Masters Digi-Blog II: In search of squirrels

staged

AUGUSTA — Here at Digi-Blog, Inc., we have taken you behind the scenes of everything from SEC media days to the new Cowboys Stadium to the charm (kidding) of Stillwater, Okla. (see links below). This week, we went in search of Tiger Woods Sunday — and found him!

But you know what we couldn’t find at Augusta National? A squirrel. Seriously. I don’t know how many trees and bushes and nuts and stuff there are in this place. But nobody can find a squirrel. We’ve noticed this in past years also. Join us on our search, as we look for one of nature’s little fellas. (The three on the left were photographed outside of a package store in Grovetown. They wouldn’t comment. Former AJC columnist Dave Kindred is attending his 43rd Masters and says he never has seen a squirrel. “Then again, I’ve never seen a kangaroo, either,” he said. “But, yeah, with a million trees, you would think you would see one squirrel.” And here’s another thing: They sell almost EVERYTHING in the gift shop. So why can’t I buy a simple green blazer? Walk with me.

squirrel1

See that bank of trees on the left of the first fairway? I climbed six of them. No squirrels up there. Found Martha Burk, though.

squirrel2

None down here, either. (By the way: Does your pine straw look this nice?)

squirrelreserveI have a theory they might be back here at the Augusta National Squirrel Detention Center. Strange and horrible sounds were coming from the direction of that home behind the trees. But when I took one step in that direction, this security dude started to reach for something.

TheTree

Sorry. If squirrels aren’t in this tree, they just don’t exist here. I finally asked a member of grounds crew. “They’re rare. They’re very rare,” said one staff member. “Actually, it’s funny you ask that because we talk about that sometimes.” But have you seen one? “I think I have.” But when? “Actually, I can’t remember.” But you’re not chasing them off? “Not at all. Maybe they don’t want to come out because of all of the people. But you wouldn’t think they’re all sitting around, thinking, ‘Hey, let’s pack up our suitcases and get out of here. It’s Masters week’ — just like everybody else who lives here.”

hats

This is inside the Masters gift shop. No squirrels here, either. But they do sell every hat imaginable.

shirts

Also every conceivable shirt.

eyeglasses

Also a $15 glasses case for my $6 sunglasses. But there are two things they don’t sell: Stuff squirrels or green jackets. Can you imagine how big the green jacket concession would be here? “They’re sold here,” said Kris Hardy, 50, who has worked at the store since age 14. “But they’re only sold to a select group.” Right. That membership thing.

babyclothes

Sure. She’s laughing now. Just wait until she tries to become a member.

menu

One cool thing about the Masters is the unbelievably reasonable food prices. One staple of the menu is the pimento cheese sandwich. The reason is Clifford Roberts ordered that 40 pimento cheese sandwiches be made back in 1934, and they still have 23 left. There’s also a theory that pimento cheese is a squirrel repellent.

beer

I asked a worker (not this one — so please don’t fire her, Billy) if people really purchase beer at 8 a.m. This is the answer I got: “Eight? Some are buying it at 7:15. But those are usually the people who are still drunk from the night before.”

beautiful people

This is where the beautiful people dine. In many cases, there is an overlap between the beautiful people and the lingering drunks who buy beer at 7:15 a.m.

phonesWow, phone booths. The Masters really is old school. Just pick up a phone and Mabel will connect you.

toughfan

And they say golf fans aren’t tough.

NiceHouse

This looks just like where the AJC is staying.

pictures

This scoreboard is a popular picture spot. Maybe they can put up one of those wooden picture stands with the heads cut out.

garyplayer

“In South Africa, we treat all of our squirrels equally and with dignity,” said Gary Player. Kidding.

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65 comments Add your comment

Billy Ray Valentine....Capricorn

April 6th, 2010
11:26 am

No birds on the grounds either. Try to find one – you hear the tweeting, but never see the tweeter.

Tucker T

April 6th, 2010
11:34 am

Very funny Jeff. I was thinking the same thing about the pinestraw. That doesn’t even look like real pinestraw. How do they do that?

Bob Didier caught here

April 6th, 2010
11:35 am

Oh JS, one of your best posts!Any truth to the rumor these squirells have been paid by Tiger to disappear?

just do it (as long as Nike keeps raking in the money)

April 6th, 2010
11:40 am

Boycott Nike !

