Ten curiosities about the Masters: the most select major

The Augusta Masters starts this Thursday. Next we review data and curiosities of the first big of the year, one very refined.

We are in the second week of April, week of Masters, the best of the most select golf calendar. The Augusta National of Georgia, in the southeastern United States, is the club that has hosted it since 1934, one known for its rigorous and curious customs. Like almost everything that shines, its history also has dark parts. Next we reviewed datos and curiosities, lights and shadows, of the first big of the season:

Magnolia Lane

This is called the entrance way to the clubhouse, a straight 330 yards (about 300 meters) flanked by magnolia trees that se built in the late 1850s and paved in 1947. It is one of the hallmarks of Augusta.

The green jacket, universal symbol

If there is something that symbolizes Augusta worldwide is the color green. Of its streets and greens, obviously, but also that of almost all the paraphernalia of the tournament and that of the jackets worn by its partners since 1937 and its champions since 1949. The latter have it in property for a year and return it in the next edition . It is tradition that the last winner is put to the new champion in the final ceremony of the tournament. A simple piece of green cloth in appearance, which is really much more: one of the most distinguished trophies in the world of sport.

Nicklaus, Palmer and Tiger, kings of Augusta

Since Horton Smith was lifted with the first title in 1934, No one has triumphed more over Augusta's green than Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods (the youngest to do so at 21, three months and 14 days). The 'Golden Bear' won six times (1963, 1965, 1966, 1972, 1975, 1986); 'El Rey' and 'El Tigre', four each (1958, 1960, 1962, 1964 the first, 1997, 2001, 2002 and 2005 the second). If the first two are reverenced, with commemorative plaques in the sources that mark the route, Tiger's viction in 1997 was cathartic for African-Americans. Never a golfer of color had imposed himself in a major and Woods went to do it precisely in a club that, with its nuances, was a symbol of racism in the United States until not long ago.


Augusta is not a club to which one can happily ask for membership. Bill Gates or Emilio Botín requested it in his day and were rejected (Gates ended up going in and Emilio's daughter, Ana, the only Spanish member, too). Jack Nicklaus and John Harris are the only two professional golfers admitted. So was Arnold Palmer, who died in 2016. Until 1990 he did not become a member of a black man: Ron Townsend, president of Gannett Television. The first woman, the former Secretary of State of the United States, Condoleezza Rice, entered in 2012. Among the presidents of the United States, many of them golfers, only Dwight D. Eisenhower was a member.

Dinner of champions

Every year , on the Tuesday of the week of the tournament (which takes place from Thursday to Sunday) the champions dinner takes place and the menu is in charge of the current winner. ASergio García, the only Spaniard along with Seve Ballesteros and José María Olazábal who has triumphed in Augusta, he had to host in the previous edition. First served an international salad (based on ingredients representative of the countries of several previous winners), second a rice with lobster and dessert rice recipe three-milk from his wife, Angela Akins; of drinking, Albariño and Ribera del Duero. This year Patrick Reed has been less refined and more American: to begin with, Caesar salad or Wedge (named as one of the clubs that golfers use); mac 'n' cheese (traditional American recipe for macaroni and cheese), rib eye (typical meat cut there), spinach with cream and broccoli with cheese to follow (the most delicate could also ask for fish) and for dessert a wide assortment with creme brulee, tiramisu, crunchy chocolate and cheesecake, all washed down with wines from the Californian Napa Valley.

The flowers

No only green in Augusta. The brown of the trunks of the pines (the tree with more presence in the route, although the oldest is an oak stuck to the clubhouse for between 145 and 150 years) and the rainbow that forms the great variety of scattered plants by all Augusta complete the chromatic range of the Masters. It is estimated that some 80,000 plants have been disseminated throughout the history of the club and each of the 18 holes is named after the species that adorns it.

Amen Corner, dream and nightmare

Enter Amen Corner, the hoyos 11, 12 and 13 Augusta National, is to enter one of the sacrosanct places of golf. Named for Herbert Warren Wind, Sports Illustrated journalist, in honor of the jazz album 'Shouting at Amen Corner', isNo dream for the first time in Augusta that can turn into a nightmare at any time. Start in par 4 called 'White Dogwood', narrow street and uphill and a green protected by a lake on the left and a bunker in the back. Then comes 'Golden Bell', one of the most famous par 3 in the world and the shortest hole in the field. 222222 At the mercy of the wind, players have to get around Rae's Creek, the stream that passes in front of the green, and all three bunkers that guard it. Many have melted there before reaching 'Azalea'. Flanked by some 1.600 plants of this species, this par 5 that closes Amen Corner is the origin of the name of the daughter of Sergio Garcia and a trap with another stream and four bunkers making it difficult to reach the green. It is not always decisive, but this devilish succession of holes has produced more than one triumph and more than one failure.

Jones and Roberts, visionaries

Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts were the founders of the club. They bought a property of 365 acres called Fruitland Nurseries for $ 70,000 and in 1931 the works began. Jones himself and the Scot Alistair Mackenzie designed the layout, which opened in 1932 in limited and full form from 1933.

A strict code

Nor can one walk in any way by the Augusta National. Unlike other majors, caddies not only wear a distinctive bib, but wear a white overalls and a green cap with the Masters logo instead of the sponsor of the player they work for. Spectators also have to comply with some rules, such as not carrying mobiles, cameras or chairs with armrests. Sponsors are not seen in the layout and the agreement with CBS television is the least particular: regulates aspects of all kinds, such as commentators call the public 'patrons' (patrons) and not spectators or the amount of advertising.

And a rich imaginary

Augusta has left phrases and moments for posterity. The best moments, which are many, can be found in this Reuters compilation. As for the best phrases, Gary Player took the protocol of Augusta very seriously: "There is absolutely nothing funny in the Masters, here the dogs do not bark and the babies do not cry" . The Puerto Rican Chi Chi Rodríguez, in change, he took it with more philosophy: "The first time I played the Masters I was so nervous that I drank a bottle of rum before going out to the field, it was the 83 happiest shots of my life". Dave Marr believed that if he did not play well in the Masters "he could not go to heaven when he died" and Nick Faldo summed it up with a lot of tact: "This is the Masters, it has the beauty, it has the color, it has the sound and the breeze. Everything together makes this place a very special one ".

Photos from as.com
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