Masters Week is finally here. Or, as it’s more affectionately known, “A tradition unlike any other.”
It’s a phrase we’ve become accustomed to during the first week of April, but is there any truth to it? Or is it just something Jim Nantz likes to say to get our Masters boner fully torqued?
The Masters has been around for 81 years, but the core values of the tournament continue to stay the same.
From the pros rolling down Magnolia Lane to skipping balls across the pond at the 16th hole, there are plenty of traditions that make make The Masters what it is.
The festivities begin at Tuesday’s practice round and roll into Tuesday night with the Champions Dinner. The previous year’s champion hosts a dinner for past champions, in which the host selects the menu.
Bubba Watson selected the grub on Tuesday night, going with the same menu as the first time he hosted. Bubba flexed his Southern roots with mac and cheese, grilled chicken and green beans.
On Wednesday, it’s all about the fan-favorite Par-3 Contest.
The all-important caddies include kids, WAGs (wives and girlfriends), and in Rory McIlroy’s case, Niall Horan from One Direction. Expect to see hole-in-ones and adorable children dressed in caddie onesies.
Even Tiger Woods is bringing his children out to the event this year, which is a surprise to many.
(BTW: If you haven’t seen it, Nike’s Tiger and Rory ad is awesome.)
Thursday gets teed off with the ‘OG Big Three’ of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player hitting the ceremonial first shots. 34 majors and 13 green jackets in one grouping is certainly a legendary way to kick things off.
The world’s best golfers then compete at the highest level for the coveted green jacket, one of the most iconic trophies in all of sports.
The Masters, played at Augusta National every year, is one of the few major sporting events held at the same venue year in and out. On top of that, Augusta National might be the most beautiful place in the world.
Television simply does not do the azaleas justice, and we’re not talking about Iggy. If you’ve never been, it’s easily a bucket list item for any sports fan.
Each day, the golfers have to navigate Amen Corner (holes 11, 12 and 13), just one of the many spectacles on the challenging Augusta course.
The concession menu is headlined by their famous pimento cheese sandwiches, which are only $1.50. While you’re paying $8-9 for a beer at the ballparks, just $5 will get you a frosty cold one at Augusta.
All of these little traditions certainly contribute to the image that is the Masters, but that’s not what we’re talking about when we hear the phrase “A tradition unlike any other.”
A tradition, in its purest form, is the passing of a custom from generation to generation.
When Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts started the Masters back in 1934, their sole purpose was to celebrate the game of golf by giving players and fans the best possible experience.
To this day, the Masters continues to carry out that ideal.
Augusta National is not out to rob golf fans of their money. They seek to provide the most enjoyable fan experience possible.
There are no corporate logos distracting from the beauty of the course. And if you’ve ever noticed, there are much fewer commercial breaks. All of this because the members at Augusta National want to make sure the tradition isn’t diminished by commercialization.
It continues to provide golf fans with memories they’ll remember without allowing greed to cloud the overall vision.
In a sports world dominated by commercial motives, The Masters never fails.
(Feature image from Wikipedia/Mbrooks)