What I learned from my first trip to the Masters

This past week I took my first trip to Augusta National Golf Club to watch the Masters.

Aside from being treated to great golf by a rising super star in Jordan Spieth, I learned a lot about how the best in the business not only run an event, but how they get better and how they treat people.

R&D is not reserved for scientific companies

Everything from the sand in the bunkers to the SubAir units under the green complexes to the introduction of a second cut to the bags the pimento cheese sandwiches come in have been discussed, developed, and perfected.

All of this didn’t happen overnight. These changes happened over time, like how the course has been lengthened, with small adjustments that make the event what it is today.

Never settling for average, the people who run the Masters are always looking for a better way to do something.

Staff members are the underrated stars

Being friendly costs nothing, but earns so much. Everywhere I went, staff members said hello, good morning, and asked me if I was enjoying the Masters. This simple exchange seemed to fit right in while on the grounds, and it was more of a culture-based thing than a corporate mandate.

With how much of an impact it can make, it’s amazing that more businesses and organizations don’t do this.

Basic doesn’t have to be boring

A chicken sandwich and “regular beer” doesn’t have to mean that you’re having an uninteresting meal. The minimalistic nature of the food and beverage make it special, especially in an era of over-the-topness that we see at many sports venues today.

Another example of this would be the tee markers, as they’re just small logs, about ten or twelve inches long. No need to get fancy here.

Attention to detail

There’s a reason why the chairs they sell all look the same, have no arm rests, and include a spot for a business card on the back. There’s a reason why you aren’t permitted to smoke in certain areas, or why they mow the turf a certain way.

Everything they do they do with a reason and purpose, and it’s been discussed and analyzed to ensure that the best possible result is achieved. Sure, their maintenance budget is a bit more than most other clubs. But spending money on something doesn’t always ensure success.

The individuals that run the Masters know that little things add up in a big way, and they are very, very good at making sure those little things happen flawlessly.

If I am fortunate enough to get the chance to return, I will be there.

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