4. Watching THE four-ball of the day
I hit the course just in time for a back-nine four-ball between Jordan Spieth, Zach Johnson, Jason Dufner and Jimmy Walker. If you’ve ever seen Tour players play practice rounds, they often hole out for score in friendly competitive matches, then hit a few additional shots to the assumed pins for each tournament day. Such was the case with this group and, man, were there a lot of people following the 2015 champ, Spieth.
5. The patrons know their Masters history
The funniest moment of the day happened on my walk up No. 14, when people recognized Verne Lundquist driving by in a golf cart and spontaneously shouted, “YES, SIR!” to the longtime announcer. He responded with raised arms in victory-v-clad fashion, fully owning his iconic line to the crowd’s cheering delight.
6. You’ll spend your money on a little of this, and A LOT of that
I spent a grand total of $6.50 on a chicken sandwich, pimento cheese sandwich and lemonade. You don’t want to know what I spent in the merchandise tent.
7. Hearing the roars
After taking in more of the warm Georgia sun at Bobby Jones’ realized dream, I went over to catch some of the Par-3 Tournament. Unfortunately, I didn’t see any of multiple hole-in-ones that occurred but, make no mistake, I did hear them.
8. Standing at the doorstep
My last stop before departing the course was a quick detour for a free(!) picture in front of the clubhouse, which sits at the end of Magnolia Lane. If you ever go to the Masters in person, the short line you’ll encounter for this is well worth it.
9. Seeing an array of trophies for the world’s best golfers
Late for most things but early for cocktail hour, I was able to check out the recipients’ hardware at the annual Golf Writers dinner before things got going. These shiny new objects sure did catch the eye, and without a doubt were well deserved for the world’s best and most influential golfers.
10. Tour pros + golf media = a respected partnership
Among the evening’s honorees were Jordan Spieth, Lydia Ko, Davis Love III, J.B. Holmes, Jeff Maggert, Christie Kerr and Dottie Pepper. All were onsite, and all were incredibly gracious. Sports media can get a bad rap sometimes, but such is not generally the case in golf. The heartfelt support these players showed to the GWAA proves that.
11. No rest for the weary and a player hard at work
Jordan Spieth GWAA Male Player of the YearThe best takeaway from the evening goes to the GWAA Player of the Year himself, Jordan Spieth, who showed up to the formal event in golf garb. By no means was this meant as disrespect – quite the opposite, actually, as the defending Masters champ came straight from the course after feverishly working to replace a cracked driver face on the eve of Round 1.
It was great to see him honor his commitment, and even better to see him do it with a smile on his face. If you’re wondering if Spieth is the class act he appears to be on TV – he is.