Reid Adair

April 6th, 2010
11:52 am

Wow, it almost makes you wonder if they aren’t trapping and hunting the squirrels? Great work, Jeff. As always.

Glad they didn’t confiscate your media credential for climbing all those trees.

worm

April 6th, 2010
11:53 am

Please tell me that guy didn’t have on blue jean shorts.In the picture of the guy with the injured foot..Clifford Roberts just stained his linen!

Paul in RDU

April 6th, 2010
11:54 am

Excellent column Jeff.
After seeing the pine straw, I have to ask – do they have hundreds of groundsmen hidden around the course waiting to jump out and touch up the grounds, pick up litter, etc?

Ted Striker

April 6th, 2010
11:54 am

Good column and photography, Monsieur Jeff.

worm

April 6th, 2010
11:59 am

To paul in RDU..Tons of guys walking around in white coveralls just waiting for a piece of litter to hit the ground.

Glitchy

April 6th, 2010
12:17 pm

Great Photos, Jeff, but go easy on the pimento cheese samwiches. You obviously haven;t had one of my Aunt Nonie’s. I have dreams about them (and Reese Witherspoon – I’m not that weird).

FalconUGAFan

April 6th, 2010
12:22 pm

Jeff, have to admit I hate golf coverage, but I do like squirrels. So good stuff. Hey any chance we will see anything on the current events out of Athens? You know QB race, etc…

Clay

April 6th, 2010
12:25 pm

Now I’d pay the price for a scalped badge to see Shultzie climb a tree …

Good pics!

mn possum

April 6th, 2010
12:26 pm

Save the AJC (or enrich the Schultz clan). Offer to random patrons: $2,000 buys you a place in the DigiBlog.

Lanny Simons

April 6th, 2010
12:26 pm

Jeff, a question for you. I know the groundskeepers there have ways of getting the azaleas to bloom at the proper time, but the azaleas around are not blooming yet, perhaps because of the cold winter, and they always bloom concurrent with the Masters. How do things look there?

I remember buying a sandwich and coffee the morning of my first (and only) day there and it was $2.50. I pointed out to the lady ringing me up that she must have missed my coffee. She said, “I got it.” Any other tourney, the total would be about $8.

And whatever became of...

April 6th, 2010
12:45 pm

…Hootie Johnson? Beware, Billy P. – be very ware…..

StingerSplash

April 6th, 2010
12:54 pm

One of the truly glorious things about the Masters — the cheap food and beer and the efficiency at which both are served.
Say, uh, Jeff, you, um, taking the digi blog back to Hooters on Washington Road for either the Miss Par 3 or the Miss Green Jacket contests? Bet you could get a good seat. They might even let you judge.
If I were you, don’t believe I’d mention it to Mrs. Digi-Blog World.

gdawginkalamazoo

April 6th, 2010
1:13 pm

Jeff, very funny. Glad you are having a great time at the Masters. And yes, the woods in Augusta are better than some of the fairways that I have played on in the past.

Augusta native

April 6th, 2010
1:19 pm

The funny thing about reading this is that there are two squirrels outside my window right now. Granted, I live on the other side of town from that golf course with that event that we’re trained not to name for fear of legal action.

reebok

April 6th, 2010
1:39 pm

funny stuff, jeff. very enjoyable read.

Shankit

April 6th, 2010
2:32 pm

The only wildlife I have ever seen (before Tiger) is the water
moccasin down by number 11. The caddies have named
him “Clifford Roberts”, saying “that snake will bite you.”

gdawginkalamazoo

April 6th, 2010
2:32 pm

Jeff, word got out that Tiger was going to be in town this week, the squirrels got nervous and left the course for the week.

Shankit

April 6th, 2010
2:34 pm

I have boycotted “nookie”, er I mean Nike.

wxwax

April 6th, 2010
2:38 pm

Funny! Good stuff, Jeff. :-)

[...] Masters Digi-Blog II: In search of squirrels | Jeff Schultz [...]

JoeV

April 6th, 2010
2:42 pm

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…you and TB are the only two worth a damn around here (sports). Keep up the great work Jeff.

Otto

April 6th, 2010
3:12 pm

Where is the Tuesday Hottie? I’m just a a squirrel lookin for a…….

meh

April 6th, 2010
3:13 pm

looks like they have pretty good beer prices. $3.50 for an import. you can’t hardly get an imported beer at a bar for $3.50

StingerSplash

April 6th, 2010
3:27 pm

I heard the squirrels are renting out their place for $4500 this week and are headed to Vegas.

