I don’t even like golf that much if I’m being honest. Well I don’t dislike it. I love going to the driving range every now and then to slice a few balls as far as I can. I even wish I was good at it, I’d love to be able play a few rounds and go on a golfing holiday with my mates. But as a spectator sport I’m still skeptical. I mean it’s golf, right? I might have it on in the background from time to time, just as background noise on a lazy Sunday for example, but on the whole I don’t really care too much. I just don’t really find it very exciting apart from a few stand out moments.
That all changes for the Masters though. I don’t really know why but it just does. There definitely is something about the Masters though. Suddenly I’m an expert and I care about golf so, so much. Over the weekend I found myself following every step. When I couldn’t watch it I’d be regularly checking my phone, following the live updates. As soon as I got back in front of the TV though I wasn’t moving. As cheesy as it sounds, there is definitely some sort of magic that accompanies the Masters.
Maybe I’m a bit simple, but as much as anything, I love the Masters because Augusta National is just so beautiful. The amazing long fairways, always perfectly green, all surrounded by the famous magnolia trees. The weather always seems to be perfect as well. The combination of beautiful green fairways, perfectly blue sky with lovely bodies of water spread throughout provide me with such a sense of envy and wanderlust as I’m sat watching from my sofa. Every year I tell myself that I will go one day, just to take it all in myself and be a part of it all.
Something special always seems to happen at the Masters. It is such a difficult course where it is seemingly impossible to achieve perfection. Mistakes will happen and it is a players’ ability to recover, to hit the most unlikely of shots. These moments of magic are what really makes the Masters so compelling. When Bubba Watson managed to hook the ball out of the trees in the 2012 playoff top set himself up to win. What about when Tiger Woods hit that shot on the 16th in 2005? Moments that will long be remembered and used to epitomize the Masters.
Even this year saw extreme drama, albeit of a different kind. Jordan Spieth was cruising, having hit 4 birdies in a row it seemed just a matter of when rather than if he would win his second consecutive green jacket. But then suddenly, in the space of 3 holes he was no longer cruising, instead he was all but out of the championship picture. It was heart-breaking for Spieth, while at the same time joyous for Danny Willet as he kept his nerve to win the competition that he wasn’t even sure of entering two weeks ago as his wife was giving birth to their first child. It was his first ever major victory and made for a wonderful story. No matter who’s side you were on it, was compelling viewing.
Golf definitely has a reputation of being tedious and dull. Often it is. I can certainly see its appeal, particularly when playing it, but on the whole it isn’t really for me as a spectator sport. But at the Masters, and Augusta National, it is just so much more that simple golf. There’s a certain lore that surrounds the place, and within it, everyone knows lies myths and legends.