Beyond the Course

The legendary Augusta National Golf Club captures the imagination of millions of fans each year at the Masters, and for those who get to see it in person, it's an unforgettable experience. Here's a look at what it's like to be there.

April 4: 7:50 a.m.

Gates are open

Fans rush into the Augusta National grounds on Monday. Many will hit the merchandise tent before taking in the practice rounds for Masters gear only available on-site.

April 4: 7:57 a.m.

Perfect shot

Giddy patrons shoot photos as they wait for the gates to open for Monday's practice round. Before the competition begins Thursday, fans can bring cameras (but no cell phones).

April 4: 12:18 p.m.

Day underway

Masters favorite Jason Day gets his week started on Monday. Day came into this year's Masters ranked No. 1 in the world and many expected him to win his first green jacket this year.

April 4: 12:43 p.m.

Find the line

Patrons sitting in the stands watch as Adam Scott lines up a putt on No. 15. Scott has won twice on tour this year already and had high hopes to win the Masters again. He got his first green jacket in 2013.

April 4: 4:08 p.m.

Out of trouble

Sammy Schmitz, a 35-year-old amateur, watches his shot out of the pine straw on No. 9 during Monday's practice round. Shmitz, who earned his invite by winning the U.S. Mid-Amateur on one of the most improbable shots in USGA history, had a GoFundMe campaign to help cover his travel expenses on trips to Augusta to practice and compete.

April 5: 7:49 a.m.

The big oak tree

Emiliano Grillo's caddie, Jose Luis Campra, walks past the big oak tree as players prepare for Tuesday's practice round. The big oak tree is a gathering place for Augusta National members and patrons outside of the clubhouse near the first tee.

April 5: 7:53 a.m.

Caddy chat

Phil Mickelson greets caddie Steven Hale before Tuesday's practice round. Mickelson, who has three green jackets, said his game was as good as it's been in years. He missed the cut thanks to a 79 in Round 2.

April 5: 7:53 a.m.

Warming up

Staffers try to fend off the morning chill. Cool conditions gave way to mild temperatures for the practice rounds Tuesday, but winds picked up each of the first three days of competition, making Augusta National play particularly difficult.

April 6: 12:19 p.m.

A family affair

Cameron Smith, left, watches as Jason Day, middle, is pulled by his son Dash as they head to the third hole during the Masters Par-3 Contest .The Par-3 Contest is one of the best traditions at the Masters, but you don't want to win it. No Par-3 winner has ever won the Masters in the same year.

April 6: 1:41 p.m.

Not a bad seat

A couple enjoys a moment during the Par-3 Contest. It's tough not to appreciate the beauty of the par-3 course, adjacent to the 18-hole main stage.

April 6: 3:06 p.m.

Fly like a butterfly

Troy Merritt's son, Scout, chases a butterfly on the ninth hole during the Par-3 Contest. While there is an actual competition, the kids clearly stole the show.

April 6: 4:06 p.m.

Legends in the bushes

Gary Player and Tom Watson head to the eighth green of the par-3 course. Player had a hole-in-one in the Par-3 Contest, part of a record nine made that day. The previous record was five.

April 7: 8:06 a.m.

Honorary tee shot

Gary Player, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus kick off the 2016 Masters with the honorary tee shot ceremony. Palmer elected not to hit a shot, but Player and Nicklaus did. Player said he practiced for that very shot, and outdrove the Bear.

April 7: 11:14 a.m.

Follow the leaders

Patrons take a peek at the board as play gets underway during the first round. At that point, intriguing amateur Bryson DeChambeau was in second place. DeChambeau is a physics major and plays irons of equal length, taking a scientific approach to his game.

April 7: 1:01 p.m.

Amen Corner

A full house at Amen Corner during the first round. There may not be a more famous three holes in all of golf and fans will sit in their spot all day.

April 7: 4:07 p.m.

Green shadows

Patrons' shadows line the fairway on No. 18 as Brooks Koepka hits his tee shot during the first round. Despite the wind, skies were clear all week.

April 8: 11:14 p.m.

Spot the landing

Danny Lee watches his approach on No. 7 during the second round. Lee barely escaped trouble and kept himself in contention after a difficult second round.

April 8: 2:31 p.m.

Keep up with the scores

Scoreboard operators on No. 6 change the names of players and scores during the second round. All the scoreboards at Augusta National are manual. No HD screens here.

April 9: 3:45 p.m.

Secret vista

While there are no shortages of places to watch the action at Augusta National, some choose to catch a unique perspective from under the grandstands hole No. 4. .

April 9: 5:52 p.m.

Need a spotter?

Danny Lee tries to get out of a tough lie on No. 13 during the third round. Television cameras don't do justice to the undulating fairways and greens. The hills are massive. And sometimes you get stuck in a shallow you can't see out of.

April 9: 6:33 p.m.

Need a boost?

Maddie and Molly Grover of Augusta jump to try and get a better view of Jordan Spieth as he approaches No. 16 during the third round. Spieth finished the day in the lead but after a par on 16, the wheels came off on the last two holes, leaving him with only a slight edge on the field.

April 9: 7:05 p.m.

Rory collapses

Rory McIlroy reacts to missed putt on No. 17 during the third round, which was the story of the day. The world No. 3 didn't make a birdie the entire round, the first time that's happened in a major since The Open in 2010. McIlroy had high hopes of winning his first green jacket and completing the career Grand Slam. He'll likely have to wait until next year for another shot.

April 9: 7:07 p.m.

Sun shines on Spieth

Jordan Spieth and his caddie Michael Greller walk off No. 17 after finishing the hole during the third round. While he might not be running away with it like last year, Spieth has remarkably finished each of the first three days on top of the leaderboard. He'll try to win back-to-back Masters in the final group on Sunday.

April 10: 7:10 p.m.

Historic fall in the final round

As Danny Willett surged, Jordan Spieth fell apart. On the par-3 12th hole, with a 1-shot lead, he makes a quadruple-bogey 7. This put him three shots behind. Spieth would never regain the lead. He is consoled by caddie Michael Greller after finishing his final round.

April 10: 7:43 p.m.

Willett wins the green jacket

Dozens of camera shutters make for a soundtrack as last year's champion Jordan Spieth places the green jacket on Danny Willett. Willett shot a bogey-free 67 in the final round to overtake Spieth and Lee Westwood, capturing his first career major.

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