Between now and the second week of April every golf writer on God’s green earth will submit pieces on an infinite number of topics regarding the year’s first major. I figured I’d try to get my effort done early in order to avoid the rush.
I can’t think of a more anticipated spring sporting event than this Masters. The Polar Vortex has Midwest fans anxiously awaiting any sign of spring even it it only comes by way of their flat screens. Four tournament days blessed with vibrant magnolias, azaleas, and for privileged patrons, the default pimento cheese sandwich. Even if you aren’t a golf fan, it’s likely you’ll sneak a peek at the emerald backdrop traversed by brightly attired players. They always break out their “fresh” for Augusta.
For those who haven’t had the pleasure of walking the grounds of “The National” on a sun-splashed April afternoon, it is a bucket list prerequisite. There is simply nothing else like it. On the property time seems to slow to a relaxed pace allowing patrons to visit, stroll, grab some nourishment and watch a few shots. The manual scoreboards and occasional roars allow everyone to know what is happening inside the ropes. It is an idyllic setting for golf’s best major championship.
In order to be brash, I assembled my “Wish List” for Masters 2014. This year I would like to see the following:
First, four days of dry weather to get the venue screamin’ fast. With spring there is always the potential for storms but with the frigid weather pattern north of the Mason-Dixon line this year maybe the rains will hold off. Just so it doesn’t snow.
Secondly, build a new viewing area down by Raes Creek on #12. Allow a sliver of patrons to feed down about twenty yards short of Raes Creek dividing the twelfth and thirteenth fairways. Add contoured mounds to the area so putts on the twelfth green can be viewed, second shots from eleven seen and tee shots from thirteen tee followed. The spot might only accommodate a few hundred but it would offer a new vantage point on Amen Corner and get patrons closer to the action.
Third, thin the trees on the right side of eleven to allow patrons better viewing angles. Ever since those trees were added the hole only serves as a conduit to Amen Corner. It is a spectacular par four and sadly has been take away as a viewing location for patrons.
Fourth, and this has probably taken place already, replace Ike’s tree. There’s nothing that can’t be done at “The National”.
Finally, abandon the traditional Sunday hole placements. Let’s see it back on eighteen, right on sixteen (1975), front on eight, use your imagination for the rest. Get the players out of their comfort zone a bit, especially if it firms up.
I’m sure the only chance I have for realization of my “five-pak’ is the Eisenhower Tree. Either way, as I sit here on an evening when temps will dip to below zero, whatever happens at Augusta this year will be very much worth the wait. I can’t wait to see the tournament unfold.