During the first full week in April, I — like thousands of other golf fans — am usually traveling to Augusta, Georgia for the Masters Tournament. Since leaving Wake Forest, I have missed my yearly pilgrimage only a handful of times.
For me, the spring season starts as soon as I leave the Washington, D.C. area and turn my vehicle south on the interstate. As I drive, the air temperatures rise, and the colors of the trees and flowers become more and more vibrant until reaching a crescendo with the azaleas planted at Amen Corner.
As the television commercials on CBS say, the Masters is a tradition like none other, and with Magnolia Lane, the honorary starters, the Par 3 Contest, and the Green Jacket, the tournament is certainly like no other event that I have ever attended.
This year, I — as a golfer — will especially miss seeing the brand new practice area, which has instantly appeared since last year. I will also miss the Wake Forest Party, which is hosted annually by Arnold Palmer. And as the tournament has become a major industry event, I will miss the opportunity to meet and network with other people in golf.
I don’t have a pick for the winner, but as a former Demon Deacon golfer, I would love to see Bill Haas play well. My favorite personal Masters memory is walking into the small Champions Locker Room at the invitation of Bob Goalby, who is Bill’s great uncle and who won the 1968 Masters.
Who is your pick to win the tournament? What is your favorite tradition of the Masters? Have you ever been to the event, and if so, what is your favorite personal memory?
Until next time, enjoy golf, America!