A worker reveals how they are made

AUGUSTA, Ga. — To hear them talk, Masters Tournament patrons never tire of the tasty sandwiches sold each year at concession stands around the Augusta National Golf Club.

But if you do them all night, like Dougie Milne did for the first time at the 2022 Masters, you can get too much good out of them.

“I saw so many of these sandwiches last week that I probably couldn’t eat them,” said Milne, a Florida State junior from Jacksonville, Fla.

This includes the Masters Club, which he said was “delicious” until he had too much.

The Masters Club is one of six offerings offered in the famous green wrappers of the concession stands. The others are the Pimento Cheese sandwich, the Egg Salad sandwich, the Ham and Cheese on Rye sandwich, the Chicken Salad on Brioche and the Classic Chicken sandwich.

Pimento Cheese, the tournament’s most famous sandwich, is also the hardest to make, Milne found.

“It’s hard because after you make (chili cheese) it sits in a freezer and if it’s not thawed enough it gets hard and thick,” he said. “Sometimes you have to wait until it thaws and gets a little softer. Because if it’s too thick when you pick it up, it can tear the bread.

To make sure each sandwich is fairly even, they are weighed, he says.

“The whole sandwich is supposed to weigh about 4.25 ounces, but sometimes that bread is a little thicker and it’s going to weigh more,” he said. “I normally don’t go over 4.5 ounces and won’t go anything less than 4 ounces. Sometimes you get a spoon that’s too big and you have to cut some of it off.

“At this point,” he said, “it’s not too hard to make them; this is the quantity we need to manufacture.

Milne worked in tournament operations, making sandwiches from Thursday night through Sunday morning. The sandwich-making operation is located in a strip mall on Washington Road. It had been anchored by a Food Lion grocery store and included stores and restaurants. Now it has been gutted and blinds hide the work going on inside.

A patron holds a chili cheese sandwich with a drink at the 2022 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club. (Photo: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports)

“It’s a big building; it feels a bit like a Publix,” Milne said. “Half is reserved for sandwiches and a few big coolers for storing food. There is a large kitchen and a dining room.

On Sunday, Augusta National did not disclose where the sandwiches are made.

“I’m sorry, we wouldn’t like to comment on that,” said Regina O’Brien, the club’s director of marketing and communications.

Milne said he worked at one of 40 tables, each of which consisted of seven workers preparing sandwiches. He estimates that his table produced “six or seven thousand” sandwiches each night. He didn’t work on practice days.

Starting with his Thursday night shift for Friday’s second round of the Masters, he said the operation was “probably doing over 100,000 sandwiches” a night.

To keep the sandwiches fresh, Milne and the other workers started at 7 p.m. and worked until about 7 a.m.

“They don’t really tell you when to leave,” Milne said. “If you go crazy (because of the pre-dawn hours) and you can’t work, then you can leave. Or if you have a ride, you can leave. A few nights people left early and I worked from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. (to replace them).

Milne said he never left early and working 12 hours straight – and all night – was a shock to his system.

“Maybe it’s just me because I’m a student, but it’s hard to work 12 hours straight, especially at night. I have met people who have been doing this for 20 years.

“I’m glad I pushed myself,” Milne said. “There have been days when I come home and wake up and I’m exhausted and I know it’s going to be a long night (coming up). I bought a bass drum of Red Bull to fuel me through the night.

“Honestly, it’s been an amazing experience,” he said. “I’ve met so many great people who have worked for the Masters for years.”

It even ended on a positive note. It didn’t look like Milne was going to be able to attend the tournament, but at the last minute he got a ticket.

“A good friend of mine in Tallahassee has an aunt and uncle who love the Masters and always go there on weekends,” Milne said. “They couldn’t go on Sunday so they gave him their two passes and he texted me and was like, ‘Hey, I know you work hard, and my aunt said that you could use his pass. So he drove up from Tallahassee.

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