Masters 2018: Inside The Mercedes-Benz Experience And Ride

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It’s the evening before Par 3, the yearly anticipated practice round at Augusta National Golf Club, an event that kicks off the year’s most prestigious golf tournament,  Rickie Fowler, pro golfer and a Mercedes Brand Ambassador, is chatting with ESPN fan favorite commentator Scott Van Pelt for an interview at the Mercedes-Benz clubhouse on River Island. Less than 100 select guests are indulging in the Dark Chocolate Espresso cake, sipping on Veuve Cliquot Yellow LabelFar Niente, Napa Chardonnay15, and Silver Oak, Cabernet Alexander Vallery ’14  and just taking in the golf superstar and his insights into many of the buzzed-about pro golfers like Tiger Woods

“We are just normal guys,” Fowler says of himself and his golfer buddies. ” We just happen to be better at golf than everyone else.” He is joking around now, and the crowd is loving it.

2018 Mercedes-Benz Masters Experience. Photographed by Jensen Larson for Mercedes-Benz, USA.
2018 Mercedes-Benz Masters Experience. Photographed by Jensen Larson for Mercedes-Benz, USA.

Welcome to the first night of the Mercedes-Benz Experience at The Masters tournament. It only gets better from here.

2018 Mercedes-Benz Masters Experience. Photographed by Jensen Larson for Mercedes-Benz, USA.
River Island. Photographed by Jensen Larson for Mercedes-Benz, USA.

After dinner, some guests mingle while others make their way up the beautifully lit walkway to the valets waiting to take each person to their home in the neighborhood of River Island. For this week, the beautiful homes in this ritzy neighborhood are cleared out and Mercedes-Benz takes them over. River Island, located a few minutes from Augusta, becomes the exclusive Mercedes-Benz hub for its small selection of handpicked guests. That is the point. Mercedes-Benz shows what their hashtag #thebestornothing is really about.  Before retiring for the evening, some guests stick around to get a closer look at the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe which was unveiled earlier in the evening. The car is absolutely stunning and unlike any of their others. Below, Rickie Fowler poses with the coupe.

2018 Mercedes-Benz Masters Experience. Photographed by Jensen Larson for Mercedes-Benz, USA.
2018 Mercedes-Benz Masters Experience. Photographed by Jensen Larson for Mercedes-Benz, USA.

The next day is the Par 3 tournament and at the clubhouse, Mercedes Sprinter Vans are coming by the hour to ferry guests to the Augusta National Golf Club to watch the players in action and experience the beautiful cabin that is reserved only for guests of Mercedes-Benz. From gourmet goodies to an open bar and a person to help you find whatever it is you are looking for, everything is top-notch. And then you walk outside to enjoy a practice putting green with PGA pros available as instructors.

2018 Mercedes-Benz Masters Experience. Photographed by Jensen Larson for Mercedes-Benz, USA.
2018 Mercedes-Benz Masters Experience. Photographed by Jensen Larson for Mercedes-Benz, USA.

Mercedes-Benz USA has set a new bar when it comes to first class experiences. The kind that money can’t buy. The luxury automaker, who recently relocated their North American headquarters from New Jersey to metro Atlanta, is one of the three global sponsors of the holy grail of golf tournaments, more formally known as The Masters. But while many people may see the brand for their cars, they are so much more than that. But in order to truly understand this effortlessly unique tier of luxury, you have to experience it for yourself. I did just that and more.

An invitation by Mercedes-Benz to attend The Masters on their behalf was enough to get anyone excited, but it wasn’t until I got behind the wheel of the 2018 S63 AMG convertible that I knew this would be a trip to remember.  More on this dreamy ride later. Back to the trip. After a day on the stunning Augusta National Golf Course, watching the pros like Jon Rahm, Bubba Watson, Jordan Spieth, and this year’s winner Patrick Reed hit some balls, I check out the brand new gift shop which is more like a large luxury boutique carrying everything from Tiffany & Co jewelry made exclusively for the Masters to Lily Pulitzer outfits for the kiddos with the Masters logo. Then, with a few hours of downtime, I relaxed and got ready for what would be an even more spectacular night.

2018 Mercedes-Benz Masters Experience. Photographed by Jensen Larson for Mercedes-Benz, USA.
2018 Mercedes-Benz Masters Experience. Photographed by Jensen Larson for Mercedes-Benz, USA.

