If Augusta National Ruled The World...
Illustration by Eddie Guy
As I suspected, proof arrived the other day that our country is now run by the Augusta National Golf Club when the 2016 Masters media guide landed on my porch weighing only slightly less than a sumo wrestler.
Just thumbing through it, I quickly realized that it was going to tell me everything I wanted to know about every player who had ever competed in the Masters, including Cobie Legrange.
For that matter, there's biographical information on every fan who has attended the Masters, if only for a practice round. This dates back to 1934 and includes a Mr. Woody Scrum of Murfreesboro, Tenn., who was apprehended on Friday, March 31, 1939, trying to sneak into the tournament dressed as Henry Picard.
The opening page dazzles you. It features a large color portrait of the president of the United States, Jim Nantz. Jim's welcoming letter includes some of the personally favorite things he has said on TV, and he also discusses two of his most recent executive orders.
One order deals with the progress on the nation's new White House that is being built on Washington Road directly across from Magnolia Lane. President Nantz says in his letter, "My close friend Donald Trump is in charge of building a big wall—a great wall, he calls it—around this new White House, and he promises that the wall will have a door in it."
The second executive order speaks to a change in holidays. We realized it wasn't a joke when the president moved Christmas, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July to the first full week in April because that's Masters week.
The president explains, "It eliminates confusion, and it's the right thing to do for the thousands of Americans who, like me, have a busy schedule that involves following the Masters, a tradition unlike any other—except for Christmas, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July—and then competing in various pro-ams and member-guests."
(By the way, the club is trademarking the phrase, "A tradition unlike any other." Not making that one up.)
There's a nice feature in the guide about Augusta National's Litter Squad and the good that it does in parts of the country. A photo shows soldiers of the Litter Squad streaming across Times Square in New York City picking up garbage before it hits the streets. In the story you learn helpful advice from the leader of the New York Litter Squad, Retired Maj. Gen. Lucian Collins Patton. The squad leader says, "We strongly encourage the residents and visitors in Manhattan to defy the mayor and city council and return to their previous habit of using indoor restrooms when in need." Internationally, the Litter Squad also has plans to see what's going on with the Ganges.
In a full-page ad, an anonymous person has chosen to congratulate Augusta National for the effect it has had on improving the airline industry. Flights have become more punctual and efficient, and a spokesman explains why: The major airlines lobbied security guards at all U.S. terminals to take a closer look at passengers boarding a plane dressed in a mask while carrying an automatic weapon, or displaying an object that appears to have a fuse attached.
Airline food, fashioned after the Champions Dinner, also got a big boost once Bubba Watson's Roadkill 'n' Rutabaga was taken off the menu. This was before Bubba was named ambassador to Russia. On a trip to Moscow, Bubba caused a stir when he said, "Ain't nothin' wrong with Red Square what can't be fixed with a paint job in Augusta green." It was all smoothed over after Bubba met with Vladimir Putin, who slurped a few vodkas and then wanted to compare chest hair.
In Detroit, car manufacturers have struggled to keep up with demand for The National. The car features the club's logo, one of the iconic brands in the world, along with Apple, Coke, the Nike swoosh and Greg Norman cavorting on Instagram without a shirt.
The new national anthem, Dave Loggins' "Augusta" theme song, is being played before athletic events, on CBS' Masters coverage and in piano bars, driving the occasional person insane. The fitness industry was stunned when Augusta National extended its ban on running—it's now illegal everywhere—which got a sign-off from Fred Couples, the Secretary of Health, Human Services & Sauntering. And Phil Mickelson, overseeing the Commerce Department, forced pro sports teams to cut their prices to Masters levels: $1.50 for a pimento-cheese sandwich and $4 for a beer.
The club’s logo is one of the iconic brands in the world, along with Apple, Coke, the Nike swoosh and Greg Norman cavorting on Instagram without a shirt.
Meanwhile, Congress continues to debate whether to make the Georgia drawl the nation's official language. And a move to ban wearing golf hats backward (dubbed the Rickie Fowler Bill) got hung up in the House when your younger representatives filibustered while wearing orange shorts, orange sandals and orange athletic supporters. There was no such conflict on the decision to deport Robert Allenby, because, well, he's Robert Allenby.
In schools, golf has become the nation's most popular sport, mandated for P.E. classes after dodgeball was found responsible for more concussions than football. The Department of Transportation also has been overhauled, after the Augusta National-inspired rerouting of Berckmans Road became the first road project in history to be completed on time.
Near the end of the guide, President Nantz wishes Tiger Woods a speedy recovery from the broken leg he suffered while playing soccer with a group of children in the neighborhood. The president tells Tiger he's looking forward to his return to the Masters and the tour to boost TV ratings like the days of old. He prays that Tiger's return will be sometime before he's 50 "and hitting from the reds," which I think was meant to be a joke.
President Nantz could not resist alerting everyone to the fact that he had been honored to christen our newest aircraft carrier next month. It will be the largest warship ever launched and is proudly named the USS Jordan Spieth.
The president will christen it wearing a green jacket as he hurls a bowl of peach cobbler in the general direction of the bow.