The Masters

 

masters_Bno12_600x503_0The Greatest of Sporting Events?


This is the best week of the year for golfers, and unlike other posts I’ve done recently, I’d like to solicit some responses from you.

The question is simple – why is the Masters a special week for you?

For me, the Masters always meant getting the clubs out of the basement for the first time.   We didn’t really train golf in the winter months when I was a junior, so this time of year was a switchover from the winter sports to the summer ones.   As we shoved our hockey bags and ski equipment into the closet we pulled out our baseball cleats and golf bags to prepare for the longer days and growing grass.

The Masters seemed to always fall on the very week where snow covered courses began to show patches of grass.  My best friend and I would dust off our bikes and clubs, round up as many golf balls as we could find, and head out to the local muni to hit shots from the soaked ground while trying our best to avoid the lingering snow banks that were stubbornly hanging on to winter.  We’d fire shots from grass patch to grass patch and revel in the great feel of striking a golf ball off of an iron club face towards a target.  We’d do this for hours, and then we’d bike home and watch every minute of the Masters telecast while imagining what it must be like to play in this event.

 

As a rookie in the world of golf at this point, names like Langer (crazy putting grip guy), Woosnam (little guy), Couples (smooth guy), Faldo (super serious guy), Olazabal (super wild guy) would be prominent on leaderboards when I was in my pre and young teens.  But my earliest memory of the masters is the phenomenal charge by Nicklaus in 1986.  I was nine years old, I didn’t even like golf at all at this point, but happened to be watching sports with my dad on a Sunday afternoon and caught what may be the greatest Sunday back nine in the tournaments rich history.  This memory must have affected me, for while I didn’t take up golf for many years, I somehow began to develop a deep appreciation for the history and charms of the game – through Nicklaus’ yellow shirt and plaid pants and the famous “yes sir” from Verne Lundquist while Jack knocked in yet another putt on the 71st hole.

There’s just something about the event that is so compelling – I can never put my finger on what it is, but maybe it’s: the rare commercial breaks on TV, the azaleas, the roars of the crowds, Hogan’s bridge, Amen corner, The par 5’s on the back nine, the par 3’s on the back nine, the fact that green jackets can come back for life, the leaderboards, the piano music, the interviews in Butler cabin, it goes on and on…

But let us know what makes this week special for you – send us your thoughts – I will tie the responses together in a future post.

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