Eye-Opening Augusta

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Augusta National Golf Club holds a novel place within the American psyche.

Slow to combine, and with solely male members till seven years in the past, the non-public membership is among the many most unique playgrounds within the nation, a haven for masters of the universe and Southern aristocracy.

Patton Kizzire hitting from the bushes on the 10th gap on Thursday in the course of the opening spherical of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club.CreditDoug Mills/The New York TimesGolf officers measuring the gap for the closest to the pin on the ninth gap in the course of the Par three occasion at Augusta on Wednesday.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

And then, for one week every year, the membership throws opens its gates to welcome tens of 1000’s of “patrons,” the world’s high golfers and a handful of getting older legends. They all line up simply after dawn and enter a world bursting with shade and towering pine bushes.

Some of the guests to the unique Augusta National Golf Club for the Par three occasion.CreditDoug Mills/The New York TimesPhil Mickelson on Thursday after ending his first spherical. He was one shot off the lead getting into the second spherical.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

There is an unreal high quality to it. The grass underfoot doesn’t really feel just like the grass in your entrance yard. Does that shade of pink and purple azalea exist anyplace else? How is it doable that amid all this vegetation, there are seemingly no bugs?

Brandt Snedeker in search of his ball in a creek on the 11th gap amid the plush grass of Augusta. CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

Perhaps it’s finest to not ask these questions. Answers will in all probability not be supplied. So take within the splendor of the followers of their colourful golf shirts and sundresses reflecting off the ponds, and the magical skills of gamers who can skip golf balls off the water.

Rain on Tuesday precipitated gamers to delay or cancel apply rounds. But many followers weren’t deterred.CreditDoug Mills/The New York TimesA scoreboard at Augusta on Tuesday. On Thursday, Tiger Woods’s presence atop the leaderboard precipitated a stir all through Augusta National.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

Gaze in any respect these spots that had existed solely on tv. There’s the Hogan Bridge over Rae’s Creek. There’s the patch of pine straw the place Bubba Watson stood when he by some means hooked that miracle shot onto the 10th inexperienced in 2012. And have a look at all these inexperienced blazers. The members put on these all through the week, in case you have been questioning.

Open your eyes. There is far to see.

Matthew Fitzpatrick hits from the gang.CreditDoug Mills/The New York TimesReflections of Augusta take one to a spot of awe.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

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