Friday, April 8, 2011

A good walk not spoiled

If you want to take long walks, take long walks.  If you want to hit things with sticks, hit things with sticks.  But there's no excuse for combining the two and putting the results on TV. 
-National Lampoon

Golf is a good walk spoiled
-Mark Twain

Thursday, the wife and I were able to attend one of the most pretegious golf tournaments in the world, The Masters held at Augusta National golf course. This was my fourth time attending, but the wife always had conflicts in the past, so she ended up losing her Masters virginity Thursday. 

Before we get into the details, I want to assure you that despite what is said of patrons (not guests or spectators, we were "patrons") we were not the most knowledgeable golf fans in the world. I very casually follow golf, which is to say I read the headlines on on Monday to see who won. That's pretty much the extent of my golf fandom. And that puts me miles and miles ahead of the wife who gleaned most of her golf knowledge from watching it when we went to my grandmother's house on holidays when golf was on. 

Nevertheless, when you're given an chance to go the The Masters, you don't turn it down. So we woke up dark and early (sadly, it wasn't even bright) and made the 45 minute trek from my grandmother's house (she had the tournament badges) to the course. For most of the trip, the wife was anxiously excited, not knowing what to expect, but eager to experience it. I, too, was excited as it'd been a few years since I'd last been.

Photos don't do the course justice either.
We get in and the wife is slightly more excited than a kid in a candy store. Like everyone else, she's transfixed by how green the grass is, how well maintained the grounds are, and just the vastness of Augusta National. Television does a great job of showing it, but they really can't do justice to how nice the entire place it. So excited was the wife that she said she "wanted to pick an azalea" (despite the fact that we live in a town that has an "Azalea Festival" each year) and wanted to jump into one of the sand traps and make a snow... err sand angel. She also wanted to be able to "smell Phil Mickelson," but not Tiger because "he probably smells like 18 holes."

We make our way around the course, the wife working out ways she can see the golfers she's heard of (which essentially boils down to Vijay Singh, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickleson) at the most possible locations regardless of the walking that would entail. Despite my efforts to convince her to stay in one spot and let them come to us, we proceeded to explore the course like we were Lewis and Clark. (You didn't see a history joke coming, did you?)

I need new
goals in life.
We got to see Tiger, Phil and Vijay and pretty much everyone else playing as we were there to see the first group putt on the first hole and we saw the last group playing at the 15th hole. We saw fashion choices that made me wonder why someone would design such pants, let alone why someone would not only buy them, but wear them in a non-ironic way. We met a nice woman whose daughter went to Georgia Southern and another group of women who took the time to explain a lot of golf to the wife and myself. We also did not get to meet ESPN anchor Scott Van Pelt, which has become a goal of mine I feel may never be attained. 

After roughly 10 hours on the course, we called it a day, well that and nature pretty much called it a day by having the sun start to go down. All day long the wife kept telling me I may be in trouble because she may have become a full-fledged golf fan. She asked what it was about live sporting events that causes her to become fans of the sport (she wasn't really a baseball fan until we went to Turner Field and saw batting practice). I don't think she'd let me take her to an NFL game, assuming they play again, because she's fearful she'd start to like that too. 

There's also a pretty good chance I'll have a playing partner in Tiger Woods Golf now, especially if we break down and get the latest version with Augusta National included among the courses. So I've got that going for me.

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