2017 Monday at the Masters *Pic Heavy*

jonj101jonj101 Members Posts: 30 ✭✭


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I previously posted this on another forum last year, but with the 2018 Masters upon us, I figured it may be helpful to others attending this year it I post it here as well.




I attended my first ever Masters by making the draw for the Monday 2017 Masters Practice round. Although Monday may not have the excitement and complete field like the tournament days, one of the advantages is that you can bring your camera in, which I did and I took a number of pics while I was there.




What I want to do with this thread is share my trip, as well as the Masters experience by dumping a lot of photos here (along with some commentary/explanation) and give the perspective of a general attendee. Hopefully this will be of some value to those of you attending, or those of you needing a golf fix to kill time at the office.




Before I begin, a few disclaimers:




1) I am not a pro photographer. If you want beautiful hi-res images of the Masters at perfect angles, you're better off using google. Since phones are not allowed in even on practice days, I had to resort to an old digital point and shoot which is probably less powerful than the cameras most of us have on our phones. I was told beforehand that one of the difficult things to perceive prior to visiting is the elevation changes around the course, so I tried to take pictures that could capture some of that. I was successful for some pics, and for others I wasn't.




2) I'm breaking up the posts and pics according to how I chronologically went about my trip. (Including pre-game stuff) At one point I tried to go through all the holes in order to present it as 1-18 but that didn't work out. As I add to the thread, the order of the posts will be this so that you can skip to an area that you may be more interested in:

  • Sunday
  • Heading to the National
  • Golf Shop
  • First View of the Course
  • Hole 5 with a few pros
  • Hole 6
  • Hole 7
  • A little of Hole 8 and cheap eats
  • Open area & more Hole 8
  • Hole 9
  • A Big Tree, VIPs and a Putting Green
  • Par 3 Course
  • Near Founders Circle
  • Cottages
  • Hole 10
  • Hole 11
  • Amen Corner cont.
  • Weather Evac with Random Course Shots
  • Rain delay and return
  • Second Meal and second evac
  • 18 & Exit




Hope yall enjoy.
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Comments

  • jonj101jonj101 Members Posts: 30 ✭✭


    Sunday




    We took off from Hobby airport in Houston Saturday, hung out in Atlanta Saturday evening, and then made our way to Athens Sunday morning to play the UGA golf course.




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    The home course of the UGA golf team was a great track to set the tone for Augusta as the elevation changes were completely different from the flat land of Houston I was used to, and the pins on some of the greens were placed in some pretty tricky spots. I was told the course was at one time used as a Nationwide qualifier. There was quite a bit of wind, and it was interesting how you felt you had made a good shot, only to see it land well short of the intended target.




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    Another unique thing about this course versus other courses I have played on, would be the large fans affixed on each of the greens to keep them cool during the summer and prevent the sun from destroying them.




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    After the round we had lunch in the clubhouse and watched some of the Sunday broadcast of the Houston Open.




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    They have a wall in the dining area that I forgot to take a picture of, which features bags from many of the UGA alumni golfers who made it to the tour. Of course Bubba's is right in the middle, and near his was Russell Henley's who happened to get the win at the Houston Open that day. I haven't played much in the area, but I definitely think it's a good course to get into the mood for the Masters.




    When we were done we made the drive to Augusta and got settled in to our accommodations. We headed to Rhinehart's on Washington Road for dinner. Rhineharts had a good crowd. We sat at a table and then ordered the fried shrimp that was recommended.




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    We got one order with fries and one with cheese grits. It was an excellent meal and the breading on the fried shrimp was perfect. We finished and headed in, looking forward to Monday.
  • jonj101jonj101 Members Posts: 30 ✭✭


    Heading to the National






    We woke up the next morning ready for our first time patron experience. I tied our badges to our collegiate lanyards and we headed out:




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    Rather than going towards I-20 and Washington road which I believe is the route that typically gets more traffic, we took 520/Bobby Jones Expressway to Wheeler, which we then took to Berckmans road. There was practically no traffic this route, and we were able to get into one of the closest general parking lots to the South gate Lot C3. It was close to the Berckmans Place lot which is reserved for those who have special access to that hospitality area. We arrived between 7 and 7:15 and made our way from the parking area, across the street and past the reminder bill boards towards South gate.




