AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Monday was a true homecoming for the patrons at the Augusta National Golf Club.

Last year the pandemic delayed the Masters until November and prevented patrons from attending.
Now the club is allowing a limited number of people.

Augusta National Chairman Fred Ridley said he hoped this year would be closer to normal. And so far, it sure looks like it.

Vast expanses of perfect, empty greenspace in November, now vantage points for patrons.

“Well, there’s a lot more room to move around. I’m glad that we’re able to be here.”

“I think they’re doing it right. They’re erring on the side of caution so good for them. I’m just glad we’re here.”

And just like that…Amen corner kind of looks like Amen corner again.

Galleries around greens soaking it all in.

April was weird.

“Beyond frustrating. Beyond frustrating. But there was always hope.”

“It was sad. And I think, it feels, the weather’s beautiful. Kinda feels like maybe it’s a new beginning.”

And the patrons aren’t just excited that they get to come back to Augusta National. They say they think their presence could provide some big benefits to the players.

“I think they’re probably going to feed off the crowd, what it is here. So I think it’s going to be awesome.”

“It feels really good to be back out walking amongst the people and looking, looking at the pretty greens.”

What a start to Masters week. What a start to Spring. A season of rebirth and a celebration of the return of the patrons.

“The best place on the planet to be outside.”

There is a constant reminder that we’re not completely back to normal. Patrons are required to wear a mask. And there are no grandstands so you won’t see big crowds sitting close together.