Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Master's and Special Birthday Shout-Out

Spring is officially here, with warmer temperatures emerging and blossoms in full bloom. Friday is the opening day of Keeneland’s spring meet here in Kentucky, which paves the way for one of the biggest happenings in the world sports, the Kentucky Derby (first Saturday in May, don't ya know).

Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia

Another big sporting event is gearing up just south of here: The Masters. I’ve always wanted to attend this tournament. My late maternal grandfather was a golf professional, having played on the PGA tour, and then making his career as a pro in residence at a local golf course in Louisville. My two uncles followed suit. So, naturally, we all grew up playing the sport.
An image of my grandpa from the Kentucky Golf Association's Hall of Fame's website.

Given my history with golf (although, I haven't played in years), I’d love to attend The Masters, see the amazing azaleas in person and watch these famous golfers play. I’ll try to get past the fact that Augusta National is still a men's only club (Boo!) and just enjoy the sights and sounds of one of the most famous events in golf.

I'll be cheering for Phil Mickelson again this year. He’s a great golfer and an all-around good guy. We watched his triumph last year as he rushed over to embrace his wife, Amy, who is battling breast cancer; a moment that brought tears to many people’s eyes. He was also coping with his mom’s cancer diagnosis - a lot certainly on his mind.

Today I read in The Bleacher Report about Mickelson's menu for the Masters Champions Dinner, which is planned by the defending champion:

His meal for 2011 is as follows: seafood paella and machango-topped filet mignon for an entree. It also has a salad, asparagus and tortillas for side dishes. For dessert? A cream-topped apple empanada.

That's not Phil's roots, if you're wondering. That meal is in honor of Seve Ballesteros, the cancer stricken two-time Masters Champion, and Mickelson's mentor. Unfortunately, Seve won't be in attendance for the meal, but he will be on everyone's mind.

Phil grew up with seeing Seve win, and because of that, his goal became to win the Masters. Phil got to know Seve when he joined the tour, and the two became great friends.

Seriously, even if you’re not a fan of his golf game, how could you not like Phil Mickelson? And, best of all? He's a fellow lefty.

Have you ever attended The Masters? If so, please share your experience of attending the event. What was your favorite moment? Did you come away with any good swag or gear?

And one more thing: I want to send birthday wishes to my wonderful mom this April 6. You’ve been through so much in the last year. We’re thankful for your presence and that you’re still going strong. We love you very much!
Images from The Masters, New York Daily News and the Kentucky PGA Hall of Fame


Tiffany from HOLIDAY said...

I wonder how Amy is doing w/ her battle currently - do you know?

What a wonderful legacy your grandfather has left! And happy birthday to your mommy, too! xoxo

mFw said...

I love the masters and want to go some day too!!! I guess I should have my dad start working on that! That is so cool about your grandfather and uncles! My dads side is a total tennis family.

Teresa at Splendid Sass said...

Jen, I love Phil too! He is such a gentleman.
My parents went each year, and I have always wanted to go. Hoping that you will get to go soon.
Love the menu here. Such a sweet story. Thanks for sharing.

Home Is Where the Hart Is said...

Yay for Keeneland and the Masters!
I will be attending Keeneland this spring, as always, and I'm sad to say I've always wanted to go to the Masters but have yet to cross that off my bucket list. Hopefully soon because my best friend moves to Augusta in June. :)

Jennifer said...

Happy Birthday to you Mom! What a lovely story about your grandfather!My brother's all play golf and my not so much!
I do enjoy going to the LPGA at Atlantic City Country Club to see all the women golfers...I followed Annika and got Michelle Wie's autograph a while back! They will return this i'm into the grankids so my "fun" has changed!!
Can't wait til the azalea's bloom here...
All you lovely bloggers from the South have gotten me into the Kentucky Derby...esp...the mint juleps and Hot browns.
Have a lovely day...w your beautiful family.
Cherish your memories! xoxo Jennifer aka Gigi

Virginia said...

I went to the masters several years ago with my husband. The most memorable thing to me was the restroom lines. It's the only place I've ever been where the men's line was longer than the women's. In fact, there was no line for the girls.

bevy said...

My husband goes every year. I've been a few times and it is just as beautiful as everyone says. The azaleas are stunning... and the pimento sandwiches are the best deal in town.

I'll post our family's loot in a post later this week!

The Southland Life said...

how neat! i took lessons as a child, but it never stuck :(

About Last Weekend said...

What a wonderful upbringing you had to grow up with golf. Your Grandpa was such a handsome chap too! My parents are big golfers but just recently. My mum is always saying I should take it up and I'll be great when I'm older. Good strategy (though somedays I feel old now)

red ticking said...

love phil... period. is he my favorite player always...
and happy birthday to your sweet mother... they are the best ... xx

Mommyto3andahusky said...

I just found your blog and became a follower! :) Love your blog! Erin

James said...

I spent the 7th grade in Aiken while my father was stationed at Fort Gordon. We drove by the course a few times, but they weren't big on tours!