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    When we got to the security screening area, it was wide open with no wait. At the time we were empty handed without chairs or bags, so we got to go to through the express lane towards the left side of the screening area and flew right through. The folks who already had chairs from prior visits had to go through the screeners more on the center/right side of the area, but even they got through pretty quickly. It was at this point that it struck me that Augusta National must have somewhere in the neighborhood of thousands of workers to put on this event. From the parking lot to security no less than 20 people told me "Welcome to the Masters." I walked down a well-manicured corridor that had me wondering how the course must look if this much attention is given to a pathway, and past an entrance to Berckmans Place. I arrived at the first facility area that had a concession stand and the golf shop next to it.




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  • jonj101jonj101 Members Posts: 30 ✭✭


    The Golf Shop




    Because of the potential for rain, my plan was to hit the golf shop first and be completely done with all my purchasing so that I could step foot on the course at 8:00 am sharp and maximize my time on the grounds. It was a great plan in theory, but it grossly underestimated the amount of time needed. We entered the golf shop and passed two more workers who once again welcomed us to the Masters, and a third one who welcomed us as well and handed us shopping bags. We started making our way around the mini mall.




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    At the entrance there is a display showing an era of the Masters, video clips of that era and the corresponding clothing from that era. There was wall-to-wall-to-wall-to-partition of clothing and hats. The clothing items had corresponding numbers so you just stepped up and said which number you were interested in, and 2-3 workers were waiting to retrieve your item and hand it to you. There were pictures, bags, signs, crystal, dishes, jewelry, and much more. A guy even showed me a set of commemorative Arnold Palmer coins for $750. Just tons of stuff and tons of workers everywhere willing and ready to assist you in finding some more Masters products to add to your shopping bag.




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    When it was all said and done we killed a lot of time and spent only about $600. I was eager to get out to the course, so I proposed a pause in the purchasing, under the understanding that we would come back later. Our light haul consisted of:

    • 2 Masters chairs
    • 1 Umbrella
    • 2 Masters lanyards
    • 2 Masters wall pictures
    • 3 Mugs
    • 1 Tech Pullover jacket
    • 1 polo
    • 1 green Masters hat
    • 1 pink Masters hat
    • 1 refrigerator magnet
    • 1 pink Masters shirt
    • 1 pink tote bag




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    Next to the shop exit we discovered a check in where you could leave your items and they would provide you with tickets so that you could retrieve them later. Initially I had planned on shipping them (which is a service right next to the check in), but we decided to check in everything except for our chairs for when we returned to the shop later and then exited later in the day.
  • jonj101jonj101 Members Posts: 30 ✭✭


    First View of the Course




    With shopping and stowing done, it was time to hit the course. But then the wife had to go to the restroom so another delay took place. While waiting outside I noticed the best looking manicured bathroom area I could remember.




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    After an eternity, we finally were ready. Near this entrance there was an information board that displayed player names and times that they were supposed to tee off. This gate actually allows you to enter the course to two different areas. You can either head towards 16 green which would also put you close to Holes 3 and 7 and #6 tee; or you can head towards 16 tee which goes closer towards 14, 15 and Amen corner. We went down the path towards 16 green because I had been told of an ideal spot to leave our chairs. Coming down the path we got our first look at 16 pond and the green.




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    We walked around the green to set up our chairs. There were some chairs setup but still plenty of room for other chairs. The grounds crew was working on16 green.




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    We then walked around checking out the nearby holes and areas near 16 green, including 17 tee box, 6 green, 7 crosswalk, 4 crosswalk, and others. We ended up catching a group on the 4th green.




