Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend a practice round of the 2017 Masters Tournament at Augusta National. I grew up in a family of golfers. From a very young age, I have fond memories of following my dad and brothers around at countless tournaments, and my mom has plenty of memories of chasing me around trying to keep me quiet (there’s even a story of me as a 4 year old taking off down the fairway in a golf cart!).
Golf was a part of life. Dad always kept his clubs in the back of his vehicle, and once a year spent the weekend in the garage “re-gripping” his irons. My oldest brother worked a couple of summers as a “cart guy”, and for years, that was my dream job (confession: it still kinda is…).
I haven’t picked it up for myself (yet), but I love the game of golf. I love walking around a course. I love the smells. I love the quiet competition. I love the tradition. But, when it comes to tradition, the Masters is a tradition unlike any other. Augusta National is as good as it gets. The landscape is unparalleled, and the grounds are pristine. I dare you to find an article of trash outside of a receptacle. The beer is cheap, and the pimento cheese sandwiches taste like a slow afternoon on your grandmother’s porch. But perhaps, my favorite tradition (rule?): NO CELL PHONES. I can’t tell you the last time I spent 6 hours doing anything without looking at my phone. I told someone, I felt like I saw the world with fresh eyes because I was actually looking around and not down the entire time. Cameras are only allowed during practice rounds, so while I would’ve LOVED to have been a patron on a tournament day, I was pretty pumped to be able to photograph this place. Big thanks to my Dad’s friend who gifted us tickets!
Here’s what I saw on a sunny afternoon at Augusta National: