Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Outsider's Report: Day Two - The Epic Journey Home

Since I was off yesterday, this is technically Day Two of the Masters Practice Rounds, but it's really Day One for me. As I sit here and type, I have my TV tuned to Channel 4, the local cable access channel that, during Masters Week, broadcasts the schedule and groupings for the players, and the Rules and Regulations of the National. I can't tell right now who is doing the best; all I see are alot of names I've never heard of. The rules are pretty interesting though. Apparently no large bags or purses allowed. Ladies, no sneaking in your own pimiento cheese sandwiches! Also, chairs with arms (I know what they are talking about; it just sounds funny) and periscopes are also verboten. No rigid chairs, either, or weapons of any kind, "regardless of permit!"
Before I begin to tell you about what I saw today, I must say: IT TOOK ME NINETY MINUTES TO GET HOME TODAY. NINETY. It usually takes thirty. I spent forty-five minutes trying to get from my office to Alexander Drive, which is a mile, maybe a mile and a half distance. "But, Kathleen," you may ask, "You know Augusta roads backwards and forwards. You could have thought of at least five alternate routes to get home. Why would you deliberately choose to drive right past the gates?" Because I wanted to. I wanted to see what it was like, to watch all the people flooding the sidewalks of an area of Augusta that's usually pretty empty (and slightly trashy!).
It was fascinating. Everyone is out to try and profit from the crowds. People selling water and sodas from their trucks, all kinds of golf memorabilia, and parking, parking, parking. The field in front of my office was jammed full. The Augusta National Committee bought up tons of area land within the last few years in order to have space just for this week. There are Guesthouses, mostly for corporate tourists, built just for the Masters. It's amazing how this city comes alive for a few days. And I know this is going to sound incredibly elitist, but I love that golf is a money sport. Why? There are tons of good looking, well-dressed international businessmen, crawling all over Augusta. So will I be going out and partying this week? Oh you bet your booties I will! Last year was so much fun, I simply must repeat it, or try at least.
Keeping you fully aware and up-to-date, I'm signing off for tonight.