Knight Writer

Archives: Prices at the Masters

A Tradition Unlike Any Other

by Laura | April 14, 2011

Here at Lynn, I’d like to think we consider ourselves traditionalists (in a good way). Yes, our classrooms have Smart Boards and nearly everyone is walking around with an iPhone, but tradition in the sense that we are still a family. People still say hello when you’re walking down the path, gentlemen still open the doors for ladies, and more often than not, you’ll see a friendly (and familiar) face in the caf – especially when you’ve been here as long as I have. I’m going on my 8th year at Lynn (including my 4 years as a Lynn student). Who said you have to leave college?

Lynn's beautiful campus is rich with tradition

Lynn's beautiful campus is rich with tradition

Last week, I was fortunate enough to be a part of another beloved tradition – The Masters. As a native of Augusta, Ga., golf is life for us. Every year for as long as I can remember, my parents rent out our house (a very common practice) for Masters Week. The small town of Augusta as we know it, transforms into a different world. Hotel rooms which typically go for $100-$150 a night, are sold out at $1,000 a night. My aunt (and Augusta insider) told me that one of her friends who owns a popular Augusta restaurant makes his salary (remember he is the owner) during Masters week. We’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue that my sleepy little town makes in one week. As a kid, I didn’t know what “spring break” was. Spring break in Augusta – was, and still is – referred to as “Masters Week.” Schools, doctors offices and almost all non-retail businesses close for the week.

Masters_LogoPeople from around the world come to The Augusta National Golf Club to experience The Masters – commonly referred to as “A Tradition Unlike Any Other.” (In case you didn’t know, The Masters is one of the four major championships in professional golf, and it the the only one held at the same location each year). So what makes the Masters so special? What makes it unlike any other? Well, where should I begin?

It’s the patrons, the food, the place and the service that really sets the Masters apart. My fiance, who went to his first Masters tournament with me last year, says this to his friends: “I’ve been lucky enough to attend many major sporting events including the Super Bowl and the Kentucky Derby, but the Masters is the only one that lived up to the hype.”

The Patrons

For those of you who haven’t been to The Augusta National, you might be surprised at the number of rules on the course. But what you’d really be surprised to hear is that no one breaks them. Seriously.

Cell phones aren’t allowed on the course (which makes meeting up with people extremely difficult), but everyone is okay with it. But to help soothe your nerves on the course, there are FREE pay phones at most of the concession stands (we are talking long distance and international calls can be made at no charge to you).

On tournament days (Thursday-Sunday) no cameras are allowed, but again, the Masters helps make that a little easier for you by setting up a “photo location” – in front of the iconic Founders Circle and world-famous clubhouse. You wait in line, an Augusta National photographer takes your picture, he gives you a card where you can retrieve your picture online, and again it’s FREE. Do you see a pattern here? They make rules for a reason, but they try to help keep the patrons happy through comprise. Josh and I were actually interviewed by the local news while waiting in line.

Josh and I at the Founders Circle in front of the club house

Josh and I at the Founders Circle in front of the club house

The fact that no one breaks the rules (and if they do, you don’t know about it) says a lot about the Masters – and the people who go to the tournament. It still amazes me – whether I’m in the crowd or watching it on TV – that such a large group of people can be so still and so silent. You can literally hear a pin drop (or more commonly a bird chirp) when a player is making a shot. No one ever boos the players, everyone is respectful. It’s just an amazing place to be – and to experience.

This year, my Cousin Pallie was on the course. Somehow while walking around, her diamond bracelet fell off. She was heartbroken, sure that she would never see it again. But it is the Masters, remember? The next day, Pallie went to the lost and found. There she saw her beloved diamond bracelet, safe and sound. Someone had found it and turned it in. It’s truly a credit to the “feeling” you get when you walk on the course. – Not to mention that each year, people get to the course very early and put out their chair on the 18th green, so they can be there to see the next Masters champion – and the Green Jacket presentation. It’s an unwritten rule, but no one will touch another person’s chair, and if you leave your jacket, wallet or anything else, it will more than likely be there when you get back. It’s just how it is.

