As mentioned at the first of the week...it's Masters week! Unless you're a golfer, you probably can't appreciate the magic that is found at Augusta National Golf Course. The history. The tradition. The unparalleled beauty that is found on no other course in the world.
If you've been around this site for any length of time, you know that golf has always been a major force in the family. Everyone in the family plays. From my grandparents all the way down to my nieces and nephew. Even the BILs all play. My dad's father was a pro; his uncles were state amateur champions. BIL2 was a teaching pro at the country club. Mom's parents built the only residence on that same course. It's in our blood.
Some portion of the Masters is generally played on my birthday, meaning that we'd do the family bday thing, and sit around the TV to watch the final round. Didn't matter who was in contention. Didn't matter what the weather was like outside. All available TVs were tuned in on the beauty and spectacle of the tournament. And we were all there. Until something happened in the early-90s...
One of the things that makes the Masters special is that most people will never be able to set foot on the course. There is a very small membership at the course, and while membership costs are kept private, you can bet that they are well into the 5-digit, if not 6-digit dollar figure. There are no tickets available to watch this tournament available to the public. It's got a waiting list that has been full since 1971 to get daily passes. They are coveted more than life itself. Corporations and sponsors get an allotment, but those are spoken for years in advance. There is a lottery for tickets to the practice rounds, but there are thousands upon thousands of entries for a very limited number of tickets, so chances are slim to none of ever getting one.
As mentioned above, BIL2 was the teaching pro at the country club here. Meaning he possessed a Class A PGA card. He caught wind of the fact that any PGA member with a Class A card simply has to walk up to the front gate, show their card and ID, and walk in. No tickets, no reservations, no advance warning--nothing! Park your car and walk in. That's it. Once he found out about this, our family ritual of watching the Masters together went out the window. He would meet up with other golf pro friends and spend the weekend (or longer) walking amongst the hills and pines and dogwoods and azaleas. We caught him on TV a couple of times over the years, and he always would call on Sunday, knowing we were all watching. I always told him that if he respected me as a BIL, he'd find a way to take me one year for my birthday present. The best I could ever get out of him was a new golf towel from the pro shop.
This year, Ray won't be with us to watch the Masters, but for different reasons. And I won't be getting a new towel for my birthday. But we'll get together and watch, and we'll tell stories about seeing him behind the 16th tee that one year, and we'll all get the winter blues shaken out and get excited about playing golf up here once again. It's going to be bittersweet. The least I could do is get out on the balcony and start working on my putting game again. It's the one part of my game that I think I outshined him...
And on a hopefully brighter note--the Masters has announced this week that a very limited number of daily passes to the Masters 2012 will be made available to the general public by lottery. Needless to say, I've already applied for a pair. Hopefully Ray has made nice with the golf gods and can send some luck my way. It would be so much cooler to walk in and buy my own towel from the pro shop!
“We start to realize that there are anodynes in life that help us through the day. I don't care if it's a walk in the park, a look out the window, a good bubble bath - whatever. Even a meal you like, or a friend you want to call. That helps us solve all this stuff in our head.”
Stop by on Thursday to see who our Mystery bubbly babe is!
This week's bubbly butt belongs to suburbanslut. Go check out her pinkness!
A good selection of HNTers over at "...the Other HNT", as usual! NSFW, but stop by when you get a chance and leave some comments!
This month is going to kick my butt. Somewhat anticipated, but not to the degree that it's already happening. I'm the production manager of this upcoming opera, and I'm finding that many balls have been dropped. In some cases, not even picked up yet. Which means that I now get to be the hard ass. Kicking butt, chewing ass, cracking the whip. For some of you, that probably sounds like a great way to spend a Saturday night. For me, however...I've got my work cut out for me. I have no doubt that things will be fine, but more work than it needs to be at the moment. I'm sure I'll have all sorts of stories to tell!