The Masters weekend 2.0

I know what you’re thinking right now: “Please don’t tell me how you sat on the couch and watched the golf, mate!” And that’s a fair point as (1) basically there’s not much to explain how to watch telly, (2) watching golf in general is a no-go for many non-golfers out there but (3) this Masters was a bit special. Let me start from the beginning.

Masters week starts on Monday: You know there’s a big event coming up on the weekend you have to prepare for – even if you’re not attending on-site. I was telling my mates and my GF that I won’t be available on Sat/Sun due to heavy golf watching. As expected this resulted in a discussion with my GF later in the week but hey, it was worth it. In addition there are other important things to organise: food for instance, drinks, snacks and last but not least: technical equipment.

What I mean with that is to make sure your tech setup is up and running. Next to a fast internet connection that obviously includes updates of the official Masters iPad and iPhone apps, a Twitter update and making sure all devices are properly charged to cope with enduring usage.

All right, the tournament officially starts on Thursday (like most of them) but there’s a lot of stuff going on the days before. Pro-Am, Kids Day, Par-3 contest and so forth. All of it not very important by all means but one might want to watch some videos of that as well to get in the right Masters mood, watching the spectators (called patrons) wandering the beautiful green hills back and forth. So I tried to check that from time to time as well. It wasn’t really working since I had a tough week in the office and couldn’t really find the time to check things on the web. So Thursday was the day when I was planning to have the Masters website on standby the whole day and I wanted to check back on a regular basis in the afternoon but apparently there was an issue either on their side or on mine in regards to IT as there was no working leaderboard on the Masters site. As a result I had to rely on my iPhone and BlackBerry  internet connection from time to time or check the PGA Tour website for that purpose. Back home at night, first thing to do: looking for live streams to watch it live on the laptop. Normally not a tough thing to do as I’m not a SKY subscriber and did this live stream thing more often. But on that particular Thursday I couldn’t find a running stream. Either my line was too slow or the stream was rubbish, in the end I haven’t really watched a minute… You can imagine my anger!

Friday. Working long hours and then literally jumping back home, looking for the same live stream page, finding it, opening the stream, clicking away all the adverts, closing all the windows that opened and then enjoying hours of golfing fun… well watching golf on a laptop screen in crap quality but at least 1000% better than Thursday without any golf! And it was brilliant! With Tiger and the discussions around his false drop, which have lead to a massive amount of discussions on Twitter, Facebook and in the blogs. I really couldn’t come after all that and struggled to put my own thoughts on Twitter and watch the golf at the same time. I was tweeting like crazy (at least for my means).

Saturday, moving day. The weekend… no work, no further disturbance and two brilliant days of 40 inch HD golf heaven on BBC ahead. So basically time to replenish food, drinks and snacks. And I had a BBQ at a friend’s to which I went – wearing my Titleist cap of course. Back at home, on time for the BBC coverage to start, I made myself comfy on the couch arranged the tech equipment and was about to drill into the most important golf week in the year.

The setup I’m talking about is the following: TV as described (remote controlled for maximum comfort), an iPad to my left showing the current Masters leaderboard, an iPhone to my right for handy access to Masters videos (and GF’s calls) plus a Macbook on my lap for checking/writing tweets on the fly.

I have to admit, it’s a massive information overflow, and by the end of Saturday night I switched off the iPad and neglected the iPhone (including GF… no just kidding). But what a brilliant golf day that was! To follow Jason Day, Bernhard Langer, Adam Scott, Brandt Snedeker and all the others virtually around the course was big fun. And tweeting about it was too. Hardly anyone commented on my tweets though, which was starting to annoy me.

Sunday. Again, long sleep, relaxation and preparation time for the big day! Leaving iPad and iPhone switched off and I tried to not look at any tweets this day. Didn’t work out in the end but it was a very good golf-watching day with an exciting end. And believe me or not, I really like Adam Scott and in my opinion he so much deserves it. I definitely cheered for him and went to bed late after great joy and excitement thoughout the past days.

Next morning in the office, a colleague: “Anything special on the weekend?” – (me lying) “Nah, not much, BBQ on Saturday, weather was good” …. yeah, whatever! :)

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