Golf's Greatest Weekend — The Masters

By Chase K. Encalade

The Masters is without a doubt one of the greatest sporting events world-wide, drawing a television audience of over 11 million people just last year. From Amen Corner and Rae’s Creek, all the way down to its Honorary starters, the Masters is surely “a tradition unlike any other.”

It’s no Final Four or Super Bowl-in fact, it’s just the opposite. The Masters marks the first major tournament of the year, ushering in the true beginning of golf season All of the world’s best talent come out to compete on one of golf’s biggest stages. Old, young, first-timers, veterans – the Master’s doesn’t favor anyone.

There’s so much history contained at Augusta National Golf Club. Opened for play in 1933 and home of the Masters since 1934, it’s seen many changes in design, yet few in tradition. It has put to the test some of golf’s greatest players and watched as some rose to the challenge; and others collapsed under the pressure. As one of the world’s most recognizable courses, it is undeniably in a league all its own.

However, in some ways Augusta has failed. While many liken it to stepping back in time and arriving in the “genteel” old South, the traditions of Augusta have neglected to change with the times. The changing of the score boards are still done by hand and the strict “no cell phone” policy succeeds in taking us back to simpler times. Also, Augusta’s decisions concerning race and gender have tarnished its reputation for some. Augusta didn’t let African-Americans join as members until 1990 and women weren't invited to join until 2012.

All this aside, the Masters is the most bodacious of the four majors. Its a place where guests are called patrons and caddies wear white coveralls. And while its culture can sometimes be seen as exclusive society filled with elites and its own vocabulary. Augusta is a place where guests are called patrons and caddies wear white coveralls its like entering another world.


The Master’s Tournament Lingo

Green Jacket

The winner of each year's Masters Tournament receives a green sports coat to wear for a period of one year. The only person who’s permitted to remove it from the grounds of Augusta National is the current Master’s winner.

Amen Corner

Refers to the difficult, water-laden holes 11, 12, and 13 at Augusta National Course

Honorary Starters

The Masters begin every year with a ritual of ceremonial drives by the legends of the game, such as Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player etc.

Predictions

Eyes are sure to be on Tom Watson, one of golf’s greatest, as he plays in his final Master’s tournament at the age of 66. The game is becoming more of a young man’s sports thanks to the new surge of under 30 year olds making headlines. Jack Nicklaus won it six times, Tiger Woods won it four times, and the new generation of rising stars such as Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler are sure to leave their mark on golf’s “most prestigious tournament.” Something about The Masters reminds us of the respect and reverence this beautiful game has earned over time. Golf has always been regarded as “the gentlemen’s sport” and on the 2nd Sunday of every April we are reminded why. The winner of that trophy, no matter who it may be, is sure to be someone who represents the discipline, integrity, and respect that is so essential to this game. Something about that green jacket being passed on by last years’ champion is enough to make you fall in love with the game all over again.


Chase K. Encalade is a Sophomore English for Corporate Communications major at Christian Brothers University and a staff writer at the Galleon.
Posted by Josh Colfer at 11:15 AM

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