Golf, law, and the 2015 Masters Tournament

Augusta National Golf ClubThe game of golf is loved by many, tolerated by others, and affirmatively disliked by the rest. – John Minan

Round 1 of The 79th Masters Tournament starts today in Augusta. With the action under way, a pass through the law library’s reading room reveals we have a number of golfers here posing as law students, today: Titleist hats, overheard snippets of debate – tough holes, who’s hot, who’s not – and more than one laptop showing a lot of green. Can we get an Amen Corner?

On display at the Circulation Desk are a couple of items you ought to check out if you’re passing through. We have the April 13th issue of ESPN Magazine open to an interview of Georgia native and UGA alumnus Bubba Watson, who, it just happens, has won two of the last three Masters tourneys, and a copy of John “Jack” Minan’s Little Book of Golf Law, a very readable and often outright funny survey of selected case law related to the game. If you enjoy golf, both are worth a few minutes of your time.

Writing in the ABA’s Business Law Today, Minan, revealing his characteristic humor, introduces the observer to the game in his article “Golf and the Law.” You can begin to see why the “rules of golf” have a tendency to intersect with the “rules of law.”

Golfers often describe the flight of the golf ball based on its trajectory. For a right-handed player, a ball that curves to the left is called a hook. One that curves to the right is a slice. For left-handed players, the hook-slice description is just the reverse: left is a slice and right is a hook. If the ball goes straight or where it is supposed to go, most golfers call it a miracle. When miracles don’t occur, another player is at risk of getting hit.

And it’s not just the other players who are at risk for mishaps and altercations. “The Intersection of Golf and the Law,” by Bill Pennington, first ran in the New York Times a couple of years back, but his advice about the legal hazards lurking on the greens is still fresh, relevant, and also unavoidably funny.

But back to Augusta, where so much attention will be focused, this week:

You can catch that ESPN interview with Bubba Watson online.

Bubba isn’t the only Georgia Dawg playing in this tournament. Learn a little something about the other UGA golfers in the field, this week.

If you’re headed to Augusta to watch, here’s a map of the course and parking.

If you’re getting technical, NBC’s Golf Central Blog has a chart of hole locations (as of this post, for Round 1).

The official Masters Tournament site is streaming the event live, of course.

CBS Sports also offers live streaming, live blogging, scores, expert picks, a unique hole-by-hole flyover, and more: http://www.cbssports.com/golf/tournaments/masters Go direct to the live streaming and video highlights: http://www.cbssports.com/golf/masters/live

USA Today offers the 2015 Masters Guide with featured groups, tee-times, and TV viewing schedule.

If your work or study schedule prohibits full-time engagement with a big or small screen, you can follow the action discretely on Twitter via @TheMasters or #TheMasters

Best wishes for a great tournament week, and to all those UGA grads playing this week, Go Dawgs!

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