Cavender Neutze is a part of Golf Channel's social media team and attended the Masters in 2009, 2011-12 and 2016.
They say that upon entering the gates of heaven, everything you have ever wondered is revealed in an instant.
I can’t speak to that, as I’m currently still here, but if it’s anything like entering the grounds of Augusta National Golf Club, I’m willing to vouch for any and all effects.
The Masters is an event where you witness someone having a once-in-a-lifetime moment around seemingly every corner.
Amazing what can happen when we don’t have our phones in our faces 24/7, isn’t it?
On that note, let’s look at four things you can only truly experience when you get one of the most coveted tickets in the world.
1. Going back in time
As I alluded to a second ago, Augusta National may be the only place left on earth you can’t check twitter, and it’s awesome!
Along with your iPhone, you tend to leave reality at the gate, too. Upon entering the grounds, you become a patron: Which means you best be prepared to hear roars you don’t understand and watch leaderboards without videos or pictures.
There is nothing quite like that “second” Augusta roar that only comes because of the tournament's resistance to change.
If every Jack and Gary were allowed to bring in their devices, you would never get the moment of ecstasy that comes from a number being posted on a leaderboard.
Moments earlier, while positioned in your seat on hole no. 16, you heard a roar from hole number 12, or was it number 11? Soon after, the numbers drop down on the board before you.
The anticipation is as palpable as any moment you can imagine.
A birdie by the nearest chaser means he’s only one back, and the assembled gallery roars upon the revelation minutes after it actually happened. At that time, you could be cheering for Arnold Palmer or Tiger Woods or any number of heroes over the past three quarters of a century.
The experience would be the same in any decade. Only at Augusta.
2. Really feeling the “Tiger Effect”
From the shades of color to the speeds of the greens, everything at Augusta is magnified.
That goes for the impact of one 14-time major champion as well.
If you’re ever lucky enough to get in during a Masters Tiger Woods is playing in, position yourself in front of the clubhouse about an hour before his tee time and wait.
Soon, the air will be sucked out of the sky and the grounds will go so quiet you will have sworn you lost the ability to hear.
Then, on cue, out walks Tiger.
You have heard about his effect. Hell, you have probably heard about it so many times you wake up seeing stripes. But at that exact moment, you feel it. So cut the guy next to you some slack when he utters an understandable “oh” under his breath.
Whether he ever wins again or not doesn’t matter, when it comes to Augusta National, Tiger’s effect is as palpable as the pull from Rae’s Creek.
In your life have you ever felt anything like that?
3. The power of a logo
Have you ever seen a classy phone holster? What about a mouse pad? If you answered yes to either or both of those questions, chances are you have roamed the halls inside the merchandise center at Augusta National.
When it comes to commandeering Masters memorabilia, the whole thing is not so much an endeavor as it is an experience. Start with the building itself: It’s a physical building.
While a white tent serves as the merchandise mecca at nearly every other tournament, at the Masters, a permanent home is built between the pines.
And man, is it enticing.
As a matter of fact, were it not for Vegas, the spot just past the cash register would account for the vast majority of grown men explaining their wallet’s sudden weight loss.
“Well, you see, Honey, I need four shades of pink polos because … ”
This explanation interruption was brought to you by pimento cheese.
4. The opportunity to appreciate Augusta
The first time I walked down the hill from the clubhouse towards Amen Corner, I lost all control of the waterworks from my eyes and nose.
It wasn’t from the flora, either.
If a golf fan makes the pilgrimage to the Masters, they will be overcome with emotion simply by seeing the holes in front of them. It is no secret that part of Augusta’s allure is the history that has been built throughout the years. A type of history that can only come from playing a major, then playing that major on the same hallowed grounds again and again.
That history gives these holes personality. It gives them a voice, one that speaks to you each and every time you see them.
You’ve heard that you can’t appreciate the undulations and elevations of the place until you go, and that’s true, but the part you really can’t prepare for is the emotional rollercoaster.
The first time you see hole number 12 through the trees. Gasp.
When you finally break away from the merchandise, head towards the first hole, turn up the hill and see that old oak tree in front of the clubhouse in all its glory. Hold me.
There has been books written about the Masters mystique, but until you experience it for yourself, those are just words on paper.
So get a second mortgage on the house and go!