Who Says the Masters Is About Golf

illustration by Shirley Bass

IT'S APRIL IN AUGUSTA and we all know what that means…Time to take down the Christmas decorations. Don’t judge. It’s not like I still have the lights up, for heaven sakes. Just a couple of poinsettias, a wreath, a crèche and an inflatable or two. The chore needs doing; Frosty and Santa are leaking a little more air every day. 

I’ll also be busy attending a bunch of fun April events: the Ronald McDonald House Plane Pull, Rock Fore! Dough concert, the Boshears Skyfest and let’s not forget that world famous sports event, the Phinizy Swamp Stomp 5K.

Oh yeah…there’s also the Masters. I didn’t mention it earlier because I’m a tad bitter about not having a badge this year. But don’t you worry about me. Go ahead and have your fun at the tuna-mint, smugly eating your dollar-fifty pimiento cheese sandwiches, drinking your beer and watching Tiger do whatever he’s going to do.

I’ll be putting on a pair of white overalls, trying to sneak in as a caddy.

Actually I have a friend who used to occasionally let me use one of her Masters badges and it turned out she expected me to traipse around the course the entire day, shadowing golfers, of all things. I’ve tried to tell her: “The Masters isn’t about golf. It’s about getting a pedicure in preparation for the annual toe reveal, wearing a sundress (preferably something in a tasteful tree-lizard green or a chic Bazooka Joe pink) and sitting in a place of prominence on the 16th hole so everybody on TV can see that you were well-connected enough to get a badge.”

Come to think of it, I haven’t heard from my friend lately. But it doesn’t matter; you’ve seen one bank of hot pink azaleas, you’ve seen them all and, frankly,  the Masters has gotten a little stuffy over the years. Do you remember the days when all of Augusta was allowed to pass through the hallowed grounds during the practice rounds? Those were heady times: women in their Daisy Dukes (mine were acid washed), men in head-to-toe camouflage, people shouting “Free Bird” while the golfers putted… I wonder why they put a stop to all that. Oh well. It was nice while it lasted.

Anyway, here are a few tips for those of you lucky enough to snag or steal a badge.

If your sport of choice is shopping, check out the National pro shop.  I love wearing clothes with a Masters logo. Gives me cache at the Country Club. (And by the Country Club, I mean the bar.) 
Don’t get caught on the course without a beer; it helps the golf go down easier. Last call for alcohol is mighty early: 4 p.m.
When you’re out and about in Augusta, be sure to prominently display your badge. (I usually dangle mine in my cleavage.) What’s the fun of having a badge if it doesn’t inspire looks of envy?   
Y’all have a good time on the course and say hey to Tiger for me.

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