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Embracing Tradition: The Masters Roundtable

Updated: Apr 12

With the first Major of the year upon us, we've reached out to some of our PGA professionals to hear about their cherished Masters memories, their viewing rituals, and, of course, their predictions for who will don the coveted Green Jacket come Sunday.

What traditions or rituals do you have while watching The Masters?

“Masters Sunday is all about munchies with the occasional beer thrown in.” - Raffaele Occhiuzzi, Muskoka Member Experience Manager

What role do you think Augusta National's history and traditions play in making The Masters special?

“For me, it falls at the perfect time of the year, getting me thinking about golf and forgetting about winter. I usually grab a club and make swings in front of the TV. I remember when I was younger going out in the snow to chip a few.” - Dany Lacombe, ClubLink Regional Director

“In addition to the rich history and tradition of honouring Champions with a lifetime invitation to play in The Masters, events like the Par 3 Contest, the Champions Dinner, and the ceremonial starters on Thursday morning elevate the tradition and allure of the event. The Masters truly embodies recognizing Champions and ambassadors of the game, while also embracing the new generation of golfers through events like the Drive, Chip & Putt junior golf development competition.” - Brent Deighan, Kanata Golf Club

“There are so many traditions to name here—the Par 3 Contest, the Champions Dinner, honorary starters. One that I enjoy is watching the players skip the ball across the pond on hole No.16 in the practice rounds. Memorable moments like John Rahm's hole-in-one skipping it across the pond add to the allure. Also, the fact that the Green Jacket is only kept by the Champion for the year and then returned to Augusta and housed there is certainly another long-standing tradition.” - James Boyce, Glencairn Golf Club

“As we experience a push to modernize and loosen some of the game’s traditions, I find it refreshing that few venues maintain a tie to genteel ways.” - Raffaele Occhiuzzi, Muskoka Member Experience Manager

What are you most looking forward to about this year's Masters tournament?

“I am looking forward to seeing our Canadians in the field. We have a good group of amazing players who could rise to the top.” - Dany Lacombe, ClubLink Regional Director

Which hole at Augusta National do you find the most exciting to watch, and why?

“Hole No.15 a par 5. I really like seeing them hit their second shot on this tricky hole. The landing area is not very deep, and the chance to move up the leaderboard is there for the risk-takers in the group.” - Dany Lacombe, ClubLink Regional Director

“15 – this hole I find is where all the excitement lies, especially coming down the back nine on Sunday. If you hit a good tee shot, it’s easily an iron approach for the pros. 15 is the definition of the perfect risk-reward with water lurking short as well as possibly long or at best a tricky up and down if you miss the green.” - James Boyce, Glencairn Golf Club

“For me, the 12th Hole (Golden Bell) is my favourite hole at Augusta National. In addition to being picturesque, I always appreciate the strategy and extra thought that goes into the shorter holes at golf courses. Shorter holes usually have a higher demand for accuracy, hitting precise landing distances, and factoring in more variables like wind direction. The 12th hole at Augusta, 17th at TPC Sawgrass, and even last year’s US Open 80-yard par 3 I find a lot more entertaining and also result in a lot more variation between birdies and doubles.” - Brent Deighan, Kanata Golf Club

“I find hole 12 to be beautiful, exciting and quite dangerous. Winds can make club selection challenging, water and bunker positions ask for much accuracy. I think a 13 was made on the hole during one of the competitions. A birdie will boost confidence, and a bogey or worse can destroy a round.” - Raffaele Occhiuzzi, Muskoka Member Experience Manager

How do you think technology and media coverage have changed the way people experience The Masters over the years?

“The media coverage for The Masters has changed exponentially over the years, not only providing more access to the golf course but enhancing your experience. From when I first started watching The Masters, coverage was confined to whenever the live stream came on TV, which was usually around 2 p.m. just to follow afternoon groups. Now with the new coverage, not only is the technology better to provide better camera angles and high-definition pictures, there are numerous feeds that come online when the first groups tee off, allowing you to watch only certain holes or follow specific feature groups. I think this is great for the game and also helps build excitement for our own ClubLink Members and the beginning of our golf season here in Canada.” - Brent Deighan, Kanata Golf Club

“I think The Masters website has the best interactive leaderboard. You can watch the play-by-play shots, which have video uploads that you can view just moments after the shot has actually been played. Great for never missing or recapping the action.” - James Boyce, Glencairn Golf Club

What do you think sets The Masters apart from other Major golf championships?

“What sets The Masters apart is the rich history and tradition of Augusta National Golf Club. In addition, while it is the only Major tournament hosted at the same club every year, it has produced a variety of winners because of the need for a balanced game. While some Majors like the U.S. Open have featured 260-yard par-3’s and put a focus on distance, Augusta has had winners like Mike Weir and Zach Johnson, who attacked the par-5’s with tremendous wedge play instead. It is truly a course like no other.” - Brent Deighan, Kanata Golf Club

Do you have any favourite players to watch specifically during The Masters? If so, who are they and why?

“It's tough to single out a certain player; the entire field is certainly on display. I always like seeing one of the ‘older’ past champions play well and make the cut. Notably, it seems to be the likes of Freddy Couples or Bernhard Langer playing well and getting the crowd behind the over 50-somethings. Having a Scottish background, it’s disappointing that I no longer will get to see Sandy Lyle’s plaid pants as he retired from Masters play last year.” - James Boyce, Glencairn Golf Club

“Any and all of the Canadians playing, a bit of flag-waving to be sure. Wouldn't it be great to see Mike Weir make the cut?” - Raffaele Occhiuzzi, Muskoka Member Experience Manager

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1 Comment

Lionel Cole
Lionel Cole
Apr 09

Anyone have any info on club openings for the '24 season? All the munies in southern Ontario are already up and running and Clublink has nothing but crickets on all their sites and social media accounts 😡 Lack of any communication is not exactly the customer service I expect for my big club dues expenditure.

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