Greetings from Singapore. As mentioned a in the previous post, a family emergency has brought me here. Things are going well and according to plan so all is good on that front at this point. I hope to return home Thursday or Friday.
For breakfast I asked the hotel if they had pimento cheese sammiches but this was as close as they could get.
I do have some Masters Tournament posts coming down the pipe so stay tuned.
Masters week is without a doubt the best week of the year in the golf world. Nothing compares. For the next week we will be deluged with the greenest grass ever seen, azaleas, tradition, history both past and new, and incredibly exciting golf. There is no better tournament in the world. There is no golf product that is as consistently entertaining and exciting, year in and year out, as the Masters Tournament.
10th Hole at Augusta National Golf Club – Photo by Tony Korologos © 2016
Thank you Bobby Jones.
A Different Masters Week
This Masters Week is going to be far different than any other for me. I’m currently in the Salt Lake International airport waiting for a flight. Unfortunately it isn’t a flight to Atlanta, Georgia. It’s a flight to Los Angeles. From there I’ll be connecting to Tokyo. From Tokyo I’ll be on another flight to Singapore. There has been a family emergency. That’s about all I want to say about it at this point.
Stay tuned for as much Masters coverage as I can provide. I’ll have 30 hours of flying to write some posts and will hopefully post some unique perspectives to the Masters and Augusta National Golf Club soon.
Quick quiz: Who is the all-time best amateur in the history of golf, and who happens to have the same name as one of the best golf apparel brands on the planet, and who also was the founder of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, and whose photo is the only photo on the wall above my workstation at HOG world headquarters?
Bobby Jones is my favorite golfer in history, with Jack Nicklaus a close second. I wish I could have met the man before he passed. It would have been a lifetime event. Bobby Jones is also one of my favorite apparel brands and I’ve reviewed many of their fine pieces. See some links at the end of this post.
I almost didn’t want to post this in order to give myself a better chance at winning this, but Bobby Jones apparel is running a Masters contest. Pick the winner and have a chance at winning a $1000 Bobby Jones gift card. I could melt a Bobby Jones gift card in seconds. SECONDS!
If I don’t win, I hope you do. If you do win, my shirt size is XL. Just sayin’.
Bobby Jones 1/4 zip baby alpaca sweater
Bobby Jones Fragrance
Bobby Jones Wedges
Bobby Jones XH20 Aero Golf Polo
April 1 2016 – Tiger Woods announced today that he would be replacing Arnold Palmer in the traditional opening tee shot ceremony at the 2016 Masters Tournament. Palmer, 86, has been suffering from a lingering shoulder injury and earlier in March announced that he would not be able to participate in the opening tee shot.
Arnold Palmer Teeing Off In The Masters Opening Ceremony
Four-time Masters champion Woods, 40, has been battling injury as well and is recovering from another back surgery.
“I have concluded I’m not at a physical or mental state to compete in the Masters Tournament at this time. By taking part in the opening tee shot ceremony Thursday morning I will be able to participate and contribute to the event. I’m looking forward to seeing if I can out-drive Gary (Player).” ~Tiger Woods
Woods will join six time Masters champion Jack Nicklaus and three time champion Gary Player as part of the modified “Big Three.”
“I look forward to hearing the announcement, ‘fore please, Tiger Woods now driving.’ That said, I don’t plan on permanently relinquishing myself to a ceremonial starter and hope to return and compete for another green jacket in 2017.” ~Tiger Woods
The ceremonial tee shot takes place Thursday morning at 8:00am eastern time on the first tee of Augusta National Golf Club.
Once you’ve been to the Masters Tournament, even the practice rounds, you have memories for a lifetime. Here’s one that I vividly remember.
A couple of years ago I was at a Masters practice round and had the opportunity to follow around a very interesting grouping, Rory McIlory and Tom Watson. It was fun to watch the interaction between the two. Watson was helping McIlory out with tips on the golf course, and likely on life. He’s just that way.
Since it was a practice round, the players would often hit a few shots or several putts from one location. Most players know most of the pin placements so on their approaches they might hit a couple of shots to where they imagine the pins will be. On the greens they’ll putt to those same imaginary places, like lower right on the par-5 2nd (can you say Louis Oosthuizen?).
On the par-4 9th I got a fantastic vantage point to watch Tom and Rory approach the green. See the picture in this post of Rory. For those who have not been to Augusta in person, you have no idea how much elevation change there is. The 9th green is incredibly slanted from back to front. So much so, I think I’d fall down if I tried to walk down it. Watch the players during the tournament hit their approaches. The second they hit it they might get mad because they know they put it in the wrong place and the slope of the green will cause the ball to go to a very bad position.
One such bad position would be a shot which goes long. Chipping from the back of the 9th green would be a nightmare. I’d bet wads of cash that an amateur golfer could not chip a ball onto the 9th from above the green, and keep his chip on the green. It’s THAT steep.
During their practice round McIlroy walked right up in front of me and dropped about 8-10 golf balls off the back of the green. I watched in absolute amazement as he clipped those balls so crisply that they would land on the back fringe and actually check, before slowly moving to a tightly dispersed spacing. Imagine chipping from a downslope onto a downslope on greens that are probably running a 14+ on the stimpmeter. I could have sat there with 50 balls and never hit one that perfectly. I’d probably be hitting gap wedge back up to the surface for my next shot.
Tom Watson took notice too. He stopped his chipping practice and just watched. Rory didn’t know Tom was watching.
When Rory moved to another place to practice some chips or putts, Tom grabbed his caddie and pointed him to the back of the 9th green, right where Rory had been hitting those little crisp chips. He threw down about 8-10 balls. Tom Watson is one of the best around the greens in the history of the game. He wanted to see if he could replicate what Rory had been doing.
I watched Tom hit ball after ball. Some ended up in the middle of the green and some off the front and down the hill. The dispersion was massive. None of the balls ended up at the top of the green like Rory’s. Tom looked at the green, the balls, Rory… he then shrugged his shoulders and moved on.