The Time We Went to the Masters on Monday Practice Round Day
A few years ago my Dad and I got stopped at the gate when we tried driving down Magnolia Lane at Augusta National.
Yesterday we finally saw Magnolia Lane from the INSIDE when we went to the Monday Practice round at the Masters.
When we got home last night, we calculated we'd been gone nearly 19 hours, about nine of those hours were driving from North Carolina to Augusta, Georgia.
We bought our tickets off StubHub. We've both been entering the lottery for tickets to the Masters but neither one of us ever won, so this year we decided to take matters into our own hands and have my Dad fly down for a visit and then we'd buy tickets on the internet.
We were prepared to pay high prices, but we actually got tickets for only $448 per ticket, which was far lower than we thought we'd pay after it was common knowledge Tiger Woods would be there this year.
The first thing I'd like to acknowledge about when we arrived at Augusta National is how awesome it was parking was free. It was FREE!! I immediately held resentment for Dolly Parton at Dollywood for charging $10 per car at her amusement park. It's just so awesome the membership at the Masters doesn't try making a few extra million even though it easily could over the seven days of the tournament.
I'd like to write about every single detail of Augusta National but I'd be here all day. Also, my words probably won't be able to describe just how incredibly beautiful it was when I looked around and saw the pure greenery, the foliage, shrubs, trees and pine straw all manicured to perfection. Augusta National is a golf course but it also feels like a nursery or botanical garden.
It's cool watching the Masters on TV but even HDTV doesn't do the golf course justice. What a magnificent piece of property from the very moment you set foot on the grounds, the only way to describe it is perfect beauty because nothing is out of place and it's all how it should be.
When I saw a pine cone on the ground I felt like I needed to alert security to come and pick it up, but instead I put one or two of them in my pocket for my man cave at home.
My Dad and I were both in awe. I was more left speechless but my he kept saying...'Look at the grass, there's not a weed in sight!"
The first thing we did when the gates opened was visit the new golf shop for some Masters merch. I kept my budget tight, buying only a shirt and ball marker and my Dad did the same, but he bought an extra hat for his favorite caddie back at Chambers Bay. I'm glad we did the shopping first because by the end of the day the line for merch was out the door. Total amount spent for me at the golf shop was $41. Very reasonable.
Then we walked the entire Augusta National course from the 1st hole all the way to the 18th, marveling at the slopes and contours around the greens, imagining the difficulties the players face trying to land their golf balls in the perfect spot on each green. The walk was awesome...my Dad and I kept commenting there's nothing better than a spring day at Augusta.
You know what...that's enough writing for me, my words aren't gonna do it justice so here are some of my favorite pics from the day.
By around 2:30 or 3, my Dad and I were getting pretty tired after walking endlessly up and down the hilly course for 6 or 7 hours. We were ready to just sit at the practice tee to get some rest but then this happened...
Tiger Woods entered the grounds.
The entire mood at the course shifted, and so did the crowds. Everyone wanted a glimpse of Tiger. Luckily, we had decided to go to the practice tee before we knew he was gonna be there so we were close to the front.
I got my second wind. I felt like a kid again seeing the greatest of all-time up close. I decided I would try and follow Tiger for a few holes before the day was out.
Read about how I caught up to Tiger Woods here...