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Masters tradition

Letting yourself down: A Masters tradition like no other

There will be tears and tantrums during the Masters, and that's just you. Mark Townsend unveils 10 new lows in our behaviour
 

As sure as night follows day your behaviour during this week is going to be everything other than normal as Magnolia Lane finally comes around after an interminable wait. It’s a Masters tradition like no other.

I’m guilty of all of the following, and then some, so see this cut-out-and-keep guide to erratic behaviour as some form of empathetic counselling…

1. You’re going to be far too pumped on Thursday

This is pretty much a given. Ever since Brooks Koepka tidied up his third major at Bellerive you’ve been waiting for this moment and, hence, you’re going to get a little bit too revved up on Thursday. Your last glimpse of major action came on August 12 so don’t beat yourself up, we’re all the same.

Whisper it gently but day one is always a bit of a let-down; there’s not enough coverage, half the field have already finished and you’re so exhausted from watching re-runs of Jack in ’86 and Mike Weir taking down Lenny Mattiace in the build-up that things don’t quite work out as planned.

Come Friday everything will be fine again.

2. Don’t fall into any scripting trap

It is sort of acceptable to go to the driving range in your golf gear, it is borderline acceptable to fill your car up on the way home after a round with your glove still peeping out of your back pocket, but it is in no way the done thing to settle down in front of the box with your favourite quarter-zip and spandex-trousered combo.

Get a grip of yourself and wear some normal clothes.

3. Try to remain married 

Again you tell yourself this every year but your behaviour will become increasingly erratic as the week goes on and you won’t give anyone or anything your full attention.

Your two-year-old daughter might well be pulling on your trouser leg, wanting to bond and laugh and share a stolen moment, but your head will be buried in your phone and refreshing Tony Finau’s front nine at any given opportunity.

4. There will be tears

I do this every year which is why I make every effort to watch the entire coverage sat on my own. It could be anything; the first lilting chimes of the music, any mention of Arnie or Seve, Jack and his grandson, Rory slumped on his driver again or even, for some reason, an over-privileged four-year-old draining one from 14 inches on the Par 3.

This year the very remote prospect of Robert Rock, coach to Matt Wallace, hitting one at the 9th on Wednesday should do the job.

5. Stop, just put your phone down

What should my social media strategy be for Masters week? There’s always a voice that’s telling you that tagging a player isn’t the right way forward and, whenever you hear this little voice, try as hard as possible to listen to it.

Pretending you’re mates with a tour star and interacting with them on Twitter is terrible at the best of times, I do it all the time, but trying your luck during Masters week is unforgivable.

For a start they’re playing and won’t be attached to their phones, secondly it’s most likely their manager who runs their account so don’t kid yourself, and, finally, your ribald attempt at humour doesn’t generally cut the mustard down the club so is unlikely to set the Twittersphere alight.

Mark’s Masters tradition rampage continues on the next page, where he takes on the Augusta dreamers and betting bores…

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Mark Townsend

Been watching and playing golf since the early 80s and generally still stuck in this period. Huge fan of all things Robert Rock, less so white belts. Handicap of 8, fragile mind and short game

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