Masters 2012: What You Need to Know About Augusta National

Yahoo Contributor Network

When the 2012 Masters get underway the first week in April, most of the focus will be on the players. With the likes of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and Luke Donald all in one place for a major championship, I don't blame anyone for talking about the players.

The other star that week will be the course. When most people are asked which golf course they could play if they could play anywhere in the world, they usually say Augusta National.

It's one of the most beautiful places I've ever been and one of the most historic when it comes to the world of sports.

Here are some facts and figures you need to know about Augusta National.

The Course

You will never find a more beautiful golf course. At least that is what they say, here in the South.

Course Length

Augusta National will once again play about 7.435 yards during the Masters. Players need to bring their driver as this course favors long hitters, and fans need to wear comfortable shoes as this means a lot of walking.

Rae's Creek

One of the places on the course you don't want to hit your ball is in Rae's Creek. The stream runs in front of the 12th green and then behind the 11th green. A tributary of Rae's Creek goes up the left side of the 13th fairway and right in front of the green. Ask any player, and he will be familiar with Rae's Creek.

The Clubhouse

The Clubhouse at Augusta National was built all the way back in 1854. It was constructed as a private residence, and it is believed to be the first cement home constructed in the South. Today, the clubhouse features many fireplaces and patios to watch the action. The grill and locker room were both remodeled in 2003.

Eisenhower Cabin

There are 10 cabins scattered around the grounds of Augusta National. One of the cabins is named the Eisenhower Cabin because the members built it for President and Mrs. Eisenhower so they had a place to stay during their frequent visits to Augusta National.

Cameras

If you are going, you can bring your cameras, but only during that practice rounds. That means Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. You can't take a bad picture on this beautiful course.

Weather

Is it just me, or does the weather during the Masters always seem perfect? The temperatures in this time of the year in Augusta range from highs around 80 degrees to lows around 50 degrees. Cool and light-colored clothing, hats, and sunscreen are recommended on these hot, sunny days.

Champions Dinner

Each year, the defending Masters champ makes the decision on what will be served during the annual Champions Dinner. This year, Charl Schwartzel will have lamb chops, steaks, and traditional South African braai on the menu.

Crow's Nest

The Crow's Nest traditionally provides housing for amateur players during the Masters. It's an apartment in the Clubhouse, and it can house up to five players.

Pimento Cheese Sandwiches

There are eight types of sandwiches sold at the Master's, but the Pimento Cheese is the one to try. I don't eat pimento cheese any other time of the year. It's an Augusta National tradition.

Rick Limpert covers sports, technology and events around Atlanta. He'll be hoping for perfect weather and an exciting finish at the 2012 Masters.

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