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Saturday, April 09, 2005

Secrets of the Masters!!!

Augusta National, the famed golf course where the Masters is being played this week, is known for its many traditions, such as the par-3 tournament, the azaleas, the pine needles (since replaced by rough in places) and, of course, the hole names. Every hole at Augusta has its own special name.

Since the members at Augusta National are mostly good ol' Southern boys, with macho, if easy going, character, you're surprised to learn that most of the names are flowery, effeminate titles that sound as if they'd come straight from your mum's garden club. "Pink Dogwood", "Redbud", "Juniper", "Flowering Peach", and "Carolina Cherry" are some of the examples (although the last one might be a euphemistic reference to the ladies just across the border in South Carolina. Let's hope not for their sake).

What Augusta National Chairman Hootie "and the Blowfish" Johnson don't tell you is that these names are just cover for the real, secret names of the holes, names which tell dark and dreadful tales, tales of pain and fear and despair. What else would you expect from the sport of golf?

Below are just some of these secret names as revealed to me by a deeply placed inside source, at least that's what my podiatrist told me when he passed the information along.

Hole #1 - Public Name: Tee Olive. Secret Name: Project Blue Book - This hole got its secret name from the battle famed past Chairman Cliff Roberts waged fighting off a horde of space aliens who wanted to see if their hideous alien probes could penetrate the hide of one of the sternest, most weathered and stubborn men in golf. Instead of a complex probe operation, the aliens were beaten to a green pulp with a mashie niblick and their interplanetary craft burned and its ashes buried beneath the course and watered "personally" by Mr. Roberts. (See: Hole #16 - Secret Name: There's No Spacecraft Under Here...Really, Just Ask the Air Force!, and Hole #18 - Secret Name: Dead Aliens' Shallow Grave)

Hole #4 - Public Name: Flowering Crab Apple. Secret Name: Cigar (Also referred to as "Light Me Baby") - All that can be said of this hole is that one of the few times former President Bill Clinton played here there was a mysterious 20 minute delay at this hole when the President and his female caddy, named Lola, vanished. When they reappeared, Clinton was smoking a cigar and singing "Copacabana'".

Hole #8 - Public Name: Yellow Jasmine. Secret Name: Manhattan South - Not many people know that a second, top secret A-Bomb project was going on right in Augusta, Georgia during WWII. Fortunately for Georgians, the scientists were never able to develop a bomb (which they planned to test in Rae's Creek). So instead, bored and frustrated, they invented the mixed drink "The Manhattan". After initial tests, many of the scientists stated that they felt like they had been in a bomb blast.

Hole #14 - Public Name: Chinese Fir. Secret Name: Hong Kong Phooey - Renamed in 1987, in honor of Scatman Crothers. The previous name of the hole was "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins", named in honor of Leonard Nimoy's extremely weird song, which was a big favorite of Arnie Palmer's. Prior to that, the name of the hole was "Mandingo".

Hole# 17 - Public Name: Nandina. Secret Name: Zulu Dawn - Named in honor of the covered up events of the 1947 Masters, when Zulu warriors, upset at the segregationalist policies of the club and the U. S. South, attacked Augusta National and killed 247 members of the club. Only Cliff Roberts and Bobby Jones survived the withering assault, and only because Cliff still had the mashie.

Well, I must desist now, but only because the solicitors and the frumpy men in the green jackets are outside.


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