I don’t just like golf. I love golf. And as soon as the calendar rolled over to April, I began to get geared up for the majors. Even though there are four of them every year, the Masters is first. And it’s special.
I could tell you about Tiger Woods being absent from the field for the first time since 1994, but that doesn’t matter. I could say that Adam Scott looks to become the fourth repeat winner in the 78 years of the event. I could rattle off a list of guys that have a legit chance to win. But the Masters isn’t about those things. It’s about all the little things that make this golf’s best tournament …
The azaleas. The Green Jacket. Norman’s collapse. Butler Cabin. Pimento Cheese sandwiches.
As the only major played at the same venue every year, Augusta National Golf Club, we know the holes by heart. We know when and where this event can be won and lost. We know that the greens are fast and unforgiving. And we know the difference between a birdie-roar and an eagle-roar as they echo through the pines.
Moving Day. The Par 3 Contest. Rae’s Creek. Lifetime exemptions. Patrons. Albatross.
It’s the one place that every golf fan longs to go to. It’s the ultimate Bucket List item. It’s the greenest grass you’ve ever seen. It’s so green they need a new word for green. It’s so hilly. So much more than television lets on. Just ask your calves after a weekend on the grounds.
Limited commercial interruptions. Honorary starters. Manual scoreboards. Champions dinner.
Attending the Masters is an honor, not a privilege. Badges are passed down from one generation to the next. There’s no pushing or shoving and definitely no running. You can set your chair down around the 18th green and hours later, when you return, it still sits empty. The patrons treat the property like it’s hallowed ground, because, well, it is.
Magnolia Lane. The Crow’s Nest. Nicklaus in ’86. Amen Corner. The Back 9 on Sunday.
We get so caught up today in the latest and greatest and I think we forget how important tradition can be. That’s what makes this event so special. When Jack and Arnie and Gary hit their ceremonial first tee shots it’s like stepping back in time. The names change every year but the place doesn’t. I don’t care if you don’t watch another minute of golf the rest of the year, just treat yourself to a few minutes of the Masters this weekend.