Augusta patrons line up for Founders Circle photo-op

Founders_circle_600Y.E. Y.E. Yang takes a photo of his caddie and his caddie's son at Founders Circle at the 2009 Masters (Reuters). AUGUSTA, Ga. -- It’s the Masters equivalent of giddy children waiting on line to have their photo snapped with Mickey in front of the Magic Kingdom: starry-eyed patrons waiting more than an hour to have their picture taken in the middle of the roundabout in front of the Augusta National clubhouse.

At 10:30 Wednesday morning, more than 150 golf fans were waiting for the privilege.

“Been here since 9:45,” said Debra Daily, a South Carolinian who is attending her first Masters and didn’t seem a bit frustrated by standing in a queue that extended from the end of Magnolia Lane and through a roped-off area past the members’ practice range. “You gotta get this shot.”

To be sure, the Founders Circle, as it’s known, is an iconic spot, right up there with Amen Corner and Bubba Land, the kind of photo backdrop that any fan would be proud to display on his or her office wall. The centerpiece is a bed of bright yellow flowers planted in the shape of the ubiquitous Masters logo. Behind that looms a white flagpole bearing the American flag along with the façade of the white clapboard clubhouse.

Patrons are permitted to shoot with their own cameras, but they need not rely on their own snapping skills to get the perfect picture. The club provides a professional photographer, who transfers the images to a website from which patrons can download them. The fee? Zippo. It’s the best deal this side of Augusta’s $3 beers.

Those who have neither the time nor the patience for a photo-op can get a glimpse of the Founders Circle in what the attending security guard on Wednesday morning referred to as the “peek line.”

“Everybody loves the peek line!” the guard bellowed.

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by Kevin Cunningham