Friends roll their eyes at me when I turn down plans in April, because of The Masters. “Are you actually going to the tournament?”, they ask. I’m almost yelling when I respond: Um, are you insane? Do you have badges? Can you get me a badge? Because if the answer is yes, it doesn’t matter what the circumstances are, whether I can get a flight or have to drive all night, I will do ridiculous things for entry to The Masters! Nothing illegal of course, actually, message me and we’ll talk.
Why is The Masters So Special To Me?
It was 1983 and I was just a kid. A kid, that at the time, had no idea how lucky I was to be walking the hallowed greens of Augusta National. Maybe I took it for granted because we lived just a few hours down the road. Maybe, it wasn’t a big deal because I thought watching golf was about as exciting as doing math homework. Or, maybe, I felt like Dad was dragging me along for another one of his “so you can say you’ve done it” adventures. Whatever the reason, my day at The Masters in 1983 forever changed me, and to this day, is the only tournament I insist on watching.
It may seem like The Masters is always on Easter weekend, but it’s not. The Masters is always played the first full week of April.
The Masters “It’s a tradition unlike any other” Jim Nantz
I love traditions. Traditions are why I chose to attend Auburn University, why we’ve always had a live Christmas tree, and a major reason The Masters golf tournament has a special place in my heart. The green jacket, Champions Dinner, the caddie’s uniform, honorary starters and par 3 contest, are just a few of my faves. In a game where the course changes every year, and so do the players, the caddie’s uniform is always a white jumpsuit, green Masters hat, and white shoes. The Masters has more traditions than almost any other event still played.
Did you know The Masters green jacket is not allowed to be worn anywhere other than the grounds of Augusta National?
The Masters Is Hands Down “The” Most Beautiful Course In Golf
Outside Magnolia Lane, Augusta is an ordinary town, but once inside the gates, down the 330 yard road, lined by 61 magnolia trees, to the clubhouse lies a place so special you’ll have goosebumps even in 100 degree temps. When your golf course sits on a former plant nursery, surrounded by towering pines, white and pink azaleas, and magnolia trees, beauty is natural. It’s pristine. Iconic. Breathtaking. It’s possible it effects me differently because I’ve walked the greens, and stood mere feet from greats like Ben Crenshaw and Arnold Palmer, but I get chills even watching the course on TV. I also get seriously home sick, and crave pimento cheese sandwiches.
I had no idea walking the rolling greens that afternoon in 1983 that it would be the last time Arnold would play all four days. No clue, that roughly 31 years later I’d still experience a flood of emotions watching the game from a thousand miles away. So this weekend, you can find me in front of my flat screen listening to Jim Nantz, eyes a little misty, remembering the time my Dad took me to experience golf’s greatest tournament, The Masters. Thank you Dad.
By the way, normally a huge Phil Mickelson fan, this year I’m cheering for Dallas native Jordan Spieth. The 20 year old golfer, is special both on the course and off. Earlier this year he founded the Jordan Spieth Charitable Trust, to create awareness and provide financial assistance to special-needs youth, military families and junior golfers. Let’s go Jordan, I think green is your color!