This time, the clubhouse at River Island was completely transformed into a totally different space. Stations serving all sorts delicacies such as made -to -order sushi and prime cut meats were artfully set up around the tables that were all adorned with breathtaking flower arrangements. The lighting was dim but the vibe was very relaxing as people interacted and sipped top-shelf cocktails at the bar in between trips to indulge in more food. And then the evening’s entertainment began. Charles Kelley, of the Grammy-award winning band Lady Antebellum, showed up casually dressed in jeans and a leather jacket and mingled with the guests. There were even a few minutes before he went on “stage” for the small private audience that he sat down inside with us, drink in hand and chatted casually with everyone. Born and raised in Augusta, Georgia, he is a Mercedes brand ambassador as well and loves the sport of golf. Joking about his Southern roots, he told us his friends would rail on him everytime they saw him because his jeans got tighter and tighter each year. “I’m like ‘I still own a seersucker suit’,” he laughs “I mean I haven’t worn it in a long time but…”,

2018 Mercedes-Benz Masters Experience. Photographed by Jensen Larson for Mercedes-Benz, USA.
2018 Mercedes-Benz Masters Experience. Photographed by Jensen Larson for Mercedes-Benz, USA.

This evening seemed different from the last. The mood was different. More at ease. Whether it was the decor and ambiance, the ease of the crowd after a long day on the course or the Mercedes magic, we will never know. But, the private concert from Charles Kelley had everyone singing along and dancing. He played a variety from his hit country songs to Prince’s Purple Rain. When he finished his set, he invited guests to join him down by the dock where a cigar bar was set up and the setting was spectacular.

2018 Mercedes-Benz Masters Experience. Photographed by Jensen Larson for Mercedes-Benz, USA.
2018 Mercedes-Benz Masters Experience. Photographed by Jensen Larson for Mercedes-Benz, USA.

The next day, as the actual tournament was starting, I had breakfast in the clubhouse and prepared for my ride back to Mercedes-Benz headquarters where a driver would be waiting to take me back home. As I got in the car,  the sun shining and the temps warming up by the minute, I pushed the button and the top smoothly opened on my Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet. Then, I adjusted my seat in more ways than I can describe. The ENERGIZING Comfort features link the various comfort systems in the vehicle together such as climate control, ambient lighting, massage and fragrancing functions and allows the driver to configure a specific wellness setup to suit their current mood and needs. So whether you are looking for Freshness or Joy, Warmth or Vitality, just push a button and let the car do the work.

2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet
2018 Mercedes-AMG S63 Cabriolet

This is all part of the redesign that now comes standard on the 2018 S-Class Coupe and S-Class Cabriolet. AMG S63 Coupe and Cabriolet receive a Handcrafted AMG 4.0L V8 biturbo engine with cylinder deactivation. The engine puts out 603 hp and accelerates the sedan from zero to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds with the aid of an AMG SPEEDSHIFT® MCT 9 speed transmission and fully variable AMG Performance 4MATIC+ all-wheel-drive system.

 

Experiencing this powerful yet luxurious convertible coupe won over my heart and was the icing on the cake of an unforgettable experience. The way car smoothly navigates and the quiet yet powerful draw of the engine was just like the experience at The Masters…The Best of Nothing.  Apparently, that was all part of the carefully crafted redesign in the new S-Class AMG coupes and cabriolet models. They are designed to be the ultimate combination of luxury, comfort, and intelligence. And they are just that. The AMG line is also more dynamic in this redesign with new front and rear bumpers. Especially striking at the front end are the large three-dimensional air inlets, which each include two chrome-plated fins.

The exterior of the Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Cabriolet has been optimized to improve air flow around the wheels with specificially designed outer aero rings and spoke geometry. #MercedesAMG #AMG #C63 #DrivingPerformance #Power #Passion #Mercedes #AMG🔥 #Luxury #CarsofInstagram #InstaCar #Lifestyle [[1]Fuel consumption combined: 10.4 l/100km | CO2 emissions: 236 g/km] [1] The stated figures (provisional data) were determined in accordance with the prescribed measuring method. These are the “NEDC CO2 figures“ according to Art. 2 No. 1 Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1153. The fuel consumption figures were calculated based on these figures [1] The stated figures (provisional data) were determined in accordance with the prescribed measuring method. These are the “NEDC CO2 figures“ according to Art. 2 No. 1 Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1153. The fuel consumption figures were calculated based on these figures [1] The stated figures (provisional data) were determined in accordance with the prescribed measuring method. These are the “NEDC CO2 figures“ according to Art. 2 No. 1 Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1153. The fuel consumption figures were calculated based on these figures

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“With their unmistakable, exclusive design and high-class materials with extremely high value appeal in the interior, the new S-Clas Coupe and S-Class Cabriolet embody our interpretation of modern luxury,” said Britta Seeger, who is responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing and Sales.  Same goes for their experiences.

For me, the 2018 Masters golf tournament and an S63 Cabriolet brought a whole new meaning to luxury. For more information on the 2018 S-Class models as well as the exclusive Mercedes-Benz experiences, like The Masters click here.

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