What it's like to drive Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and other pro golfers around at the Masters, according to one woman who did it

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The Masters is the most prestigious golf tournament in the world.

The only way to get tickets to the annual April event held in Augusta, Georgia, is to be on a closed patron list or win a ticket lottery.

If you do get in, you'll need to review the written and unwritten rules, such as no cell phones, no backwards hats, and no lying on the grounds.

Two journalists were fired from their broadcasting jobs at the Masters for not following these rules — one for referring to the spectators as a "mob scene" and one for saying the greens were smoothed with "bikini wax."

To find out what it's like to work at such an elite sporting event, we talked with former employee Jen (not her real name), who drove the players around in golf carts.

Getting the job

Getty/Ross Kinnaird

If you want to work transportation, it helps to know someone on the inside at the Masters. It's the most sought-after job at the tournament for high school students in the area, Jen says.

During the four years she worked the Masters, she says most of her fellow golf cart drivers got their jobs because of connections with one of the 300 members of the Augusta National Golf Club — who include Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.

The pay

AP/Ryo Ishikawa

Jen says she'd work from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. for seven days straight, and made $7.25 an hour plus overtime. "But I would have done it for much less," she explains.

"We were in a golf cart driving people so it really didn't feel like a job," says Jen. "I probably would have volunteered to do it for free my first year."

She says she also received tips every now and then — but not every day.

The best tip, she says, came from pro golfer Phil Mickelson, who decided to tip the whole transportation group $2,000 to split between them one year. "We all got an extra $100 to $200 added on to our checks."

The perks

Getty/Rob Carr

Getting to meet the talented players is probably the biggest perk for most people — but it certainly isn't the only one.

Jen says during her time as a Masters employee, she was given two meal vouchers per day to eat at the Masters food court, which is famous for its pimento cheese sandwiches.

Employees were also given two to three polo shirts with the Masters logo on them as their uniform, which they would wear every day with khakis.

These free shirts were a hot commodity, she explains.

"I'd go back to college and say, 'Here are my shirts from work' and I would be willing to give them away for free, but people would offer $100 for them,"Jen says.

The schedule


Reuters/Jim Young

She would arrive at the Augusta National Golf Club at 6 a.m., go through security, pick up her golf cart, take it through the car wash, and get in the line of golf carts to start picking up the players.

The cart drivers only had two routes: One was from the clubhouse, where the locker room is located, to the practice tee; the other is from the practice tee to the first hole.

Work officially ended at 5 p.m., but Jen says she and her coworkers would typically work overtime until about 6 or 7 in the evening.

Off the course

Getty/Mark Mainz

The first two to three days of the week, golf cart drivers who are 18 and older are tasked with picking up players from the airport in brand new Mercedes.

"They literally had 20 miles on them," Jen says. "They were driven off the lot and shipped to Augusta."

She would drive the players from the airport to the clubhouse, where each player would receive their own brand new Mercedes to use for the week. Each Mercedes had a number on the back window so you could identify golfers by their car.

The rules

Getty/Jamie Squire

Jen says these were a few rules she was required to follow as an employee:

1. No cell phones allowed on the grounds.

2. No cameras allowed (except on the practice round days).

3. No asking for autographs.

The golfers

Getty/David Cannon

Jen says she joked around with all of the golfers she drove, but some didn't say anything in response because "their heads were in the game."

Other golfers willingly joined in on the light banter. She remembers saying "What's up?" to Tiger Woods one year, and he jokingly responded, "The roof of this car."

Since she drove a lot of the same golfers around for four years, many recognized her. Jen says Mickelson even had a nickname for her.

The pros and cons

Getty/Andrew Redington

The worst part was having to get up at 5 a.m. on spring break, Jen says. And the best part was getting to talk with the golfers.

"Besides the caddies, drivers get the closest interactions with them," she says.

Two things most people don't know

Getty/Harry How

Jen says there's a lot people don't know about the Masters, but one that stands out is that many of the Masters employees are teenagers.

She says "it's nuts how many kids are working behind the scenes" at this prestigious event.

