Meet Larry – My little Gnome that is taking The Masters by storm

Peter Finnan
Peter Finnan

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Its Masters Sunday and Scottie Scheffler leads the quest for the Green Jacket but he is not winning The Masters on trending popularity stakes, the gnomes are.

Augusta National has been selling the 1-foot-tall gnomes which come in different designs each year since 2016. Each iconic gnome has a white beard and a white bucket hat and a navy cardigan and some plaid pants with a little Masters golf bag slung over his shoulder. And this year it seems everybody wants one.

There are two sizes available at the golf shop at the Masters merchandise centre where a full-sized gnome will cost you $49.50 with a small gnome available for just under $30.

Each day the shop replenishes its stock of gnomes and like clockwork this week each day they sell out immediately. Patron gates open at 7 a.m. and gnome-hunters pour through the entrance, eager to take advantage of the first-come, first-serve policy with a one per customer limit.

The Masters know what they have in the gnome too, its marketing gold. They posted a viral video of his arrival up magnolia lane last week which only drove up demand of the cute little one foot gnome. While most will buy their gnome and have it as a keepsake many have been listed on resale sites like eBay and the figures are astounding.

Full-sized gnomes from this week are already selling for over $500 on eBay and the prices are only going one way.

Reseller site eBay published some figures this week that highlight just how demand has soared for the little bearded beauties. On March 22nd when the Masters posted their gnome teaser video of the 2024 edition – Masters Garden Gnomes were searched over 70 times per hour on eBay.

During the 2023 Masters season (March-May 2023), the number of Masters Garden Gnomes sold on eBay increased nearly 3,750% compared to the 2016 tournament.

As demand increases, so have prices. The average sales price for Masters Garden Gnomes on eBay increased over 20% during the 2022 Masters season (March-May 2022) compared to the same time period in 2021, and jumped over 50% during the 2023 Masters season (March-May 2023) compared to the same time period in 2022.
That year, one original 2016 Masters Garden Gnome sold for $2,250 on eBay – the most expensive Masters gnome sold on the marketplace to-date.

The craze is everywhere to be seen on course too as you now see patrons wander the course holding the distinctive striped rectangular box that holds a gnome.

This morning for my Masters Sunday I decided to get in on the craze and joined the queue to try and bag one myself. Patron gates opened at 7am and after queuing for just over an hour I got my hands on one of the last available as they were completely sold out 5 mins after I checked out leaving thousands disappointed in the queue.

I have already named mine Larry and with four sons under the age of 11 waiting to greet me home later this week there is zero chance Larry will be left in his box in mint condition. Before the Open comes around and 2024 Major season is over he will no doubt have fit right in with the all the Lego and rubber dinosaurs that normally cover the floor in the kids rooms. If he lasts until December he will have great craic with the Elf on the shelf crew. Who knows, maybe next year I will be lucky enough to come back and buy him a gnome brother or sister!

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