This morning the sun will rise and we will drink our coffee, cook breakfast, let the dog out, but our minds are elsewhere. They're 145 miles east of Atlanta and 150 miles northwest of Charleston in Augusta, Georgia. It's Sunday at The Masters. The week started with 92 of the worlds best golfers. But by the time the sun sets today only one will be wearing the coveted green jacket. The Masters is a special place.
It was special when it was just 365 acres of untouched Earth. It's the club Bobby Jones dreamed of and Clifford Roberts managed. It's special for the things we know and love: Amen Corner, the Champions Dinner, the ceremonial first tee, $3 beers, and the azaleas, dogwoods, and pine trees scattered across the course. And it's special because of people like Frank Carpenter. Frank was the "keeper of the keys" at Augusta. He started as a barman at the club in 1953 and eventually became responsible for the entire club in 1972, including the reportedly legendary 10,000 bottle wine collection.
"He's a fixture," says Harden Perry, the club's assistant manager. "Everybody who comes here knows Frank."
People might not know the top ten players in the world, or the difference between a putter and a pitching wedge, but when they hear "Augusta" play and the camera floats down Magnolia Lane, they know The Masters has arrived. It's a scene we've watched before. Now it serves as reprieve from the present. It gives us a sense of familiarity and comfort in an unfamiliar and uncomfortable time.