David Toms’s controversial words in 2006 still resonate with golfers all these years later.
“To me, it’s still a place where the players walk around on egg shells, not knowing if they are in the right place,” Toms said during a conference call. “They’re worried about their cell phone being on, having to stop by the hut on the way in to scan your ticket, making sure you only have one parking pass and somebody else doesn’t get in there.
“It’s the only place all year where the players don’t feel like they’re the most important thing there,” Toms said. “That’s the way I see it, and I don’t think I’m the single opinion on that.”
It’s a feeling contestants at the Masters still can relate to. There are rules at Augusta National and they must be obeyed – or else.
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For this Masters Survey question, we asked, where at Augusta National do today’s pros feel the least comfortable, or, as Toms once said, where you feel like you’re walking on eggshells?
“It’s amazing everywhere.”
“Whenever you’re around the clubhouse you’re really watching what you’re saying and doing.”
“A little bit everywhere because it’s such a perfect place and you feel like you are going to do something you’re not supposed to do. It’s in the clubhouse where I feel the most nervous that I might mess up.”
“When I was there for the first time, it was literally everywhere. Now, it’s just the lunch area. The last time I went I felt the most comfortable and I think it is just being there enough to not have to feel like you can’t do anything wrong.”
“I feel least comfortable standing over the second shot at 11.”
“The members I’ve spent time with have made me feel comfortable. I will say the first time I walked into the clubhouse was one of the most intimidating experiences.”
“At the front gate. I saw the same guard for 20 years, but he still asked me for my I.D. He knew who I was and I knew who he was. It was the one place you wanted to be very proper. Yes, sir and no, sir. But I never felt uncomfortable at Augusta National.”
“12th tee or anywhere in the clubhouse. I don’t know why, but I get nervous that I’m going to break a rule.”
“Not in the locker room but probably in the clubhouse. You feel like where can I go, where can’t I? I know we can go most anywhere but I hate being told that I can’t, so, I don’t even go in a lot of areas.”
“In the clubhouse, but it’s pretty cool. Not that I’ve been there too many times but the first time it’s a little strange being there. The more I’m there, the more people are very welcoming.”
“The 12th and 18th tee. It’s hard to pull a club if there’s wind at 12 and 18 is very narrow.”
“There was probably a point as a young pro there where I felt like I was walking on egg shells. But every individual I’ve met there – whether they work there or are members – are just good people. I don’t feel like I walk on egg shells anywhere except for maybe first tee jitters. I think that’s just a tribute to how they do things.”
“I don’t feel that way anymore. I’ve been over there enough and know enough of the guys. Once you know the rules, if you don’t disobey them, you’re fine.”
“Inside the clubhouse. Anytime you’re indoors minus the caddie house.”
“I think the first year I was scared about where I needed to park. I ended up driving into the Champions lot by accident so that was a good start. I’ve felt comfortable since I got through my first Masters.”
“The 12 tee. That should be unanimous.”
“My first go-round it felt like a museum. It wasn’t bad but just something that took getting used to.”
“I know what (Toms) means but probably the first tee on Thursday. It’s the most nervous I get in golf.”
“Anytime I’m in the registration area. I know where to go in the clubhouse but in that area I never know for sure whether I’m allowed to have a hat on or not. Probably the media center would be second.”
“When you’re there as a participant your head is on a swivel.”
“Somewhere inside between the locker rooms and the main dining areas. It just feels enough uncomfortable and you’re expecting to do something wrong and trying not to upset somebody.”
“Probably whenever I’m there not for the Masters. During Masters week, it feels more laidback. I feel like I can pull out my phone and it’s not the end of the world. When I’m there any time other than the Masters, I’m pretty nervous.”
“Anytime you walk in the clubhouse, you’re nervous. I’m always careful that my phone is on silent or vibrate. You don’t want to do anything to piss anyone off. I love going there so I’m extra careful that I take my hat off and do things the right way.”
“Going through the main clubhouse. The one time I did it, I felt lost.”
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