Thursday, April 7, 2016

THE MASTERS - Taking It In On The Practice Days

I guess it was last summer while in Michigan over the July 4th holiday that my dad mentioned to my Aunt Bonnie and I that he was turning seventy years old this spring.  He and my aunt both golf quite a bit (some would say a lot) and they typically meet up a couple of times a year to play together.  We had been talking on an off for several years now that we should try to go to The Masters at some point since my wife and I live only about 45 minutes away from the Augusta National Golf Club.  My aunt and started scheming that if we could find tickets that this would be the perfect way to celebrate my dad's 70th birthday.

Fast forward a couple months and my aunt was able to lock in tickets for two of the the practice days.  This would give us the opportunity to walk the course, see the players in a more relaxed part of the week, and take in quite a bit of the experience of being at The Masters.      

Monday morning we excitedly arrived at Augusta National Golf Club before 8 o'clock and as soon as the gates opened spent a few minutes at the Practice Range before taking a few hours to walk the entire course.  We had it back to Amen Corner before the masses arrived and sat in the stands for an hour or so, enjoyed a pimento cheese sandwich and beer, and watched several players play.  We then walked back, taking our time to take it all in.  We ended the afternoon back at the Practice Range and watched as several players warmed up.  We left in the late afternoon but not before a stop to purchase some memorabilia to carry home.  

My dad had an extensive surgery in January and is still recuperating.  He didn't have the strength to walk much of the course on Tuesday and we spent most of the day at the Practice Range.  Sitting there for the better part of the day allowed us to see many of the players and since we were positioned near the club house it gave us a great view as some would walk directly over to the putting greens while others the range in front of us. 

Here's a few notes to go with the mix of photographs taken from our couple days at The Masters...
  • The GRASS.  I don't think I've ever seen more beautiful grass.  Every single blade appeared to be perfect.
  • The pimento cheese and egg salad sandwiches are every bit as good as everyone says.
  • Oh yeah, the barbecue sandwich ain't half bad either.
  • We were all very surprised by the hills and elevation of the course.  It's a lot of up and downs.
  • I'll never hit a golf like any of these players do.  Damn, it's beautiful to watch them swing.
  • All of the staff working the event could not have been more helpful and polite.  Many that we spoke to provided interesting information about the course and each were a wealth of information.
  • Watching the players it was interesting to see the older players with their coaches who watched them hit the ball and adjusted as necessary while most of the younger players had coaches who brought along laptops, swing sensors, and stood there on their phones and iPads interpreting data.
  • There may be nothing finer than a sandwich and cold beer while taking in this unbelievable golf course. 

I may not get an opportunity to go again but The Masters was certainly an experience that I will never forget.  Being about to share the days with my father and my aunt made it that much more of a memory that I'll always cherish.


gman said...

Umm no sneaking a fly rod in there I bet!

John Peipon said...

Wonderful post! You are so lucky to have so many living relatives to share good times with.