Memorable Memories Of The Masters

Bob Rodgers and Nicky Rodgers with their Masters badges.

If you ever get a chance to attend the Masters Tournament, which is held each year in early to mid-April at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, accept the invitation — whether you play golf or not. The experience will generate memories that will last a lifetime. Just ask longtime Wellington resident Nicky Rodgers, who attended the Masters this year for the first time, alongside her father Bob Rodgers, also of Wellington.

“This was a bucket-list experience,” Nicky Rodgers said. “I’m still in a daze from my trip to the Masters. It is true that TV does not do justice to that golf course, which is in immaculate condition and hilly. We had perfect weather with the best company. It was a memory that I will cherish forever.”

This year, I had the chance to attend the practice round on Wednesday, April 10, which is also when the annual Par 3 Tournament is held. It was my fourth trip to the Masters, and one of my more memorable visits.

When you walk around the golf course, it will tax your endurance, since the course was built on a rather hilly terrain. It was a nursery before being transformed into a golf course in the early 1930s.

At the Masters, it’s important to understand the terminology. For instance, the pass that gets you through either the North Gate or the South Gate is called a badge and not a ticket. Those in the gallery are called patrons and not fans or spectators.

At the Masters, holes 1 through 9 are referred to as the “first nine” and not the front nine. As you would expect, holes 10 to 18 are referred to as the “second nine” and not the back nine.

Meanwhile, if you want to buy a Masters souvenir, keepsake or memorabilia, such as a hat, polo shirt, T-shirt, pullover, socks or golf balls, you must visit the Golf Shop, where everything is cashless, so don’t forget your credit card. And by the way, you are not allowed to bring your cell phone onto the grounds of the course, so you must leave your phone at home or in your car.

Nicky Rodgers enjoyed her spending spree in the Golf Shop.

“The Golf Shop was awesome. It had so many great items to choose from and purchase,” she said. “I loved how they allowed us to check in our items for the day for free.”

In addition to being a stern test for the world’s greatest golfers, Augusta National is also a beautiful place to visit, featuring more than 80,000 plants in more than 350 varieties that have been planted on the property. Among them are more than 30 varieties of azaleas in various colors.

In light of the fact that the property is a former nursery, it’s not a surprise that each hole at Augusta National is adorned with a plant, bush or shrub for which that hole is named. The golf course starts with Tea Olive (the first hole) and concludes with Holly (the 18th hole). Two of the more memorable holes for television viewers are the 12th (Golden Bell) and 13th (Azalea) holes.

Finally, when you attend the Masters, parking is free and concession costs are very reasonable. The prices for pimento cheese sandwiches and egg salad sandwiches were just $1.50 each. Masters-branded potato chips were $1.50, and Masters-branded bottles of water were only $2. And the peach pie ice cream sandwiches were $3.

If you do get a badge to enjoy the Masters as a patron in 2025, be sure you enjoy a pimento cheese sandwich. Just like attending the Masters, it’s better than advertised.