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See photos of Tiger Woods through the years below:
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Tiger Woods through the years
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What it's like to drive Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and other pro golfers around at the Masters, according to one woman who did it
Tiger Woods, is shown during Masters practice in Augusta, Ga. in this April 5, 1995 photo, will try to add one of the few amateur titles he does not already own to his collection as the NCAA golf championships begin in Ooltewah, Tenn. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Tiger Woods, of Stanford University, follows his drive on the thirteenth hole during the NCAA Men's Golf Championships in Ooltewah, Tenn., on Wednesday, May 29, 1996. Woods, a Stanford sophomore, is a two-time winner of the U.S. Amateur Championship. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Tiger Woods coaxes in the ball into the hole for a birdie on the par-4 third hole Saturday, Aug. 24, l996, during his U.S. Amateur match with Joel Kribel at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains, Ore.(AP Photo/Robin Loznak)
Tiger Woods kissed the U.S. Amateur trophy after winning an unprecedented third U.S. Amateur championship, Sunday, Aug. 25, l996, at the Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains, Ore. Woods won the title on the 38th hole.(AP Photo/Jack Smith)
Golfer Tiger Woods holds up the trophy after winning the Mercedes Championships in a one hole playoff at La Costa Country Club Sunday Jan. 12, 1997, in Carlsbad, Calif. The tournament was shortened to 54 holes because of rain and Woods and Tom Lehman played a one hole playoff. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
Masters third round leader Tiger Woods talks with reporters after finishing his round of play at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., Saturday, April 12, 1997. (AP Photo/ Dave Martin)
Masters champion Tiger Woods addresses the crowd after he receives his Green Jacket at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., Sunday, April 13, 1997. (AP Photo/ Amy Sancetta)
U.S. golfer Tiger Woods lines up a putt during the final day of the American Express Championship event in Valderrama, southern Spain Sunday Nov. 7 1999. (AP Photo/Denis Doyle)
Tiger Woods reacts on the 18th hole after winning the 2001 Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., Sunday, April 8, 2001. Woods captured this second Masters title, defeating David Duval by two stokes. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)
US golf player Eldrick "Tiger" Woods after hitting a ball during a pro shoot out prior to the SAP Open in St. Leon-Rot, 60 miles (100km) south of Frankfurt, Germany, Tuesday, May 15, 2001. 156 players participate in this tournament from May 17 to May 20, 2001. (AP Photo/Daniel Maurer)
Tiger Woods tips his cap after birdeying the 18th hole Thursday, June 13, 2002, during the first round of the U.S. Open Golf Championship at the Black Course of Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, N.Y. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
Tiger Woods holds the 2002 U.S. Open Golf Championship trophy, Sunday, June 16, 2002, at the Black Course of Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, N.Y. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Tiger Woods drives during early morning practice for the Ryder Cup at The Belfry, Sutton Coldfield, England,Thursday Sept. 26,, 2002. The competition is scheduled to get underway on Sept. 27.(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
U.S golfer Tiger Woods during the first day of the Deutsche Bank-SAP Open tournament in in Gut Kaden near Hamburg, northern Germany on Thursday, May15, 2003. (AP Photo/Fabian Bimmer)
Tigers Woods chips onto the fifth green, Saturday May 15, 2004, during the third round of the Byron Nelson Championship in Irving, Texas. Woods finished Saturday with a 202 total, three strokes behind leader Sergio Garcia. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Tiger Woods watches his drive on the 10th tee during first round play of the 2005 Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga., Thursday, April 7, 2005. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Tiger Woods reacts to his tee shot on the first hole during second round play in the 87th PGA Championship at the Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J. Friday, Aug. 12, 2005. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
Tiger Woods smiles as he discusses being named professional golf's Player of the Year for the eighth time in his career at a news conference at Sherwood Country Club, where he is preparing to host the Target World Challenge, in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2006. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Tiger Woods chats on the eighth tee in the Pro-Am round of the Target World Challenge golf tournament at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Tiger Woods talks about his experience of caddying and the recuperation of his knee after his work at Torrey Pines where he caddied for contest winner John Abel Monday Oct. 20, 2008 in San Diego. Abel, of West Berlin, New Jersey won a contest that entitled him to have Tiger Woods caddie for him. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2009 file photo, Tiger Woods, from the United States, lines up a putt during the third round of the Australian Masters golf tournament at the Kingston Heath Golf Club in Melbourne, Australia. Authorities say Woods has been seriously injured in a car wreck in Florida. The Florida Highway Patrol says the PGA star hit a fire hydrant and a tree as he pulled out of his driveway early Friday, Nov. 27, 2009, in his 2009 Cadillac sport utility vehicle. Woods was taken to Health Central Hospital. His condition was not immediately known, though the news release said his injuries were serious. (AP Photo/Andrew Brownbill, File)
Tiger Woods drives from the fifth hole tees during the final round of the Chevron World Challenge golf tournament at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)
Tiger Woods poses with his trophy after winning the Chevron World Challenge golf tournament at Sherwood Country Club, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011, in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Woods closed with clutch birdie putts, including holing a 6-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole for a 3-under 69, to win by one shot over former Masters champion Zach Johnson. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)
Tiger Woods looks on during the third round of the World Challenge golf tournament at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Bret Hartman)
Tiger Woods tosses a leaf in the air to check the wind on the fifth tee during the final round of the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge golf tournament at Sherwood Country Club, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, in Thousand Oaks, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Tiger Woods holds himself up on the first tee during the third round of the Hero World Challenge golf tournament on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014, in Windermere, Fla. Woods lost his voice overnight and was nauseated before and during the third round at Isleworth. (AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.)
Tiger Woods acknowledges the crowd after finishing his round on the ninth hole during the first round of the Wyndham Championship golf tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
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