Too much reality is a bad thing as far as the preservation of the Masters’ mystique is concerned. HDTV coverage, Tiger Woods PGATour: these can, to some extent, co-exist with the timelessness that gives Augusta National that goosebump-inducing quality. Twitter, not so much. Particularly not if, like Ian Poulter (with The Stense in tow) and Graeme McDowell, you insist on tweeting videos of your wanderings behind the veil of secrecy that defnes the club.
Reverent though their commentary may be, I doubt Augusta’s powers-that-be are going to be thrilled, especially after this warning from Masters’ spokesperson Steve Ethun yesterday:
“Players are asked to not use their cellphones [anywhere] on the property.”
While the good people of Augusta National may not understand certain things– like, say, women’s rights, racial prejudice, or the correct height at which trousers should be worn– they most certainly do grasp the subtleties of the processes that help craft sporting greatness.
The Masters is special, not just because of the venue’s aesthetic perfection, or the golfing battles to which it has borne witness, but because it’s a place where mechanics, processes (not just those of the sort that Tiger is undergoing) and, crucially, reality can cede their places to the good stuff that brings us to sport in the first place– psychodrama, epic narrative and the seductive power of the imagination. It’s sporting alchemy in its purest form.
With all that in mind, I’m not sure I want some bloke from Milton Keynes providing the soundtrack to my first view of the course from the clubhouse locker room.
[Thanks to G-Shack for the spot]