A tradition unlike any other, hosted at a course played by so very few. The closest I have ever been to Augusta National is a Waffle House about a mile away off Washington Road. An authentic Waffle House in that the light illuminating the second “F” in “Waffle” was burnt out.
Scattered, smothered and covered please!
To call Augusta National “exclusive” would be like saying the North Pole is “a little chilly”. If one is lucky enough, one can witness golf’s finest major via the annual ticket lottery. If one is really lucky, as a member of the working media, one could play the course the Monday following the tournament via the annual media lottery.
Or, you could be Aaron Rodgers. A man who has been to the Masters as a spectator and played the course on more than one occasion. In his weekly ZOOM call with the media on Wednesday, I asked Rodgers to paint the picture of Augusta National.
“It exceeds even your highest expectations.” Rodgers said. “The attention to detail on the grounds is unbelievable. There is not a blade of grass out of place on the entire property.
The Packers Quarterback has also traversed the course as a member of the gallery. What stands out most about his experiences on the grounds?
“One is seeing an NFL referee just walking the grounds, and recognizing each other,” recalls Rodgers who appreciates the lack of cell phones on the course leading to more meaningful interactions.
Another fond memory…
“We were pretty hungry…me and my high school best friend were messing around. There’s a group of like 15 people and they got some special passes to some tent. I, for some reason, didn’t have it. So we were walking around the grounds, got hungry, went down to the place to get food and pulled out $100 to pay for some beers and sandwiches and stuff and they said ‘$27’. I was like, ‘excuse me?’ So just the pricing there is pretty amazing.”
As iconic as Lambeau Field, the Rose Bowl and Yankee Stadium, the hallowed grounds of Augusta National will welcome 92 players this week. Rodgers will have his eye on one in particular.
“I’m hopeful that Max Homa wins this week because that’s my buddy and he’s playing. It’s his first time in the Masters, so [I’m] pulling for Max.”
Homa, 29, is a fellow Cal-Berkely grad and Burbank, California native currently ranked 97 in the world.
And if you’re looking for that Waffle House. It’s located just east of The Juicy Crab (which I hope is a restaurant) at 2951 Washington Road.
I recommend the All-Star Special.