The club have decided the potential risks of allowing spectators on the grounds are "simply too significant" in the face of the coronavirus pandemic

It was the one remaining beacon in the major year – the hope that a November Masters would see spectators on the golf course.

But that dream was finally dashed after Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley announced that the tournament will take now place without “patrons or guests” on the grounds.

The year’s final major joins last week’s PGA Championship at Harding Park and the US Open, staged next month at Winged Foot, in being played behind closed doors.

The Masters was initially postponed in April, with much of the world in lockdown, and the intention still remains to hold the tournament from November 9 to 15.

Ridley said it was “deeply disappointing” to not have patrons on site but he explained: “Since our initial announcement to postpone the 2020 Masters, we have remained committed to a rescheduled Tournament in November while continually examining how best to host a global sporting event amid this pandemic.

“As we have considered the issues facing us, the health and safety of everyone associated with the Masters always has been our first and most important priority.

“Throughout this process, we have consulted with health officials and a variety of subject matter experts. Ultimately, we determined that the potential risks of welcoming patrons and guests to our grounds in November are simply too significant to overcome.

“Even in the current circumstances, staging the Masters without patrons is deeply disappointing. The guests who come to Augusta each spring from around the world are a key component to making the Tournament so special.

“Augusta National has the responsibility, however, to understand and accept the challenges associated with this virus and take the necessary precautions to conduct all aspects of the Tournament in a safe manner. We look forward to the day when we can welcome all of our patrons back, hopefully in April 2021.”

What do you think of the decision? Did Augusta National have any choice? Have your say in the comments, or tweet us.

Follow NCG on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for the latest equipment and golf course reviews and exclusive interviews.