Travelers Championship

TPC River Highlands


First Impression

March 10, 2010

Recognize Amen Corner? It's UniBanKard SmartKash Korner now, of course, with roving Hov-R-Snax food centers, eye-catching Masterzvizion displays, the cheerleading antics of those buxom, course-cruising Jackettes, and the golf ball-shaped gondolas of Augusta's aerial tramway. How much Coca-Cola paid to have the caddies dress like Coke bottles is secret, but everybody knows a room with a view at the posh GolfBall at Augusta Hotel will set you back $8,000 a night. Where's the gallery? Aside from advertising clients plus their families and friends, they're all watching the action on pay TV!



Is this progress, or what? Rising above the abandoned former clubhouse is The Club of Clubs, three driver-shaped towers offering Augusta members panoramic views and the best dining, dancing and particularly drinking. Nonmembers beat a path to Hooties for fast, fast food as low in price as it is in wholesome ingredients. Eligible individuals can now join Augusta National for no money down and no payments until 2020 -- and now that Augusta's a strictly for-profit operation, every individual is eligible!



The go-go new Augusta National this year introduces under-green VIPits, rentable by the hour or day. They aren't cheap -- but neither are the thrills! Imagine getting an up-close-and-personal look at every player crouched over his putter mere inches above. Better yet, imagine that it could be your arm-waving or catcalls that make a contender crack and blow his game sky-high. You're not just a spectator, you're a permanent part of Masters history! Make your toll-free VIPit reservation now!



At the 10th hole now named Bob Hope, formerly Camellia, another executive jet comes in for a velvety-soft landing on the fairway as a golfer and his Hov-R-Kart scramble out of the way. Noisy, sure, and against everything Augusta used to stand for, but so what? Hov-R-Karts speed up the game and cut down on those boring scenes of walking golfers so hated by TV directors. Plexiglass domes protect dugout denizens from errant drives on the one hand, and prevent them from hurling bottles and cans at the players on the other.



Here at the storied 16th hole -- formerly Redbud, now Sammy Davis Jr. -- you can see that nothing's changed, yet everything's changed. Same vast water hazard, but now it is energy-filled Lake Gatorade with a rotating commercial display in the center. (This one shows off the new $700,000 Enzo Ferrari that will go to the winner of Swillmart's fabulous 'n' fun "Who'll Choke First?" contest.) Same tranquil beauty, but now enlivened with electronic sales messages and studded with such conveniences as that Pay-2-Vu leader kiosk, flashing all the scores you can pay for. No more craning your neck and straining your eyes to read those old-fashioned leader boards!



Wouldn't you just love to be knocking back a cold one up in a private box when Tiger comes along? Though of course, Tiger's own TV channel offers a giant screen at every hole: all Tiger, all the time. And that's not just another tacky souvenir stand: Exclusive merchandise includes life-size inflatable Masters Champion dolls, Tiger Woods moving-eye wall portraits -- even scrumptious ice cream cakes in the shape of your favorite Augusta green.



And our new Masters champion is ... why, a woman, of course -- and why not?

She's seen here in the winner's traditional green jacket, receiving her $8 million check, plus a trophy, plus a bevy of more than 2,000 prizes ranging from a complete custom kitchen to an outboard motorboat, to a trip to Disney World, to a set of pearl-handled deluxe steak knives. Psst, in this bold new Masters era, rumor has it that a name change to Masters & Mistresses can't be too far away!