The famous Augusta National azaleas aren't in bloom at the Masters in 2017, and it's hard not to notice. However, the early bloom is something even Augusta National and its incredible grounds staff can't control.
Warmer-than-normal temperatures in the start of the year forced an early azalea bloom throughout Georgia and other parts of the country. The azaleas started blooming in late February, indicating an early arrival of Spring-like conditions. And once the azaleas bloom, there's not much to do except enjoy the view -- even if it's earlier than normal.
The Augusta Chronicle's Chris Gay indicated the bad news with some around-town imagery.
— Chris Gay (@AUG_ChrisGay) February 20, 2017
There's been a long-standing rumor that Augusta National actually uses massive amounts of ice to freeze the azaleas to prevent them from blooming until just before the Masters. However, that story has long been debunked, and it's pretty easy to understand why that wouldn't be possible. Ice melts, and it would take a lot of man-hours to commit to keeping the azaleas frozen.