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Found 7 results

  1. How Ken Green got reprimanded for starting two Masters traditions Sneaking friends into Augusta National? A tradition of... Pretty interesting stuff there.
  2. So this past year I went to the Masters for the first time. It was honestly one of the things pushing me to finish my work and to become a Class A PGA member. Like many, I have some observations. Unlike many, I don't know that you'll hear these observations from too many people. These are in no particular order at all. The Elevation Changes You hear it from almost everyone. They set foot on the grounds and can't believe how much elevation change is down the tenth hole, or even down the second and up the eighth. Me? I was not surprised at all. The 10th looked and felt about exactly as I thought it would. Ditto every other hole on the course. The only elevation change that surprised me was the front of the fifth green, and that's mostly because you rarely see someone short there, and you really only see that hole covered at all on Saturday and Sunday, briefly, when the leaders play it. And they aren't playing from short of that green, usually. At any rate, whether it's the many times I've been to, say, Oakmont or Muirfield Village, I think I simply understood how "TV flattens things" and so I guess I pictured what ended up being reality. So, the elevation changes didn't surprise me at all: they were what I thought they'd be. The Smell The smell? Yeah, the smell. Augusta National mixes in some fertilizer, most green (or reddish brown, for areas of pine straw) with some pellets of stuff to keep everything looking great. These pellets seem to absorb water and may contain seed or something, too, but all I know is that it smells like used kitty litter. It's really rather gross. The Course Conditions They're not the best I've ever seen. Sure, you'll have a hard time finding weeds and things, but the fairways are much more spotty than I thought they'd be. Maybe this spring was not the best, but the conditions at The Memorial, the conditions at the Players, the conditions at several other PGA Tour stops were better this year than they were at Augusta National this year. I suspect players won't want to talk about it because nobody says anything bad about Augusta National, but yeah… the conditions were not up to the level I'd expected to see. (The greens were fine.) The SubAir If you want to live out a Marilyn Monroe moment, Augusta National will provide plenty of opportunities, as the vents for the SubAir system are blowing moderately warm air almost constantly when the conditions are even a little wet. I saw people's hats being blown off, dresses being thrown up around people's necks, pairings sheets ripped from people's hands, and children playing over the constantly fast-blowing air from vents stationed around the course. The vents are loud, and exist throughout the course. The steady hum you hear? It's not the murmuring of the crowd. It's the SubAir system. The Fauna A player told a fellow instructor friend of mine that he'd give him $20 for every bird he spotted and $100 for every squirrel. Though we eventually saw about five birds on the one day we were looking, we saw no squirrels or chipmunks. We walked with this player's father for a number of holes, too, and this father is a member at neighboring Augusta Country Club. I asked him "Do you have squirrels and chipmunks there?" He said "Yes, tons, and we even have some deer and other animals." I replied "Then why aren't there any squirrels here?" After all, I added, the trees literally co-mingle. There's not a wide stream separating the two properties, or even a fence or something else. He said "They aren't members." I chuckled at the joke but he couldn't cite any reason he knew why ANGC was completely devoid of most fauna. FWIW, this also includes bees, mosquitoes, and other insects. You'll find a few ants, and a few bees, and some dragonfly (dragonflies?), but even near the magnolias and the flowers, the insect count is much, much lower than you'd suspect it should be. The bird noises are absolutely piped in, by the way. We found some speakers, and there are plenty of times you can hear a bird noise coming from a very specific spot, and yet… there's no bird there at all. The Food Prices For breakfast, the chicken or sausage biscuits were $1.50 or so. Pop (soda?) is about $1.50. Beer is $4 (domestic) or $5 (imported), I think, and all the drinks come in collectible cups, with the imported beers coming in green and the rest of the beverages (they had iced tea and "sports drink" too) coming in the frosted clear cups). It was not unusual to see people walking around with 20+ cups in a stack. Some even fished them out of waste bins. I took a few home each day (though only got one green one, as I'm not a big beer drinker - it sitting in an empty grandstand). The Employees By "employees" I mean anyone and everyone associated with the tournament: merchandise staff, the security people, the marshals, etc. They say that Disney World is the happiest place on earth, but the nicest people on earth might just be any employee during the Masters. They're constantly asking you whether you're having a great day, and taking the steps to make sure you have a great day. They're the nicest people I've ever encountered in this large a number. It's ridiculous. Even people misbehaving or doing things badly would be treated nicely - firmly, but incredibly nicely. "Sir, please, you cannot do that, please get down from that tree. Thank you sir. It's for your own protection and well-being. I really hope you enjoy the rest of your day at The Masters." The Spectators (Patrons) I cannot believe how many dumb comments I heard from the "patrons" throughout the week. I sat by the second green on Thursday (Tiger made birdie), and after four hours of watching most golfers make birdie or par (and an occasional but rare bogey), the woman seated beside me on the rope line behind the green asked "is this a par 3 or a par 4?" She'd been coming to the Masters for over 15 years. People routinely asked dumb questions: "What hole is this?" standing on the tee box pointing to #12 green. Or beneath the big "10" on a pole at the tenth tee. I feel like, if you're between the ages of 25 and 50, and you have Masters tickets, you should have to pass a simple quiz consisting of 5-10 very basic questions before you're admitted on to the property. If you fail, your tickets are given to someone