From NFL to Augusta National: Patrick Peterson Details His Dream Trip to 2024 Masters

Peterson had been to Augusta National previously, but it was never quite like his trip to the recent Masters Tournament. He shares his story exclusively with SI.
Jan 28, 2015; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson takes a selfie with
Jan 28, 2015; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson takes a selfie with / [David Wallace]-Arizona Republic-USA

Just 615 miles from Canton, Ohio, lies a first-ballot Hall-of-Fame golf tournament on a first-ballot Hall-of-Fame golf course. 

Yes, that’s an NFL analogy, but can you blame me? I'm about to start my 14th season in the league. But the Masters Golf Tournament, held annually at Augusta National, is a celebrated, world-renowned springtime event. I love it. I’ve been lucky enough in past years to both attend a Masters and play Augusta National, and this year, thanks to an invitation from Mercedes-Benz, I got to experience the 2024 Masters in a completely new way: as a Sports Illustrated correspondent. 

During the NFL offseason, I live in Alpharetta, Ga., and my drive east to Augusta was as sweet as the famous Moonpies and White Chocolate Georgia Pecan cookies awaiting me at the Masters. I rolled in the new Mercedes-Benz Maybach EQS 680 SUV. Not going to lie: that loaner Maybach may soon be in my garage as a full-time member of the Peterson family. 

My accommodations were situated in a neighborhood exclusively rented for Mercedes-Benz guests. It was a wonderful neighborhood, which, set the tone for a weekend of elite golf and unmatched hospitality. My roommates were fellow golf enthusiasts and Masters of their own crafts: YouTube stars Rick Shiels and Seb Marc Michel-Brown. We had a blast sharing stories about our golf journeys — and they were lucky we didn’t get on the golf course for a match, or they would have been a few “pounds” lighter on their way back to London!

Nightly entertainment was star-studded. One evening featured a fireside chat with college football legend Nick Saban. Another night was a tasting event with actor Aaron Paul, who introduced his new tequila brand. I also had some fun chats with ESPN’s Michael Collins, who is hilarious and has a bunch of cool experiences and insight from his time as a media member. I was also surprised to bump into my former head coach from the Minnesota Vikings, Kevin O'Connell, which only added to the memorable experience. It was great to hear from him about the impact I had on the locker room during my time there, which meant a lot, and we also talked golf and cars. Speaking of cars, I also enjoyed a cocktail and cigar with Dimitris Psillakis, president and CEO of Mercedes-Benz North America. We talked more about that EQS 680 SUV loaner, and he also got me fired up for the EQS 680 Night Series, which he drives personally. That was definitely one of the highlights of my weekend. 

In the past I’ve been lucky enough to drive down Magnolia Lane when I was invited by a member— that was never during a Masters week, of course. But this year the hospitality house was near the gates so in the mornings I strolled over to a shuttle alongside other Mercedes-Benz guests, and we were then zipped right up Magnolia Lane to start our day. 

Patrick Peterson
Patrick Peterson made the most of his recent trip to Augusta. / Courtesy of Patrick Peterson

That ride was unreal, and it also brought me closer to golf legend and long-time Mercedes-Benz ambassador Bernhard Langer.

At 66, Langer’s passion for golf and thrill of competition remains strong. Despite his age and recent injury, he maintains a firm belief in continuous improvement—a philosophy that resonates with my own 13-year NFL career, where I believe that constantly evolving and finding areas to improve is key to my success. I try to carry that same philosophy as a husband and father … and as an aspiring pro-celebrity golfer.

Langer and I talked about his special connection with Augusta National. He fell in love with the course on his first visit and was immediately blown away by the course’s demanding greens. He always felt that if he could master (excuse the pun) his putting stroke there, he could succeed anywhere in the world. He also said golfers are often seen as “mad scientists” who never stop tinkering with their gear, and their games, all in search of even the slightest competitive edge. 

Langer also revealed that the 2025 Masters would mark his 40th and final appearance at the tournament. He said that Augusta’s chairman, Fred Ridley, offered him the chance to play as long as he desired, but Langer wants to compete and contend. With the course now stretching to lengthier yards every year, he feels the physical demands might surpass his competitive capabilities. Langer plans to have his son caddie for him to make his last Masters a special family moment.

This resonated with me because like Langer I am motivated not just to play football, but to compete and contribute to a championship. Once I can no longer meet that standard, I feel comfortable with my body of work. 

I really connected with Langer through our shared philosophies on competition and longevity in sports. That conversation was on Masters Saturday, and was a perfect lead-in for a Sunday afternoon following the GOAT of the sport, Tiger Woods. I could not help but wonder how long Woods will put himself through the grueling physical challenge of the Masters. He’s a competitor, but Augusta National is a tough walk. 

The 2024 Masters undoubtedly goes down as one of my favorite sporting experiences, and my gratitude to Mercedes-Benz is as profound as the legacy of the Masters itself. Until next time.

Published |Modified
Patrick Peterson


Patrick Peterson is an NFL defensive back and an avid golfer. He was named to the 2010s All-Decade Team by the Pro Football Hall of Fame's 48-member selection committee and has at least one interception each of his 11 seasons, the NFL's second-longest active streak. He was named Arizona's Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee in 2015 and 2017 and was the team's recipient of the 2016 Ed Block Courage Award. He was also nominated for the 2017 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.