The Masters Tournament - 10 Things You Didn't Know
By: Ross Starkey

1.) No hole at Augusta is original, in fact the course is far removed from how it was first designed by Bobby Jones and Alistair MacKenzie. The course is the Michael Jackson of the golf world undergoing yearly transformations on a scale unsurpassed anywhere. Often, the committee doesn't inform players or the media of these subtle changes. Golf Digest charts all the changes to Augusta National.

2.) The Masters Tournament allows no adertising on the course. This rule even extends to any suppliers coming in to the event too. When beer and other drinks trucks make their deliveries onto the course their sides are covered in a green tarpaulin.

3.) Tipping is a part of the service in America, but not at Augusta National, as an invitation-only membership, those that do join have the benefit of their 'no-tipping' rule. And this rule extends to The Masters Tournament too.

4.) Anyone who started competing in the Masters during the early 1970s might think the Augusta National Golf Club was always in immaculate condition, but this wasn't always so. Even with more wealth than other courses of the time, in the 1940s, 50s and 60s, Augusta suffered from the Spring weather as much as anywhere else, resulting in patchy fairway lies and embedded balls.

5.) There are no mobile phones allowed on site, and this rule extends to players as well. However there are plenty of free telephones around the course to make up for it. And this goes for car parking too, no cars are allowed on the course, but the many car parks around Augusta are provided free of charge.

6.) The white sand in the bunkers at Augusta is actually a sort of mining by-product. The white sand is a form of quartzite that is produced from mining feldspar. The waste it produces forms a pure white sand.

7.) Talking of bunkers, the big ornamental bunker, 60 yards short of the green on the 10th hole is the last original Alistair MacKenzie bunker on the course. Every other one has been changed or modified in some way. This one used to be greenside until they moved the green back some 80 years ago.

8.) At the end of WWII much of the course was re-built by German POWs. During the war, with resources limited, Augusta National sent out cattle to keep the grass down and German prisoners, many of whom were engineers serving in Rommel's panzer division, repaired the damage they caused. They also built some of the little bridges across Rae's creek too.

9.) There is little wildlife within the grounds of Augusta National. Yes, there are birds and squirrels and other small critters, but the very high, protective fence surrounding the entire property effectively keeps out larger animals. Footage of a deer running across the fairway a few years back is a (singular) rarity, it almost never happens!

10.) When you watch the Masters, and you see the traditional morning footage of the fleet of mowers running staggered and side by side coming up the fairways, what you didn't know was that the Augusta National Committee ensure that 'Flight of the Valkyries' is played through their headphones in an homage to the scene from Apocalypse Now. Or is that just wishful thinking?

If The Masters Tournament gets your golfing juices flowing why not get in touch with one of our pros, always on hand to give you a lesson, to help you start the Spring golfing season in good shape.