2020 Masters Choose Your Own Adventure: Finding a Local Watering Hole
Peter Dazeley, Getty Images.
Find a local watering hole, order a steak, and watch it on TV.
Are you a freaking idiot?!
Those are the words of your best friend and longtime golf buddy who wasn’t lucky enough to score a badge for the final round – and yes, he’s asking them rhetorically. You called him as soon as you left Augusta National and got to your car, parked fortuitously on Washington Road for the low, low price of just $60. The final four groups are now on the back-nine and you’re in a Publix parking lot. Even as you tried to explain how you kept missing all the good stuff, your rationale for walking away from the game’s greatest spectacle feels disjointed, but there’s no turning back now.
Still on the phone, you try to justify your decision. You tell your buddy that the Augusta experience is about more than just watching the world’s best players on the world’s best golf course – it’s about taking in all of the other familiar sights, as well.
Again, your argument stinks. It still doesn’t make sense to you, and it certainly doesn’t make sense to a guy who didn’t have the fortune to be there today. But you just felt like you were giving off too much negative energy out there. You’d heard people say that the best place to watch the final round is on TV and it only took a few hours to figure it out.
Apparently, you weren’t the only one.
You’d assumed that Tbonz, a steakhouse right down the road from the course, would be empty, as everyone who’d traveled here would be at the tournament instead. Not exactly. The place is packed. As you’re trying to get a table – or even just a spot at the bar – a loud ovation erupts throughout the entire place. You can’t even locate a TV, let alone know what happened.
You’re still trying to get a seat when a groan permeates throughout the restaurant. Then a hush. Then wild hooting and hollering, the kind you’re not really supposed to do at Augusta National. You keep missing it, all of it. Finally, you get a seat at the bar, craning your neck to catch a glimpse of the screen around so many other revelers.
A bartender is tough to come by when it’s this packed, so you order two beers at a time – double the price of those beers at the course, for the record. You can barely even discern what’s taking place – a playoff, you think – when nature calls.
You rush to the restroom, but there’s a line. Of course. You wait… and wait… and wait. Finally it’s your turn, but when you head back to the bar, you see that you’ve lost your seat. As you try to find another one through the mass of humanity, the loudest roar of the day envelops the entire scene. You have zero chance of seeing a TV through all of these people and have absolutely no idea what’s going on.
It’s not until maybe 30 seconds later that you understand what happened, as a guy bumps into you and spills beer all over your new polo shirt, then yells from about four inches away, “Man, how about that Koepka, huh? All he does is win majors!”
And there you have it. The story of your first-ever experience as a Masters spectator has officially concluded when a drunk fan spills his beer and spills the ending.
But hey, at least there’s some good news: As the telecast shows Koepka squeezing into a green jacket, the bar starts to empty out. You can finally sit down and order that steak.