All the action in Augusta, Georgia during Masters Week is not inside the ropes. The city comes alive during the week and there are some activities I recommend when you’re not roaming the carpet-like fairways at Augusta National. Even if you’re one of the unlucky ones who can’t even scrounge up a ticket even for a practice round, you can still immerse yourself in all the frivolity and fun that is Masters Week. Here are some great things to do: Enjoy Steaks and Frosty Brews at TBonz Steakhouse–It’s a popular hangout for players, caddies and golf industry types during Masters Week. The “Godfather of Soul”, James Brown, loved TBonz and there’s all sorts of J.B. memorabilia around the restaurant. Menu highlights include hand cut steaks (try the Drunken Ribeye with Kentucky Bourbon Sauce or the Black & Bleu Filet topped with broiled bleu cheese crust). The ribs and chicken are pretty darn good, too. Visit with John Daly in front of Hooters–It’s a tradition unlike any other. Every year during Masters Week, John Daly parks his luxury RV in front of the Augusta Hooters on Washington Road. J.D. hasn’t played in the Masters since 2006, but he still comes to Augusta every year to hawk everything from t-shirts and head covers to hats and towels. He stands in front of his bus, usually smoking a heater, and chats with fans while he makes sales. If you buy something, large or small, Daly happily takes a picture with you that’s worthy of any Instagram or Facebook post.
Party On at Augusta Commons–Scheduled for April 5, 2017 in downtown Augusta at Augusta Commons, ParTee on the Green is a dance party for all ages. The music encompasses beach, soul, pop, jazz, reggae, R&B and funk. The entry fee is only $3 in advance. Feast at Champion’s Retreat--This ultra-private club offers the “Southern Culinary Experience” to the public with an amazing menu that includes Low Country, New Orleans Cajun and Creole, Carolina Calabash style, Charleston Raw Bar, Texas Dry Rubbed BBQ, Florida and the Keys influences, Mid Georgia BBQ and classic Southern Soul. Beer, wine and liquor included. Enjoy nightly entertainment while smoking cigars and sipping bourbons as you celebrate Masters Week. Thursday-Saturday 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (open seating). Reservations are required. Price is $125 plus tax per person, which includes food, beverages and gratuity. Call Champion’s Retreat at 706-854-6977 for reservations. Dine With the Locals–Two of the most popular local restaurants are The Boll Weevil Cafe near the Riverwalk, where shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, pasta creole and homemade desserts are the draw and Luigi’s, a mainstay since 1949 and Ben Crenshaw favorite, which has to-die-for Lasagne and it’s legendary Toasted Ravioli with Meat Sauce.