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Sports in Augusta

Sports in Augusta

Augusta, GA, may not be home to a major league or professional sports team, but sports are still a prominent part of the lives of many Augusta area residents, whether as participants or spectators.

In the sports world, Augusta is most closely associated with the Masters Tournament. This yearly tournament is hosted each April at Augusta National Golf Club and is considered a major tournament on the PGA Tour, giving winners the chance to wear the recognizable green jacket. In addition to drawing well-known golfers from around the world, the tournament also draws spectators from around the world, including many celebrities and notable executives. Because of the tournament’s popularity, tickets are difficult to come by, increasing their cost on third-party ticket resale sites. Most locals rely on a ticket lottery (winners are given the option to purchase tickets at face value) to get into the tournament, and others pursue a course hospitality job for the week, gaining them access to many tournament festivities and earning some extra cash as well. Instead of staying in hotels, many tournament spectators and participants rent the homes of Augusta residents. The residents then leave the area for the week, much in part to avoid the huge influx in traffic that comes with the event.

Augusta National Golf Club is a private golf club, so despite its fame and beauty, most Augusta golfers don’t get to ever play the course, and instead learn to play golf at one of the area’s other golf courses, including West Lake Country Club, Bartram Trail Golf Club, Augusta Country Club, and Forest Hills Golf Course or across the river at a South Carolina course such as The River Golf Club. Not surprisingly, despite not being particularly competitive in other sports, the Augusta University golf team is often nationally ranked, attracting top talent due to its relative location to Augusta National.

In addition to golf, the city of Augusta is still home to a minor league baseball team – though now in name only. The Augusta Greenjackets (their name is derived from that famous green jacket we mentioned that each Masters Tournament winner receives) is a 1A farm team for the San Francisco Giants. After playing for over 20 years at Lake Olmstead Stadium, located on Milledge Road in Augusta, the Augusta Greenjackets now play at SRP Park in North Augusta, SC. This stadium opened in spring 2018 and includes views of the Savannah River from its outfield seats. Lake Olmstead Stadium is still the home of Augusta University Jaguars baseball.

In true Southern fashion, most Augusta residents are loyal to an area college football team. The city of Augusta is not home to any college football teams but it is within close proximity to several other area colleges and universities. Most Augustans are loyal to the Georgia Bulldogs, the South Carolina Gamecocks or the national champion Clemson Tigers.

Thanks to Augusta’s proximity to the Savannah River and Clarks Hill Lake, there is ample opportunity for outdoor sports, both in and out of the water. Augusta also offers many programs for youth and adult sports. Many of these leagues are sponsored by local businesses in the Augusta area.
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