Every golfer should make every effort to get to Augusta National during Masters Week at least once. Television doesn’t do justice to the topography of the course. The drop in elevation from the tenth tee to the eleventh green is more than a hundred and fifty feet—fifteen stories. Once you’ve studied the place in person your brain can supply the missing third dimension when you watch on a flat screen at home.
That’s what I’m doing this year. I love being on the grounds during the tournament, but I don’t feel deprived when I watch from home. The Masters is the last unscrewed-up major event in sports, and the CBS broadcast is sublime. And if you stay home you can play golf with the gang while you wait for the show to begin.
The only challenge is to find something productive to do with your hands while you watch. On Friday afternoon, as Tiger was climbing the leader board, I polished all my golf shoes. Then I polished them again—an afternoon well spent.
Tomorrow afternoon (after paintball with some friends from high school and college) I’m going to clean the grooves of my clubs.
[Just as I was posting this, Tiger made that extraordinary third shot on the fifteenth hole—the one that hit the flagstick and spun back into the water. That shot was unlucky but it was not, as David Feherty claimed, “unfair.” Nor was Tiger “cheated” by it (Feherty again). The flagstick was stationery, and it was in place when he lined up his shot. Golfers capable of hitting inch-wide targets from eighty yards away may need to aim a few inches to the right or left, but they’re not entitled to feel ripped off. And, Feherty notwithstanding, I would bet that Tiger doesn’t.]