As many of you know I have a bit of an obsession with the Masters golf tournament held at the Augusta National Golf Club each year. As the tournament is less than a month away I thought I'd go back and edit some of my photos from my trip in 2009. I was inspired to revisit my photos after seeing the new update to the Masters website. When I went to the Masters in 2009 I was in the beginning of my photography obsession and don't feel I had yet found my eye. Looking back at the EXIF data of my photos I'm a bit embarrassed at some of the settings I used on many shots.
Reminiscing about my time at the Masters I can't help but think of the condition of the course and the overall feel of the tournament. The club does an amazing job at making your experience a memorable one. Every morning as we approached the gates we were greeted with, "Good morning and welcome to the Masters!" from several workers. Mind you this was at about 5:30am....and the people were still friendly and chipper. Throughout the week you notice all of the little things (which you don't see on TV) to keep the course beautiful including green gravel put down where patrons have been walking and wearing down the grass. This is so they don't slip going up or down certain hills. Also at each par 3 there is an attendant that will go and pick up the divots on the tee box made by the players after they hit. Then they fill in the divots with sand that is a shade of green. The food there is very reasonably priced too! Club sandwich: $2.50, Soft drink: $1.00, Beer: $2.75. When was the last time you went to any sporting event and got these prices? Without a doubt I can say that this is the best run golf tournament in the world down to every meticulous detail!
The Masters golf tournament is also always improving the fan experience for those watching on TV. Last year they were the first to broadcast a major sporting event in 3D and were also one of the first to originally broadcast in HD. Plus they have a long standing tradition of only 4 minutes of commercials for every hour of golf action!
I would do almost anything to go back and photograph the course with the experience, the better eye, and the better gear that I now have. I think it would be fun to do some strobist photos of the Augusta National members or winners. I'm sure I could create some fun shots!
Enough about the tournament...here is a photo series that I put together from my time at the Masters. I hope you enjoy as much as I had taking the photos! Oh and if you need to talk to me the week of the Masters (Apr 7-10), I probably won't be available as I'll be in a Masters coma listening to the sweet voice of Jim Nantz and watching "a tradition unlike any other, the Masters on CBS."
Front of the Augusta National Golf Club clubhouse. The flags fly above Founder's Circle. The top of the clubhouse is called the Crow's Nest where the amateurs can sleep during the tournament.
Magnolia Lane is the drive from Washington Road to the Augusta National clubhouse. It is lined with 61 magnolia trees and 330 yards long.
Holes 11, 12 and 13 were coined "Amen Corner" by Herbert Warren Wind
The Eisenhower Cabin is next to the putting green at the back of the clubhouse near the 10th tee. It is one of ten cabins on the Augusta National property.
11th green of Amen Corner:
Back of the Augusta National clubhouse:
Par 3 Course looking across Ike's Pond:
The 13th fairway and green. This is close to the spot Phil Mickelson hit a 6 iron through the trees in last years Masters to set up an eagle putt.
Back of the Augusta National Golf Club clubhouse:
Scoreboard and flag from the 10th hole:
10th hole approach shot. People say that the 10th hole is much hillier in person than what TV shows....I would agree. There is a large drop from tee to green that is hard to imagine.
18th hole scoreboard. On Masters Sunday the patrons surrounding the 18th green live and die by this board. Scores are posted of the leaders rounds as they make their way around the course. You can hear the roars on the course and then anxiously await the score to be posted.
View from the highest point at Augusta National looking out towards the course. The first hole (not seen) is directly to the right. The 9th green is shown on the left.
Back of the clubhouse:
12th green. This hole is often described as the toughest par 3 in golf as the wind is very difficult to judge. I've learned through my years of watching the Masters on TV that you should look at the flag on the 11th green directly to your left to know which way the wind is blowing. The green is surrounded by Rae's creek with the Hogan Bridge crossing over.
The driving range at Augusta National Golf Club. Magnolia Lane runs along the trees on the right hand side with Washington Road running along the back of the range.
The United States and ANGC flags flown at the center of the Founders Circle at the front of the clubhouse.
10th green looking back up the hill:
Main scoreboard at one of the entrances to the Masters. This scoreboard is located along right side of the first hole.
Big Oak tree at the back of the clubhouse was said to be planted in the 1850s.
Large Georgia pines cast some amazing shadows across the 10th fairway.