It is finally April and soon the attention of the golf world will be on Augusta National, and the Masters. Many golfers would choose the Masters as their favorite tournament, and many golf fans feel the same way. But what is it that makes the Masters so special? What is it that makes it such a sought-after prize for golfers around the world? It is difficult to put a finger on exactly what it is, but the reality is that there are actually a few things that combine to create that exciting tournament that is now at the pinnacle of professional golf.
Spring is Here!
One of the things that makes the Masters so special is the timing. For many people, spring has not arrived until the first man is teeing off at Augusta. More importantly, it marks the unofficial start of the golf season in earnest. It is the first major, and it announces golf’s presence on the sporting calendar using the biggest stage there is.
When you think of the Masters, you think of tradition. Sure, the British Open wins out in terms of history, but there is not a tournament that values tradition like the Masters. First, you have the green jacket. Nowhere else in the world will you see so many skilled professionals fighting over a piece of clothing. It is also one of the few tournaments that is untouched by the commercialism that is prevalent in so many sports these days. With every tournament sponsored and seemingly every sports arena named after a product, it is remarkably refreshing to watch the Masters, played at Augusta National.
As with any sporting event, it is those sporting moments themselves that make it so special. Moments like Jack Nicklaus’ putt in 1975, or his victory in 1986. Or Tiger Woods’ record-breaking first major in 1997, or his astonishing chip-in in 2005. Moments like these could happen anywhere, but for some reason they seem to happen more at Augusta than anywhere else.
Augusta itself is special, and the fact that the Masters is always held at the same venue, on the same course, lends itself to a special occasion. And a beautiful venue it is. People also get used to the twists and turns of the course, and it allows for greater drama than you could experience anywhere else. Part of the excitement that surrounds the Masters comes from the records that can be broken each year, or the anticipation as the golfers reach Amen Corner. Such moments are impossible anywhere else.
Despite all of its traditions, and the fact that it is played on the same course every year, the Masters remains as unpredictable as any other golf tournament. Every year has a favorite going in, but almost every year someone else takes home the green jacket. You can put money on the front runner, but no one can predict the outcome of this special tournament. Form is thrown out of the window, and only those who can pull of those special shots on the day will come out victorious in the end. That is what makes this tournament so special.