The Marty Smith Podcast, Masters Tournament Episode: Marty and Wes Talk Augusta National’s Cell Phone Policy

by TK Sanders
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On the latest episode of the Marty Smith Podcast live from Augusta National, Marty and Wes basked in some of their favorite details about the Masters. Marty began the conversation by pointing out the dogged dedication to sports and southern culture that he witnesses each year at the event; then he and Wes tied in those themes of fellowship with Augusta National’s beautifully archaic ban on cell phones, drawing a poignant comparison between community and a life lived in the present moment.

“When I had the blessing of coming here, I made it a mission to go to Amen Corner … and just hang,” Marty began, mentioning fondly that he always carries two beers to the holes — one for him and one for his father. “And man [the amount of passionate sports fans] is amazing to me. Every fan base in the world comes down there, and it doesn’t matter that Brooks Koepka will be teeing off or Tony Finau will be right behind him.”

“They’ll be like, ‘Marty, what you think about [my team’s] third-string quarterback? I’m not too sure about him; I’ve seen his release and it ain’t too good, man.'”

Wes chimed in to continue the good-natured ribbing: “And you’ve never been to spring practice and don’t even know who they’re talking about, yet,” he laughed along with Marty, shaking his head.

Marty said he equates that outright passion for sports — be it golf, college football, or a little bit of both — with a sense of community and fellowship only seen at special events like the Masters.

“Amazing, it’s amazing,” Marty said, glowing in the presence of the course and his love for the game. “That’s one thing that’s so great about the Masters, the fellowship.”

Marty Smith Said Watching The Masters With Family and Friends Is Sweeter Without a Cell Phone Distracting Him

According to Marty, that sense of fellowship is exemplified by a real commitment from Augusta National to preserve the integrity of the experience. One of the ways the club achieves that special feeling is to prohibit cell phones, which creates an immersive, one-of-a-kind sporting experience.

“Another thing I love so much about the Masters is you can’t have your phones,” he said. “There is something so beautiful, especially in today’s world, about being immersed in an event with your family or your best friend or son or daughter, and not watching it through the lens of your iPhone.”

“You’re actually watching it and creating those beautiful memories in the film strip of your mind. And today, it’s so rare that we actually pause and aren’t [staring] at this [phone] all the time.”

Wes wholeheartedly agreed, citing another previous sports outing that was made twice as nice thanks to leaving his phone at home.

“I didn’t have my phone during Georgia’s National Championship,” Wes said. “And it reminded me of Augusta because I didn’t have the opportunity to just have my brain sucked in with the screen. I’ll never forget it.

“There’s something reverent about that, and Augusta totally gets that right.”

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