AUGUSTA 2016 —The best seats at the Masters aren’t for sale. They are carried in every morning, slung over the shoulders of fans who arrive before sunrise to plop down green chairs alongside some of the most famous holes in golf. I was fortunate to be invited to the 2016 Masters by Golf Channel Latin America for what proved to be an unforgettable 3 days including watching the end via a live stream on my flight back to Cancun. Due to work obligations I needed to be back home Sunday evening without fail alas I missed the drama of the back 9 – there is no truer phrase in sports then – The Masters begins in the back nine Sunday!
I discovered many things about The Masters and Augusta over the last few days – the seating – It is a perk unlike any other in professional sports—a front-row view available to any ticket holder, simply by virtue of getting there first.
Running is strictly forbidden, a rule that has spawned one of the most civil and strained competitions in the world. Fans line up early, armed with chairs and speed walking strategies. When the gates open at around 8 a.m., thousands spill onto the course while pretending they aren’t competing for anything at all. I was fortunate to have an experienced Masters visitor in Nicolas on of my Golf Channel hosts – a speed walker in a class of his own !! As I sit on my flight home my calfies ache from the kms covered in record time around Augusta with Hugo, Antonella & Nicolas ! Yes we did get warned as I tried to beat the ropes closing off a cross away as I lagged behind the Capitan!
The Masters merchandise shop is a must ! Per square meter I doubt any other stores around the globe bill the amounts that are racked up at The Masters.
We were fortunate to have access to The Magnolia Suite an exclusive hospitality area tucked behind some trees near hole 1 – warm & friendly service good food and comfortable lounge to watch the end of the days play!
We bumped into Ines a commentator from TV Azteca in Mexico who we knew and a pretty one at that – she had tight white jeans on and heels looking a little out of place in conservative Augusta – needless to say we later found out The Augusta Board sent TV Azteca a message requesting their journalist tone down her dress code!
Branding – bar the soap in the toilets nigh everything is branded Masters ! with not another brand in sight @ The Masters – it is certainly the Marketing Dream come True!
The course – walking the whole course one comes to understand the undulations of the greens and their speed something TV does not yet depict.
My hosts from Golf Channel Latin America – Jason, Hugo & Nicolas a big thank you from the bottom of my heart! This was a bucket list event ! from some one who is passionate about organizing events it was an amazing experience. Also a passionate golfer it was like being at the Mecca of Golf such was the magic of the Masters ! And the Masters Character of the weekend Carlos – what a nice & fun guy ! And the Journo Antonella from Venezuela all made it a fun weekend – one to remember!