Stories of playing Augusta National

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Last week we asked you to send us your stories about the day you played Augusta National Golf Club. Dozens replied. As we read through the entries, one question came to the top of our minds: How can one place spawn story after story, each unique to its teller? That answer is left unknown, and that's fine. We enjoy it that way.
 
Without further adieu, here is our effort to capture some of the best stories, as told in their entirety by the storytellers themselves:

Sharing Augusta with the family
“He told me to try and keep a few weeks open come October for ‘a few rounds at Augusta.’ This didn’t really register with me at first. When my mother came back on the phone, I asked her if he meant what I thought he meant.”
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Playing Augusta with a Masters champion
“It was 1995, and my good pal and two-time Champion Bernhard Langer gave me the call that fulfilled a life long dream. I had an invitation to go play Augusta National.”
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Surprise birthday at Augusta
“‘Hey, you with the paper in front of your face. You want to play Augusta?’ That was my clue. I lowered the paper and shouted, ‘Count me in!’ My brother, not knowing I was even in Atlanta, almost fell off his chair. That's how the day started.”
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Breaking down the barrier
“There being no locker room for ladies, my host took me upstairs to the Champions' Locker Room. He asked which locker I wished to use, and without hesitation, I chose Arnold Palmer's locker. What a thrill! With a warm smile, my host suggested that I should tell my women golfing friends of the fine hospitality shown to women at Augusta.”
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From Burger King to Magnolia Lane
“I was not allowed on the grounds until the man I was replacing had left the property. I spent two hours in a Burger King on Washington Road waiting for his departure.”
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Playing Monday after the Masters
“Some of us ‘media’ types that were staying in the same rented house would get to the course before they opened the gates and then race like NASCAR drivers to the media parking area and then sprint to the press building to be first in line.”
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All alone at Amen Corner
“I'd been to the Masters several times but never saw it like it was that evening. I spent about 45 minutes wandering from hole to hole before returning to the cabin to dress for dinner. The only person I saw was a single carrying his own bag.”
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The Alister MacKenzie connection
“It is hard to describe just how fast and tricky those greens are. It’s an Alister MacKenzie design like Pasatiempo so we were used to fast and tricky greens but Augusta’s are exceptional.”
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Once is enough
“I could tell in a second it was Jack Nicklaus and the member who took us out that day starting walking toward him. I followed closely behind and got the opportunity of a lifetime to say hi and shake Jack's hand.”
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Playing Augusta with a certain SEC head football coach
“From the moment we arrived and had lunch until we left 24 hours later, he was absolutely perfect. He made this most special privilege even more memorable. He made sure we saw everything, even the places that perhaps we weren't supposed to see.”
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Masters volunteer
“What is remembered the most is standing on the first tee in front of a gaggle of fellow volunteers, and trying to pull that driver back. It feels like it weighs 100 pounds. If you smooth one down the middle, your year is complete.”
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Right place, wrong outfit
“After one of the rounds, the group retired to their cabins to freshen up and later gather together at the dining room. Knowing only coats and ties were required, he asked his host if a blue and white pinstripe outfit was OK. ‘Sounds OK with me,’ he was told.”
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Tragedy denies Augusta trip
“How often does someone forfeit his chance to play Augusta National and lose his mother on the same day? However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel here.”
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Best Augusta story from a pastor
“The caddy, Bull, said, ‘Let it die right here,’ and pointed to a spot 10 feet left and 20 feet above the hole. Amazingly I did, and watched with disbelief as the ball picked up speed and turned toward the hole. All the time Bull was commanding the ball, ‘Slide for me now, slide for me now.’ It obeyed and my 60 foot putt disappeared into the cup.”
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'Am I dreaming?'
“Strangely, I never felt any disappointment with any golf shot. I simply kept playing with no idea how I was doing. Time seemed to stand still. I felt as if I was literally floating down the fairways. I knew at some point that this round had to end and I really didn’t want that to happen.”
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Playing Augusta with Mr. Palmer’s caddie
“We had a little match and while playing #13 I hit a big drive and was fixing to go for the green. I told Iron Man, ‘Can’t you hear the crowd saying, ‘He’s going for it’?’ He said laughing, ‘Boss, aint nobody here.’”
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Playing Augusta with brothers
“We really took in the tradition, read all the plaques, walked across the bridges very slowly and tried to feel what it was like when people like, Sarazen, Hogan, Nelson, Palmer, and Nicklaus and the like traveled the same steps as we took.”
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