Please accept my apologies for entering the discussion about this year’s Masters at this late date. My wife and I moved during the tournament and it has taken until now to finally get an internet hook-up.
I’d heard about some significant changes to national security since 911 but what you have to go through to transfer an account of any kind is crazy. I thought a driver’s licence could only be requested by an officer of the law and trying get your newspaper delivered takes an act of Parliament.
As always, the Masters fulfilled its acquired role in North American golf. It gets everyone primed to let go of winter and accept spring into your life. The World Series, the World Cup, elections and the Masters – few events or activities such impact.
The Masters is one of the most anticipated happenings of the year. Watched by millions of viewers, golfers and non-golfers, that little gathering in Augusta, Ga., has become a showcase of botanic delight, opulence, southern hospitality, decorum, tradition and measuring standards.
Everyone loves the Masters.
Over the years, several have tried to impose their own agenda on to the club. Some might even claim some level of success, but nobody has actually spearheaded a plan and imposed a time frame for action.
Augusta National operates in a methodical, self-directed way and only follows a course of action that its deems to be in its best interests. Generally, people respect the right of privacy that the club operates under and the decisions made. This year was no exception.
In a time of political unrest and turbulence felt around the world, people are searching for any semblance of dignity and hope.
It came at 7:40 a.m. on Thursday, April 6, when Chairman Payne led a memorial service for our lost friend, Arnold Palmer. Without a trace of written material, Mr. Payne stood before patrons and TV viewers around the world and delivered a message filled with honour, love, stateliness and historical significance – no eye was dry.
Although every heart mourned and thoughts were crammed with sadness at the thought of how great the loss, Mr. Payne’s eloquent manner and gentlemanly demeanor opened the door to the future of the Masters.
It was an obvious, yet simple solution. We aren’t going to go forward without Arnie – we are going forward because of him. Then, two of the greatest players of all-time, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player drove a ball down the fairway. The tournament was underway.
I don’t know why but during this year’s tournament I had a lot more negative questions about certain things that have never occurred to me before.
For example, when the blue dye is poured into the pond on the 11th hole for the TV effect, do the neighbors downstream complain or is the stuff truly harmless?
I wish they could do something about illuminating the ball as it travels through the shadows and on the green to aid TV viewers. More often than not, I have no clue where the ball is for the longest time.
The flagsticks at Augusta National are painted yellow. At most coursess, the bottom 18 inches is painted black to aid with depth perception, but not at Augusta! Players and patrons are left guessing where the pin is located and TV viewers have little or no chance. Tradition is one thing, but common sense is another.
I am not a smoker! I actually dislike it. At the Masters, some patrons elect to smoke cigars during the time they are on the course and are allowed to do so. Why should another person be subjected to it and/or the possibility of being burned in the name of someone else’s pleasure?
Now, I’m taking one giant step down off the soap box.
In two visits to the tournament I failed to see one live animal, bird, squirrel or otherwise. Yet, on the fifth green, seventh tee, 12th tee, 14th fairway, and 18th green, you can hear the repeated whistle of robin and a cardinal every day.
It is also at exactly the same volume year after year from exactly the same trees. Perhaps a little innovation by using different speakers, different bird’s calls and/or nothing would help.
I learned that sprinkler heads near the green were “capped” with a piece of turf to disguise them, which makes a lot of sense when we frequently see players having to hit a shot with a “pop-up” directly in their intended landing area.
I still believe the teeing order should be drawn for as it is now, but on each successive tee, it should alternate so one player does not have a continued advantage.
Peter Kostis explained why all players miss putts, but nobody is listening! “They fail to marry the line with the speed they have chosen or they fail to marry the speed they have chosen with the correct line.” How basic.
Sergio Garcia is one of my favourite players. He has always provided the media with an honest opinion. The feelings he has for Angela Akins are as evident as the azaleas at Augusta and his golf game is proof.
However, Sergio did not “win” the tournament.
Yes, he received the trophy because he did more of the things required than any other player, but he did not birdie the playoff hole to win. He birdied the extra hole to win by two.
Sergio did not birdie from close range on 16 and missed in regulation from about 15 feet on 18, both pars. He made some great putts and some great shots and he is a deserving champion, but Justin Rose did not do what is requested of a champion when he made a bogey in the playoff.
Sergio did what was requested by being in position to be the beneficiary, but he didn’t “win” the victory it “won” him. All is well that ends well. I am very happy for Sergio. He is fine man and fine player who needed a major to fill his resume and if in his mind, he sunk a winning putt, good on him. I hope the whole result spurs him on to win several majors.
Finally, Jack, the documentary on Nicklaus, was incredible. Although most of the information was known to golf nuts like me, the story painted Nicklaus in a different light. He seemed more human, more prone to normal frailties, without seeming vulnerable.
Jack Nicklaus is the greatest player of all time and he has become a wonderful, elder statesman. He is proud of his accomplishments and humble at the same time. Enjoying his career has been a joy, but I wish the show didn’t follow Sergio’s victory so closely.
You see what I mean about being negative? I hope it’s short term.
Maybe, it was just the move.