waiting who gets a perfect score. Questions would include: What color jacket does the winner get? What was the last name of the famous amateur golfer who founded Augusta National? The 16th hole is a par ___? A golf ball is what shape (choose one): round, rectangular, triangular. For far too many it was clear that their yearly trip to the Masters was entirely about the social scene or being able to say you were there or something. The Cell Phone Policy On one hand, it's nice. On the other, it's a complete load of crap even if you're WORKING at the event as an instructor or media personality. You cannot coordinate anything, including meeting up with players and/or fellow instructors (or fellow reporters). You can take a camera on the course on M-W, but your cell phone must be checked at the gate or, better yet, left in your car. It's nice that people's hands are free - they actually clap instead of yelling stupid things - and that they mostly pay attention. Which is great. But for professionals… meh. Next year: Apple Watch with cellular. Not for calls (mine hasn't made a noise in years)… but just for texting friends/students about meeting up. The Golf Watching Honestly, it kinda sucks. Yes, you can hear the roars from all over the place, but you honestly have very little idea how anyone really stands. On Thursday, from behind the #2 green, I could see one leaderboard: the one on the third hole. It wasn't always updated promptly, and they were reluctant to take players off once they'd made it on because they'd have to take down 12-15 numbers plus the name. I had no idea how Tiger stood until I caught him again making a par on 15 (he'd birdied 14, IIRC, just before). There are no TVs and nothing electronic, and no earpiece radios, nothing… so you really have no idea how the tournament stands if you're out on the course. They could have TVs in the concession areas, I'd think, but no: you just have to guess, and watch the golf in front of you. Meh. The Merchandise Tent It's big. The line moves relatively quickly. It's very, very easy to over-spend. But you'll be happy about it. What I want to note though is how good the shipping and bag storage areas are. If you choose for them to store your bag for the day, you get some tickets. They scan your tickets, and direct you to a spot, like "Please sir go to station four" and, despite station four being only eight steps away… your checked bags with all of your merchandise purchases are there waiting for you when you get to the station. I have no idea how they do this, as your tickets were scanned only ten seconds prior. I'd love to know the inner workings here - it is easily one of the most mind-blowingly efficient systems I have ever seen. The Practice Range I'll tell you what: some of the best watching is in the grandstands behind the range. You'll see players and coaches hanging out, working on stuff. You'll see some of the old guys breaking out their clubs for what feels like the first time in six months (hola, Fuzzy!), doing everything they can not to hit the first few balls. You'll see Alex Noren's bizarre ass practice routine where he aims 40° left, and hits the ball 20° right. The putting green (though there are no grandstands) is equally entertaining. Less so are the pitching/chipping areas to the far left. But still, as you enter or leave, you'll see some guys out there getting in some work. That's It I think that's it. I'll add to the above list as needed. BTW, I took photos on Monday and Tuesday, mostly, but I haven't even pulled them off the memory card. I don't know, I won't say I was underwhelmed, but I specifically tried to avoid getting overhyped about it so as not to be let down, and everything just… lived up to what I expected, which wasn't a ton. It just met expectations - it was what I thought it would be. Except how nice everyone was - that was a pretty nifty surprise, and the merchandise checked bag efficiency.
  3. Greetings .... In watching past Masters coverage, now provided officially on YouTube courtesy of Augusta National, I've noticed a multitude of things in the comparison of past and present tournaments. One of the most telling tidbits comes from the 1977 Masters replay. At about the 29 minute, 35 second mark of the video, the final round tee times are displayed. The spacing (which may also be referred to as intervals) between each 2-man group going off on Number One Tee is eight (8) minutes. Compare and contrast that with the 10-minute intervals for most current final round tee times. Also, if you have paid careful attention, players back then were moving from one hole to the next much faster then the players of today.. Well, you quite naturally get the idea -- slower play has become the unwritten law of the land nowadays. It's no wonder that coverage of final rounds of regular PGA Tour events will more than often run well past 6:00pm, leaving hardly any time to chat with the winner and then (unless it's a big event) see them receive the trophy. And it is also no wonder that on occasion a sudden-death playoff sometimes gets interrupted by darkness and has to be concluded on Monday. Sadly, the players and the tours are letting this happen, and it seems that all parties are either unable or unwilling to properly address it. What do you think?
  4. Saw this on IG. As we know Augusta spends a lot of money on the course every year, I've even heard that they re-build the greens every year. I actually like the 13th the way it is, players have to work it the corner and there's the possibility of an eagle with a great approach shot. That kind of what the Masters is all about, being able to hit great shots and move up the leaderboard. Yes it was very "accommodating" of Augusta CC
  5. For the discussion of the 2016 Masters, to be played April 7-10 at some muni course named Augusta National GC. Who will win? Who will be the surprise story? Will Jordan Spieth get out of his funk?
  6. http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/mar/28/rory-mcilroy-par-three-competition-masters-augusta I can see that. And though I watched the coverage the first year, I've not watched it since. It's boring, there's too much fawning over guys who play worse golf than I do at this point in their lives, and I get tired real quick of watching the kids running around. I can see how it could be a huge pain in the butt to a current competitor, and simultaneously really enjoyed by past-their-prime guys. What do you think?
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