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

California State Route 88 the Carson Pass Highway

Between 2016 and 2017 I drove the majority of California State Route 88 from CA 99 in Stockton east over Carson Pass to CA 89.






CA 88 is a 122 mile state highway from CA 99 in Stockton east over the Sierra Nevada Range to the continuation route Nevada State Route 88 at the Nevada State Line.  CA 88 is known as the Carson Pass Highway.  Carson Pass at 8,574 feet above sea level along CA 88 is an all-year Mountain Pass in the Sierras and on occasion designated as Temporary US Route 50 when conditions are bad over Echo Summit. 

CA 88 was not one of the original Signed State Highways.  CA 8 was the original designation over Carson Pass which can be seen on the 1938 California State Highway Map.

1938 State Highway Map

CA 8 was substantially different than CA 88 west of Jackson as it largely follows the current route of CA 26.  From US 99E in 1934 and later US 50/99 in 1936 from Stockton CA 8 originally used the following route to reach Jackson:

-  Legislative Route 5 from US 99 in Stockton …

California State Route 85

Last week I had the opportunity to try out several Bay Area roadways.  The first route on my list was California State Route 85 from CA 17 west to US Route 101.






CA 85 is an approximately 24 mile freeway starting at US 101 in San Jose which loops back to US 101 in Mountain View.  I drove the entire route back in 2016 but my recent trip had me starting CA 85 at about the mid-way point in Los Gatos from CA 17 northbound.





CA 85 west of CA 17 briefly skirts the City limits of San Jose before entering Saratoga.





CA 85 dips back into the westernmost limits of San Jose at De Anza Boulevard.  De Anza Boulevard was part of the original surface alignment of CA 9.





CA 85 in Cupertino is the location with the junction with I-280.  The section of CA 85 north of I-280 is the original part of the freeway which means there is plenty of button-copy shields still posted.











CA 85 briefly dips into Sunnyvale before entering Mountain View.   CA 85 encounters CA 82 which runs on the El Camino Real which obvious…

California State Route 49; The Golden Chain Highway (CA 41 north to CA 16)

Last year I traveled California State Route 49 from CA 16 north to CA 89 in one continuous trip.  The prior two years I traveled the rest of CA 49 south to CA 41 in Oakhurst.  This blog post consists of photos of the highway from that time period and historical information about the southern part of CA 49.






This blog post is meant to be a continuation of the previous one I did regarding CA 49 from CA 16 north to CA 89.  A link to said blog post can be found below:

California State Route 49; The Golden Chain Highway (CA 16 north to CA 89)

As stated in the previous blog post; CA 49 is an approximately 295 mile long north/south highway which traverses the traditional Gold Rush Country of California.  While I intend to discuss county level historical alignments of CA 49 as I did in the first blog post I thought this would be a good place to discuss the backstory of highway.

CA 49 was first signed in 1934 along a series of Legislative Route Numbers ("LRN") that were largely located…