By Larry Canning
My goodness readers! Is it US Masters time already?
Azaleas, camellias, flowering peach and something called a Dogwood, who could be the head of security, will be out in their beautiful fragrant best when Jack and Arnie bunt the traditional opening drives in the world’s most unusual golf championship, The US Masters.
Sure the Augusta National Golf Course is easily one of the most beautiful places on Earth and if I received a last minute invitation to play, I would put any one of my sons on eBay to pay for the trip but I reckon it’s ONE bizarre club… and in fact, one weird tournament. Probably, even stranger would be me receiving that late invitation. I think we’re talking a global virus that wipes out every human on the planet except for a hand full of golfers who happened to lock themselves in the half way house behind the 9th green at Highlands Golf Club. If a nasty plague ever hits the planet, can I suggest you find your way to this small erection in the NSW Southern Highlands because if you can make through a winter there, you’ll be fine… no virus could survive it.
I have to say though, when I reminded myself of some of Augusta National’s unusual and somewhat antique customs, I guess it was built in a period of terrible social discrimination and had no real choice but to have inherited some of these hopefully now extinct prejudice’s.
For a start, I just can’t understand the members who strut around in their nasty looking bright green jackets showing the world they are members of a club that didn’t want a black member until 1990 and it was only 3 years ago when they invited Condoleezza Rice (ironically also African American) and South Carolina financier, Darla Moore to become their first female members. But then again, the Vatican of golf, The Royal & Ancient only invited people with different bits to men, to join for the first time last year. And they started with a bloody Princess! I get that there are times when blokes just want to hang with their mates and girls need to spend time with their besties but we’re talking about the most significant club in the game of golf. And it’s 2000 and bloody 16!
Anyway, back to Augusta National. What about the caddy having no choice but to wear overalls! Are the Members thinking one of the gang mowers might have broken down may need a grease and oil change?
“Ok Rory, its 143 to the front and 157 to the flag… and that cart over there really needs a new air filter”
This next issue may be just an American thing but when I’m watching one of golf’s four major tournaments on TV and suddenly the producers of that particular network decide they need to throw a list up on the screen of how “The Notables” are scoring I fight the urge to ring CBS and point out, the only “Notables” in an international event of this stature are those dudes with stupid green jackets siting in a log cabin with a moose’s head in the background. When that moose’s head was connected to its body, no doubt it was male. By “Notables” our friends are referring to anyone in the field who doesn’t possess a name starting with Bubba, Duffy, or Fuzzy. You know… (Someone from another country).
Can you imagine another major international sporting event referring to someone from somewhere other than the host nation as The “Notables”?
I also don’t get how one of the four majors has different exemption categories to the other three. The usual field for a major is based on world rankings and recent major finishes but at The Masters, if you win on the American Tour over the past 12 months your straight in. Doesn’t matter if you missed very other cut for the year, you’re there! Plus if you have won this event and are still young enough to play without a walking frame, you’re also IN! That means a bunch of world class players have that week off.
Sorry Readers, I went off a bit of a tangent didn’t I?
Despite my confusion with why this event is a major, I still well up when I remember Adam Scott holing that 15 footer to claim the first Aussie Green Jacket and I will be the first to be out of bed with a cup of Nespresso in one hand and a vegemite covered crumpet in the other come April 7.
That’s unless the global virus hits of course.