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  • jonj101jonj101 Members Posts: 30 ✭✭


    Hole 5 with a few pros




    The group we caught up with on the 4th green was Kaymer, Lowry, and Soren. As they were coming off the green it was at this point that I had the thought that I could navigate the holes in somewhat of a chronological order to see all of the course and have all the pictures I could get of each hole as well. So I snapped a few pics of them on the tee box and Hole 5.




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    Augusta National has a nice number of crosswalks where the patrons can cross the fairway of the hole to the other side when the marshals drop the ropes after the players hit. Once the group passed us after hitting their tee shots, we went to the other side and watched them approach the green. This green was a great example of the severe mounding and how complex they are at Augusta. All three of the players put their approach shots on the front right side of the green far away from the pin and short of the mound. Of course it was all part of their practice round. When walking to the green Soren actually stopped and snapped a pic of the patrons on the crosswalk behind him. The players were definitely more relaxed and engaging on Monday than they would be come tournament time.




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    It was actually interesting watching elite players go about their business during a practice round as part of their preparation for the week. In addition to the approach shots to a specific area of the green, they hit putts from various spots and even went behind the green on the back left side to hit green side bunker shots.




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    The group finished up their examination and headed off to 6 tee box. What I hadn't realized while watching them was another golfer had hit his tee shot and was waiting for them to clear the green - so I couldn't cross the crosswalk until that golfer hit his approach into the green. That golfer turned out to be Adam Hadwin who shot 59 earlier in the year. We watched him hit in and do some work from the vantage point of the other side of the green before turning to #6 tee box.




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  • jonj101jonj101 Members Posts: 30 ✭✭


    Hole 6




    By the time we were able to cross and get to #6, Kaymer & Co had already hit their tee shots and began to head down towards the green. This is an awesome hole that illustrates the vast elevation variances of the course. The tee box sits high above the green - so high that some patrons actually sit on the slope/hill under the tee box so that the shots fly over them. I tried to take shots of them walking down the hill and then up to the green to capture the elevation change. The pics aren't the best, but you can see them disappear as they walk down from the tee box than reappear as they come back up near the green. I then headed down towards the green to take green side shots.




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  • jonj101jonj101 Members Posts: 30 ✭✭


    Hole 7




    After admiring Hole 6 for a while, I proceeded to #7. I actually caught glimpses of it earlier when I first arrived near 16 green, but this time after snapping a few pics of the tee box I then made my way down the fairway on the right side towards the green. This was the first time I noticed the shot link crew on a hole. I initially didn't give much credit to #7 compared to other holes, but when I approached the green I appreciated it more. The bunkers surrounding the green could severely punish wayward shots. Also the slope on the front left side of the green looks like it could deposit mishits back down into the fairway.




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  • jonj101jonj101 Members Posts: 30 ✭✭


    A little of Hole 8 and Cheap Eats




    Coming off of 7 green I turned and took a quick shot down #3. I then went towards #8 and started taking a few pics. I noticed an information board that now looked a little more filled than the one I saw earlier in the morning.




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    At this point we found ourselves near a general concession area with a phone bank, restroom, and the famous Masters food. We decided that it was a good time to partake of our first Masters meal. I ventured into the concession stand picking up a few items. I wanted to try out various items to compare them, and this particular stand was out of the BBQ sandwich. They were also out of chicken sausage biscuits, but from what I heard it isn't one of the more popular items. They had snacks, various drinks in clear plastic cups and beer in green cups.




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    Our first meal included:

    • Egg salad sandwich
    • Pimento cheese sandwich
    • White chocolate chip pecan cookie
    • Georgia peach ice cream sandwich
    • 1 lemonade
    • 1 sweet tea




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    This bill for this meal was somewhere around 10 bucks. The reputation for the excellent value of food at the Masters can not be overstated. The pimento cheese sandwich lived up to its cheap yet delicious reputation as a staple of the Masters. The Georgia peach ice cream sandwich was excellent - its a chunk of ice cream placed between two sugar cookies. Surprisingly, the only thing I wasn't fond of in this meal was the sweet tea. I guess being a Texan I'm a bit particular/biased about my sweet tea. The lemonade was good though.




