Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Masters: Masters of Pomposity

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I’m watching The Masters right now because my husband loves golf. But The Masters to me is not what real golf is about. It’s probably the most self aggrandizing, pompous, phony display of the sport.

Let’s take the Augusta National golf course for starters. It doesn’t even look real. The grass is so over-fertilized that it seems to be the same shade of green throughout the entire course. It’s just not natural. I wonder how many tons of fertilizer and pesticides they use to make it so? Many of the holes are also surrounded with flowering trees and shrubs, which are not something that I think male golfers, really care about. And the rough is not, well, rough. The rough looks nicer that some of the fairways on most normal courses, or on even many pro courses.

And let’s not forget the sappy music that they play when the start the show or break for commercial. It’s called “Augusta, by Dave Loggins, and it actually has lyrics, which thankfully we never have to hear (I have them below if you want to torture yourself). The other thing I can’t stand is usually when they open the coverage of the tournament, CBS starts it off with several minutes of pictures of the course and the golfers, along with some equally pompous music, which tries to make you think of these golfers as gods. It’s laughable.

This year, CBS also had some graphics done to simulate the fly-over of the golf holes. What was not surprising is the fake graphics looked so real that it accentuated that the real golf course looks fake.

Many years ago, Gary McCord was banned from doing commentary for The Masters because he made a comment about the speed of the greens, saying they were so fast that it appeared they were “bikini-waxed.” Now personally I can’t stand Gary McCord’s coverage for any tournament, but really, I think that The Masters people took his comments way too seriously.

So while I have to watch The Masters every year, I don’t enjoy it. Give me a normal golf course any day – it seems more fitting the sport.

Here are the lyrics to “Augusta”, if you can handle the syrupiness

"Augusta" by Dave Loggins
Well, it's springtime in the valley on Magnolia Lane
It's the Augusta National and the master of the game
Who'll wear that green coat on Sunday afternoon?
Who'll walk the 18th fairway singing this tune?
Augusta, your dogwoods and pines
They play on my mind like a song
Augusta, it's you that I love
And it's you that I'll miss when I'm gone.
It's Watson, Byron Nelson, Demaret, Player and Snead
It's Amen Corner and it's Hogan's perfect swing
It's Sarazen's double eagle at the 15 in '35
And the spirit of Clifford Roberts that keeps it alive
Augusta, your dogwoods and pines
They play on my mind like a song
Augusta, it's you that I love
And it's you that I miss when I'm gone.
It's the legions of Arnie's Army and the Golden Bear's throngs
And the wooden-shafted legend of Bobby Jones.

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