BobDog

April 6th, 2010
3:31 pm

Jeff, it reads like you are slamming the pimento cheese sandwich. You need to try one if you haven’t. The only thing on earth that might be better is Augusta National’s egg salad.

Great article.

dobearsbare

April 6th, 2010
3:43 pm

Not seeing any squirrels? What do you think they’re putting in those suspiciously cheap BBQ sandwiches?

azcat225

April 6th, 2010
3:45 pm

Jeff, I love ya, man, but you can’t have my Bud Light (or my pimento cheese sandwich). Great stuff, made my (otherwise crappy) day. Have fun down there this week, amigo, you’ve earned it.

Brent Fulberry

April 6th, 2010
4:14 pm

You’re too quick to dismiss the Pimento Cheese sandwiches as “squirrel repellent”. Take it from someone who knows!

In 2006 I went to my first Masters. Everyone had always told me about the Pimento Cheese sandwiches. Frankly, I thought it sounded disgusting!

So I figured, at only $1.50 a sandwich, if I didn’t like it, I could just throw it away. Turns out that after taking just one bite, I was HOOKED! Not kidding! In fact, all of us bought a second Pimento Cheese sandwich.

Mr. Turnip-Green Jeans

April 6th, 2010
4:27 pm

Jeff, give us your take on Heyward and the Braves after yesterday’s dazzling start.

The Masters? Makes me picture a’buncha Dutch dudes laying-around huffing cigars…

mn possum

April 6th, 2010
4:30 pm

In Minnesota, we have cow mutilations. Perhaps, ya’ll have more peaceable extraterretrials who merely abduct squirrels. I’ve also never seen a Sea Monkey at Augusta.

Mr. Turnip-Green Jeans

April 6th, 2010
4:31 pm

OK, Lowe wasn’t dazzling. Maybe this year we can outscore his ERA.

Mr. Turnip-Green Jeans

April 6th, 2010
4:35 pm

possum, you speak of cow mutilations. That’s exactly what happened to Augusta’s Sea Monkeys. We feel your pain bro.

Simon Bar Sinister

April 6th, 2010
4:47 pm

Jeff, you’ve been in Atlanta long enough to shake your West Coast biases and recognized that pimento cheese sandwiches are a Southern staple.

Before they yankeefied the Varsity for the Olympics, a cheese steak came with pimento cheese by default (American cheese was available by request). They’ve reversed that, and they got rid of the express line and the conveyor belt, but pimento cheese is still available.

Cuz

April 6th, 2010
5:08 pm

There is not enough squirrel food at the National. Few oaks and I think no pecan trees. Jeff if you want to see squirrels instead of golf, walk the block to my house. I live a block and a half from your coveted parking space. I feed the squirrels a steady diet of pecans and Bud Lights. They are everywhere.

Delbert D.

April 6th, 2010
5:20 pm

How do the train the squirrels to pose for so long?

Mr. Turnip-Green Jeans

April 6th, 2010
5:36 pm

The squirrels look to be drugged, Delbert..

[...] ♦ Masters Digi-Blog II: In search of squirrels [...]

Cuz

April 6th, 2010
6:33 pm

Hey Del, they are stuffed.

Jeff Schultz

April 6th, 2010
7:00 pm

Billy Ray — That’s true. We have a theory there’s speakers up in the trees with fake sound coming out, like Disney.

Jeff Schultz

April 6th, 2010
7:02 pm

Tucker T — I think they have 710 people in charge of just pine straw. That’s the secret.

Jeff Schultz

April 6th, 2010
7:03 pm

Bob Didier — Thanks. I think the squirrels thing is all AGNC’s doing. Can’t blame Tiger for this.

Jeff Schultz

April 6th, 2010
7:03 pm

Reid — thanks. Confiscated by shotgun at the gate.

Jeff Schultz

April 6th, 2010
7:03 pm

Paul in RDU — Yes. And thanks.

Jeff Schultz

April 6th, 2010
7:04 pm

Thanks, Dr. Striker.

Jeff Schultz

April 6th, 2010
7:04 pm

Glitchy — You dream of Pimento Cheese Samwiches? Striker, what can we do with this guy?

Jeff Schultz

April 6th, 2010
7:05 pm

FalconUGAFan — Nothing on Dogs from me this week.