What Makes the Masters Golf Tournament So Remarkable?

What a fabulous sporting event to watch last Sunday – the 2017 Masters Golf Tournament! Although, Sergio Garcia, claimed the grand prize, he certainly had his work cut out for him. The game kept all of us golf enthusiasts glued to our televisions, didn’t it?

Whether this was the first Masters Golf Tournament you viewed or one of many you have watched, what makes the Masters Golf Tournament so remarkable? Why are we so drawn to it?

Remarkable Things to Note About the Masters Golf Tournament

The History of the Masters

For many golfers, the first sign of Spring is the Masters Golf Tournament . It is held every year in April and this year marks the 81st edition of this great event.  Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia is the sponsoring club. The course was designed by Dr. Alister McKenzie of Scotland and was completed in 1933.   

The history of the tournament goes back to Bobby Jones’s desire for an annual invitational tournament where the best players of the world would play golf for 4 competitive rounds in a first-class golf setting.  The Masters is the first of the 4 Major annual tournaments recognized by various international golfing organizations.  Most pro golfers think of the number of Major championships as a yardstick of their careers much like pro football players would think of Super Bowl championships. 

The Masters Golf Course

Part of the charm of the Masters is that it is played on the same course every year.  Fans of the tournament know the layout of every hole and where the difficult pin placements will be on Sunday. Television viewers will think of the tournament as a picturesque setting and it truly is.  I had a chance to be at the Masters. The majesty and beauty of the course cannot even be captured on TV.  The various course elevations cannot truly be depicted by 2D television (3D TV will make the Masters even better!). Participants in the tournament will have to hit precise shots to flat or uphill contours of the course to make their next golf shots possible.  If a player is on the wrong side of the green, the speed and the multiple terrains will strike fear in even the best putters. 

The Traditions and Folklore of the Masters

What traditions are embedded in the Masters?

  • The opening ceremony is a one-shot tee-off by retired Masters Legends: Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. Arnold Palmer is missing this year from this esteemed group. This is the first time that Arnie has not been at the Masters since 1954.
  • The winner of the Par 3 exhibition on Wednesday has never won the Masters. Some players have deliberately 5 putted the last hole in reverence to this superstition when they were near the lead of this fun event.       
  • Over the past ten years, 90% of the winners have been in the top 10 in scoring after the first round.
  • The 11th, 12th and 13th holes are called “Amen Corner”. The scoring on these three holes by the players typically determines the winner.  It makes for an exciting Sunday afternoon final 9 holes.     

Sergio Garcia – This Year’s Masters Golf Tournament Winner

As the winner of this Years’ Masters Tournament, Sergio Garcia has won not only his first Masters but also his first major golf tournament in an exciting playoff finish.  This will be a life-changing event for Sergio as his name will now be forever remembered in the history of the Masters. 

Garcia has long struggled with the putter in the Majors but this week saw his putting to be in “above average” form as well as his clutch shots to save par on 13, his birdie on 14 and his eagle on 15.  Of course, his birdie on the first playoff hole sent shivers down my spine watching the ball’s short travel from Sergio’s putter-head to the hole, while talking to my son on the phone. Sergio did not win the par 3 exhibition but  

played steady golf through Amen Corner and was in the top 10 in the first round. This was another great Sunday finish for the Masters. 

Augusta folklore continues.  As part of the tradition of the tournament, next year on Tuesday of Masters Week, Sergio will host the Champions’ Dinner.  I can’t wait to hear his speech and the tradition of the new champion’s choice of the food at the dinner. 

Over to You …

Do you now know what makes the Masters Golf Tournament so remarkable? Are you ready to watch the Masters next year just a little bit differently? Are you excited for the next Master’s week which begins on April 2, 2018?

The 2017 Masters will be a great topic with my golfing buddies for an entire year.  Are you and your golf pals still raving about it? Send me your comments.

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