Ive Played It Once I Never Want To Again


Every year about this time I pull out the scorecard from my round at Augusta in 1994. It was four weeks before that year's tournament and two senior managers from my company asked if I would like to join them for a business trip to Atlanta and a round of golf at Augusta. Heaven only knows why my initial reaction was to say I had to check my calendar, but I quickly recovered and accepted the invitation. I cannot recall who I met with during the business trip or what was even discussed, but once I turned off that four-lane, non-descript highway onto Magnolia Lane, it seems like it happened just yesterday.
As a 20 handicap lefty with a far ranging slice, I had no illusions of shooting much of a round but from watching countless rounds of golf played over this course on TV I was going to enjoy this day, take in the scenery, and just have fun. My caddie was a mechanic from a local shop and I remember every single shot that day and I can recall the locations of every single pin (they were Sunday pins). From an opening par, to a triple on three, sand save from the front bunker on 4, putting from the top of the green on nine, paring 12, birdieing 13, to going into the water on my 2nd on 15. Somehow my slice had transformed into a 'power' fade and I ended up shooting an 85.
Certainly my fondest memory from that day was coming down and around the corner on the 2nd hole I could see an entourage crossing from the 7th green to the 8th tee. 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 life time to say hi and shake Jack's hand. I've told this story dozens of times to my golfing buddies and I always end it with this comment: If I ever had the opportunity to play Augusta again, would I? It sounds crazy but I'm not sure I would. Everything was perfect about that day, the weather, my golfing, meeting my golf idol, and I had a smile on my face the entire round.
I'm not sure I would want to do anything to change those memories.
-Jim, Puyallup, WA
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