Tuesday, April 22, 2008


...either I am an idiot, or the Caps / Flyers Game 7 is blacked out in DC.

Playoff hockey, catch the fever!

Friday, April 18, 2008

The 2008 Masters

I’ve been dying to write this post for years.

I (finally) had the opportunity attend The Masters. My father was able to procure teickets from a family friend and I was in attendance for the Thursday and Friday rounds. My thoughts and impressions of the event can be easily grouped.

The Course/Experience:

Having been following the Masters for @ 20 years to actually attend the event is a great experience. The course is amazing, but not for its jaw dropping beauty, but its jaw dropping elevation changes and subtle nuances. TV does not do justice to the elevation of the course; multiply what you see on TV by 2.5.

In regards to the course, a few of the subtle challenges:

2 – What a fantastic strategic 5 par. Requires a draw off the tee and a fade to hold the green and puts a greater premium on shot making than brute strength.

Amen Corner – We chose to walk to Amen Corner early on Friday, breakfast in hand, to survey the holes when there were few patrons around. Quite the sight. Went back both days to watch a few shots (many on 11/12) but found the solitary viewing to be more enjoyable.

13 – The landing area on 13 is amazingly miniscule. To get in a position to reach the green you must essentially launch a draw that lands blind.

15 – From 80 yards off the tee, the fairway appears wide and appealing, but once walking back to the tee, the subtle upslope impairs any view of the fairway, making the tee shot blind (and more difficult).


After walking the front nine early on Thursday, we walked to our seats on 16 to watch a few groups, have lunch, and return to walking. Upon reaching the green, the pin was not in its normal position, rather in the lower left collection area by the front of the trap. I told my Dad, “we may want to watch all the groups come through, as we could possibly see a hole-in-one”, Poulter was in the 3rd group, and it was an amazing experience.

Just as amazing, his playing partner, Mark O’Meara, went 2-2 on Thursday/Friday and wasn’t low score in his group (Poulter went 1-2). Kuehene played the hole in 8 (with a Friday shank, almost hitting the 15 grandstand, leading to a 5).

Heard ‘Fore please, Ben Crenshaw now teeing off.’ Gentle Ben proceeded to hit a 230 yard hook into the trees.

Paul Casey hits a long ball. Was in a pairing with Goosen and Scott and was easily out driving both. I was shocked he collapsed on Sunday.

Boo Weekley, after parring the 7th on Friday, threw in the biggest lipper imaginable.


On Thursday, after power-walking to set up our chairs at 16, we settled on 3 to watch the tee shots and approach into the shallow green, pin tucked on the left. One of the earlier groups was Mark O’Meara, Ian Poulter, and Trip Kuehene. A couple approached us on the rope and started to ask about who had come through, the hole, etc. (normal to start conversations with bystanders @ the Masters). The guy was wearing a tee shirt and Capri black jeans, with a large goatee and bug-eye shades, not golf attire. After a few minutes of conversation it dawns on me he’s Hank Kuehene, following Trip, and joined by his girlfriend, Venus Williams. We talked a bit about his game and the need for improvement, and I wished her a quick recovery and luck in upcoming tournaments. Very gracious/nice couple.

To reference prior Poulter hole-in-one story, while celebrating, I look towards the green, and five seats over, high fiving with his buddies, the Ole’ Ball Coach, Steve Spurrier.

Watching shots into 11 on Thursday, found myself next to/conversing with a ‘true Southern gentleman’ in his early 70s. After a good approach I commented, ‘wow, he made that look easy.” His quip? (in Southern drawl) ‘Just as easy as counting your money.’

On Friday, found a great perch behind the 7 green patron seats with an unobstructed view of 7 and the tees @ 3 & 8. Asked the patron in the seat I was behind how the hole had been playing and got a quick recap from Bo Ryan, said patron.


Attending the Masters was an A+. I really enjoyed viewing the holes before they received their daily play, and being able to watch the event in the future, and knowing how the holes align on the course (i.e. how from the 7 green you can watch groups tee off on 3 and 8).

Friday, April 04, 2008

Flashback / Dig

Listening to Pandora while doing work and heard 'Saint Stephen', which I probably haven't heard in 9 years. Really took me back to my college days.

Other songs transporting me back to Grounds:

Anything off Three Snakes and One Charm - Black Crowes (first week of first year)
Little Black backpack
Anything by the Pharcyde
Yellow Ledbetter

On a related note, I've often assailed 1990's music, which I would rate 'mediocre' but to this day one of my favorite albums is the self-titled Dig album. It is worth $5 if you've never heard.

Thursday, April 03, 2008