“A Tradition Unlike Any Other”, the five word phrase every golfer on the planet knows. But what is that tradition? The Masters golf tournament, of course.
Each spring in Georgia, Augusta National Country Club hosts the world’s best golfers in a four-day invite only event, where competitors compete for the prestigious Green Jacket.
Revered as the most exclusive events in the world, attendance is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Golf enthusiasts can attempt to acquire tickets their whole life, but still not gain access to the hallowed grounds of Augusta National. This is because each year, The Masters uses a lotto system for ticket distribution.
Luckily for me, 2022 would be the year my Masters dream would come true. I had finally secured a grounds ticket. Little did I know, my journey to The Masters would soon be an “adventure like no other.”
I received a call from my good friend Oliver Kurtz, inviting me to join him and a few others to make the trek up to Augusta from Florida. I had already planned to support the Veteran Golfers Association with Riomar Shoes, but soon after our call, the the idea for a ‘golf adventure road trip' was born and I decided to head up with him. The plan was to fill up the car with clubs, and play our way up, and back down the East Coast.
The trip had no set plan, just a group of friends and a love for golf. We packed our bags and set the course for South Georgia, where we’d hopefully play our first round. This is where we our trip started to get interesting…
As we made our way north of Jacksonville, Florida our car broke down. Pure agony, frustration, we didn’t know what to do. Luckily, the car broke down at a gas station. The thought crossed our mind to cut our losses, and head home - or triage the problem and hope the car would get us safely there and back. Immediately, our fight or flight response kicked in and we chose to try an triage the problem. With impending severe weather to the far north, our goal was to make Savannah in time for an evening round and a beer.
By the skin of our teeth, we found a hotel and a course, and the car held up for the strenuous and dicey journey from Jacksonville to Georgia.
The next day, we learned that we narrowly avoided a serious tornado where we were a the afternoon prior, reinforcing the idea that although sometimes plans don't work out, it could be for the better! With great trepidation, we packed our of our hotel and set our sights for Augusta. We didn’t know if the car would even start - but to our surprise the Bavarian Motor Works engine revved right up, and we set our sights on Augusta National. Three hours later, we arrived.
Our first stop was to visits our co-pilot Tyler's grandfather, Sir Gary Player, an icon and Masters Champion. Greeting with a friendly handshake, conversations with Gary turned into fitness advice, stories about the tournament and ultimately, tickets to the event that day.
Around 10:30 am, we finally arrived to Augusta National, and it completely blew away my exceptions. The grounds were immaculate, the Pimento Cheese sandwiches, the beverages, and the entire club was something out of a dream.
To make the day even more special, Tiger Woods surprised everyone and announced his participation in the event. Paired with Justin Thomas, we watched them play number one together. A truly surreal experience…
The rest of the trip was all downhill from there, epic rounds on the way home, stories for days, and ultimately making it back to Vero Beach in one piece.