Charl Schwartzel wins on No. 18 at the 2011 Masters Tournament (photo by Scott K. Brown)

Charl Schwartzel wins on No. 18 at the 2011 Masters Tournament (photo by Scott K. Brown)

However, if you are caught breaking the rules (i.e. heckling, with a cell phone or just drinking too many beers), the punishment is tremendous. You lose your (and your family’s) tickets for life! That’s a mighty hard pill to swallow considering the Masters is one of the most sought after sporting events in the world.

The Food

masters-menuWhat often surprises first-time Masters patrons is the food.What’s so special about it?

Well, despite inflation, the food prices at the Masters haven’t been raised since who knows when. And when you order something, you can be sure it won’t have a name brand. Everything is packaged with the traditional green “Masters” cellophane – including my favorite egg salad sandwich!

So when you by a “Coke” at the concession stand you get: Cola, Diet Cola or Lemon Lime (all for $1 – oh, and did I mention all drinks come in a Masters souvenir cup? Some even dig through the trash to stock up on more cups). When you buy a “Gatorade” you get: Sports Drink. And when you get a beer (a very popular drink among patrons) it’s not a Budweiser or Heineken. It’s a Domestic ($2.75) or Import ($3.50). Brand names are not allowed, and it’s definitely something Masters traditionalists love.

As The Armchair Golfer wrote:

To my knowledge, I’ve never eaten a pimento cheese sandwich. Unless my parents served me one when I was a boy, in which case I ate every bite. That was the rule.

However, I may eat one next Monday when I attend my first Masters. It’s a tradition, and I can see myself being duped by tradition, especially at Augusta National Golf Club.

The crazy thing? Even if it makes me gag, I’m only out $1.50. I repeat, buck-fifty. (7% tax included.) Like most things Masters, the food prices are frozen in the 20th century.

Of course, I could splurge and get a Master Club sandwich. That would set me back $2.50. Throw in a bag of chips and a beer and I’m shelling out more than a Lincoln. Me and my big-spending ways.

Seriously, if you add up everything on the Patrons Menu (that’s Masters insider talk) I don’t think it comes to $30. The Masters is definitely in some kind of weird time warp.

The Place

Amen Corner - isn't it beautiful?

Amen Corner – isn't it beautiful?

In my opinion (and it may be a little bit biased), the Augusta National is possibly the most beautiful place on the earth. The buildings (including the club house and the on-premise cottages) are not over-the-top and showy. Rather they are quaint and charming – with a flair of Southern elegance.

The greens are immaculate, the flowers are breathtaking, and you never see a piece of trash or cigarette butt on the ground. As StudyofSports.com wrote, “It is said to be the most beautiful gem in the whole world. Azalea bushes surround this course bringing Bobby Jones back to life in what he called his ‘favorite part of the course, a little getaway.’” I couldn’t agree more.

The Masters has tradition seeping out of its’ greens, but what are some of your favorite Lynn traditions? We are coming up on our 50th anniversary next year, so it’s a good time to start documenting them. Is it the delicious macaroons in the caf? Or is it the ring of flags that represents Lynn’s international population and welcomes you to campus? Those are a few of my favorites. What are yours?

P.S. - It might not be the Masters, but Lynn does have an pretty awesome golf team! Maybe one of our players will get a Green Jacket one day? I hope so!

You have a chance to see the Fighting Knights in action next week – Tuesday, April 19, starting at 8 a.m. Lynn’s men’s and women’s golf teams will host the Sunshine State Conference Tournament at Boca Country Club. Free shuttle service is being offered to students and staff via the SGA shuttle beginning at 10 a.m. from the Christine Room parking area. The shuttle will run to this event until 2 p.m. If you would like to catch a ride, you must call the shuttle direct at 561-985-3652 to arrange for pick up to or from either location. It will NOT run on a set time schedule. Hope to see you out there, and don’t forget to wear your blue & white!