PGA TOUR Destinations

 

The Masters

 

April 2009

 

 

The first major championship of the year is The Masters at the prestigious Augusta National Golf Club.  The Masters is played in early spring when the azaleas are in full bloom and the golf course is in immaculate condition.


Television does not portray the severe slope of the fairways and the greens at Augusta, which is the most paramount feature of the course.  When playing Augusta National, golfers are constantly faced with uphill, downhill, and side hill shots to hard, fast, sloping greens.  Once on the green, golfers are often puzzled when trying to read these putting surfaces.  Putts will break dramatically more or less than players think, leaving them scratching their heads in disbelief as the ball breaks off the intended line.   It is common for PGA TOUR players to hit a putt that rolls completely off the putting surface at least once during the tournament. 


In 2004 I was playing well in the second round of the Masters and was on the back of the green in two on the par 5 second hole.   I had a 30-foot downhill putt that I knew would be super fast.  I barely touched the ball and it began to pick up speed as it approached the hole, the ball barely caught the edge of the hole, and then rolled off the front of the green and on down the hill ending up 60 feet from the pin.  I finished with a score of six and missed the cut by one shot. Four rounds without a three-putt at Augusta is a recipe for guaranteed success in the tournament.


The back nine holes at Augusta National, home of the renowned “Amen Corner”, rival any layout in the world in beauty and difficulty and are widely considered among the best holes in golf. The energy and excitement surrounding the event is paramount to any other tournament, as a ticket to the Masters is the most coveted in all of sports and difficult to acquire.  An opportunity to attend the Masters is a fortunate dream come true for any sports fan.  It has been a great honor to play in the 2004 Masters and walk the hallowed grounds steeped in so much history and tradition.  I look forward to playing there again.