Doughtie Sr. on Golf (April 2013)

It's fast approaching that time of the year when for 4 nights a large number of us will sit glued to the television watching the excitement and majestic beauty from Augusta National,unfold before our eyes.

The invitations have been sent out to those lucky players who have qualified one way or another and will have replied in  time to avoid any disappointment.Accomodation will have been arranged and lots of competitors will have family and friends joining them.The 6 amateur players ,however will be housed in the Crow's Nest,perched above the main clubhouse.There are only 5 berths in that cabin,so perhaps 14 year old Tianlang Guan(China)the youngest ever participant, will have to sleep on the floor.

Similarly the 40.000 patrons(as spectators are known at The Masters)will have their badges ready to enter the arena at 07.00 hrs when the gated open each day.They will have parked their cars in an area ,which is only used for one week per year and is large enough to house a further 18 hole layout.

The Champion's Dinner,which was introduced in 1952 after the previous years winner,Ben Hogan suggested it in 1951,will be held the night before the tournament gets underway.The defending champion chooses the menu.Budda Watson,who unleashed that spectacular wedge from the trees at the 1st play-off hole last year promises a typical American feast......May be one day the Champions will sample herring and stampot,which may be more favourably accepted than the haggis Sandy Lyle had served in 1989,the year he defended his title.Eighteen former winners will participate in the tournament and will be joined at the dinner by a further 12 non-playing Green Jacket holders.

Jack Nicklaus ,who won the first of his 6  Green Jackets ,fifty years earlier,together with Gary Player and Arnold Palmer will perform the duties of Honorary starters on Day 1. 

One major change to the rigid conditions and traditions at Augusta this year will be the presence,in their specially tailored Green Jackets ,of the only 2 Lady Members, Condoleeza Rice and Darla Moore,who accepted membership last summer.

While all this is going on ,a large number of us will have commenced the NGF Competitie at various levels.I only hope the weather improves to enable all participants to shed one or more layers of clothing.

Good luck and have fun...

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