What is the Masters? Well, in the interest of accuracy it is only a golf tournament played amid dogwoods and pines in the soldier town of Augusta, Georgia. It is not really part of the winter tour or part of the summer tour but a thing which in just 26 years has become an elegantly nostalgic bridge between both. "Here," Ben Hogan says, "long after serious competition for some of us comes to an end, we can still get together and reminisce. The Augusta National and its Masters Tournament are symbolic of fine sentiments and great traditions." Traditions, sentiments, reminiscences—that's the Masters. It is Gene Sarazen's double eagle on 15 in '35; it is Demaret, Picard, Harmon; it is Jackie Burke and Porky Oliver; Art Wall birdieing five of the last six in '59; Hogan and Snead. "I hope," says Snead, "I'll never be too old to want to take part in this event, and I don't think I ever will age quite that much." Remember Horton Smith, the first man to win the Masters in 1934 and again in 1936? To Horton Smith the Augusta National is "one of the few courses that really presents two games on most every hole—a game to reach the greens and another to figure the ever-challenging contours after reaching the greens." The Masters is Bob Jones gliding over the lush green grass in his cart. The Masters is the players practicing their putting close to the first tee and the voice on the loudspeaker saying, "Cary Middlecoff, report to the first tee please."
This week about a hundred golfers will report in at Augusta, including Snead, Hogan, Demaret—the old guard. The young guard will be there too—Gary Player, George Bayer, Arnold Palmer—and, for player and patron alike, it is reassuring to look up every year and find the Masters still there, to find it as Artist Daniel Schwartz has caught it on the cover and the next four pages.
Masters Middlecoff and Snead et al. practice putting in front of cottage Eisenhower uses at Augusta.
Challenger putts as large crowd packed at side of the rolling, tricky green looks on intently.
Spectators ring around scoreboard and the 18th green on dramatic final day of the tournament.
Aging champion, one of many in Masters, plays a shot as colorfully dressed gallery, ignoring seasonable rain, strains against ropes to watch.