Skip to main content

The Masters IS a Tradition Unlike Any Other

It takes a lot to make me speechless, but to describe what it is like to walk and witness the Final Round of The Masters at Augusta National Golf Course leaves me just that. I can not begin to describe what I saw and witnessed on Sunday. But it is something special, and something I won't ever forget.

High Definition Television with all its clarity and detail doesn't come near the amazement of walking this course in person. The hills, the narrow chute of trees from the 18th tee to the hillier than you imagined 18th fairway and green. The undulations of the greens, the razor thin fairways, how close the patrons sit next to the green or along the fairways. Or even how the pins are tucked into the tiniest and trickiest corner of the green.

It doesn't begin to show the awe and beauty when you come across Amen Corner for the first time. You stand there totally still for five minutes to absorb it all in. The 12th green surrounded by the flowery and colorful blossoms of Azaleas. And then to think how many rounds were jump started by an amazing shot onto the green....or lost to Ray's Creek. You look at the simple beauty of the two stone arch bridges over Ray's Creek. The first leading to the 12th green, the other from the 13th tee to the fairway.

Nor can it capture the sound of a distant roar from 13 when Tiger Woods eagles the Par 5. It doesn't capture the buzz around the 16th green as the echos come rolling through. It can't capture how the silence of the course is broken by the clicking of the hand operated scoreboard with results from distant holes. Or the patron's reaction when they see a shocking score go up....the gasp of a double bogey on 12....or the cheers of an eagle on 8 or 13.

The only way to appreciate all that is Augusta National is to walk the course. Whether it is early in the morning over 15, 17 or 18 hours before the first pairings arrive to these holes. Standing at the 18th tee box...through the chute of trees....up the hill at two massive white as fresh snow bunkers...is something that will give you chills.

The emptiness of these holes early on a Sunday Morning --- with the exception of the many patrons rushing to leave their folding chairs in just the right spot in hope to catch that one dramatic or defining moment that makes the tournament --- is a total contrast to the throngs of people that follow the leaders later that afternoon.

I spent a few hours Sunday sitting across the pond from the 16th green. Watching the reflections of those across the way grow in the late afternoon shadows. Seeing the crosswalks along 15 grow from a trickle of people to a massive wave of humanity scurrying across the fairway to get as close as they can to the action. It's totally amazing to see develop and unfold in front of you. It is still hard to describe and it's even more memorable.

I can tell you I was close enough to hear Fred Couples converse strategy with his caddie. Or that I saw a one competitor's ball land five feet from me and under a magnolia tree on the 5th hole. And then walk up discuss with the gentleman that had a rules ribbon around his arm, and fire an awkward looking punch shot back onto the fairway.

I can tell you that I was on more than a few occasions less than 20 feet from Tiger Woods. That on the 7th tee, I was directly behind him right along the ropes. His drive was a low bullet off a 3 Wood that seemed like it was purposely flying below the radar, almost like a stealth bomber in the Cold War.

Standing behind the 7th tee is one of the best views in Augusta. Looking straight ahead at an uphill fairway and elevated green that is surrounded my numerous pure white bunkers. The backdrop filled with people watching quietly yet intently at the play at hand. Even the massive scoreboard behind the green fits perfectly into play. Oh only to be allowed to bring a camera.

The course changes personality during the final round on Sunday. From the leisurely feel of an early Sunday round that transforms into the intensity of the final hours and holes of the day is amazing to be a part of.

The course and atmosphere at Augusta National is simply amazing. It is everything that has been said about it....better yet it's over a hundred times more. The course is beautiful, magnificent, and has an attractive charm that leaves the most veteran of patrons in awe....or leaving this first timer just about speechless.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The story on how the unbuilt US 40 Expressway in Brownsville took 40 years to complete.

For nearly four decades, the four lane US 40 just east of Brownsville came to an abrupt end - shown in the photo above - at Grindstone Road in Redstone Township.   In the late 1960s, what was then the Pennsylvania Division of Highways (PennDOH) extended a new four lane alignment of US 40 eastwards from Broadway Street slightly over one mile to Grindstone Road where an incomplete diamond interchange was built.  Earlier in the decade, PennDOH had built a four lane US 40 in Washington County into Brownsville complete with a new crossing over the Monongahela River known as the Lane Bane Bridge.  This new highway and bridge allowed US 40 to bypass the older Intercounty Bridge and downtown Brownsville.

After this new highway opened, nothing would happen to it for nearly forty years.  US 40 traffic would use the ramps for this planned diamond interchange and then jog on Grindstone Road briefly before continuing towards Uniontown on the original National Road. 
What was unknown (at least to…

California State Route 152

Circumstance had me out in the Monterey Peninsula again this week.  Generally I try to take a route like California State Route 198 or ever County Route J1 to get across the Diablo Range but time had me in a slight bind.  That being the case I took the popular way across the Diablos on California State Route 152 via Pacheco Pass.  152 is one of infamy given it is really the primary route for truckers to get from I-5 west in San Joaquin Valley to US 101 in Salinas Valley.  After zig-zagging some accidents on/off California State Route 99 near Madera in the rural outskirts of the County bearing the same name I began my westbound trek on 152.




CA 152 is called the William Whitehurst Highway, at least it is west from CA 99.  The entire route of CA 152 in San Joaquin is an expressway aside from a small portion in the city of Los Banos.



The first junction on CA 152 is with CA 233 which is a small 4 mile highway that travels northeast to CA 99.






Next westbound CA 152 encounters the junction w…

The National Road - Ohio - Muskingum and Licking Counties

As it travels from Zanesville towards Columbus, US 40 goes through numerous small towns, changes from two to four lanes and back numerous times, but most importantly the old road keeps its rural charm.  Between Zanesville and Gratiot, there are four former alignments of the old road that can be found: just west of Zanesville, Mt. Sterling, Hopewell and Gratiot.  Most stretches are very short and can be easily recognized with names as "Old US 40", "Old National Road" or some combination of the two.

Zanesville:
Just west of US 40's interchange with Interstate 70 (Exit 152) runs an old alignment.

Mt. Sterling:
Another old alignment goes through this small Muskingum County village.
Hopewell:
Today, US 40 passes south of the community of Hopewell.  The old two lane road is known as Hopewell National Road.
Gratiot:
Old US 40 is known as Main Street in this tiny village of 200 or so residents.  The old highway at times seems forgotten through here.
Just west of Gratiot, US 40 …