Masters Memories: A Commercial Juggernaut, Sure, But Still Something Very Special

What is it about The Masters? Is it just a juxtaposition of two words that put together conjure up images of azalea and dogwood, of Georgia pines and pristine acres of green grass? Or is it more than that, something else entirely? Nearly four decades since my first visit to The Masters, as they might say down Augusta way, I am still “not rightly sure,” but either way it’s that time of year again; the first rite of spring, the awakening for most of us who live in the northern hemisphere, of a new golf season with all the hope and expectation it brings with it.

I have been privileged to proceed down Magnolia Lane on many occasions, past the flowerbed with The Masters logo and on the famous clubhouse, but it seems unlikely now, as I move rather too quickly into the semi-rough of my eighth decade on this planet, that I will ever make that journey again. And so, I now take a nostalgic look at Augusta National, The Masters Tournament, and this very special place.

When I first made the trip to The Masters in the early 1980s, it was quite a different place. Back then, unlike now, commercialism did not exist in the Augusta lexicon; there were no…

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