AUGUSTA, Ga. — There are rarely new spins on traditions; that's inherently why they are "traditions." That's especially true at Augusta National. The Masters boasts a litany of customs and rituals, arguably more than any institution in sports. These traditions are part of the reason this tournament is a respite from the real world, transporting a patron to a realm where time has no meaning.
And one of these traditions involves players skipping balls across the pond at the 16th hole. Scholars debate when it started—the club itself isn't sure, and Tom Kite, Lee Trevino and Ken Green have all taken credit for it—but it's generally accepted that skipping a ball off the 16th pond came to prominence in the late '80s. The patrons loved the magic trick, and soon called on the entire field to take part in the act.
Because that's exactly what it is: a magic trick. After all, most fans have enough trouble making solid contact on a normal swing. Asking them to explain the physics behind the phenomenon at the 16th will make their head explode. Luckily for us, there's a man who can break this marvel down: Bryson DeChambeau. Watch the Mad Scientist illustrate how and why this happens:
Our favorite part: DeChambeau casually remarking, "I haven't really thought about it" then proceeding to explain the process like a professor who gives the same lecture three times a day. DeChambeau, who's won five times since he last teed it up at Augusta National, is 30-to-1 to win the Masters. But given his understanding of the 16th's secret—to say nothing of conceptualizing how rain affects moisture level—place your green jacket bets accordingly.