When I was a young woman and madly in love with my boyfriend, he took me to a professional golf tournament. The tournament was the 1989 LPGA Safeco Classic tournament at the Meridian Valley Country Club in Kent, Washington. At the time I knew nothing about golf and could not understand why everyone was so quietly captivated observing golfers hit a silly little ball. It was a rare sunny day, so I decided to stretch out on the lawn near one of the putting greens and take a nap. My boyfriend did not hesitate to scold me for my disrespectful behavior. Soon I learned the etiquette and rules surrounding the game of golf. Fortunately my boyfriend became my husband and over the years I became a huge fan of golf.
A few years ago, my husband and I were at Scottsdale Fashion Square and I was trying on something at Anthropologie. I came out of the dressing room to get my husband’s opinion and saw someone standing there who was very familiar. As I was running through the familiar images in my brain, I blurted out, “Fred!” Standing in front of me was Fred Couples my husband’s favorite golfer. As soon as I cried out his name I could see the blood drain out of his face at the dismay of someone recognizing him at a chic store. Immediately I looked around for my husband so he could meet him while walking up to Fred and telling him how happy I was to see him standing there and letting him know my husband would love to meet him. I got on my cell phone and squealed into the phone for my husband to come back in the store and meet Fred Couples. I introduced Fred to my husband and my husband to Fred. They proceeded to have a conversation about golf and the condition of Fred’s back problems.
I am grateful I learned about the game of golf and have followed the players all these years. Meeting Fred Couples was a joy for both of us. It has been as many years since Fred Couples won the masters tournament as my marriage to my husband. What a delight it would be for him to win again. We are both dancing with glee to see Freddie there at the top this weekend.
In early spring when flowering trees are blooming across the country, I look forward to finding out who will wear the coveted green jacket at the Masters Tournament. The tournament has a number of traditions. The green jacket is placed on the winner by the previous winner of the tournament. A green jacket has been awarded to the winner since 1949; which must be returned to the clubhouse after a year. The Masters Tournament is always played so that the final round ends on the second Sunday in April. Every year the tournament is played at the same location at the private Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. The tournament is an official PGA Tour event with a field of players that is controlled by invitation from the Augusta National Golf Club.
All of the legendary golfers have played at this tournament. Such golfers have included Bobby Jones, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo, Fred Couples, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. Jack Nicklaus has won more Masters Tournaments than any other golfer, winning six times between 1963 and 1986. Other multiple winners include Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
My husband introduced me to golf many years ago and took me to a golf tournament on one of our first dates. He has always wanted to be a spectator at the Masters tournament.Tickets for the Masters tournament and practice rounds are very difficult to come by. Applications for practice round tickets have to be made nearly a year in advance and the successful applicants are chosen by random ballot. Tickets to the actual tournament are sold only to members of a patrons list, which is closed.
When we were in Augusta, Georgia we stopped at the gates of the Augusta National Golf Club to see if we could get a peek at the hallowed grounds. Since it is a private golf club, the course is surrounded by a large wall and a gate with a security guard. We stopped at the gate and asked the guard if we could go inside and take some photographs. The guard reluctantly let us in the gate.
Last year one of my favorite players, Phil Mickelson won the event for the third time. His victory scene was quite emotional as he was greeted by his wife who had been battling cancer and his two children. The victory was one of the highlights in golf history for me.
This year I look forward to watching the tournament and seeing the coveted green jacket placed on the next winner or maybe Phil will keep the green jacket for another year. Green is a very good color for him.