For a golf course that embodies tradition, Augusta National doesn’t shy away from technology. It's truly a plug-and-play setup.
Start with the idyllic agronomy, Augusta National is the gold standard for the golfing universe. To get that they jump started the use of SubAir systems under green complexes; starting at Golden Bell, the property’s low point at Amen Corner, and now throughout the entire property.
Besides the ability to bend Mother Nature's grass growing wishes to their will, there are other observations that may or may not be so obvious:
- TV camera and scoreboard supports stay up year round
- Buried telecommunication cables (i.e. no awkward rulings)
- Restrooms hidden deep in the trees (i.e. no Tin Cup bank shots off a Port-A-John)
- Underground tunnels used to move goods/services and the odd VIP invisibly to all corners of the property.
- Hidden cameras and microphones in trees (for security and tv coverage)
Augusta National goes to great lengths to ensure the on air (and in person) product presents itself as close to the Land of Oz as possible. Having been described as “Disneyland for Golfing Adults”, it is easy to understand where this motivation comes from.
They want the memories of this place to be about perfection, so much so that it feels almost hermetically sealed.
About the only thing they can’t control is the weather. One gets the feeling that if they could, they would absolutely install a snow globe dome over the whole facility and truly control every aspect.
Augusta still has not so subtle nods to the past and a nearly allergic reaction to modern realities:
- No cell phones on the course
- There is a bank of payphones — ”Hey Ma..I’m at The Masters!”
- Manual scoreboards
Much of Augusta National’s current majesty can be traced to the awesomeness of modern technologies, but there is still an overriding homage to the past.
And what better way to enjoy this annual show than to peel back the cellophane seal and devour the same old leftovers like we do every year with a grin on our faces.