A Viewing Guide for the 2020 Masters
We’re on the eve of Masters week, and that’s music to the ears of golf fans everywhere. After missing our annual rite of spring we are thankful the 84th Masters Tournament, rescheduled for November 12-15, is finally upon us.
This Masters will truly be unlike any other, but no less memorable. To help you make the most of it, Great Golf Memories offers this viewing guide to create a spectator strategy and soak up all that Augusta goodness next week.
Television Coverage of the 2020 Masters Tournament
The Masters will follow the traditional Thursday to Sunday schedule, but daylight savings means earlier tee times than usual. ESPN and CBS will still broadcast the Masters as they have in the past, with ESPN taking the Thursday and Friday rounds and CBS taking over for Saturday and Sunday. Here’s the complete TV schedule (all times Eastern):
Round 1 – Thursday, Nov. 12: 1-5:30 p.m. on ESPN
Round 2 – Friday, Nov. 13: 1-5:30 p.m. on ESPN
Round 3 – Saturday, Nov. 14: 1-5 p.m. on CBS
Round 4 – Sunday, Nov. 15: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on CBS
Split tees in rounds 1 and 2 mean players will each take a turn starting on Hole 10, which is exactly what happened during the final round in 2019 when severe storms threatened the conclusion and forced organizers to scramble.
Online Coverage of the 2020 Masters Tournament
Another similarity to 2019 is the online coverage. If you’ve got your streaming game locked down, you can essentially see action at every hole on the golf course. Go to Masters.com to download the free apps for your device and complement the networks with excellent streamed coverage including featured groups, Amen Corner, holes 15 & 16, and a new feed of front nine holes 4-6 (also available on ESPN+). Additionally, the Masters is continuing the “Every Shot, Every Hole” feature from 2019 that allows fans to create their own group of players to follow and watch every one of their shots.
Masters tee times and pairings will be available on Tuesday, Nov. 10th, but we can confirm that Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player will return in their roles as Honorary Starters. Don’t wait until Thursday to figure out your online viewing options. Download the apps today and figure out how you can get the most out of Masters coverage!
Bonus Coverage & Events Related to the 2020 Masters Tournament
During the week of the Masters (Nov. 9-15), the Golf Channel will be broadcasting all week in Augusta. Their enjoyable “Live From the Masters” show will air twice a day, bringing news and analysis from their team.
It’s also Fall, which means college football will share the stage with moving day at the Masters (Saturday the 14th). Rather than compete with each other, ESPN’s College GameDay will broadcast from the grounds of Augusta National Golf Club in its traditional time slot of 9 a.m. – noon from the Par 3 course (specifically, according to the Masters.com, “from a position overlooking Ike’s Pond and the No. 9 green of the Par 3 course”).
If ever you needed an excuse to figure out that multi-TV set up, this is the perfect motivation. There are some notable college football games featuring ranked Big Ten teams, Alabama vs. LSU, and a tobacco road tilt between upstart Wake Forest and the trendy North Carolina Tarheels. Let’s hope for good weather wherever you are, as an outdoor viewing could make for a phenomenal afternoon.
There’s also an official Masters podcast called Fore Please! Now Driving… where host Marty Smith explores Tournament storylines, Augusta lore, and notable guest appearances. They’ve been publishing new episodes daily and will continue through next week, so check it out if you’re into the podcasting thing.
Recommendations for Watching the 84th Masters
While you may want to see every minute of coverage, that’s usually not realistic. For those of us that must balance life responsibilities with our personal entertainment, we offer this guide to making the most of your available viewing time.
Thursday and Friday
Every round of the Masters is a pleasure, and if you can get away with watching it while you work then you’re in business. If not, ESPN has traditionally replayed its coverage at night so you can catch up in the evenings after the kids go to bed. This can be better than multi-tasking between spreadsheets and live coverage, but that’s up to you.
Friday’s coverage is exciting to watch, especially later in the round as players who are at or near the cut line come to Amen Corner hoping to protect their position or make up ground (note that with split tees, half the field will play the back 9 first). If you had to choose only a few hours of Round 1 and 2 to watch, we recommend the last two hours of coverage on Friday (3:30-5:30) for the most excitement with the least amount of guilt.
Saturday is Moving Day
Moving Day at the Masters is pure excitement. With the field cut down to the top 50 and players within 10 strokes of the lead, it’s anyone’s to win or lose. There is a stretch of time on Saturday, typically mid-afternoon, when there is so much action happening all over the course that you can barely keep up. Whether it’s a leader’s early eagle on the Par 5 2nd hole or a middle of the pack player coming through Amen Corner in the red with one more par 5 to play, Saturday afternoon lives up to they hype.
If you can only watch a few hours of coverage, this is definitely our recommendation. Set up a streaming device and point it squarely at Amen Corner, turn your primary TV on to CBS a few minutes before noon for a familiar welcome from Jim Nantz, and stream the college football on your laptop and you’ll be in hog heaven.
Sunday is Champions Day
If you like brunch entertainment, you’re going to appreciate the early start to Sunday this year. With coverage beginning at 10am and ending at 3pm, we’ll know who wins the Masters before Sunday’s NFL games get too far into the second half.
The most exciting part of the tournament just might be watching the leaders come through Amen Corner, where green jacket dreams are won or lost. This stretch of holes starts with a difficult Par 4 and ends with a score-able Par 5, sandwiched around perhaps the most famous Par 3 in golf, the short but deceivingly difficult Golden Bell. If you want to see the complete back 9 on Sunday, settle into your viewing area around 12:30pm and tune into CBS (but you can still stream all your favorite groups with the options cited above).
So that’s our guide to viewing the 2020 Masters. Do you have any special plans or advice for TV patrons who want to make the most out of this unique major? Share with us in the comments, and don’t forget to check out our collection of authentic Masters merchandise, which will soon be updated with 2020 stock!