Sunday, April 01, 2007

It's Holy Week!

Yes, it's that time of year when pilgrims make the trek to the holiest of all lands. To where the dogwoods and magnolias are in bloom, where the grass is greener than imaginable, and the gods put on feats of skill that defy repetition. I'm talking about, of course, The Masters. Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.

This, to me, is the beginning of spring. To see an immaculately manicured fairway, impossibly fast greens, and a course layout that is as familiar to a real golf fan as their own home course. The memories of years past--Nicklaus' long putt on 16 in 1975 that sealed victory #5. Nicklaus' entire back nine stretch of 1986 when he became the oldest to win the title (#6). Tiger Woods' amazing putt on 16 last year which gave him the lead and eventual victory (#4). Local native Larry Mize's chip-in in sudden-death, Greg Norman's numerous runner-up places. Phil Mickelson's long-sought championship. There are very few sporting events that etch such memories into a fan's mind.

Someday I'll get there to see it. It's always held within a week of my birthday, and I can think of no better bday present. But there's a decades-long waiting list to get tickets. A certain Ladybug friend of mine could have gotten me in last year, but we found out too late. Of course, my BIL2, who's a club professional, will be there again. Apparently, if one possesses a Class A PGA card, you just have to flash it at the gate and walk in. For free. No tickets required. He'll have access to parts of the clubhouse the the public doesn't. He'll be able to rub elbows with professional golfing's elite. Sometimes it makes me wish I worked harder on my golf game...

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