Augusta National ……… an outdoor cathedral!

The back-breaking 12th hole

The 76th Masters tournament is underway. You might think this blog is aimed at golfers. You couldn’t be more wrong. If you have never seen Augusta National Golf Course, either in person or on TV, you are the poorer for it. This is one of the most beautiful places anywhere and probably the most venerated golf course in the world. Even if you’re not a golfer but like camellias, dogwoods, and azaleas, soaring pines, sprawling oaks, immaculately manicured grasses and pristine ponds and creeks, this is your Mecca.

I could go on about how the grounds inspire, but it’s more than that. It’s also about the unique reverence afforded the event. The ceremonial opening as legends from the past drive off the first tee, the hushed crowds as they anticipate a critical moment, the deafening roar reporting a shot well-played, the collective groan as a gallery favorite suddenly falls out of contention, the wave of respectful applause as the “gladiators” walk up the 18th fairway.

No other sport is more individual. There’s no opponent trying to make you miss or overpower you. It’s you against your own psyche. Nerves of steel are prerequisite. Golf is nothing if not a microcosm of life. The heady moments, the stark disappointments, the confidence lost and then found again, the thrill of accomplishment and the challenge of defeat. It can be humbling, but its lessons can forge strong character.

I have a good friend who is not a golfer. He dabbled in it but it wasn’t his thing like his passion for fishing. He takes fishing trips to some of the most awe inspiring vistas in the west and around the world. Do you want to know the top item on his “bucket list”? You guessed it. Augusta.

I have had the good fortune of attending the Masters tournament twice. This is no mean feat. The tickets for any round, let alone all  four rounds of the competition, are the toughest to come by in sports. Most are bequeathed and the waiting list for those few that are available is longer than the average person’s life expectancy. Lengthy, expensive lawsuits have been litigated over season tickets to the Masters.

But I ramble. If you’re reading this, you’re missing the Masters. Sorry, my bad.

The most beautiful par 5 in golf; the 13th at Augusta.

25 thoughts on “Augusta National ……… an outdoor cathedral!

  1. Jimmie Johnson is 5-points behind the Sprint Cup leader Carl Edwards and will enter NASCAR predictions and
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    Gordon won here in 2001 and 2002 and has a streak of four straight top-five finishes on this track.
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  4. Your pictures are gorgeous! George and I would love to see the grounds, even though we’ve never been golfing in our lives…unless putt-putt counts.

    • Yes, Putt-Putt definitely counts!

      And if you want to see Augusta sometime, just mention my name (and give them $5,000) and they will let you walk around the course.

    • Quite a beautiful place. And after watching these guys play, I realize I’m not a golfer either.

  5. I don’t understand the allure of sports involving men and balls. Especially men and little balls.

    But I can see from the photos that this is one lovely place to take a walk…if you didn’t have to worry about getting bonked on the head by those little balls.

    I guess I’d never make a very good golfer, would I? I don’t even whisper very well.

  6. I’ve been to several golf tournaments and kept wondering why all they don’t let all the short people stand in front. It would be more fun if we all could drive carts (bumper carts), and why does the beer cost so much. I’m not sure why my husband has stopped asking me to go to golf tournaments with him.

    • It’s obvious thee organizers need you input, Barb. These are all excellent questions.

      I’m assuming your husband is not leaving any of his tickets to you in the will, right?

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  8. After 4 trips to Augusta I can only add this to your thoughts…..AMEN….in or out of the “Corner”

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