Thousands Of Emotional Feeling Brains Are Heading To The Masters To Spend
Ever since Bobby Jones decided it was a good idea to turn an orchard into a golf course, emotional feeling brains have been coming to Augusta, GA, in April to spend money. Next week will be no exception.
The Augusta National is a magical place. The photos and videos of the course don’t do it justice. It is beautiful.
I live in Augusta. I’ve been fortunate to have attended the Masters several times, and I know first-hand how important the event is to our community. The thousands of emotional spending fans who make the pilgrimage to the Garden City each year help keep us going the other 51 weeks of the year. And for that, we are thankful.
Full disclosure: I’m not a golfer – I have other creative ways to spend my scarce dollars. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the event or the incredible skills of the players. Believe me, they are good. No, they are better than good. They can do things with a golf ball that a golf ball wasn’t designed to do. But I digress . . .
Regardless how much I like to walk the course, I really like to hang out at the gift shop and watch people spend money (Golf junkies, calm down. This is what I do.). It’s always an amazing display of unbounded feeling brain spending frenzy.
For those of you who don’t golf, the Augusta National is one of the most exclusive golf clubs throughout the world. And they own and control everything “Masters.” That means they have an absolute monopoly on the Masters logo and everything they put it on.
Practice tickets and tournament badges are in high demand and tough to get. Most visitors either get their tickets by lottery or pay a small fortune to buy tickets in the secondary market.
There is little about the Masters that screams “natural market.”
Picture this. Dozens of private jets parked at the local airport. Bars, clubs, and restaurants over flowing with visitors. Affluent middle-aged golf fans begging by the side of the road for tickets and badges. Locals renting out hundreds of private homes to international business leaders. Top celebrities mixing with the crowd like mere mortals. And thousands of the mostly middle-aged affluent men lined up at visitor gates acting like kids at Disney World.
There is no other show in the world like the Masters.
Let’s go back to the gift shop. If you’ve just flown in from London, Tokyo, or Cleveland for a once-in-a-lifetime visit to golf’s premier shrine, you need to buy a few trinkets to remember the trip. And it might also be good form to drop a few bucks on gifts for friends and family at home.
So spending $1,500 for a “Masters” golf bag makes sense, right? Especially if you can stuff it full of every conceivable logo-emblazoned, limited edition, “I attended the Masters, and you didn’t,” golf-related piece of gear you can imagine. Budgets are for the weak!
Remember, this is the only place anyone can legally buy official Masters-endorsed gear. Once you are out of the gate, that’s it. You can’t run to the mall or the airport gift shop and pick something up on the way out-of-town. So there is tremendous pressure to spend – a lot. And we always do.
Emotional humans on money. It makes our economy go. . . .