Golf Claps and Belly Putters: Why You Should Care About The Masters

Ultimate Sports Talk March 8, 2014 Comments Off on Golf Claps and Belly Putters: Why You Should Care About The Masters

Article written by guest contributor Jenna Brown.

Ah, golf: the sport of hushed whispers, weird jackets, and those tiny little “golf claps” that don’t actually make any noise. Golf is the sport for people who hate sports, right? Well, not so fast. I’m here to convince you not only to watch the Masters, but also to care about the outcome.

Here’s what you need to know: the Masters is airing on on from Wednesday, April 9 to Sunday, April 13. And you need to watch.

The Masters - Preview Day 1Admittedly, the last time golf seemed cool was during those early years before Tiger Woods’ former wife Elin Nordegren “chased him out of the house with a golf club after learning he’d been unfaithful,” after which Woods immediately crashed his car into a fire hydrant and a tree, in that order. Most people, if pressed, couldn’t name a single golf star playing in the 2014 Masters. (Um… Tiger Woods? Is Arnold Palmer still alive?)

So why is it so important to sit down for five days of continuous golf? Because this is the year that the Masters are going to turn it around. This is the year golf will become cool again.

Look, we’ve already burned through the other sports. Football? I think this year’s anticlimactic Super Bowl game between two teams that nobody ever thought could win sufficiently killed off Super Bowl interest for a while. (Seattle, I love you. But you are not a football city, and the team member that gets the most press is your “12th Man,” which is just a fancy name for the audience. Seriously. Your audience, which would rather spend its time drinking Starbucks and reading used books, is the strongest member of your team. How did you win a Super Bowl again?)

Baseball’s also out, for obvious reasons, especially now that the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is being urged to add a “steroid wing” to its exhibits. (“And here, Timmy, are all of the players who shot illegal substances into their arms so they could hit the balls even faster!”)

Basketball is still a possibility, and we all know that filling out your bracket for your office’s NCAA Final Four contest is pretty sweet. But that’s March Madness, and you’ll need something to do in April.

So that leaves golf, forerunner for “sports that will become cool in 2014.” And here is everything you need to know about the Masters:

  • When you win the Masters, you get a snazzy green jacket. However, you have to give it back the next year. No, they don’t make every Masters winner wear the same green jacket (can you imagine the smell?). Instead, they just… keep them in a storeroom somewhere, I guess. I don’t know. It seems wasteful. Just let Tiger keep his jacket already! He’s had a hard life!
  • This year, the big debate is about whether the belly putter, aka the anchored putter, aka the long putter, should be allowed in golf. Remember: the goal of golf is to make hitting the ball into the hole as hard as possible. This putter apparently makes it too easy and has already been banned from the 2016 Masters. To quote the R&A and the United States Golf Association, anchored putters should be banned because “freely swinging the entire club is the essence of the traditional method of stroke.” Also, Adam Scott won the 2013 Masters with an anchored putter, and now he’s lawyering up. The upcoming argument is sure to be fascinating.
  • It’s also tougher to qualify this year than it has been for any previous Masters tournament. That means better golfers. It also means angrier golfers, with higher stakes. Golf is about to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real.

So: are you going to watch the Masters this year? If not, you’re going to miss out. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.