Back in April the fine folks at the Augusta National opened up a lottery allowing the hoi polloi a chance at actual tournament badges for the 2012 Masters. What the heck, we have been extremely unlucky in the lottery for practice round tickets the last decade or more, maybe we will have a chance at seeing the real thing. While we were there we also took another shot at a couple practice round tickets too.
About a month ago we got an email telling us to log on to masters.com and see if we were selected for a daily tournament badge. All excited about the possibility, we logged on, only to have our hopes crushed. We didn’t get in.
Today we got the second email from the Masters organization telling us to log in and see if we were selected for practice rounds tickets. We were not really expecting much, so it made for a pleasant surprise that we were granted the privilege of attending Tuesday’s practice round next year.
When I say privilege, I mean privilege, because the cost of one ticket for one practice round is $50, or a 1000% higher than they were when we first went 21 years ago.
We started out trying to find a spot for the MMC to breakfast next Saturday. It is our turn to take the troops to someplace for breakfast and we thought we had a spot that would work well, until we went inside. It failed on so many levels that we didn’t even breakfast here. We ended up at Burger King at Exit 5 of I-20. We split their Ultimate Breakfast (not really all that ultimate), read the Augusta Chronicle and watched the golf fans eat before they headed over to Augusta National.
Next year we may join them. For the first time in, I don’t know, like forever (47 years), you can apply for a chance to buy daily tournament tickets. At the risk of lowering my already very narrow chance of getting tickets, you can go and apply too. You can register to get your name thrown in a hat for the right to buy Practice Round tickets, four per day ($50 each) or two Daily Tournament tickets ($75 each.) The last time we entered in the “lottery” for practice round tickets an got them was 1993 or 1994. We figure we are about due.
After breakfast we headed over to the North Augusta Greeneway (photo above) to try and find the 3 new Green Lion hides and to attempt one of his that we failed to find, twice, but now had a solid hint for. We did manage to find those four and four more around town before shopping for some new blouses for work for Donna and consuming a gi-normous lunch at Ruby Tuesday.
We came home and spent the afternoon watching the one golf tournament we watch all year.
Started down, went up, still up.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 991
This “button” has been sitting here in the upper right corner of my WordPress admin page for the longest time. Tonight I clicked it and it installed something called Google Gears. I’m not sure if it is supposed to speed up the blog for me or you, but I do know if it keeps asking to connect to the Google mothership it is coming out.
The trunk on the Miata looks like someone dusted for prints using yellow instead of black powder,there are yellow tire tracks on my garage floor when I back out in the morning and Tiger Woods’ Green Jacket is now a neon lime green. Pine pollen season and the Masters are in town.
Started down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 10/24/08: 580
Seeing as we are vacationing in the northeast next week and the temperatures there probably won’t get as high as the mid-fifties, we were not going to let the cold weather here stop us from having a nice day outdoors. Note to would be burglars: Our neighbor’s 75 lb pit bull is spending the week at our house and we are only leaving him two days worth of food.
Our excursion began with lunch out at the Stoplight Deli in downtown Aiken. We both had a cup of chili to start. Then we split a Rachel sandwich (corned beef, ham, swiss cheese, cole slaw, russian dressing on wheat.) We both finished off the meal with a cookie, oatmeal raisin for her, peanut butter for him. The usual water was to drink.
Meal Cost: $11.87
Spent Today: $11.87
Year to Date: $851.36
After lunch we drove to Ridge Spring’s Nut House to pick up a gift sampler for our Easter dinner hosts. While we out we headed over towards Columbia to fill in a Post Office hole. Gaston and Swansea were first and then we were headed to two towns that I originally marked with red dots (meaning no PO) on the map, North and Norway. Between the two pairs of towns, I spotted a sign directing folks to a Post Office in the town of Neeses, so I followed it. We ended up getting photos of five places even though according to map map there should have only been two.
Please tell me why two people who don’t golf (unless you count a bi-annual stab at putt-putt), aren’t really interested in golf and probably can’t name 5 current golfers, will spend 4 evenings at the end of the first week in April glued to the tube watching the Masters?
While I’m asking questions, why in the world would the History Channel be showing The Planet of the Apes?
Started down, went up, back down, still down.
