“Masters Week”: My Favorite Week of the Year
by John D. Hobbins
For me the season of golf is officially underway as it is “Masters Week”. There isn’t a tournament on earth that has the impact this one does.
After a brutally long and frigid winter here in the Northeast we eagerly await this week. Augusta National, which was built on the grounds of a nursery, will be in full bloom and attract millions of viewers from around the world who are not golfers. This event officially began in 1934 when the club was founded by the infamous career amateur player, Bobby Jones.
Limited Number of Commercials
Jim Nantz and the talented crew from CBS will telecast this tourney. The Masters only broadcasts a few minutes of commercial time each hour and carefully chooses who the advertisers will be. This is exceptional, as it doesn’t take place during any other telecast throughout the season. The announcers will dress appropriately and will honor golf on these hallowed grounds. Should they say something that the Masters Committee deems inappropriate, they will not be asked to announce again as was the case with Jack Whitaker in 1966 and Gary McCord in 1996.
The “Champions Dinner”
2013 Masters winner Adam Scott will act as host, serving Moreton Bay Bug lobster from Australia
Each Masters Champion is invited to the Champions Dinner each year. The dinner is hosted on the Tuesday night by the current champion who decides on the fare for the menu and picks up the check. This year, Adam Scott will serve a Moreton Bay Bug, a flat-headed lobster. 32 past champions are expected to attend, including Tiger Woods.
The Par 3 Contest allows the players’ children to caddy for them and the Par 3 Champion has yet to win the coveted Masters title. On site, the food prices are kept low: most sandwiches cost between $1.50 and $3.00 and snacks are $1.00. Not your typical New York City pricing that I am accustomed to.
Bobby Jones, founder of the Augusta National Golf Club in 1934
A Bit of Background
Between 1934 and 1938, the event was known as the Augusta National Invitational. In 1939, Clifford Roberts coined the name, Masters. Each hole of Augusta National is named after a tree or bush. The tournament features one of the smaller fields of the year: there will be 96 participants for 2014. Six of these players will be amateurs. Tickets to the Masters are not for sale on the general public and are by invitation only. If you are a season ticket holder you reserve the right to be so for a lifetime.
The Green Jacket
The Masters Champion is eligible to play in the Masters each year. They are also given a green jacket that may only be worn by members, and is stored in their locker. Only three professional golfers are members of the Augusta National Golf Club. Can you name them? The Champion has dinner with the Chairman of the club on Sunday night after his victory. The Masters is the only major event hosted by the same club each year. Augusta National is only open six months a year, November through April.
The Back Nine
It has been often stated that the tournament begins on the back nine on Sunday afternoon. This is true as high drama will unfold on that nine holes. Since Holes 13 and 15 are Par 5 holes that are reachable in two shots and are potential holes for three or seven. They are the ultimate risk/reward holes in a major golf competition. In most cases each year, the names atop the leaderboard on Thursday are not those that appearing by late Sunday afternoon.
In 1986, Jack Nicklaus won his sixth green jacket with six birdies and one eagle in his last ten holes.
You can follow the action at: http://bit.ly/OsgG1b and via mobile apps.
My choice for the 2014 Masters Champion: Jason Day.