Sunday at The Masters is notorious with one thing above all: tradition. Amen Corner. Ike's Pond. Magnolia Lane. Nelson Bridge. And your lingering Sunday hangover during the final round.
After all, Masters week goes hand-in-hand with the emergence of spring. And you know what else goes hand-in-hand with the emergence of spring? Binge drinking. The temperatures are reaching "I can finally wear shorts again" levels, restaurants are clearing their patios for happy hour, and everyone's got a skip in their step after being held prisoner to their own couch since Thanksgiving. There's an undeniable buzz that'll carry through summer.
So what do you find yourself doing? After trying to sneak a peak of the action on your work computer on Thursday and Friday, you crack a few coldies for the moving day that eventually spirals into you face down on your bed still wearing your shoes at 3 AM. And then after waking up and checking yourself for your spectacles, testicles, wallet, and watch, you text your buddies trying to figure out who has the biggest TV for everyone's favorite day of spring: Sunday at Augusta.
But even if the leaderboard is stacked with Masters legends (Tiger, Phil, Bubba) and young guns (Spieth, Reed, Rickie) alike, there's one thing that can potentially ruin one of the most peaceful and enjoyable sporting events in the game — your hangover. Your entire Masters experience could be ruined because of the irresponsibility that consumed you over the weekend leading up to Sunday, but taking the proper measures to comfort yourself will undeniably make the 2015 Masters as memorable as any.
Heighten Your Senses
It's rare for a live sports broadcast to offer the amount of serenity and relaxation that The Masters does. Whether it's the soft whisper of Jim Nance around the greens, the chirping birds, the overall scenery, or the mid-shot silences that speak volumes, The Masters has an unrivaled peacefulness that will turn your living room into a Zen Den.
It's of the utmost importance to surround yourself with your most trustworthy friends. You know, the ones who won't speak up in the wrong moments and understand the gravity of Fred Couples' par save on 15. The Masters doesn't need to be a social event as much as it needs to be a venue for some much-needed team building and group meditation.
If you're not using Augusta's subtle nuances to your advantage, you might as well just flip over to Saving Silverman on Comedy Central.
Embrace the Golf Nap
While I'm completely understanding that you don't want to miss any of the coveted action, there ain't no shame in fueling the engines. There are few things in the world that can calm a hangover like the inevitable golf nap. Be honest with yourself: between the CBS coverage, the course itself, and the dozen bourbons you had last night, how can you justifiably not take a nap at some point?
Be responsible and ensure you sneak it in before the final group makes the turn. Furthermore, make sure someone's there to wake you up in one of those big moments where Phil saves himself from the woods or Bubba sticks it to 12 feet to all but give him The Green Jacket. Just know that this requires a Band of Brothers level of trust.
Recreate The Spread
Few things warm my heart quite like Augusta's offerings.
Egg Salad, Pimento Cheese, Masters Club, Ham & Cheese on Rye? Parlay those sub-$3 sandwiches with a $3 domestic cold one and you've got yourself a spread. The beauty of The Masters menu is that it's easily recreated in the comforts of your own home. Egg Salad? Three ingredients. Pimento Cheese? Can be made with all fridge and pantry staples. Ham & Cheese? Easy. If you've got the motivation to create a mini-sandwich platter showcase on your coffee table then you've already won. The beers'll pretty much drink themselves.
Get A Horse In The Race
Oh, you took Tiger in your Calcutta Auction and he missed the cut? Too bad. It's high time to hop on someone else's bandwagon because without a rooting interest, you're just going to be sitting around like a wounded duck. There could not possibly be more parity on the PGA Tour than there is right now. As of March 21st, the previous 18 tournaments had been won by 18 different golfers. Since 2011, only four golfers have won multiple times in the same season. The PGA hasn't seen a stretch this long without a multiple event winner since 1994 when your dad was telling you to pipe down while José María Olazábal holed out on 18 to win. Forget the legends and embrace the parity, because there's no better time to be a fan of the PGA Tour.
Head To Your 19th Hole
The second Jim Nance signs off the coverage from Butler Cabin and you hear Dave Loggins' Masters theme for the final time, there's only one certainty in the world: the Sunday Scaries. You may not realize it now, but there's going to be a wave of anxiety that crushes your spirit. After all, you've been waiting for The Masters since you saw that first commercial during the NFL playoffs.
Without sugarcoating it, you need a post-Masters gameplan. Doesn't matter if it's late-season NHL, a chick flick on basic cable, or an episode of Veep that you're watching on your buddy's HBO GO. Preparing properly for the come down is of the utmost importance.
Anyone know if Saving Silverman is still on?