PGA Tour professional golfer John Daly is not competing in The Masters this weekend, but that doesn't mean he isn't in Augusta, Georgia. 

Daly can be found all weekend long hanging out in the parking lot of the Hooters restaurant on Washington Road selling Masters merchandise, John Daly swag, and autographs. This is so John Daly that it hurts.

This is the perfect example of the illusion that is The Masters golf tournament. When people think of The Masters they think about the arrival of spring, azaleas, birds chirping, and the world's greatest test of golf.

The fact that Augusta National is an elitist organization is not the issue here. In my opinion, it's their club and they can do whatever they want with it. If they don't want the guy with no teeth from Lexington to be a member...that is up to them. If they don't want the African-American woman from Atlanta to be a member...that is up to them. I'm not saying it's right, but it's their club.

The part of The Masters that I find the most amusing is the illusion that Augusta is this perfect little town in Northern Georgia. White picket fences, flower petals blowing through the air, the little old lady sitting on her front porch sipping sweet tea.

Fake. Right outside the gates of Augusta National Golf Club runs Washington Road. Washington Road is a road just like any other small town in North America. Strip malls, fast food restaurants, tattoo shops, car repair shops, and any other less than visually appealing establishment that comes to mind. You can rent a prostitute or buy drugs if you know the right place to go. You can even buy an autographed John Daly coffee mug with a side of wings and boobs.

Inside the gates is a bit of an illusion as well. CBS pipes in the sounds of birds chirping in order to enhance the TV viewer's experience (there are birds there...but not as many as you are led to believe). The azaleas are real, but the lush green grass that off-sets the beautiful pink and white flowers is not as perfect as it looks on TV. Like any other lawn in the world, foot traffic and golf carts whizzing around create patches of brown dead grass. These patches are painted/dyed the perfect shade of green. And the water hazards are colored to make them more appealing for TV...the brown stagnant scum like at your local course probably isn't a good look.

In some strange way, John Daly hanging out in the parking lot of a Hooters restaurant represents The Masters perfectly. Fake Masters flags being signed by a guy who was never a great (or even really good) golfer while drinking a carbonated beverage flavored by fake sugar (Diet Coke) in the parking lot of a restaurant that uses fake boobs as a marketing tool.

Now, after all of this negativity...I'm going to watch The Masters because I still love it.


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