Wednesday is family day at The Masters

by Mac Lacy 5. April 2012 23:28

 

The Masters is almost as much about traditions as it is about great golf.  Its champions are set apart forever, and, by tradition, select the menu for the champion's dinner the following year.  Both its pimento cheese and egg salad sandwiches are traditions, as is the green jacket that Augusta National members wear on the course during the event.  And, of course, each year's champion receives his own green jacket, another longstanding tradition.

But Wednesday at The Masters is also about another tradition--the tournament's Par Three championship.  On a small par three course adjacent to Augusta National, current and former players have fun during a par-three tournament that allows for a much less exacting style of play than the event that follows.  Many players bring their kids along as caddies, all of whom don white caddie uniforms just like the big boys (and girls) who carry the bags in The Masters itself.  Truth be told, it's the kids who are the stars in this little event.

So we started our day by watching a couple of hours of real practice on the back nine on Wednesday, mostly around Number 16 and Amen Corner (Numbers 11, 12 and 13).  By tradition, most golfers skipped balls across the pond to the green on Number 16, urged along by the crowd there.  Many jumped up onto the green and others fell short.  Then we made our way up the 18th fairway to the clubhouse and had lunch in the concession area nearby. 

Afterwards, we walked over to the par three course and found a spot on the 6th green and watched several groups come through.  Due to our long drive home, we left the course long before a winner was declared.  But one thing's for sure--whoever did win that event won't be crowned champion of The Masters on Sunday.  It just never seems to happen.

Call it tradition.

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Fredrik Jacobson, of Sweden, brought his son along as his caddy for the par three tournament on Wednesday

 

A group of international visitors made a color-coordinated splash in the concession area on Wednesday

 

Patrons awaited golfers at Number 10 green on Wednesday in Augusta

 

Volunteers manned an information booth near Amen Corner at The Masters


Tiger Woods lined up a putt on Number 16 while Sean O'Hair looked on during Wednesday's practice round

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Augusta 2012

Augusta TEE Center tees off in January 2013

by Mac Lacy 5. April 2012 23:03

When the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau invited Small Market Meetings editor Vickie Mitchell  to come for a preview of their new downtown convention center during the week of The Masters, she knew just what to do.  She invited me to go in her place.

Vickie had done a similar trip to Augusta a few years back and asked if I'd like to do it since I am a golfer.  So my wife, Kim, and I made a three-day road trip of it and enjoyed some true Georgia hospitality along the way.  We overnighted in Asheville, North Carolina and were in Augusta by noon the next day.  I did a hardhat tour of the new TEE (Trade, Exhibit and Event) Center that will debut in January, and also got to see the adjacent Marriott Augusta Hotel and Suites, the Augusta Museum of History and this city's impressive riverfront development along the Savannah River. 

That evening, we and other guests enjoyed a wonderful meal at our hospitality house (an Augusta tradition for golfers and dignitaries attending the golf tournament) and joined CVB CEO Barry White for an evening with Darius Rucker and his band at an outdoor concert for the city's First Tee program.  First Tee gives kids of all backgrounds the chance to learn golf and the game's longstanding tenets of fair play and decorum during competition.  Rucker, himself, is an avid golfer and grew up nearby.

The following day, CVB marketing communications director Katrina Selby escorted Kim and me to the Wednesday practice round for The Masters.

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Our group relaxed for a moment on the riverfront promenade that stretches along the Savannah River

 

Stately homes line the other side of the Savannah River across from the Marriott Augusta Hotel and Suites

 

The new TEE (Trade, Exhibit and Event) Center in Augusta will open in January 2013

 

We were served a wonderful evening meal on this patio in our hospitality house in Augusta

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Augusta 2012

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