Watching the Masters in person is an experience every golfer should have at least once in their life. In the same way that people often comment that the terrain is steeper than it looks on TV, the sensation of watching the tournament unfold when you are there, in slow motion, is also pronounced. You can't really get a feel watching TV, with its continuous leaderboard, how exciting it is to hear the distant roars, wait in anticipation as the manual scoreboard is changed and visually see the running score of each of the leaders. I have a real sense of admiration for how the tournament organizers have been able to keep the tournament firmly rooted in tradition.
Now, to the important stuff. I have to focus my efforts on playing the course. I've got a couple of seeds planted to get onto Augusta, and as this quest has taught me, you never know which one will come through, so it's always a good idea to have a couple of options, in case one or the other doesn't pan out.
Option #1 is playing with one of the titan-of-industry members that I know either first or second hand. I already have the visual image complete: Flying down on their Gulfstream G550, having a 1982 Chateau Haut Brion with dinner, staying in one of the cabins on property, watching old Masters re-runs all night, playing thirty-six and flying back without ever going through an airport security check-in line. Both of my connections know I want to play, but protocol demands that I not ask directly. So I'm being patient. But it's killing me.
Option #2 requires patience. To be precise, a five-year wait. I have to wait for my volunteer duties to come up at The Masters. Volunteers are allowed to play on a day in May ("Play Day"). This explains why even the guys who have pulled bathroom duty greet you happily as you enter the mens room at the Masters. Wouldn't you be willing to clean toilets to get a chance to play Augusta? I'm hoping I get assigned rope duty on the 16th hole, but will take whatever they assign me.
One of life's great simple pleasures is a pimento cheese sandwich at The Masters. The $1.50 for this underappreciated treat on white bread is one of the greatest bargains in the world. We can all learn a lot from the best organized and run event in the world, including how to control your brand down to the smallest detail, like your own chocolate, chips, ice cream and moon pies.
Although I haven't played the course yet, one of my fellow blogging golf fanatics has, and I am including his link here so you can get a good feel for what it is like for a mortal to play the course.