Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Masters...

If you know me or know a golfer you probably know what the word "Masters" means.  It may seem like a mundane word that describes someone who is at the top of their field (whatever that may be), but for a golfer "The Masters" caps the best week of the year.

Early in April every year the best of the best in the sport of golf are invited to pay homage to the great Bobby Jones as they compete in the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in August, GA.  Since 1934, this tournament has invited the best of the best to play in an invitation only event at the most prestigious golf clubs in the world.  Augusta National Golf club is a special place where only the privileged have been given the opportunity to play its beautifully landscaped 18 holes.  It is not like your local club even in the slightest bit, in order to become a member you must be invited.  After being invited the fees are anywhere from $10,000 - $30,000, thus allowing the best of the best in their field to be members.  Each member has the ability to play the course as well as attend the Masters tournament, but they are only able to invite one guest.  The guest you invite must pass a rigorous background check as well as leave all electronics in their room when they go out to play.  There are no cart paths and caddies are given to each member each round.  It brings the tradition back to playing a round of golf and it is truly the way golf should be played.

The other way to become a member at the most prestigious golf club in the world is win the Masters tournament each year.  As a winner of the tournament, you are now a member for life, given a members Green Jacket, and having a permanent spot in the Champions locker room of the Augusta National clubhouse.  So many amazing golfers call that locker room home the likes of Gene Sarezen, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Jack Nicholas, Nick Faldo, Tiger Woods, Bubba Watson, just to name a few.  It is an amazing place and it is an amazing honor to call yourself a champion that every golfer dreams of.

I had the amazing honor of being able to attend the 2008 Masters with my dad and it was truly magical.  My words cannot accurately describe how powerful the experience truly was and I will forever indebted to my dad for giving me that opportunity.  I am going to do my best to describe my experience, here it goes.

You drive up the grounds and cannot see anything by 15 foot tall privacy bushes, not allowing you to see any of what is behind it until you drive in.  You walk up to the course and it is like you are in another world, one side of the bushes is busy streets, city life, then you walk in and you are in a whole new place.   There are beautiful trees as far as the eye can see, the grass is the greenest it can be, flowers in perfect bloom, truly magical.  You then walk even further and you walk past the tournament gates onto the perfectly mowed grass of Augusta National.  You see the putting green to your left, with the clubhouse beside and the first tee just ahead.  The television does not do it justice, because the colors are unlike anything else I have ever seen.  I have played hundreds of rounds of golf and never in my life have I seen the purist color green in my life.  You walk the fairways and you see that they look like they have jumped out of a painting.  Not one blade of grass is miss cut, the pine straw is always in its' place, the leaves never fall where they shouldn't, the sand is as white as snow,there are never divots on the perfect greens, and the water is as clear as looking in a mirror.  The fairways are sloped, the rough is thick, the greens are fast and the water is a factor like never before.  It is a picture of what I believe heaven would be like someday (if God were a golfer).  This is how God would design his course and it is truly an amazing sight to see.  I will never forget the 2 days that I spent walking those grounds.

Below are some pictures from my experience at the Masters in 2008.

Par 3 12th Green

Par 3 16th Hole

Alec in front of the Main Patron Scoreboard near the First Tee

Tiger Woods @ the Short Game Practice Facility

Dad & I
Each it gets more excited to see the amazing golf tournament that is the Masters and to remember the experience I had at Augusta National.  If you are a golf fan, you must find a way to get there someday and even if you are not take some time to sit down and talk with a golf fan about the Masters means to them.  It is truly an amazing week and I am so excited to see it unfold.

Watch full coverage on www.masters.com, CBS, & ESPN.

till another day,


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