Our Masters Golf Odyssey ~ Monday and Tuesday

Monday

After making pancakes and Michael’s special eggs for our hosts we got on the highway to Savannah, GA, a city we have both always wanted to see. I was fortunate enough to be there a year earlier on the way to a conference but it was Michael’s first visit to this stately Belle of the South. We were again struck by the courtesy and hospitality of everyone we met and had a fantastic day touring the squares and the Mercer home made famous by the book “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”. Lunch was fabulous with peppered shrimp and jambalaya, yum, yum.


Reading about “Uncle Cliff” has been fascinating. Clifford Roberts was really the man behind course and the tournament. Bobby Jones was the inspiration and the name to attract both members to the club and golfers to the tournament. Because they began the fundraising and the building of Augusta National at the beginning of the depression it almost never came to be! And when it was constructed even the cachet of the Bobby Jones name could not entice membership! The corporation that originally bought and constructed the course even had to declare bankruptcy and restructure because they couldn’t sell enough memberships to pay their creditors!

Considering the exclusivity of the Club and the tournament today this is so hard to imagine. Only a man with incredible drive could have accomplished his creation. He is a very interesting character study.

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Tuesday

Another early morning. We made breakfast for the crew, which now include Jim and Stephanie’s son-in-law and two of his friends from Seattle, and hit the road to drive back to Charlotte for a dinner meeting. We had breakfast at the Waffle House in Aiken. Michael had grits, our server was outstanding and the food was prepared on the grill right in front of the breakfast bar. Anyone visiting the South has to experience the Waffle House!

Along the way we planned to stop at Asheville, NC close to the Blue Ridge Mountains to tour the Biltmore Estate. Once the largest single family home in North America and built by the “poorest” son in the Vanderbilt family it is a sight to see!

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The grounds are beautiful and the house is as magnificent as I’ve seen. One could spend hours just looking at the art! It’s hard to imagine that once upon a time a family of three (and many guests) lived in the home. The once 126,000 acres have been pared down over the years to 8,000 acres with walking and hiking paths and two of the heirs live in more modest homes on the grounds. The family built a beautiful inn nine years ago where we had a delicious lunch and discussed the merits of a golf course on the unused acres on the other side of the river with the very knowledgeable waiter. Then onto Charlotte for our meeting and the long drive back to Augusta.

Reading about Clifford Roberts continues to fascinate. “Uncle Cliff” had a reputation of a “benevolent dictator”. The current rules at Augusta reflect his iron fist; no cell phones, cameras or electronic devices on tournament days, no outside food or drink except water but then only with the labels removed, absolutely no running, shouting, or overly demonstrative cheering. Anyone in infraction of the rules are immediately withdrawn from the course AND whomever provided them with their passes lose their credentials for life! Yikes!



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One Comment to “Our Masters Golf Odyssey ~ Monday and Tuesday”

  1. Glad you could visit the Carolinas and especially the Biltmore House which happens to be in our great little town of Asheville, NC.

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