Sunday at the Masters

Sunday at the Masters

How lucky are we! On the final day of the Masters we get to drive up Magnolia Lane and park on the grounds! Because our whole group was together I had to sit in the luggage compartment of the SUV with our chairs. Our game plan is to place our seats on the 18th green so we can watch the action at the end of the tournament. We are first delayed by security.

Every day when we enter the grounds our passes are scanned. Today the scanners are broken! So we are forced to pull over and wait! Nobody behind us could enter either and after a time they decide to let us through. Our hosts Jim and Stephanie have explained our strategy – be the first at the holding rope area and when the release us rush – but don’t run – to the 18th green and place our chairs in the front row.

We soon find out that this will not be possible. The new rules for this year only allow Augusta National members and one guest or people on the “preferred patrons” list to enter early. The rest of us are told to go to a different holding area where we will be allowed to enter only a minute or so before several thousand other patrons! In the confusion we are separated from some of our group. While we wait, we talk and joke with the other patrons. A man cagily asks where I am planning to place my chair and offers to buy me “Azaleas”, a drink, from the clubhouse if I tell him. Another Patron describes how he became the 17th person in New York City to own an i-phone by buying a place in line. We talk about the strict rules and how easy it is to lose one’s passes. I feel less like cattle when Michael points out to me that Gary Player’s son is also waiting with us. When we are finally released it is a mad rush – without running – to the 18th green.

Because I am vertically challenged I am forced to follow one of our group without having the slightest idea where I am going. I see a man trip over a trash can and fall and a couple of other people fall around him. After some scary moments we get to our spots but are only able to get fourth row from the ropes. We stay to stake out our territory for a while, we find out where the rest of our group will be and then we go to watch the players practice.

The feeling of Sunday at the Masters is electric and awesome! Not “like totally awesome” but full of awe. It’s not just that so many of Golf’s greatest have performed great things at Augusta National, it’s the unique qualities of the rich culture and history of this golf course and this tournament combined that, for me, make this experience not unlike a pilgrimage to the very essence of the game of Golf.

Where else in North America do the spectators know enough about the game of Golf that they only applaud good play? Where else can you place a chair that will remain in the same position for the entire day, whether you are there or not? What other tournament does not allow more than four minutes of commercials during the televised coverage? I feel so privileged to be at Augusta National and at the Masters.

I love the fact that the leader boards are still updated manually. We could hear the roars from all over the golf course when someone made a great shot. We would then wait with anticipation to see if it changed the leader board. We didn’t actually see  Phil Mickelson’s daring 6 iron escape on 13 from the trees but we could hear it! We did see the raw emotion from both Phil and his wife on the 18th green as he won his third Green Jacket as the 74th Masters Tournament Champion. What a wild ride!

I am so thankful that we were able to witness a piece of Masters history

and I am so grateful to our hosts for the invitation of a lifetime!


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