Wednesday, April 5

Masters Traditions and the Roars of Augusta

From the archives.

THE MASTERS IS THE ONLY MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP played at the same golf course every year. The tournament founded by Robert Tyre Jones Jr. (Bob Jones) has been on the calendar every year since 1934, except for a three-year interruption during World War II. The world's greatest golfers have competed in Bob Jones's invitational, and since 1949 they have dreamt of slipping into the Green Jacket.

There's something to be said for Masters traditions, even with their many odd expressions, styles and hues. Traditions can be an easy target and fun to chide, but in the end most golf fans love them.

[Masters Food: A Tradition Unlike Any Other]

Why? Why do so many people watch this tournament and make a golf pilgrimage to Augusta National Golf Club?

For its beauty and pageantry, of course, like the Kentucky Derby, the "Run for the Roses." But also because Augusta National is the game's ultimate echo chamber. No golf course or tournament produces more anticipation, more excitement and more roars than the Masters and Augusta National.

Golf fans know this golf cathedral like they know their medicine cabinets.

We know where there will be birdies and maybe eagles, and where there can be bogeys or worse. We know each of the final nine holes from years of watching the waning hours and deciding shots of the championship. We know where the pin placements will be on Sunday. We even know how the putts will break.

Most of all, we know there will be roars—birdie roars and eagle roars, Saturday roars and Sunday roars. Who will produce the roars at this year's Masters? Who will don the Green Jacket?

Today is a day to be thankful for Masters traditions. And to anticipate the roars of Augusta. I can almost hear them now.

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