Tradition can be expressed in many ways. Traditionally, Spring should come in like a Lion and go out like a lamb….but this week was a little different. One of this week’s biggest stories has been how winter has made a comeback, causing Spring to do a backspin. The rain has caused casual water to sporadically pepper the DMV. However, I have it on good authority that the weather was warm, the skies were clear and all was perfect in Augusta, Georgia where the unofficial start of Spring is being celebrated at the Masters.
DON’T STOP READING…IT IS STILL TERI @COTTAGEINTHECOURT!!! All who know me, are very much aware that I do not typically pay attention to things that are not about nature, plants or sustainability….UNTIL NOW!!! Would you believe that the Masters Golf Tournament has all of these things and more….I know…NEITHER COULD I (TRUST ME)!!!
Held in Augusta, Georgia on the former grounds of Fruitlands Nursery, on land owned by a Belgian-born immigrant, Baron Louis Mathieu Edouard Berckmans and is son Prosper Julius Alphonse Berckmans, The Masters Tournament is a golfing tradition steeped in history, pimento cheese sandwiches, green jackets and horticultural beauty. The elder Mr. Berckmans was a horticulturist and purchased the 315-acre property to start a nursery which would have plants from all over the world. After he passed away, the family sold the land to Robert Tyre “Bobby” Jones in 1930. Mr. Jones developed this gorgeous estate with all of its bodacious beauty into a very special place, that Georgia can be proud of. With the help of Prosper’s son, Louis A. Berckmans, who planted noteworthy trees and shrubs at each hole and the architectural skills of Dr. Alister McKenzie, it is still one of the most beautiful golf courses in the country today. Now that is a long time from when the first Tournament took place in 1934. The opportunity to play in the Masters Tournament is earned and the reward is …. a trophy ………and
a shamrock green jacket….with a logo that lets the world know … “YOU ARE THE BEST GOLFER” of the current year. Unlike the jacket above, these prized shamrock green jackets are custom tailored to fit the winner…this is something that most serious golfers yearn to achieve.
There are some IMPORTANT facts that you need to know about The Masters Tournament:
- 60 of the 61 Magnolia trees that line the driveway, often called Magnolia Lane were planted in the mid 1850’s. One was lost to extremely bad storms;
- One of the traditional items on the menu is a Pimento Cheese sandwich. You just cannot have The Masters without Pimento Cheese sandwiches. Of course, there are other things offered on the menu, but tradition is King in these parts,
- Two women were accepted to play there in 2012 – Darla Moore and Condoleezza Rice,
- The Big Oak tree was also planted at some point in the mid 1850’s,
- The privet hedges are from rootstock imported from France and are the reason so many privet hedges can be found throughout the South. The privet you see today are descendants of the Mother plants,
- A huge Wisteria found at The Augusta National Golf Club is one of the first Wisteria plants in the United States,
- A Loblolly pine tree and a presidential cabin, which are National Landmarks that are found on the property that President Eisenhower can take credit for,
- There are 18 holes, the first nine have been renamed, however, the tradition of naming the holes after trees and shrubs continue today;
- You cannot use a cell phone, pager or other electronic device when on the course;
- Tea Olive, Ping Dogwood, Flowering Peach, Flowering Crab Apple, Magnolia, Juniper, Pampas, Yellow Jasmine, Carolina Cherry, Camellia, White Dogwood, Golden Bell, Azalea, Chinese Fir, Firethorn, Redbud, Nandina and Holly are all along the 18 holes that make up this magnificent golf course AND
- The Gardens are meticulously maintained and absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!
One would think that their environmental footprint must be minimal. However by using nature as it’s guide, the use of chemicals. pesticides and other items that are used elsewhere are minimally used at the Augusta National Golf Club. There are efforts by the members to reinforce the message of sustainability by Tree Reforestation Projects, mulching projects and a huge tract of land (55 acres) is currently being used as a Wildlife Preserve.
Yesterday was considered Par-3 Day. A time to mingle with friends, family and great golf icons who no longer play. From today going forward – the game is on and the beauty that surrounds this event is surely appreciated by all. Why one could even wear the infamous jacket….
As this Duffer heads to the fairways of this day, I hope to have no sand trap slow me down. I can stay on par as I head to the nineteenth hole, admiring the beauty that surrounds this National Landmark….if only in my mind!.
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