This one’s for the artists behind the painting. The everyday people who wake up at 3:00am and get to work by 4:00am. Forget dawn — first light is a few hours too late. By then the bunkers are raked, the mowers are powering down, and the dew is almost gone.
This one’s for the 1% who make eighteen special holes in Augusta, GA possible for everyone else to enjoy. Whose tireless effort knows no limit, and whose hands aren’t afraid to grab a tiny pair of scissors to make sure the second cut is cut juuuuuust right.
The agronomists and groundskeepers here don’t make mistakes — Bob Ross would be hard-pressed to find even a happy accident. The paints are a little different than most, their hues more vibrant. Bermuda and some overseeded rye make broad green brushstrokes among the pines. Spruce Pine quartz makes for blindingly white bunkers dotted all over. Some Penn-A1 Bentgrass gives the pros an almost neon green to aim at, and of course the azaleas look fine in their red, white, and pink.
But what sets this place apart isn’t just the paint — it’s the artists. It’s the crew of many who make way for the few. It’s their attention to detail. It’s their reverence and nurture of nature’s beauty.
Every morning they orchestrate a beautiful dance and set the stage for a living piece of artwork. The agronomists, the groundskeepers, the leaf blowers, and the mowers.
We’ve seen their work on TV for decades, with patrons galore all looking on to see the best in the world take on the course. But beneath it all, under a coating of fantasy is another set of the best in the world: the grounds crew. Without them, not a moment of this would be possible.
When we think of Tea Olive, Pink Dogwood, Golden Bell, Firethorn, or Redbud — of course we remember tight approach shots and double-breakers, and we’ll think of a perfectly placed chip that lingered for a moment before the roar of the century.
But this collection is our reminder to revere the best in the world before the ceremonial first tee shot. Those that devote their nights and days to making this tournament possible, and who set the standard for those making golf possible in your own backyard.
So here’s to the best in the world, whose workday starts and ends a little early. And here’s hoping they can join us for some much needed rest next Sunday afternoon to kick back and enjoy others at work on the course.
Next time you tee it up? Play in the dirt. Smell the azaleas. Take in the painting in all its splendor. And remember to thank your groundskeeper.