    I'll conclude this post with a close up of the pimento cheese sandwich.




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  • jonj101jonj101 Members Posts: 30 ✭✭


    Open area and more of Hole 8




    We finished our meal and got back on the move. In this area of the course you can see a number of the holes as well as some of the buildings back towards Hole 1. The terrain in the area is like a sea of green waves. Number 8 green has no green side bunkers, but is protected by a number of mounds around the green.




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  • jonj101jonj101 Members Posts: 30 ✭✭


    Hole 9




    Hole 9 is a dogleg left with a second shot playing to an uphill green. By the time we got on this hole we had caught up with Lowry, Kaymer, and Soren. Looking back towards the fairway from the green makes you really appreciate this hole - and how you have to take into account the angle and elevation with which to attack the green.






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  • bscinstnctbscinstnct Members Posts: 26,092 ✭✭
    Where's Tiger?
  • jonj101jonj101 Members Posts: 30 ✭✭


    A Big Tree, VIPs, and the Putting Green




    Coming away from #9 green, we found ourselves in a high activity area of the course. This is near the first tee as well club house. Getting ready to tee off on #1 were a few Japanese players. I saw Tanihari and his caddie, but I only saw Matsuyama's caddie and not him. I didn't get a picture but I'm pretty sure I saw Mike Weir as well. I didn't spend much time looking for the players - I cared more about being there at the course.




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    Near Hole 1 is the famous sprawling tree that from what I understand is held together with quite a bit of cable. It is a beautiful tree and I can see why so much effort is put into preserving it. There were TV cameras and interviews being held under the tree. I could get close enough to get good shots of the tree, but couldn't go under it because it was in a special access area for members, their guests, VIPs, etc. There was a color code chart noting the credentials needed to enter the area. We saw an Augusta National member (not sure who he was) green jacket and all inside the area hosting a group.




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    From there we went over to the putting green where a number of pros were warming up. There was Louis, Ernie Els, I think Snedeker and a few others.




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  • jonj101jonj101 Members Posts: 30 ✭✭


    Par 3 Course




    What has become one of the enjoyable traditions of Masters week is the Par 3 contest. Families take part in the contest with the golfers, and it is held on a short course not far from the main entrance of the property. From where we were near the practice putting green, we crossed a roadway past some of the cabins (pics of those later) and were right near the Par 3 Course entrance. The course was roped off so you couldn't walk deep into it, but you could view enough of it to see that it is possibly one of the most beautiful areas on the property imo. This is one of those times where I wish I had a better camera, as my pictures simply do not do it justice.




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  • FiveSixAceFiveSixAce Posts: 1,022 ✭✭
    This is just awesome man! I cannot wait to set foot on the grounds for the first time in a couple weeks!
  • jonj101jonj101 Members Posts: 30 ✭✭


    Near Founders Circle




    After we got done passing the Par 3 area, we came around towards the curve of the road near Magnolia lane, and there was a line of people waiting. The line actually was for patrons to take a picture in front of the iconic Masters flower logo right in front of Founders circle and the club house, near Magnolia Lane. We got in the line which moved quickly, but we started getting bands of rain come through and dumping on us (good thing I invested in the Masters umbrella earlier). One of the things that puzzled me is the area we were waiting at near Magnolia Lane that has a green with about 4 flags on it and looks like a special driving range that you never see anyone use. I'm not sure what AN uses it for, but it looks pretty pristine.




