The 79th edition of golf’s Masters tournament tees off today at the historic Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. As always, Augusta’s greens plan to feature a who’s who among the golfing world, as well as a few up and comers looking to find their place among the PGA’s elite. Bubba Watson — last year’s champion — looks to become the first back-to-back winner since Tiger Woods accomplished the feat in the 2001 and 2002 Masters tournaments. And that Woods guy? Reports say his nagging back injuries have subsided (for now), and the four-time Masters champion plans to grace Augusta’s greens — whether or not he makes the cut is yet to be seen.
We’re well aware of an abundance of broadcast limitations facing many fans. Either you don’t have easy access to a television airing the tournament, you’ve decided to ditch cable altogether, or have a bevy of other hurdles preventing you from keeping up with the annual tournament. Knowing this, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide for catching every putt, birdie, and thrown club the 2015 Masters has to offer. Put on your favorite pair of plaid knickers, here’s your (digital) entry into Augusta National Golf Club.
For an experience more comprehensive than even the television broadcast of this weekend’s big tourney, head over to The Masters’ official website for exclusive live video feeds with its Masters Live streaming program. CBS once again tackles the bulk of Masters coverage during the weekend — as it’s done for over 50 years — so expect a lot of Jim Nantz and his incredibly recognizable (and soothing) voice.
Masters Live kicks off each round by giving fans in-depth analysis and critique with Masters — On the Range, before pumping out live video of Augusta’s 15th and 16th holes, as well as iconic Amen Corner. After watching Rickie Fowler and Miguel Angel Jimenez sputter through the Back 9 at August National, Masters Live plans to air video of two separate featured groups for all 18 holes. The live feed of these featured groups begins shortly after each day’s coverage, and changes with each round of the tournament assuring you won’t get stuck watching the same group from day to day.
At the conclusion of the tournament, Masters Live also airs a special Green Jacket Ceremony crowning the 2015 Masters champion.
While Sling TV isn’t a specific online streaming option, DISH Network’s latest project gives golf fans a great way to catch the first two rounds of The Masters this week. The introductory $20 per month package includes ESPN — the network airing Round 1 and 2 — granting even basic users access to a slew of Masters action and coverage.
Microsoft’s Xbox One recently gained access to a Sling TV application, with DISH Network offering One users a free month trial of everything the streaming service offers. Though the trial lasts just 30 days, it’s more than worth checking out given the sheer amount of content users have access to. Do keep in mind the service requires physical cancellation before the 30-day trial ends, otherwise you’ll notice a one-month charge for the Sling TV service on your next bank statement.
The Masters Golf Tournament App
(iOS | Google Play)
If you fancy the smaller screens of a smartphone or tablet, The Masters provides a handy application giving fans much of the same video coverage of Masters Live Online. Though only available for devices touting an iOS or Android-based operating system, the app proves a viable way to catch all the birdies, tee shots, and Tiger Woods’ during Masters weekend. Moreover, the app doesn’t cost a dime and even includes the tournament’s Green Jacket Ceremony at the end of the weekend.
An incredible resource for information about almost anything, Reddit has more than enough Masters-themed information to satisfy any fan of golf and the PGA Tour. With tournament coverage on tap for the entire weekend, expect a slew of content related to the 2015 Masters like golfer interviews, course analysis, historical facts, and outrageous memes. Reddit’s loyal user base generates the site’s wealth of content, which is both a blessing, and a curse. You’ll find a slew of golf-themed pictures, videos, and even alternative streaming sites for each day of the tournament.
While Reddit is an excellent resource for anything and everything golf-related, it’s incredibly easy to waste entire days simply poking around the rest of the site. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Though not a video resource, ESPN does offer up-to-the-second leaderboard stats for any golf tournament, including this weekend’s Masters. Just navigate to the golf scoreboard page via the ESPN website, click the PGA tab during the weekend, and the complete Masters leaderboard loads. This feature shows round-by-round breakdowns of each golfers score, how far under (or over) par they are, and the eventual purse won by the champion. It’s not a complete experience but gets the job done if you find yourself in a bind.
Questionable streaming sites
Keep in mind most of the illegal streaming options available come loaded with unwanted spam and a barrage of pop-up windows. Leaning on such links tends to be frustrating, particularly when it comes to finding quality video and audio feeds with little buffering.
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However, you must also keep in mind many of these sites illegally broadcast the content, and your computer remains at a high risk of malware when using them. Nevertheless, you’ll notice the deep selection of links available to you once you find an adequate streaming site on the Web. Notorious sites — though technically legal given they only provide links to various broadcast streams instead of broadcasting the copyrighted content — fall upon the gray areas of the law.
Note: As a rule of thumb, never click on any link which asks you to download any HD Players, update your streaming software, or to install any “required” media players. These are often just spam links that could infect your computer with viruses.