In the hypothesized world of the ultra-left, events like The Masters that harken back to a nostalgic time in America where equality was distant on a list of national social aspirations would be replaced with four-day long group hugs. Sure, we’d be more sensitive as a society, but we’d lose that edge that made this country an industrial powerhouse. Thank goodness for Augusta National.
The large part of what makes The Masters great is that we can reminisce about those so-called simpler times, but the disconnect is still palpable in the sense that we can see how far we’ve come from that world where men wore knickers and women were apparently terrified of the sun. However, at the same time, we can embrace the traditions of our past.
A few days ago I wrote a column about the first Masters that I can remember. It was an admittedly sappy tale about a day I spent in a sun room in 1997, but it’s one that easily could have been from a den in 1962 or a home theater in 2006. It’s a universal experience that can be understood by anyone trying to put perspective on 20th century America.
Obviously, people ashamed of the days when oppression was part of the reality have tried to liken The Masters to a gathering of men in their 50′s who still chortle at the notion of a black president. In a way, they’re right, but that is an unfortunately authentic part of the era where this tournament originated, and The Masters — if anything — values its origins over all else.
There is an ugly side to it, that I don’t question, and that is why it’s often targeted by people who proclaim themselves to be progressive. However, don’t let that be the silt that muddies the waters around The Masters. There is far more to be celebrated than there is to be disdained.
The entire ordeal has an aura of genteelness that our generation simply lacks. It’s an homage to etiquette.
From it’s onset, both congregants and viewers of The Masters find themselves opting for the cufflinks as opposed to rolled sleeves because the demeanor of The Masters forces us to reexamine our own manners. For our women, we’re opening car doors and for each other we’re quick to give thanks.
Certainly, in this day and age, we can all stand to have a little more civility in our lives. However, we’re also not forced to completely adopt our old ways wholeheartedly. The Masters is merely a time-warp back to a period that, given time to reflect, I think we can all agree was pretty damn good.
Every single year, for four days we get the opportunity to witness first-hand how far we’ve come since 1934. From the days of Horton Smith and Gene Sarazen to Charl Schwartzel and Bubba Watson, things have changed, but yet The Masters and, in smaller part, the game of golf, remains the same. Sometimes that is a good thing.
So with everyone trying to desperately force a coming of age at Augusta National, and thus, The Masters, let’s remind ourselves that not everything has to change with the times. People seem intent on lambasting anyone who acknowledges any part of the past that they disagree with, but I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to be nostalgic. That excess of sentiment is an offering of respect to our ancestry.
Because at the end of the day The Masters is essentially just a nom de plume of time passed. So here’s a toast to Augusta National and The Masters. Make sure you make it a point to emphasize sticking your pinky out as you drink. If you love The Masters and you’re going to be called an elitist, you might as well act like it.