What a delightful weekend at Augusta National. I’m not a golfer but my Dad was and he instilled in me a love of watching the game played. I was fortunate to be his guest at the tournament for several years. There was something special about those days sitting in Amen Corner chatting with him as the players played through.
The Masters is unlike any other golf tournament. Etiquette is the name of the game. Everyone is on their best behavior which extends to creating a delightful experience for all. The first thing to know is that on tournament days there is a no device policy (that includes cameras). That means you are off the grid. How wonderful to unplug for a time. If you must make a call, AT-n-T has a bank of phones for your convenience.
The course is beautiful. Set on the grounds of an old nursery the trees and flowers are exquisite. This year the azaleas had peaked and bloomed in time for the first Women’s amateur. How exciting to see the women on the course! I love to walk the front part of the course and then sit on one of the holes on the back to watch everyone lay through. That way I get my steps in and enjoy my egg salad and pimento cheese sandwiches for lunch.
Have you heard of the food? Where can you get lunch for under $5.00? Seriously the egg salad and pimento cheese sandwiches are $1.50. Tea, lemonade, coke or beer are the beverages of choice. Cookies, ice cream sandwiches, chips and other snacks are available to curb the munchies.
To any golf enthusiast The Masters or Augusta National is an event not to miss. There is something magical about the place. The sport of people watching is second only to the main attraction of golf. I’ve been fortunate to score badges for several years and confess to loving the four days, rain or shine.
Masters etiquette is placed at a premium. You arrive early in the morning, hopefully to warm but not too hot weather and an absence of rain. Parking is provided for thousands and you make your way through security. Might I suggest that the guys in Georgia can give the guys at LaGuardia a lesson or two. You are greeted as a valued guest with a Welcome to the Masters and Have a great day. This is not simply a pro forma greeting but they mean it and you will.
Cameras and all digital devices are prohibited with the penalty being permanent loss of badges. If only there were more places that had such a strict rule about digital devices! Can I tell you how wonderful it is to be away from the attention demanding device? I am always a bit sad about the absence of a camera. The place is spectacular; not a flower petal or blade of grass out-of-place. They are even known to move fully grown trees around – I mean the 100 foot kind. Better yet, they provide everything you will need from banks of phones to make calls and carefully designed and placed seating for a day of watching the best of the best.
In a day and time where one can spend a fortune for a coke and bag of popcorn at the movies, The Masters is easy on the pocketbook. The best pimento cheese or egg salad sandwich you will ever eat will cost you all of $1.50 and a sausage or chicken biscuit for breakfast is similarly priced.
Packing for a visit is key. It can be cool suggesting pants and it can be hot suggesting a golf style skirt. You will want a pullover and sunglasses. I recommend a small bag for a bit of cash and the absolute minimum of essentials like lip gloss or a bit of sunscreen and eye drops. The size of bags is restricted so it is time to embrace the minimalist approach.
Go, chat, make some new friends and simply enjoy a beautiful place.