Tiger Woods may be the story, but there’s much more to the Masters than what is happening in front of your eyes on television. After spending Wednesday-Sunday at Augusta National, The Macon Telegraph compiled a list of 22 takeaways from the five-day golf experience.
Here are the things from the Masters you may not experience from afar.
1. Watching Tiger Woods on a Sunday, you hear — not see.
2. The Masters gift shop has a wide variety of Masters-labeled gifts. Some prices are high (collared shirts are $85), but some aren’t too bad: Hats are $26, and some T-shirts are roughly $30. The range of gifts at the store even includes playing cards and Masters sunscreen. Wonder if it protects you from the sun better.
3. If you want to see players, Thursday and Friday are the better days to go. Saturday and — especially — Sunday became too difficult to see golf without planning ahead or sitting in grandstands. On the flip side, it was rather easy to get close and personal to your favorite players on Thursday and Friday.
4. Not carrying around a cellphone on the course reminds even those addicted to technology that there is something special about simply being in the moment.
5. As long as he is playing golf, Tiger Woods will never be dethroned as the major fan favorite.
6. The Par 3 Tournament (Wednesday) is probably the best day to attend for someone who knows nothing about golf. You can still experience Augusta National while seeing the players relaxed with family, wives and entertaining little kids.
7. The egg salad sandwich is the fan-favorite food. The pimento cheese is second. Both options are a meager $1.50.
8. The green undulations and bunkers are bigger in person. Greens No. 1, No. 2, No. 6, No. 9 and No. 17 are specifically undulating. The bunker in front of the green on No. 18 is also much more intimidating in person.
9. The grass looks fake.
10. Without technology, fans rely on the leaderboards spread throughout the course for updates. Watching a new number come up on the board can be as nerve-wracking as watching the players hit in front of your eyes.
11. When Woods hits, the crowd goes absolutely silent. You could hear a pin drop.
12. Standing on the back row of No. 11’s grandstand, you can peer through the top of the trees and see Augusta Country Club. It’s the only sign of outside life you can see inside of Augusta National. The grounds feel like a world of their own.
13. Members of Augusta National wear green jackets around the tournament, just like the one the winner dons after finishing the last round.
14. On each hole, there is a person who uses a tool that swipes away any sand that has been hit onto the putting greens. Not only does it help the golfers, but it also helps keep the aesthetic of the course.
15. The most popular places to sit on the course are No. 11 green/No. 12 tee, No. 13 green/No. 14 tee and No. 15 green/No. 16 tee.
16. The Masters is a global tournament. There were many Japanese and British media as well as patrons from many countries.
17. Be mindful of the security guards. They’re pretty strict.
18. The course is more open than television suggests. Standing on No. 1 tee, one can gaze out for miles to see numerous holes on the course.
19. The Masters is truly a social affair. Speaking with numerous people who have been for many years, they said the tournament has become a little more commercialized and that companies tend to use tickets as gifts.
20. Plenty of celebrities make their way to the Masters. Governor Brian Kemp went, and many famous media members walk around the grounds like any other patron.
21. It’s a family affair.
22. Tiger Woods is back.