What is it about The Masters? I don’t know but for some reason that I can’t quite put my finger on, The Masters has me giddy like a kid on Christmas eve for it’s four day duration, sorry, make that five day duration because I even find myself tuning in to the par 3 competition the day before. This day is a fun event for the players, their families and the many old timers who ruled the game of golf for so many years. The camera’s, on this introductory day at Augusta National, focus not on the golf but the many interactions between the families of the players, the spectator’s and the older generation of individuals who are scattered around the course, all of whom are visibly consumed by the spectacle which everyone is apart of.
It was fantastic witnessing greats of the game like Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player knock Drives off the first tee today, straight down the middle if you don’t mind. The respect that past champions, men over the age of 70, are greeted with is nothing short of outstanding, a true tip of the hat to the passed generation that have created the platform with which the field of 2012 will get to enjoy. It’s a rarity in these modern times we live, that maturer generations are such an integral part of proceedings. Its not fake either, its a policy of the club to maintain these precious links with past winners, who they know are still so important to the championship’s history and stature. Its testament to the game of golf that these men are not just invited to the fancy dinners and kept away from the cameras because it is these titans of history, the greatest golfers that have played the game, that bring the unique atmosphere to this tournament that everyone enjoys.
Youngsters also get an opportunity to get acquainted with the famous fairways at Augusta National. Young lads are caddying and fixing the scoreboards, kids and grand kids of the players are running around keeping the parents, spectators and officials busy, and the jovial atmosphere appears to be enjoyed by all. Its marketing at its very best. A true self indulgence of middle America, promoting a lifestyle that many of us would aspire to achieve, and executed with military precision by the big broadcasting networks who beam the images and ideology around the globe. There’s a sense of social inclusion that has been eradicated from pretty much all other sports that receive the same type of viewing figures. I certainly cant think of any other sporting event where a warm up day before the big occasion is so relaxed and unconcerned with the usually polished optics of youth obsessed contemporary television, and it is for this reason that it appears to work so well.
So, why then, are women still not allowed to join the famous golf club as members. I don’t get it. There are more women playing and watching the game of golf than there’s ever been historically. The PR team at The Masters must spend months planning this day, right before the tournament starts, portraying the family unit as the backbone of the American conscience and in reality all it proves is the backwardness of thinking in the state of Georgia. Its interesting that today, President Barack Obama, waded into the argument wielding his support for the 150 million female Americans who dare not fill out an application form for the prestigious golf club. It really is time for the smoking jackets and cigars to be laid down Gentlemen, it’s 2012 don’t you know.
“The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it”. ~ Roseanne Barr