The Time We Tried Driving Down Magnolia Lane at the Masters
Today is the first day of the 2016 Masters, the greatest golf tournament in the world, so I thought I'd tell the story about the time my Dad and I tried driving down Magnolia Lane at Augusta National Golf Club.
It didn't go very well.
I moved to the United States from Vancouver, BC in February of 2010...when I landed in North Carolina with my immigration VISA I only had the clothes on my back and a single suitcase.
Randa and I were set to be married a couple months later in April, so my Dad, who was my best man, planned on driving across the United States from Vancouver to bring me the rest of my important belongings in a big rented van.
He did his road trip right; he took his time and even played in a few Golf Channel Amateur Tour events in different States, making new golfing friends along the way.
He finally arrived to our place in North Carolina and it just happened to be Masters week. Like most other golfing families, we always watched the Masters when I was growing up. It was just one of those we did together, a Sunday tradition.
We were talking that night, discussing where we were going to golf that week and then we wondered how far away Augusta National was from our new house in NC? Turns out it was about a three hour drive.
We decided to leave the next morning on a road trip to see Augusta National.
Arriving in the small town of Augusta, Georgia was exactly how you would think it would be, it looked like any other small town in the United States but there was a distinct feeling in the air, and everything was green and perfectly manicured.
It was almost like the chairmen at Augusta National demanded all businesses and front yards to be as well-groomed as their esteemed golf course, there was definite curb appeal everywhere.
The tournament ended the day before so we were at Augusta the day after Phil Mickelson won his third green jacket. I snapped a picture of this billboard...what perfect product placement for Rolex that week.
The grounds of Augusta National Golf Club are surrounded by tall trees, it's nearly impossible to get a look at the course. We drove up and down side streets bordering the course hoping to catch a glimpse of Rae's Creek or blooming azaleas but we couldn't see anything.
We drove up and down Washington Rd past the entrance to Magnolia Lane few times and considered turning in but we didn't because it was just too intimidating. I can imagine I'd have the same feeling if I ever visited the White House, trying to get on the grounds just isn't something I'd even consider doing.
But despite those apprehensions, my Dad and I went for it. We didn't drive three hours just to see a bunch of tall trees and few cool billboards, we wanted to drive down the famous Magnolia Lane.
So on our fourth fly-by we turned down to see what it feels like to arrive at the Masters.
We didn't get very far.
I want to say the rear wheels of the van made it onto the property but I'm not even sure we got that far before a security officer with a wide brimmed hat stepped out from the the guard shack and two black SUV's converged from the bushes on Magnolia Lane to block the entrance.
The security guard walked over to the driver's side window and told us we were on private property and we'd have to turn around immediately.
I told him we weren't here to cause trouble, my Dad drove all the way down from Canada and just wants to see Magnolia Lane. Would it at least be OK if we took a picture?
The guard didn't say anything, he strolled around to the back of the vehicle and checked our license plates. The rented van from Vancouver had British Columbia plates so my story checked out.
My Dad and I looked at each other and didn't say a word. We were almost scared.
The guard came back to my window, waved the black SUV's away and said..."Alright, but be quick about it."
My Dad and I quickly hopped out of the van and I snapped this picture...
We were so flustered we didn't even got a picture of me and there was definitely no chance of the guard taking a picture of the both of us, so we quickly took this shot, got back in the van and backed off the property. I thanked the security guard on the way out.
"You're welcome, y'all have a good day now."
Phew, that was cool!
Last night I told Randa one of these years I'm going to spend the money to buy tickets to the Masters, even if it's just for a practice round, I have to. My bucket list won't be complete until I do.
Dad, how about another road trip to the Masters?