OBSERVATIONS FROM AUGUSTA
Observations From Augusta
Jim Grosjean, Senior Staff Writer, Golf Talk America Corporation
Other than how the actual tournament will play out, there can’t possibly be any new information about Augusta National that we haven’t read, heard, or experienced for ourselves, right? Well, I was surprised at some of the things I noticed on my trip to Augusta Wednesday.
Even though we are told that Augusta National is on a pretty hilly piece of property, the first thing everyone notices when they arrive is HOW hilly the course is. You would think you could roll a bowling ball from the tee to the green of number 10. The walk up the 18th fairway is enough to put a strain on the strongest heart, and yet you see people with canes and wheelchairs making the trek.
Augusta National holds so much reverence that I saw a guy on the 15th fairway get on his hands and knees and kiss the ground! I did a little knee-bending myself. The grass at Augusta is so amazing that I had to get a closer look, so I bent down to examine it and found that if you start spreading the blades apart, you just never can find dirt. It’s like the thickest pile carpeting with no discernible backing.
The Masters Tournament draws golf fans from around the world. At times you feel like you’re in a foreign capital, relieved when you hear English spoken. Often, that’s the king’s English rendered by a Brit or Aussie. Other foreign languages I heard included Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Swedish, German, and southern Georgia, USA.
This is not a fact, but I hold it to be true: you will bump into someone you know at the Masters. Once, it was some ladies from my wife’s 18 hole group at Legends Club. This year it was famed fitness guru and Yoga for Golf founder, Katherine Roberts. There will also be many others on the course that you sort of recognize, but can’t remember from where.
We all know how cheap the food at the Masters concession stand is, but try to wrap your head around this: I had a pimento cheese sandwich, an egg salad sandwich, a bag of chips, a 16 ounce Coke, and a big cookie. Total price: $6.50. I felt guilty when I didn’t point out that they must not have charged me for something, but when I added it up it actually was $6.50. By the way, the food is not bad. The sandwiches seem fresh, the chips are made by Cape Cod, and the 2.5 oz cookies are made by our own Nashville based Christie Cookies! Sadly, those cheap prices don’t apply to the gift shop.
Augusta National, with its cathedral-like aura, may be the only golf course whose beauty could humble its tournament, but instead carries it to greater heights year after year. At all costs, try to be there in person.