Randy Hodsdon has had a ticket waiting for him at the Augusta National Golf Club to watch a round of the Masters for nearly 30 years.

On Friday, the 63-year-old Portland resident is finally going to pick it up.

“As a Class A pro, I can go to will call and pick up one ticket,” Hodsdon said. “I can get two tickets to the U.S. Open, the British Open, the PGA and almost any tour event. At the Masters you get one, and they make it very clear.”

Hodsdon, the former club pro at Falmouth Country Club, is the tournament director and director of rules and competitions for the Maine State Golf Association, where he’s worked since 2005. He’s been a member of the Professional Golfers’ Association for 30 years.

For most folks, getting a ticket to the Masters – played at arguably the most iconic course in the United States – involves years of waiting or a significant outlay of cash on the secondary market. This year, a Friday competition badge on StubHub starts at nearly $2,500.

So why did Hodsdon wait so long to pick up his freebie?

“Being a longtime golf pro in Maine – I was at Falmouth for about 10 years and before that at Hermon Meadows in the 1980s – it’s just tough to get away. We were almost always opening around Masters weekend, so I had to be around,” Hodsdon said.

Plus, “I don’t think it’s any fun going alone,” he said.

This year, Hodsdon’s brother Bruce, who lives in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, was able to secure two tickets for Friday’s round, one for himself, the other for a friend who has been to Augusta National before.

“When he told me that, I said I’m coming down,” Hodsdon said.

The plan is to arrive early, enter as soon as the gates open at 8 a.m., walk the entire course, then set their viewing strategy based on the pairings list. Hodsdon wants to make sure he sees a few certain golfers, especially Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson, one of the taller players on the PGA Tour at 6-foot-4.

“He’s my height and has a very unusual swing, the way he lays it off at the top,” said Hodsdon, who is 6-5.

As the top rules official in Maine, Hodsdon said he may know some of the officials working the tournament.

“I’ll be scouting around. I’m going to try to get my hands on a local rules sheet, just for the fun of it,” he said.

But it is the famed course, opened in 1933, that’s the primary attraction.

“Everyone who has been there, they tell you, you won’t believe the elevation changes,” Hodsdon said. “So I’m looking forward to the topography, the landscaping, just the whole ambiance.”

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

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Twitter: SteveCCraig

 

 

 

 

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