The Masters tournament is a consistent draw among serious golf fans and even for those with only a passing interest. It’s a sign of spring and might be the one time that anyone will sit to watch the game televised. It has a huge mainstream reach, attracting millions of viewer who would not be caught dead watching golf at any other time of the year. This likely occurs for a variety of reasons not the least of which is the consistency of the event and the fact that it is regarded as an American treasure. In the upcoming month, the iconic event will again be underway and with it the traditions and character that have drawn players and fans to worship at its alter for many years.
The timing is such that everyone can sigh with the anticipation of winter being behind all of us for the most part and those who play the game can get excited for the season ahead. For those who don’t the ocean vistas and sweeping greens of Georgia can fuel our imaginations for warmer days ahead. Because it is always played on the same course every year, it has a consistency that makes it familiar to even non-enthusiasts and thus they can still find it relatable.
The event is run by Augusta National, the club where it is hosted every year in April. The policies and competitive rules are all decided by the officials at the club and thus it remains an event that serves the sports fan base, players and the club itself in equal capacity. It boasts a rich history and there is a protocol to it that implies decorum and tradition. The pomp and circumstance that surround it lends itself to an atmosphere of ceremony and civility. Throw in the green jackets and the picturesque landscapes and one can feel that they can escape their usual humdrum day to day for a few hours just sitting in front of their televisions. With decisions being made in secret, the event has an aura of mystery that appeals to the romantic in all of us.
The crowd is civilized and while the odd crazy will pop up from time to time, most of the play is conducted under the protected hush of golfing crowds. One is tempted to tip toe to the kitchen for a snack even when watching from home. Even though the levels of excitement tend to escalate on the back nine, you never really do see anyone lose control as they line the fairways even with the 3 most challenging holes on the planet being a part of that action.
The tournament is a veritable who’s who of golf with every name in the sport having played the event. There is no greater credibility for a golfer than to have played Augusta and for those who are the victors, the honour of receiving your green jacket is like the Oscar of golfing. Icons like Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus have all made a presence at the Masters.