News & ToursApril 8, 2009

As long as they don't need to sell any rainsuits

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- I have come to the decision that Augusta National is really nice. As far as painfully obvious statements go, this ranks right up there with, "Keep an eye on that Tiger guy," or "I shouldn't have had that fourth Krispy Kreme."

But given all the talk this week about how the Masters has lost its buzz you would think that they've moved the tournament to an overgrown soccer field in Martinez. But today, making my first stroll down the 10th fairway, before cutting over to the 12th green, where an otherwise indifferent tee shot by Billy Mayfair still had some sort of majestic appeal to it, I was reminded that this tournament can't be too far off -- if off at all.

Granted, some of that has to do with the weather. It was raw and windy yesterday, but today the sun has returned, and it is warm enough that people in short sleeves are no longer stared at like the guys who paint their chests at Bills games in December.

I was gushing about the fortunate change in the weather in a conversation with an Augusta National employee this morning and he replied it was all part of the plan.

"It's amazing what they can do in that control room back there," he said, motioning to a closed door. "We needed to move some sweaters and some hats in the merchandise tent yesterday, but today, we were able to jack up the heat."

He was kidding. Or at least I'm pretty sure he was.

-- Sam Weinman

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