It may be the single greatest perk of being a golf writer: the Monday after the Masters media lottery at Augusta National.
Every media member credentialed to cover the Masters has this lottery on the brain from the second they come down Magnolia Lane to cover the event. And when their name is selected for the Monday round, complete with caddies and Sunday pin positions, it's pure bliss.
Much of Golf Channel's staff has had the chance to play golf's holy grounds the day after the Masters. As you might expect, their comments and star ratings of the course are all superlative.
Morning Drive anchor Gary Williams had an even better hookup: the chance to stay-and-play on golf's holy grounds.
"I was fortunate to stay in the Butler Cabin and get the full treatment from our host," wrote Williams. "Champions locker room, Crows Nest, Wine Cellar, etc. You're so overcome with an overload of golf nostalgia that sleeping is a difficult exercise."
GolfChannel.com Staff Writer Ryan Lavner wrote that it's one thing to see Augusta's hills in person, but quite another to actually traverse them during your own round.
"I knew to expect a walk that was hillier than what appeared on TV," wrote Lavner. "But, trust me, it's even more taxing when you go all 18. It's a hike.
Video: Ginella on the best places to play in Augusta during Masters week
Jay Coffin, Editor at GolfChannel.com, also selected in the media lottery in 2008, had similar sleeping problems as Williams the night before knowing he'd be teeing it up on Augusta. The lefty slicer's round began with a dreaded straight ball right into the trees on the 10th hole.
"I played a usual mediocre round," wrote Coffin. "But my caddie Steve was an absolute joy. He saved me at least 10 shots that day, and we're still in contact now, 6 years later."