Baseball and Negronis are gifts that arrive with spring and keep on giving all summer long. The Masters, on the other hand, enters our lives and just as quickly departs, leaving us with just the sound of Jim Nantz’s ingratiating voice echoing in our ears. Brace yourself for the tinkling of the piano keys—the familiar theme is written by a certain Dave Loggins (which I really wish was my pen name).
Yes, bless us all, tomorrow the Masters is back.
If you think the reverential tone of the announcers is just for show recall that Gary McCord once told the television audience the putting greens were so fast they seemed “bikini waxed.” That was it for Gary—he was not given a mulligan—he was simply not asked back, cast into vulgar metaphor purgatory. You don’t mess with the Masters.
It casts its hold on many of us who are not golfers or even, for that matter, really golf fans. What captivates us with the fervor usually reserved for Beyoncé acolytes? Well, the atmosphere, singular course and remarkable drama all create, as they say, “a tradition unlike any other.” Think of the Masters as a natural high that oscillates between low key whispering and acute drama.