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    When its your turn to take the picture in front of the clubhouse, there are three photographers set up and the staff directs you to one of them. They have you stand near a white tee in the ground that serves as a place marker and snap the pic. Then they give you a few cards with the website and ID number on them so that you can retrieve the pictures for later. A couple behind us also snapped pics on our camera for us and then we did it for them. It was pretty cool to stand in a fairly iconic spot.




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    I actually didn't know that this service was free prior to walking up on it, and I'd put it up there with the Golf Shop and Pimento Cheese sandwiches as must do's for your day at Augusta National.




    Cottages




    Heading back towards the course, there were some cottages alongside #10. Security didn't stop us when we walked down by them, but it kind of seemed like a special area and there wasn't a lot of traffic around them. Butler cabin may be in that area, but I'm not sure - I just took a few pics and headed back to #10. In the last pic of this post there is a group in the distance. As the group approached I noticed one of the guys was Steve Elkington, I briefly greeted him and told him I enjoyed his 'Secret in the Dirt' videos. He said thanks and we went on our way.




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  • jonj101jonj101 Members Posts: 30 ✭✭


    Hole 10




    Finally returning to the course, we started at Hole 10's tee box. After being there in person, #10 is now one of my favorite holes. It is like a corkscrew going down the hill. Looking back up it, the elevation change is comparable to #6.




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    A ways down #10 on the right side, there were a number of patrons taking pictures in the spot where Bubba hit his famous approach shot in a playoff to win his first green jacket.




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    Coming out of the chute area and explaining to the wife the significance of the shot, we look back up 10 fairway towards the tee box and who else do we see but Bubba Watson. Initially the wife didn't believe it was him but once I finally convinced her it was and he had lost some weight, it resulted in us then following him for a while. Bubba was getting in his practice holes with Steve Stricker.




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    Before we headed to #11 I snapped this close up of the green. This was the closest I was able to get to the putting surface.




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  • jonj101jonj101 Members Posts: 30 ✭✭


    Hole 11




    The start of Amen Corner is a 505 yard Par 4. Initially I set up behind the tee box to get shots of the hole down the fairway from the vantage point of the players. Then I decided to head back down the fairway and just get the shots of them teeing off from the front. We got in our spot, and soon Steve and Bubba came up the hill to the tee box. I think most of us that have been watching the Masters for years would consider Amen corner the most recognized holes on the course, and it showed by the number of patrons that were in the area when I got there. It was great to be there in person, however the one difficulty from a spectator viewpoint is how far you are from 11 & 12 greens as well as 13 tee box. This is probably a welcome break for the players, but I wasn't able to get great shots of the green detail because of how far away I was. Its probably unlikely, but maybe if the renovation project goes through, AN will consider routing that could allow patrons to get closer to those areas. Regardless, it was great seeing it in person.




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  • jonj101jonj101 Members Posts: 30 ✭✭


    Amen Corner cont.




    We caught up with another group putting out on 11 and then teeing off on the famous Par 3 Golden Bell. As I mentioned, I couldn't get close ups of the distant areas of Amen corner, but it was still great to see. In the far corner of the ropes towards #12 green/#13 tee box patrons would take turns taking pictures. Teeing off on #13 was a group that included Bill Haas. I watched them until they hit into the green from the area of #13 pine straw on the right where I think Phil hit his amazing 6 iron en route to win. It was another one of those moments of the day where we ended up standing in an area that I've watched so many times on tv or highlight clips.




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  • jonj101jonj101 Members Posts: 30 ✭✭


    Weather Evac with Random Course Shots




    While standing near Amen corner, I heard the unfortunate announcement that a severe weather system was heading towards the course and a mandatory evacuation was ordered. When the wife returned we made our way back towards 16 where we had left our chairs and then towards the gift shop to retrieve our items that we checked in. The lines were stacked as everyone was trying to do the same as well as figure out if they really had to leave. The rain started coming down while we were in line. When we finally got our items, we headed out the exit and got in the car. Traffic was stacked to exit and I figured that I would just stay put until it cleared up.




