Sunday, April 21, 2024

10 reasons attending the Masters is different from any other tournament

Mrs. Cedar asked the other day how many Masters have we attended. I thought I had the answer 8 well maybe 9? No more than that. Of course I have all the badges and they are framed along with dozens of other tournaments. Let's see there was 95 because I remember it was Tiger's first trip to Augusta he tied for 41st the only amature to make the cut.

But I have 87 and 92 chairs.

1997 the year Tiger won, 99, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2009. 2014, 17 and 19 and 2024. I have no explanation for the five year absence except covid and the associated madness.

There's cups from 2008 and 2011 but no badges or even grounds tickets.Truth is more times than I can remember. Nothing has prepared me for this moment. 

My memory hasn't faded. I still remember the first time I walked through the main gates past the masters store and the full leader board and out on to th junction of No. 1 tee and No. 9 green and thought to myself 'my God it is more green than I have ever seen in my life!"

The odd thing is I still feel that way. 

And so if you've never been and you don't trust my opinion here's Kellie Stenzel's thoughts. I think she's spot on:

1. Small-town charm

Augusta is not the easiest place to get to, but that doesn’t take away from the enjoyment. When you drive to the course, you’ll see plenty of stands selling tickets on the secondary market and fans walking over to the tournament. (That’s not to mention the collection of Waffle House locations scattered throughout the town.) The Masters is a global event, and the town of Augusta does a great job welcoming all the visitors. During Masters week, there’s nothing more important in northeast Georgia than the golf tournament.

2. Easy parking

Parking for most huge events is a headache, but not at the Masters. You can park right off Berckman’s Rd (for free) and walk right up to the gates. It’s so simple and efficient, and other events should take note! We met tons of other patrons walking in the gates, and hearing their backstories was very interesting.

3. Efficient lines

Standing in line to get in there is a certain buzz in the air. Everyone is so excited. But while everyone is anxious to get in, there’s no chaos trying to get in. Everyone waits patiently and politely. When you finally get to the front of the line, the workers says, “Welcome to the Masters.” You can’t help but crack a smile.

4. Friendly staff

Speaking of the staff, everyone is so friendly! Whether it’s just southern hospitality or Masters charm I’m not sure, but anytime we had a question it was easy to find an answer. One volunteer told us they’d been working the event for 25 years, and they were rewarded with two week-long passes that they shared with friends. Not a bad tradeoff!

5. Historic back nine

The entire course is special, but I’d recommend walking the back nine first. It’s so special seeing all the historic spots where some of the most famous shots in golf have happened. Once you get to Amen Corner, it’ll take your breath away.

6. Immaculate conditions

It goes without saying, but the conditions at Augusta National are unlike anywhere else. There’s not a blade of grass out of place. The bunkers are white as snow. And the greens are slick as glass. We went the day after a huge storm, and the course was still in perfect condition. It’s amazing how well they maintain the grounds.

7. Excellent concessions

The Masters is known for its affordable concessions, and they live up to the hype. The pimento cheese sandwich is a fan favorite, and it’s hard to go wrong with an Azalea cocktail. The prices might be cheap, but the fare is still high quality.

8. Honor system seating

At Augusta National, patrons can purchase their very own Masters chairs to use on the course. It’s tradition for fans to set up their chairs and leave them while they walk the course, knowing they will still be there when they return. I’d always known of this tradition, but it was cool to see it in person. If you place your chair down in a prime viewing location, you’ve got your spot reserved for the entire day. Pretty cool!

9. Amazing golf

With so much fanfare around the event, it can be easy to forget that there’s an actual tournament going on, but watching the best players in the world compete on such a great course is a real treat. And when Tiger is there, it just takes things to a new level.

10. No phones

There are no phones allowed at the Masters, and while that might seem inconvenient, it’s actually quite nice. Spending time with your family and friends in such a special place, without the distraction of technology, is quite nice. I can’t wait for my next opportunity to go back.

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