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Masters Week: 10 Things I Learned at Augusta in 2010

April 4, 2011

Last week I posted the following on Twitter and Facebook: 

Category: Golf Tournaments. Question:  What is your favorite major? 

I received about 30 immediate responses and over half of those responding indicated that The Masters is their favorite major.  Not bad odds, considering there are four official majors, each with it’s own legacy and characteristics.  

The first thing my Head Pro said when I received my PGA card in the mail last winter was, “Now you can get in to The Masters.  You have to go to this year.”  So with the support of my Head Pro, I was fortunate enough last spring to take the time and make the trip to the 2010 Masters.   I drove up Thursday, met up with some college friends to watch on Friday, and drove back Saturday.  1,200 miles of driving for 12 hours of golf and it was entirely worth it. 

In anticipation of the 2011 Masters taking place this week, I thought back to my experience last year and developed this list:

10 Things I Learned at Augusta in 2010

1)  You will not hit one golf shot but you will get goosebumps and butterflies.

…Be prepared to get goosebumps and butterflies when you first step through the gates, or when you hear your favorite player announced on the tee, or hear the crowd roar, or simply take in the scenery, or realize you are walking where golf legends have walked… or even when you enter Magnolia Lane in your GPS system!

2)  The Masters Chair is your wingman.

…For $29 you can purchase a Masters Foldable Chair and place it anywhere outside of the ropes.  These chairs cannot be moved by other spectators.  Place your chair near the 18th green at 7am and come back at 2pm to a first row seat.  Welcome to the Masters. 

3)  Practice your speedwalking.

…To complete step 2, you will have to be one of the first people to place your chair down.  However, there is a no running policy.  Best sight for a YouTube video sensation:  hundreds of people doing the speedwalk with their chairs when the gates open at 7am.  Nobody will give it away that they’re trying to beat you to the chair hot spots, but everybody is.    

4)  Augusta is not flat. 

…On that note, there just might be an elephant buried on the 6th green.  Television does not do justice to the elevation changes across Augusta National. 

5) Do not forget about the practice areas. 

…Where else can you watch dozens of tour pros all at once take full swings and practice their short game right in front of you?  The sprawling practice facility is a great place to observe players before and after rounds. 

6) You may be watching golf, but it’s a great place to “people listen.”

…For both good and bad.  I heard a spectator refer to Lee Westwood as Phil the Lefty (even after Westwood hit) but I also gained some knowledge when overhearing another spectator state that Freddy Boom-Boom Couples is the only player not to miss a cut at The Masters in the 20th Century. 

7)  It does not seem often but it does rain at Augusta.

…And when it does, everybody flocks to the Merchandise or Food & Bev Tents.  Which, I must say, are very well run and operated.  Those working out front and behind the scenes at Augusta make it a pleasure to be there. 

8) Establish your “Augusta Time.”

…For without cell phones, we must go back a decade or two and use clocks and watches.  However, those are scarce these days. Meeting “nearby at the 18th green when so-and-so tees off number 10” just might be easier to colaborate.   

9) The 11th hole has played one of the toughest since being lengthened in recent years. 

…And everyone stays away from the tee box.  It’s tucked way back up the hill to the left of 10 green.  I was the only spectator on the 11th tee box for 3 groups last year on Friday. 

10) The Masters is a Tradition Unlike Any Other

…But you already knew that.   The Masters truly is something special and appreciated by golf enthusiasts worldwide. 

It’s Masters Week and I’m sure we are all looking forward to an excellent 2011 tournament!

Readers, what is your favorite Masters memory or experience?  Anything to add to this list? 

If you find this post to be worthwhile, please consider sharing it with your friends. 

It’s wonderful to have you here, thank you for stopping by.  Have a great day.

Twitter: Sara_PGA   Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SaraDicksonPGA

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. April 4, 2011 10:56 am

    Sara,

    Thanks for taking the time to share your experience.

    I have never been to Augusta so I don’t have anything to add but I’ve heard so many great stories.

    I keep waiting for my invitation in the mail but another year went by.

    Don’t they know I’m the twitter guy? =)

    JG

    • April 4, 2011 9:24 pm

      JG, your invitation is in your hand… PGA card! However, if they knew you were the Twitter guy, you’d be staying on Magnolia Lane. They’ll learn 🙂

  2. Willie permalink
    April 13, 2011 10:00 am

    Sara,

    2010 was also my first taste of walking the grounds at Augusta. I was one of the fortunate ones, a lottery winner, to have experience this great venue. It’s everything you read about and more. I can only add that I have gone to many PGA /LPGA events, but this has got to the best to attend! I know many a PGA cardholders that don’t take advantage of that privlege. If you love the game of golf, and get the oppitunity to go, pack your bag!
    With technology as good as it is and how well the Masters is showcase on TV, the experience is a chance of a life time and will be forever be etched in our memories. The only thing that can top the experience of being there is actually being inside the ropes.

  3. Ann B. permalink
    April 22, 2011 1:13 am

    After years of watching pro golf tournaments on T.V., walking around numerous golf courses following my older brother play regional tournaments, and sitting in a private box on the 18th green during the Byron Nelson Tournament in Dallas years ago, your description of the Masters is by far my favorite tournament experience to date. Thank you!

  4. May 26, 2011 9:17 am

    Glad you liked Augusta…such a great place-wife and I sat on #16 bleachers Sunday and it was a blast. If you ever come back then visit us at Lake Oconee…terrific golf here!

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