Masters Diary: Nothing quite prepares you for the impact of Augusta

Even a missing mobile phone does not dampen spirits as we soak in the unique atmosphere and green complexes after arriving through Magnolia Lane

By Nick Tarratt, Khaleej Times Guest Golf Writer at Augusta

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The magnolia trees that line the entrance to Augusta National and the Masters Tournament. - Photo Nick Tarratt
The magnolia trees that line the entrance to Augusta National and the Masters Tournament. - Photo Nick Tarratt

Published: Thu 11 Apr 2024, 7:28 PM

We arrived at The Masters in style, driving up Magnolia Lane to collect our accreditation – not a bad introduction for a first timer at Augusta here for a ‘Bucket List’ visit.

Having heeded advice from all the experienced visitors to The Masters over the last few weeks and months – everyone gives you advice and information. All is taken in like a sponge for reference during the week.


However, when you arrive at The Masters – nothing quite prepares you for the impact of Augusta – the size of the property, the tradition and all the discipline of the organization.

Wearing a blazer (blue not green) rather than bringing a back pack, it enabled me to have all my essentials on me, including a disposable camera.


Cameras are permitted on practice days only – advice for others planning to come to The Masters in the future – it is an essential.

We were very fortunate with the weather the sun was shining and all the flowers seemed to be in place and blooming – the strong colours of all the flowers, did not go un-noticed.

A panic erupts inside me as I cannot find my mobile phone – forgetting it is safely in my motel room a mere 12 minute drive from the course. So we were careful not to use up all our photo opportunities too soon. It will only be in another seven days when back in Dubai – that we will find out if we have taken all the photos that we had hoped for and the camera has indeed worked. There were only 39 photos I could take and soon realized I was over half way through my allocation – all used in the first couple of hours.

How can we survive with no access to your mobile these days?

Every couple of minutes I found myself checking for my wallet, car keys and phone – a habit some of us have in our lives.

It takes a while to accept – but then becomes arguably therapeutic as people start talking to each other – new friends are made and experiences are shared – rather than everyone talking or scrolling or typing on their phones.

How did we all manage before mobiles?

Rearranging meetings, agreeing meeting points etc? We can all survive without them for a few hours – despite what some of us think.

Our plan for the day was to walk the back-nine with Dubai based Adrian Meronk. He looked in good form.

The drop down the 10th hole from the tee was the next impression – TV coverage, although exceptional and extensive cannot do justice to the topography, slopes and so much more. It is so steep.

The green complexes were a highlight for me – three putting feels tough to avoid from behind the ropes.

Surprisingly, we bump into friends – including Keith Watson, the organizer of the Race to Georgia golf tournament powered by REZA Hygiene. Keith is hosting the World Final down the road during the week and hosting the GCC finalists – with a visit to The Masters included in the World Final prize for a practice day and a tournament day on Saturday.

Good luck to Keith and all the finalists. Have fun!

More news from Augusta to follow.

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