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