Golf 101
April 08, 2020

Did you know: The Masters theme song actually has lyrics—and they're just as you'd imagine them

The coronavirus pandemic has hit a giant pause button on fans being able to watch golf on TV, and in some cases, even kept people off courses. But while we hunker down and hope for a speedy return to normalcy, we can also use this time as an opportunity to learn more about the game we love. Here’s our latest installment of “Did you know?”

The Masters theme song has become the unofficial theme song of spring, and for good reason. It’s a delicate, syrupy melody that evokes uplifting vibes, and has yet to be proven to cause insanity despite being looped over and over (and over) again during CBS’ broadcast of the tournament. Impressive, really. Here, see for yourself by watching this HOUR-long loop of it:

So who is the mastermind (see what I did there?) behind this treacly tune? Dave Loggins, a singer-songwriter who is a third cousin of Kenny Loggins, the man behind the “Caddyshack” theme song and other hits. Those Loggins family barbecues must have been lit. If I had to rank the Loggins cousins, I’d probably give Dave the edge because Kenny needed help from Michael McDonald on “A Fool Believes” and “This is it,” but damn, those are good tracks. It’s a tough call!

Anyway, you may know it was Loggins—and not Yanni—who wrote the Masters theme song and that it’s official title is “Augusta.” But you probably don’t know Dave wrote words to accompany arguably the most famous TV sports anthem. And if you thought the instrumental version was cheesy, wait until you get a load of the lyrics!

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.

It’s basically a Jim Nantz opening monologue. Absolutely MAJESTIC stuff.

Here's Dave performing the song in full:

So how did it come to be? Well, you know how everyone who gets to play Augusta National is compelled to write a story about it? I haven’t done so because I’ve never won the media lottery for the Monday after the Masters, but I’ve certainly read enough from those who have. And Loggins was no different, except he didn’t need to win the media lottery to get a tee time in 1981, and instead of writing some boring story about how much the experience meant to him, he did something much more useful by writing a song that has been played countless times over the past four decades.

“I stopped for a minute, looked up at the pine trees and the wind down there was just different in some regards,” Loggins told the Associated Press in a 2019 interview. “Spiritually it was different. That course was just a piece of art. I looked over at some dogwoods and, man, I just started writing the song in my head which is what I do when I get inspired. “I had the first verse before I even got off the course.”

Hot damn, Dave. Now you’re just showing off.

Even more impressive is that Loggins won over CBS executive producer Frank “The Ayatollah” Chirkinian (actual nickname), who used it for the 1982 tournament and it’s been a staple of the broadcast since. Talk about a guy who knew what he was doing.


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