The Masters… probably one of the most prestigious competitive sports events in the world is going on as we speak at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, GA. Each year it is the first of four major golf championships – the others being the PGA Championship, The Open, and the British Open (the Open Championship). Only The Masters is held at the same place each year, and has a limited field of competitors as it is an invitational event.
If you are watching, you know that weather is the 800-pound gorilla in the room. The second round on Friday this year was suspended for storms going through and was reconvened on Saturday morning – in heavy rain. Rounds 3 and 4 will continue later today (Saturday) and Sunday – weather permitting.
The only thing harder to do than getting in as a player to the Masters is getting in as a patron. Attendance at the Masters is limited to what most people estimate to be around 90,000 people for the week. Other championships typically admit around 250-300,000, and the WM Phoenix Open has closer to 700,000 attendance – for perspective. Aside from badge holders to the Masters, there is a lottery for tickets. With millions of applicants, odds are low (but not impossible) to gain a ticket.
I was fortunate to gain tickets to this year’s event for the practice round on Tuesday. The weather was nice although overcast, and the course is, what can I say, astounding. You don’t get perspective to how beautiful (and tricky!) this course is from watching TV – or seeing these pictures. Most of the azaleas had mostly already bloomed this year, and the dogwoods were yet to pop. None-the-less, this is a magnificent place.
Below are some photos captured while we were there – in no order. We were able to see some top players on the practice driving range and greens, as well as on the course itself. The stands at the driving range are actually a great place to view multiple players and observe their swings. If I am not mistaken, my swing looks exactly like theirs.
Hit’m straight – and enjoy!