GolfTEC’s Jon Levy is determined to make the most of his second trip to Augusta National.
By Jon Levy
Yep, I’m (yawn) heading back to Augusta next week.
Though last year was *somehow* my first trip to the preeminent event in golf, I’m making up ground quickly with back-to-back visits and determined to make the most of the my 2016 Masters experience.
Here are the top 10 things I can’t wait to see:
The purest course conditions this side of planet earth.
If Mr. Clean had an army of mini Mr. Cleans manning the place 24/7, welcome to the pureness of Augusta National Golf Club. The very moment you enter through the gates, it’s as if you walk into another dimension. Not a single spec of ANYTHING out of place. Everywhere. You. Look.
The merchandise tent.
The first rule of the Augusta National merch tent is we don’t talk about the Augusta National merch tent. Well, at least to your wife, until she sees the credit card statement and you have no choice. Which of course is when you pull out your ace – the most expensive thing you bought, which is a gift for her. If you can leave the merch tent at peace with how much you just spent, you win at life more than I ever could.
The Pimento Cheese sandwich.
If I’m being honest … well, it’s OK. But it’s THE – ***THE*** – Pimento Cheese Sandwich of Augusta National Golf Club. These little $1.50 bundles of joy epitomize the Masters experience, as well as the irony of the place. The Green Jackets know you’re feeling guilty after merching yourself into debt, so they make you feel better with ridiculously inexpensive concessions.
Random celebrity sightings.
At one point last year, I was fumbling for my wallet to pay for my sandwich and looked up to see Wayne Gretzky in front of me paying for his. Events like this bring out the stars. If you’re roaming grounds for a short period of time, you’ll likely rub elbows with some yourself.
Being at the epicenter of golf history.
Aside from, say, St. Andrews, this place is IT when it comes golf history. As soon as you step onto the course – if you’re any bit of a golf nerd like me –you’re immediately hit with the gravity of your surroundings. Can’t wait to feel it again.
Witnessing true grace and respect honoring the roots of golf.
Masters fans are some of the most knowledgeable and respectful golf fans anywhere. While other events in golf may be running in the opposite direction (
not calling out any …Waste Management Phoenix Open), it’s refreshing to see how much things haven’t changed with the Masters. P.S. Don’t forget to leave your cell phone in the car.
Walking my a** off.
Everything they say about the hilliness of Augusta National is true. And, yes, you will walk at the Masters and you will walk A LOT. But you’re so loving every step you take, you hardly realize how much ground you’re covering.
Hanging out inside the Press Building.
My Golf Writer’s Association of America membership scores me an invite to their annual Wednesday morning meeting. Which means I’ll be hanging out in the Masters Press Building. Which means I’ll be right in the thick of things, less than 24 hours before go time.
A seat at the ISPS HANDA GWAA 44th Annual Awards Dinner presented by the PGA of America, PGA Tour and USGA.
Yeah, heck of a long name there. But, I have a seat at the ISPS HANDA GWAA 44th Annual Dinner presented by the PGA of America, PGA Tour and USGA with some of golf media’s finest, not to mention award winners like Jordan Spieth and Lydia Ko. And who knows who else I may see.
Hearing the roars and history in the making.
The Masters truly is a tradition unlike any other, and hearing those famous roars reverberate amongst the Georgia pines truly is an unforgettable experience. So, fasten your seatbelt and get ready for the ride. Because whether you’re walking the fairways like me or watching on TV at home, the Masters is almost here and I can’t wait.