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Masters 2024. Playing for something more than money.



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Masters week. The time when we all receive an avalanche of email from every sports-related publication predicting the Masters Champion as the Golf Channel invites everyone they know to weigh in. This week, more than ever, we're reminded that the thrill of golf spikes when there’s more on the line when you play for something.

 

It’s simple to see, but impossible to create. The Masters Tournament has built a mystique over time that adds to the value of being a part of the tournament that goes far beyond money. A recipe that cannot be duplicated, yet every golf fan in the world can taste the difference of this magic week. It adds player pressure, and to the depth of caring fans feel as we follow every swing and every putt, hour-by-hour for 4 days. The green jacket, the prestigious major title, and the attention to detail at Augusta make the Masters a singular event where the fans and the players know this is important.

 

None of us are in Augusta this week, but one person on our team has been there a few times more than most. It has become a tradition here at D3 during our Master’s week Executive Meeting to have Nick O’Hern take the mic and captivate us with his personal stories of The Masters. His charming Aussie accent and laid-back style, entertain us with tales from the tournament. His knack for storytelling should put him on the short list for CBS’s next Masters broadcaster—his experienced insights are just too good to miss. 

 

Nick’s spotlight session this week delved into what sets the Masters apart. He spoke in amazement about the Sub Air system at Augusta, detailing its role in subtly controlling the firmness of the greens—soft for false security on Wednesday, then hardened overnight to challenge the players on Thursday. Nick elaborated that so many things are done behind the scenes, out of view, unlike any other course - and so Augusta National is always the star of the week, more than any one player. He exampled: one year a storm had knocked a tree down and crushed a restroom building on the course. A complete disaster on the Wednesday before round 1. The next day the bathroom had been completely and seamless rebuilt - overnight - as if nothing had happened.

 

Adam Shupak of Golfweek contributed to the lore with a piece gathering players’ perspectives on the Masters' unique charm. Stuart Cink pointedly spoke about how they don’t smother you at the Masters like other tournaments do, trying to get you to like them or to come back next year. “Other events compete against each other for player participation and therefore (work harder to get) good fields, so they bend over backwards to say "Sure, we can make that happen." whereas at Augusta there’s a lot more of "That’s not something we do."  Echoing Nick’s sentiment that it’s really about the course, the place, the history, legacy, mystique - that you’re playing for something more meaningful.

 

We look forward to walking the grounds some day with Nick as a Master’s sponsor.  We’re thankful to our partners and investors that have helped make 2024 our most exciting year yet as we all work together to power every brand that believes that playing for something transcends mere competition. 

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