Monday, April 4, 2011
Why the Masters is the Best Major Championship
First, I must admit something; if, in some bizarre world where I could actually make a putt, I was given the opportunity to play and win a major championship, I think I'd take my victory at the Open Championship when it was played at St. Andrews. The Old Course has a soft spot in my heart, because I spent a summer caddying there and the history of the event and course trumps anything America could ever throw at this wonderful game. I love playing the Old, and unlike the Masters or the U.S. Open (most of the time) I can actually play St. Andrews.
But nothing touches the Masters. Nothing. From its sheer beauty to the history behind it, to the wonderful tradition and mystery, Augusta National is one of a kind. It's why the Masters is the best major championship out there, and why that will never change.
Why is it the best?
First, because we get to see it at the same venue every year. Sure, things have changed at Augusta National since Tiger blitzed it in 1997, but for the most part, golf fans know the golf course. We know when to go for it on 13 and when people should lay up. We know the bad misses on holes like nine and 15. We know that anything short on 12 is history, unless your last name is Couples, and we know what the ball will do when it lands on the 18th green on Sunday.
We know how important it is to catch the hill on number 10, and how a shot right of the green on 11 is actually a good shot, unlike most that professionals hit.
It's wonderful that amateurs sleep on the grounds in Butler Cabin, and how there is still a pine tree named after our 34th president.
Also, the roars. I still think that feeling an Augusta National roar has to rank near the top of any sports fans Bucket List. You're on the 12th tee, holding on to a lead, and the echos start rumbling through the pines near the 13th green. The decibles hit your ears, and you know, "Alright, someone made eagle." It's a beautiful thing.
FInally, the beauty is nearly impossible to beat. Golfers are lucky, because as you stand on the tee at Pebble Beach's 7th, or St. Andrew's 18th, you get to see some of the most beautiful, and historic things in our world. Not many people have hobbies that would allow them to use the same paintbrush that Da Vinci used, or stand on the mound at Fenway, but golf allows us the rare opportunity to walk in the shoes of our legends.
The Masters is the best, and it is my favorite week of the year. More to come, and I hope you don't mind me salivating my Times New Roman on your computer screen ...