“Go to The Masters.” Now I can check that off my bucket list.
Not that it was on my bucket list (I’ve always been more of a baseball guy), but after going to the practice round/par 3 tournament on Wednesday (April 8), I’m glad I went. It was definitely an experience to be had. I’ve had college roommates and friends make the trek many times before (some even returning with souvenirs for me), but this was my first chance. I’m thankful for the Day family that offered the ticket up via Shonda. (I’m also thankful for the sick roommate that had to back out at the last minute that opened up the free ticket).
If you’ve ever been to the Masters, then the first thing you probably noticed, like me, was that everything is green. I mean, everything…and perfect. I enjoy cutting my grass every now and then, but the pristine condition of every part of the course was what amazed me so much. I’ve already started calculating how much land I would need to carve out my own par 3 hole and putting green…I’ve yet to figure out how to pay for/supply the amount of workers it would take to keep it looking slick.
The thing I’ve always heard (or at least what I’ve always listened to) is that the concessions are very reasonable. After having just spent $8.50 on a Souvenir Cup at the Braves game on Friday, I can appreciate reasonably priced refreshments and snacks. I decided to make it my goal to try out the goods in the food line and make a sampling of each product offered…for science. It was 7am, so a sausage biscuit was my first experience…that was a $1.50 well spent.
When the course finally opened at 8am, the first thing that greeted us was the Masters Scoreboard. So I had to grab a quick picture there to signify that I was actually there…so here I am…
Most people knew what they were doing, where they were going, and how they were going to get there. I just knew I was on a golf course without a cart and we were about to start walking somewhere…
Our first stop was at Hole 10.
We were able to catch Mark O’Meara and Hideki Matsuyama approaching the green. I quickly learned that since it was a practice round, each golfer putted an absurd amount of times on each green while their caddies paced from fringe to fringe, trying to capture just the right measurements and slopes and breaks while diligently keeping notes in what appeared to be a Waffle House Short Order Pad for further tournament play.
Since we were already on that side of the course, we made our way down to Amen Corner. I can honestly say this was the only area of the course I could tell you about before I went. Perhaps because of the “Amen” in the name and correlation with my profession (youth minister).
I also learned about the green chair(s).
1. Everyone has a green chair
2. You can leave your green chair anywhere you want.
3. You don’t mess with the green chair.
Let it be noted that I DID NOT have a green chair.
I had a Coleman camping chair that I borrowed from a friend
Steven Bowditch came along shortly thereafter. Despite the “No Cell Phone” policy of the Masters, you could tell this was Bowditch’s first appearance here…and he was pretty enthralled to take it all in.
This sign made me chuckle all day.
My second favorite spot on the day was the finish of 15 (seen below) and the start of 16. Several people had said this was the spot to be, so I was definitely looking forward to watching this turn, and the grandstands made for some great views.
I’ve never seen these things before…I don’t know what they are called…sand sweepers, perhaps…but these guys sure did have some fun swooshing those things back and forth to get the sand off the putting green.
16 was the hole I heard they skipped it on. Sure enough, one after the other, each guy walked up, set their ball on the bank, then pulled out their four iron. And the crowd cheered in excitement as the ball careened across the pond with ease and elegance. I tried this a few times myself…it is NOT as easy as they made it look.
And now we’ve come to the part of the day I was most looking forward to…the dining.
I’d heard the stories of reasonable concessions. Sandwiches and Drinks that didn’t rip you a new one. So I made it my goal to thoroughly enjoy the food while there…and by thoroughly enjoy, I mean thoroughly enjoy.
By day’s end, I had partaken in:
1 Sausage Biscuit
1 Pimento Cheese
1 Egg Salad
1 Masters Club
1 BBQ Sandwich
and 2 Lemonades
(all before 2pm)
Jordan Niebrugge taking a cut.
One of Trisha’s concerns before I left the house was that my shirt was too flashy. Notice the picture at the beginning of the post…it wasn’t.
But man, there were some golf pants out there that definitely fit the build. I told Trisha when I got home that maybe mine wasn’t flashy enough.
After most of the players had come through on the practice round, we made our way over to the par 3 course to catch some of the action. Before getting there, we caught Adam Scott working the putting green for a bit.
Fred Ridley walks by on his way to the green. What’s more impressive? His caddy’s sideburns.
We posted up on the hill across the water to watch the 8th and 9th green. I loved watching all the people react to the shots, like a wave in the ocean.
That sums up my day (as short as it was…I was out of there by 2).
I’ve heard people talk about the prestige and awe of The Masters.
Now I’ve seen it for myself.