The Masters, as you may have heard, is a tradition unlike any other. And that’s a fair statement, as the golf and beauty on display are unparalleled.
Unfortunately, so is the pretentiousness.
“It’s a double-edged sword,” Golf Week senior writer David Dusek said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “The first time you show up at Augusta National, you start walking around, and it really is that beautiful. So many things never live up to the hype, but the first time you take anybody around Augusta National and they see the things they’ve seen on television before – it’s the one major where we go back to every year, so people kind of know what it looks like. They sort of feel like they know a little bit about the course even if they haven’t been there. The first time they see Amen Corner, the first time they see the azaleas – it’s unbelievable.”
It’s also maddening, especially if you’re a reporter.
“We’re not allowed to bring cell phones or electronics outside the media center,” Dusek said. “There are so many rules and so many instances where you’re walking on egg shells because the threat of if you do something that goes against policy or goes against what they’re looking to do, your badge is revoked and you’re out for life. They’re not joking. That stuff really happens. If that happens to you – even if you didn’t really intend to do it – then (your editor) loses the badge for the next year. So if you’re a media outlet and you have three people going on assignment and you lose yours, then next year your outlet only get two. That’s your ass in perpetuity, so everybody is totally freaked out about it. It’s one of the most beautiful places to be, and it’s one of the most challenging places for a media member to work, bar none.”
On the flip side, prices at Augusta National are straight out of the 1950s. A sandwich and a beer will only set you back a couple of bucks. That’s great.
“But everywhere you go, it’s all about making sure that this one week goes off without a hitch,” Dusek said. “And it’s in everybody’s best interest that the status quo is maintained because it’s huge revenue source for the city of Augusta.”