Well, I wasn’t disappointed. My first taste of the Masters was a nerve-tingling experience, and I haven’t even set foot on the course yet! This truly is an awesome venue for golf. Just walking through the gates and seeing glimpses of the fairways through the trees creates that gut-nervousness usually reserved for the kids at Christmas…
The town of Augusta was not quite what I expecting. It’s tiny. If you came here in mid winter – apart from the steak houses on Washington Drive that pay homage to all that is the Masters with their 19th hole ‘eat all you can for less than $10’ deals – it really would be difficult to believe golf’s greatest strokeplay spectacle has made its home here.
Already the streets are brimming. The town has vibrancy. On the strip, ticket touts – or scalpers, as they are known over here – are out in full effect. Local residents have packed up for the week; handing the keys to their homes in the return of over-the-odds-rental rates from families deep and far. Trust me, the sleepy town of Augusta has well and truly woken up.
Considering this is a practice day (there are some early questions being asked as to how many will turn up following Houston) it is already packed with spectators. The course has caught some heavy rain over night, but it just reeks of class. Everything is done in an immaculate manner.
Under normal circumstances, a 19-hour round-trip like the one I endured – and at times tackled – yesterday would have done me in for most of the next day. But after over 4,000 miles; one eight-and-a-half hour flight; 180 miles on the road taking in a world record sighting of 41 Waffle Houses on the way, my Masters week has finally begun.
Now I’m sure there is a half-decent track round here somewhere…
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