Marooned in New Hampshire this spring, I’m watching the Masters by myself—on television.
The Augusta National, to those of us who grew up nearby, is a sacred place—not in the same way as Iona or Stonehenge maybe, but holy ground, in its own way. Time there with family and friends, enjoying one of the most beautiful pieces of real estate on God’s magnificent planet, prayers uttered, disappointments suffered, joy and celebration, maybe even a little communion.
In absentia this year, I’m fascinated by the story lines. A broadcaster’s job is to keep the viewer interested, as if we need their commentary to keep us glued to our television sets for this annual spring ritual. Here are a few narratives I’ve noticed:
- An older golfer being honored
- An amateur impressing us, a surprise contender
- A dominant golfer making mincemeat of the course
- The unique perspective of international players
- A golfer with some aspect of his life claiming our sympathy, e.g., a wife with cancer
- A golfer approaching some sort of record (back to back wins?)
- Real competition on the golf course—Remember Arnie’s charges?
Stories we never know anything about are also part of the Masters every year.
- A happy couple naming their baby after the winning golfer.
- A player or a fan battling alcoholism.
- The unexpected illness of a patron who hasn’t missed a tournament in forty years.
- Two teenagers falling in love on the sixteenth green.
- A wife finding out her husband went to the Masters with his girlfriend.
- A patron suffering a heart attack on the golf course.
- Someone in New Hampshire enjoying Ben and Jerry’s ice cream while he watches the match on TV. Cherry Garcia,
We all have stories. They’re not all on television.