Miata Top Transitions since 01/01/07: 116
Donna and I don’t golf. We really don’t even like the sport. The only thing we do like about it, is one day we might live on a golf course (just so we have someone else take care of our backyard.) We don’t follow golf except for one little tournament, for four days during the first week in April the TV is tuned to coverage of the Masters.
We moved to Aiken in May of 1989 and in the spring of the following year we attended a Masters’ practice round. In those days practice round tickets were unlimited, you walked up to the gate on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday and $5 got you in. This went on for 2 or 3 years and in an attempt to mellow out the rowdy Par 3 crowd and reduce the traffic surrounding the course the Masters organization decided to limit the attendance each day to some super-secret number. The use a lottery system to dole out the tickets, Donna and I got tickets for the next two years and have been shut-out ever since.
In one of those first visits I bought a really nice ball cap. A perfectly shaped brushed twill that had a dark green body and a navy bill with the word Masters in script embroidered in white on it. I wore that thing out. Well figuratively at least. Every year I hope anxiously that we will get an invite to the ball, so I can get a new hat and every year the wicked step mom denies us.
There is a little gift shop by the main gate that you can buy official merchandise at, but there is a very limited selection of stuff to choose from. I’ve been holding out on getting an exact replacement, so I left that option off the table, until now. This morning I could stand it no longer. Donna and I drove over to Augusta, parked about a mile from the National in a Kroger parking lot and walked over to buy me a hat.
The selection was so small I almost didn’t want to buy any of the available hats. But, we came all this way, so I grabbed a black ball cap with a small Masters’ logo in yellow and a tiny little green embroidered “Masters.” It won’t become the hat that sits on my head every time I leave the house, but it will make it into heavy rotation.
Tickets to the 4 day Masters tournament are handed down from generation to generation. They have closed the waiting list to get on the waiting list. That is not say they are impossible to get. For a price nearly anything can be had.
My wife and I don’t golf and are not really into following it as fans. We used to go to one of the practice rounds each year in the early 90s, because it was like $5 to get in and you just walked up to the gates on the day and in you went. It would be like living in Indianapolis and never going to the 500, so we went. The course is better looking in person than it is on TV and during practice the golfers are loose and having fun, you could take pictures and get autographs. Always thinking how cool it would be to go to the actual tournament.
Somewhere around 1995 they made a decision to limit even the practice round tickets. Can’t blame them the place was getting too crowded and the crowd was getting boisterous and the traffic jams outside the gates were getting really troublesome. The first couple of years after they instituted the lottery we got tickets, but since then we have been shut out. It seems like the tickets are going to all out-of-towners that come to Augusta and spend big bucks on hotels and meals. Of course the officials claim that it is a fair lottery, but too many of the locals who used to go are getting shut out too. Urban legends have cropped up of getting distant relations to apply for the practice round tickets and then pass along to the locals so they can go.
Tonight my across the street neighbor called and asked if we wanted a couple of tickets to go see the Masters tomorrow. We turned him down. We have nearly all our vacation for the year either taken or scheduled. Plus it is going to be raining and low 50s. If the weather was going to be sunny and 75 we might have burned one of the last two free vacation days we have left free. I wonder if our neighbor will think of us next year or was this our one and only shot at this.
What is it that made me waste most of my Sunday watching it on TV? I watched all the way until Tiger had it in the bag, then I tuned out, not because I didn’t want him to win, heck I hope he wins it again next year, but I just couldn’t care once it stopped being a golf match and started to be just watching some one play meticulous golf. I don’t golf, I don’t watch golf and I can barely name a golfer besides Tiger. I suppose that I watch because I have been on the course. When we first moved to Aiken we went over and bought practice round tickets back when they sold as many tickets as people who showed up. It was especially fun to go over with relatives who visited. Both my brother and brother-in-law are golfers so they were a real kick because they knew the players and they knew the history.
But about 6 years ago they went to a lottery drawing for the privilege to buy practice round tickets. The first 2 years we got selected, but for the past 4 years, no dice. Everyone says that locals don’t get picked anymore because they make more money from out of towners. Bah, the course doesn’t care, doesn’t matter where you are from you still pay the same $2 for a palmetto cheese sandwich. The members don’t care because they don’t own hotels or restaurants in the area, heck most of them aren’t local anyway. I think the real reason I don’t get practice round tickets anymore is that the Masters’ Secret Police found out I don’t even like golf.