The Masters doesn't start for another week, but that didn't stop Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter from shooting some behind the scene footage from their most recent trip to Augusta National. While some of us can only dream of visiting the famed course and walking through the historic clubhouse, Poulter and McDowell had an all-access pass to the home of the Masters, and they were kind enough to let their Twitter followers in on what it's like to be at the course on a typical day.
As you can see from the video, everything looks pretty normal ... until Poulter walks out onto the expansive balcony. And that's where the comparisons to your typical country club end. I have to admit, the shots of McDowell driving down Magnolia Lane are pretty amazing. But as I was watching the videos, part of me felt like I was watching footage of something I wasn't supposed to see.
I wasn't the only one questioning the footage. As Steve Elling tweeted on Tuesday, Masters spokesman Steve Ethun was quick to lay down the ground rules for next week's tournament. No cellphones, gentlemen!
Clearly, Augusta National doesn't want every golfer with a camera phone and Twitter account sending photos and videos of some special places at the course. Some may think it's ridiculous to crackdown on phones during the tournament, but quite honestly, I think it's the right decision.
As most golf fans know, the Masters is the most prestigious golf tournament on the calendar each year. There's a reason why it's near impossible to get a badge to the practice rounds -- let alone find one for the weekend -- without spending an arm and a leg. For those lucky enough to experience Augusta National, it's a moment you'll remember for the rest of your life.
And that's why I have a problem with the videos. Look, I understand you're trying to do your followers a service by showing them the course and clubhouse, but part of the mystique surrounding Augusta National is the fact that we don't get to see behind the curtain.
In my opinion, those are areas that should be reserved for those deserving enough to access them. If I'm ever lucky enough to visit the clubhouse, I hope it's because I deserved it. It sounds corny, but I'd rather enjoy that moment myself, instead of seeing the place for the first time thanks to shaky video footage from a somebody else.
- Augusta National