering the hallowed grounds.
Back in 2016 though, even one of the most recognizable golfers in the world couldn’t get past security without having to show some ID.
Nicklaus posted the video of his drive down Magnolia Lane into Augusta, and the police at the entrance immediately recognized him and waved him on through – telling him, unsurprisingly, that “we know who you are.”
But the next set of security wasn’t so lenient on the 18-time major champion.
As Nicklaus pulled up to security, the guard asked to see his badge. And when Nicklaus held it up, the security guard told him that he actually needed to scan his badge to make sure Nicklaus was allowed in.
Now obviously Nicklaus wasn’t used to facing that much scrutiny getting into the club where he’s already a member, and sounded surprised as he asked the security guard if he really needed to scan HIS badge.
But as soon as the guard got a look at the badge and realized who he was dealing with, the interaction changed immediately:
“Oh how you doing? Welcome, welcome.”
Nicklaus then jokingly asked the guard:
“You don’t need to scan that do you?”
Definitely not. And he even let Nicklaus’ son follow his dad on through without a badge. Because, well, he’s Jack Nicklaus at Augusta National.
The two had a good laugh about the interaction and Nicklaus went on his way – but that security probably got some grief from his buddies for stopping Jack Nicklaus at Augusta.