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Friday, April 12, 2013

GOLF “The Masters” - TRADITION

GOLF “The Masters” - TRADITION

Yesterday was the start of THE MASTERS golf tournament.  This is my favorite tournament.  I love The Masters because the golf course is just sooo beautiful.  This is a course whose members are all super wealthy and powerful.  The course is ready for play for the tournament every April, just in time for the azaleas to bloom.  The course is all about the “Master’s Green.”  Everything is a deep beautiful green color.  The cart paths are green, the garbage cans are green, the drink cups are green, the fairways are green and flawless, and of course the Greens are green.

After the tournament, members are allowed to play at Augusta for several months.  The rest of the year is spent assuring that the golf course is immaculate for the next year’s tournament.*

I visited The Masters, once, in 1985.  In those days the course was open for practice rounds for $15 entrance fee.  (I am told that even these practice round tickets are impossible to get today.)  I was struck by the beauty of the golf course and how perfectly it was groomed.  I left thinking I could never play on this golf course.  Taking a divot and spoiling the magnificence of the course would seem sacrilegious to me.

Rules at Augusta are somewhat quirky but very strictly enforced.  Up until several years ago women were not allowed as members.  This got the hackles up of the liberal media and woman’s groups intent on ending these antiquated “Country Club” rules.  They railed that being a member gave men an upper hand in conducting business and that excluding women was sexist and unfair.  Well it was clearly sexist, an unfair business advantage…come on…silly argument…not one for this post.  Augusta was the last bastion of sexism and they fought hard to keep it.  Some years ago, threatened with a boycott, advertisers refused to support the TV broadcast unless the Club allowed women members.  The membership would not budge.  They stepped up and paid for the broadcast and for several years the tournament was broadcast commercial free.  Eventually the club relented and allowed woman members, but they showed they would not give up tradition without a fight.
Condi - New Member
Billionaire Darla Moore - New member

The Augusta club is all about tradition.  They are all about rules.  My brother tells a story** of a member who brought two very important politicians (let’s just say Senators) to play a round.  The member was informed that there must be one member playing for each guest invited.  The member insisted these were very important guests and the rule should be bent.  Wrong Club!  Rules were rules.  An emergency phone call was made to recruit another member in order to complete the foursome and allow both Senators to play.

Silly?  Yes, but I think it is nice that there is at least one place left in this country where tradition is respected and protected just for tradition sake.

Here are some other Augusta strictly enforced traditions (unwritten rules):

No running.

No lying down on the grass.

No cell phones.

Fans are not fans, they are patrons.

The back nine must never be referred to as the “Back side.”  (Crude).

Don’t be “Cute.” A TV announcer was once removed from his duty because he referred to the Gallery as a “Mob.”

No tipping- Caddies are to be paid what “You think they were worth.” I am guessing caddies are seldom disappointed.

No bare feet.

Ball caps must not be worn backwards! (This is my personal favorite)

Ricky is just a kid, no no no!
But Jack! You know better.
Are these rules silly and capricious?  Some…maybe…but that is what makes the Masters special! 

I would like just one more rule…NO JOHNNY MILLER ANNOUNCING ON TV, or has he become a tradition…oh well, gotta take the good with the bad.


*Some facts about The Masters may be incorrect, but Cranky Old Man is too lazy to research and confirm what he believes to be true.

** See above, I'm even too lazy to call my brother and fact check this story. 


  1. Well, I would love to see the Masters course. I saw a few courses that host major tournaments, and they are magnificent. I love tradition too, but not as much as Annika Sörenstam. She should have been a member long ago.

  2. Now I know what my husband has been staring at for the last couple of days....

  3. There is a lot to be said for tradition. ball caps not being worn backwards sounds like an excellent rule which I would love to see enforced in other places as well. Yeah, yeah, I know there's that whole freedom thing but geez, we don't wear our pants backwards do we? (Well, I don't anyway, at least not intentionally.)

  4. It is indeed a beautiful piece of real estate. I can see why golfers revere the place. While you're watching please honor it for me, too, by hoisting a mint julep or whatever the drink of choice is there.

    Me, I'll be watching rugby. ;)


  5. I'm not going to comment because I will just get riled.
    But if you had a "Like" button I would have clicked it.

  6. Golf has always struck me as a silly sport (sorry) but the grounds at the Masters are indeed beautiful.

  7. I'm not a traditional person; I like change. Things that stay the same, eventually bore me. However, I know that many people are traditional, including my husband, so I know the passion one has for the things he or she supports. Fine with me.

    I wonder how'd I'd feel if a man wants to join my "girls'" book club. That's a bad comparison because our book club does not profit in any way, but as far as just hanging out with people of the same gender, I guess I get it.

  8. Really? You're this hot for the Masters? Such passion. I was waiting for the punch line...just sayin.


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