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It’s a long way off yet but talk is abundant in the office about The Masters 2017 and I thought it was time I published a post on my week at The Masters.
A bucket list trip for many I felt lucky to be involved in this event and keen to absorb as much of the experience as possible and after several flights I bounded into Augusta full of enthusiasm and excitement.
We have to reward the game of golf for its contribution to the conduct, customs and etiquette displayed by players and spectators alike. Therefore enjoyment for everyone is increased in participating and spectating at The Masters. Someone once said to me you should get into golf because “Nice people play golf”. I’m not sure thats a fair generalization however you can’t question the respect and etiquette that comes with the game at tournaments and in clubs all over the world.
The etiquette of The Masters is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. People placing chairs on the 18th hole and if they didnt get back to them no one taking their places. No queue jumping, no pushing, no running, no hustle and bustle and yet tens of thousands of people. An overwhelming feeling of respect and manners which is so lost in the world today is apparent and consequently and I have realised that golf is a great sport for teaching manners, etiquette and respect. This wording on the back of the pairings sheet in conclusion summed it up for me referring to the Masters patrons as “the most knowledgeable and considerate patrons in the world”
In golf, customs of etiquette and decorum are just as important as rules governing play. It is appropriate for spectators to applaud successful strokes in proportion to difficulty but excessive demonstrations by a player or his partisans are not proper because of the possible effect upon other competitors.
Most distressing to those who love the game of golf is the the applauding or cheering of misplays or misfortunes of a player. Such occurrences have been rare at The Masters but we must eliminate them entirely if our patrons are to continue to merit their reputation as the most knowledgeable and considerate in the world”
On from the etiquette – conversation and interaction is everywhere you look at Augusta. Most of all I noticed heads are up – as a result people are looking where they are going, walking, chatting, laughing, its almost alien to me and the reason – No mobile phones.
In today’s world where else do you find that number people in one space – without a phone? My clients -all very astute business men found it somewhat liberating to not be able to instantly respond to an email or text message. As a host it meant I had to re acquaint myself with my organizational skills. Unable to check an email or confirm a time to meet anyone. This was a nice challenge to have and I was able to re instate skills I had not realized I had neglected. We have become so reliant on having my emails, calendars, reminders etc with us very minute of every day.
– Augusta also puts you back in the mindset that you can simply just “be” here, be present in the moment without distraction – that is a pretty powerful thing too.
I have visited a fair few golf courses with my clients and I have to say this course is without doubt the most pristine and visually spectacular. The undulations of the greens and fairways and the overall landscape are quite something. Much as the azaleas had bloomed a little too early this year Amen corner was still very striking. We enjoyed a few hours sat there watching the golf. This image taken of young Mr Spieth was a few days before he fell into turmoil on 12 and lost his winning lead on the Sunday.
The most wonderful moments for me were sharing in the delight of the 4 clients I looked after during the week. Thats where my job satisfaction ultimately comes from. The moment they came out from spending time in the Locker room with Gary Player – actually brought two grown men to tears, overwhelmed by the emotion of the moment. We enjoyed lunch in the clubhouse with a wonderful Augusta National Country Club member and had front row seats for the best golf show on earth.
For me to sit on the first Tee with my clients and watch Jordan and Rory Tee off was particularly wonderful due to me being a big Rory fan and to watch the English man Danny Willet remain calm and consistent and take the Green Jacket the same week his first born arrived into the world was also nothing short of fantastic. Danny delivered a great acceptance speech and our clients were also on the front row at the Green jacket ceremony to experience this. Bryson Dechambeau was also a joy to watch throughout the tournament, such a gentleman and what great style too!
I sampled the Pimiento cheese sandwich and Georgia Peach ice cream sandwich. There is a lot that hospitality businesses could learn from the set up at The Masters. While you join a concessions queue that looks a mile long it moves so quickly and rarely do you have to wait long for anything. Most of all and you are always greeted by a smiley happy face and in conclusion bid a farewell with what feels like a genuine offering of “have a great day and enjoy the golf”.
They have thought of everything here you can check in your purchases or ship them out from a visit to the merchandise shop which was also a service run like a well oiled machine. My advice on this is to shop early in the week for the best choices and barely any wait time to get into the store.
The Masters is the only place I have been to where the queue for the ladies bathroom is non existent in comparison to the gents facilities (how refreshing) and it’s the only time I’ve been into the bathroom and also wished a great day on my exit.
This really is a place to experience and if you are a golfer with a non golfing spouse he or she will also love this event. The course, the people, the facilities, the history, tradition and magnitude of the whole event make for a great few days. One top tip from me – I’m not sure I have ever been anywhere that the weather is so instantly changeable – sat almost burning one minute and then the Augusta wind comes in blows over a cloud and a cool stream of air and you wish you had another lay – my advice – layer up!
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To travel to The Masters in 2017 click here