Unless you are God.......ok, God and lucky, you won't find Masters tix. You can, however score practice round tickets. Now I know what you're thinking...."if it ain't the real McCoy, I ain't going."
Well, hear me out.
I've gone 4 times to the Masters' practice rounds, and after those experiences, I would never want to see the Masters live.
There is nothing like walking the whole course plus the par 3 course (on Wednesdays) with no mobs. The crowds at the practice rounds are far less than during the real McCoy, and that allows for easy access to literally walk side-by-side (ie:outside of the ropes) of your favorite golfer (except Tiger) for a whole round.
You can take pictures. My fellow-blogger EatGolf knows this, and plays to it very well at other tournaments with great pictures of all the golfers in the field. Great job EatGolf!
The golfers are relaxed. You can score tens of autographs and pictures (where they actually smile and acknowledge you). I remember a fan offering Darren Clark a cigar, and he came over and got it to smoke during his round. That was pretty cool.
NewsFlash: not one of the benefits I just mentioned can be done when the real tournament starts.
But it's the little things that happen at practice rounds that stick with you.
I'll never forget one practice-round day, Fuzzy Zoeller was on the 12th tee at Amen Corner. A nice crowd of die-hard patrons was surrounding him. BTW:people literally run to there favorite spots, put down a chair and leave. That chair (as common courtesy) will stay there untouched for that person to come back to his seat, (which could be hours later)...oh, and it was a beautiful day (it's always sunny at Augusta). Well, Fuzzy, being himself, pulled a guy out from the crowd to let him hit the shot! Well, if everyone wasn't just in awe of that gesture, including the man about to hit the shot of his life. Fuzzy asked him " what club do you think you want to hit?" The man meekly replied with something that got the crowd laughing (I'm sure he was thinking more about if he had his Depends on or not). Fuzzy pulled a club out of his bag and told him to use it. The man actually made solid contact, but it fell short of the creek, as well as to his expectations.
But what a story!!! can you imagine how many times that guy has told others of his great fortune?!
That's what practice rounds are all about. The opportunity to see something no one else sees. And you don't have to be God to go.
If you are not on the practice round mailing list, and would like to be added for 2007 applications: send your name, address, daytime phone #, and social security # to:
Augusta, GA 30903-2047
Thanks for reading. Keep it in the short-grass,