In anticipation of this week’s 2012 Masters Tournament, I thought I’d repost a list from last year. Below are 10 things you may want to know if you’re planning on walking the legendary grounds at Augusta… or perhaps if you’d like some trivia while catching the action on television.
10 Things I Learned at Augusta in 2010
1) You will not hit one golf shot but you will get goosebumps and butterflies.
…Be prepared to get goosebumps and butterflies when you first step through the gates, or when you hear your favorite player announced on the tee, or hear the crowd roar, or simply take in the scenery, or realize you are walking where golf legends have walked… or even when you enter Magnolia Lane in your GPS system!
2) The Masters Chair is your wingman.
…For $29 you can purchase a Masters Foldable Chair and place it anywhere outside of the ropes. These chairs cannot be moved by other spectators. Place your chair near the 18th green at 7am and come back at 2pm to a first row seat. Welcome to the Masters.
3) Practice your speedwalking.
…To complete step 2, you will have to be one of the first people to place your chair down. However, there is a no running policy. Best sight for a YouTube video sensation: hundreds of people doing the speedwalk with their chairs when the gates open at 7am. Nobody will give it away that they’re trying to beat you to the chair hot spots, but everybody is.
4) Augusta is not flat.
…On that note, there just might be an elephant buried on the 6th green. Television does not do justice to the elevation changes across Augusta National.
5) Do not forget about the practice areas.
…Where else can you watch dozens of tour pros all at once take full swings and practice their short game right in front of you? The sprawling practice facility is a great place to observe players before and after rounds.
6) You may be watching golf, but it’s a great place to “people listen.”
…For both good and bad. I heard a spectator refer to Lee Westwood as Phil the Lefty (even after Westwood hit) but I also gained some knowledge when overhearing another spectator state that Freddy Boom-Boom Couples is the only player not to miss a cut at The Masters in the 20th Century.
7) It does not seem often but it does rain at Augusta.
…And when it does, everybody flocks to the Merchandise or Food & Bev Tents. Which, I must say, are very well run and operated. Those working out front and behind the scenes at Augusta make it a pleasure to be there.
8) Establish your “Augusta Time.”
…For without cell phones, we must go back a decade or two and use clocks and watches. However, those are scarce these days. Meeting “nearby at the 18th green when so-and-so tees off number 10″ just might be easier to colaborate.
9) The 11th hole has played one of the toughest since being lengthened in recent years.
…And everyone stays away from the tee box. It’s tucked way back up the hill to the left of 10 green. I was the only spectator on the 11th tee box for 3 groups last year on Friday.
10) The Masters is a Tradition Unlike Any Other
…But you already knew that. The Masters truly is something special and appreciated by golf enthusiasts worldwide.