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  • jonj101jonj101 Members Posts: 30 ✭✭


    Rain Delay and Return




    After a while the weather cleared up and the sun came out, but the parking lot was still at a stand still. Some folks came walking by saying patrons would be let back in. A crowd gathered near the entrance and eventually the gates were opened back up. This time the metal detectors and entrance gates were not smooth sailing as everyone tried to pile in. We had to go through the longer line because we had our chairs. Instead of stopping at the refreshment area closest to the entrance I decided to go to the one past Hole 16. AN already had crew members out tidying up all the holes and greens from the weather that had blown through. We saw Pat Perez and his caddie heading up 17 towards the green.




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  • jonj101jonj101 Members Posts: 30 ✭✭


    Second Meal and Second Evac




    Upon making it to the empty food shack we were ready to chow down a second time. We got the chicken sandwich, the BBQ sandwich, a brownie, some caramel popcorn, and a bag of carrots. The BBQ sandwich was pretty good. The chicken sandwich had a decent flavor. While we were eating a second weather warning was issued, with another mandatory evac mentioning tornado activity, and the course would definitely be closed for the rest of the day. A trooper pulled up on a cart to tell all of us patrons to quickly make our way towards the exit. This time I decided to take a long route to the other exit to see as much of the course as I possibly could since I knew we wouldn't be coming back on this day. We walked towards 17 from the tee to green.






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  • jonj101jonj101 Members Posts: 30 ✭✭


    18 & Exit




    We walked along Hole 17 and the great finishing Hole that is 18, past the green, and past the main scoreboard where troopers were encouraging all of us slow moving patrons to exit. We went past the driving range that looked pretty pristine, but I was only able to get a few glimpses of it. We then headed out the main exit and ended our day at Augusta National by making it to the car just to wait out the line of cars departing. The heavy rain started coming down again, which confirmed that the evac was the right call. I was somewhat disappointed that I didn't get to spend my entire day there, but glad that I at least got to experience the course. Later in the week I think the folks that had tickets for Wednesday missed their entire day because of the weather.




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    All things considered, Im glad I got to see what I saw and hope to return again one day - maybe even the day of the tournament. I hope this thread will be helpful to some of you planning your trip. I have yet to attend a Ryder Cup or U.S. Open, but Augusta sets the bar pretty high experience wise. To sum it up, if your situation permits - go. You won't regret it.
  • kmbeankmbean Members Posts: 918 ✭✭
    One of the best posts I've seen on here - bravo sir.
  • littled1212littled1212 Nuts Posts: 990 ✭✭
    Awesome!!
  • .net.net Members Posts: 55
    Awesome pics and tips -visiting for the first time Mon and Tues this year.



    Are you allowed to bring a SLR camera and or GoPro?
  • DivinDaveDivinDave Longview TexasMembers Posts: 496 ✭✭
    This is the best collection of AN pics in one place I have ever seen. Thank you for sharing them and your story. And very well told too!



    What I would give to play a leisurely round there!
    Experience - What's leaned just after you needed it most
  • wmblake2000wmblake2000 Members Posts: 5,577 ✭✭
    I'm going this year on Monday, so I especially appreciated and enjoyed this! Many thx for posting it.. Had to have taken a while to do.
    Ping GMax 400 10.5
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  • imakaveliimakaveli Moli Moli Moli Moli Tommy Tommy Tommy Tommy... Members Posts: 12,540 ✭✭
    Beautiful, thanks for posting!
  • MarkFromTheUKMarkFromTheUK Members Posts: 4,639 ✭✭
    Amazing thread. The elevation changes are insane. I know it's always talked about, but you don't really see it on TV.
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  • bigeasybigeasy Bigeasy Members Posts: 1,158 ✭✭
    edited Mar 20, 2018 #31
    Thanks for an excellent write up! I attended a Monday practice round in 1990. I will never forget it and your pictures tell a great story.
    Cobra F6+ Graphite Design ADDI-6S 10D
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