Willie Geist: First Impressions of Augusta
Golf Digest's guest at the 2011 Masters was Willie Geist, host of MSNBC's "Way Too Early with Willie Geist" and co-host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe." Here are his observations on his first trip to the Masters.
Released on 3/7/2012
Hey I'm Willie Geist from MSNBC, I host a show
that comes on every day at 5:30 in the morning,
so, although you may not know me right away
I assure you I am huge with overnight shift workers,
nursing mothers, people who fall asleep with the TV on,
exotic dancers, drug dealers, folks awoken
in the darkness of night by varmints rifling through
the trash outside, and vagrants who watch the program
through the windows of electronics stores just trying
to stay warm from the glow of the bank
of flat screen televisions.
Perhaps because of that broad appeal, I was invited
generously, by Golf Digest to go to the 2011 Masters
and to write about it for the magazine
for this year's April issue.
This despite the fact that I am quite candidly
a dreadful golfer.
I only really play at the small public nine hole
on Shelter Island, New York where the Caesar salad
in the clubhouse gets more grooming than the fairways
out in the course.
Finest hour at that track, they call it goat hill,
came several summers ago when my tee shot at the
par three fifth flew the green, drilled the broad side
of a passing Budweiser delivery truck and bounced back
onto the green, where I two putted for par.
And that was about as good as golf has gotten for me.
Doesn't mean I don't like golf, I really do.
It's just that to someone who has played sports
his whole life, it is club throwingly frustrating
to be worse at a game than this lady.
In my defense, she was really good with the blade,
little short off the tee, though.
There are, in fact, a lot of things I love about golf,
even if playing golf is not necessarily among them.
Five quick ones for you.
Number one, I love that half the players in the field
are told to pack up their stuff and get the hell
out of town halfway through a tournament.
We should apply the cut to other sports;
if you stink, you're gone.
The next time Mark Sanchez has a bad first half for the Jets
put him on a plane out of town.
And don't just pull the goalie after he gives up four goals
in the first period of an NHL game,
throw him out of the arena.
Just a thought.
Second thing I love about the game,
the spectators at golf tournaments walk
around the course in spikes
to watch the players play golf.
I'm gonna wear cleats and stirrups to the Yankees
home opener this year in the same spirit,
or hockey skates to the next Rangers game.
Number three, Ryan Moore wears a tie to work.
Really helps him stand out around the office.
That guy, buckin for a promotion.
Number four, the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Doesn't quite surpass the Pool and Weeneeder
Independence Bowl in title sponsor absurdity,
but it does threaten.
Again, it is a golf tournament sponsored by
the management of trash.
And number five on the list, I love that there is a place
on this Earth where Fuzzy Zoeller
is considered an athlete.
And that place, is the Champion's Tour.
You gotta love golf.
Big thanks to my good friends at Golf Digest
for letting me tag along at the Masters last year.
I wanna be very clear that my schedule every first
weekend of April for the rest of my life is wide open.