THE MASTERS IS likely to be found on any sports lover’s bucket list. It was on mine, right beside (in no particular order) the Super Bowl, Kentucky Derby, World Series, Stanley Cup, and a heavyweight title bout. For me, the appeal of the Masters isn’t about the stakes though. Its allure comes from everything else: the beauty of the course, cloaked in a spring-is-coming green inspiring its own Pantone; the traditions and rituals that fans (patrons, in Masters-ese) steadfastly adhere to; and the fact that it’s nearly impossible to get a ticket.
After being lucky enough to attend the 2022 tournament, I discovered this bucket-list event has its own bucket list — a slew of mini-Masters experiences turning the 365-acre course into a scavenger hunt for grown-ups. My hunt involved calling my wife on one of the course’s many pay phones (no cell phones are allowed); eating as many of the ridiculously cheap concessions as possible (my go-to was the $1.50 pimento cheese sandwich); buying unreasonable amounts of exclusive Masters merch at the famous pro shop (the damage included a dozen hats, two commemorative pins, four commemorative coins, a towel, a coffee cup, and a sippy cup); not cheering loudly; not booing; not cutting lines; not taking pictures; not running. These only-at-the-Masters rituals might come across as snooty, but they’re lovable because they’re purposeful. A pocket-sized paper manual called the Spectator Guide explains it all in a perfectly Masters-like way: “The chief objective of the Masters is to stage a golf show that is enjoyable to all — our members, patrons and players’ guests, and to interested golfers generally. We would also like, if we can, to contribute something to the advancement of the game.” When looked at through this supremely principled lens, you wonder why more sporting events don’t demand the same level of reverence and consideration for the overall experience.
It was a glorious week, and unfortunately for my bank account, an addictive $1.50 sandwich wasn’t the only thing I left the Masters obsessing over.
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I almost wish I hadn’t had the chance to test-drive this car while in Augusta. Mercedes pitched it as the first electric luxury sedan, but that doesn't quite capture it. Driving the EQS felt more like driving a high-speed hovercraft: it accelerated so effortlessly and silently that I forgot the wheels were touching the road. It also turned like one, with rear-axle steering that made it easy to nestle the EQS’s long body into a tight space. Best of all, it had plenty of room for my son’s jogging stroller in the trunk and my 6-foot-8-inch brother’s legs in the back seat.
Bourbon is my “when in Rome” drink. If I’m in the South or listening to country music, it just feels right. Blanton’s is by far the best I’ve ever had. A bourbon-drinking friend gave me a “no shit” reaction after I mentioned how much I enjoyed it — apparently it has quite the cult following. Blanton’s super fans collect the bottle stoppers, which look like brushed silver Monopoly pieces. If you’re able to track down all eight varieties, rumor has it you can send them to the distillery and they will mount and send them back to you.
I recently became a father — a rite-of-passage moment for getting a watch, I felt. I suspected the Masters would be a prime window-shopping opportunity, and I was right. Bubba Watson’s Richard Mille caught my eye from 100 feet away and it was the only watch I researched — once I was allowed to use my iPhone again. The skeletonized titanium baseplate is framed by a white rectangular face. The white rubber caseband is definitely a vibe, but could easily be worn on any occasion. The only downside? You need to win the Masters to afford one.
These Jordans were another item that caught my eye from 100 feet away. They’re versatile, with a low profile, and manage to look as good on a hard court as they do on the 18th green. With a gummy contrast sole, subtle gold detailing, and crisp stitching, they’re ultra premium yet perfectly understated. I’d recommend you only wear them if you can shoot under 80. But you’ll have to find them first, likely in consignment, like all Jordans worth wearing.
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Cohen Rogers Writer
Cohen Rogers is a writer and podcast producer living in Brooklyn, New York. He writes about the things he loves most: food, sports, travel, and business.
Ahonen & Lamberg Illustrator
Ahonen & Lamberg is a multidisciplinary design studio based in Paris. Founded in 2006 by Finnish designers Anna Ahonen and Katariina Lamberg, the studio concentrates on art direction, creative consultancy, and graphic design.