The Roars

We spent this past weekend at The Masters in Augusta, Georgia.  A once-in-a-lifetime trip that lived up to every expectation and exceeded many.  Here are a few highlights and/or odd happenings.  Make of them what you will.

1.   We stayed in a house with a woman named Happy.  I swear.

2.  I met a man whose wife had gone to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop as a poet.  When he saw how excited I was to hear this, he said, The place destroyed her.  She didn’t write again for 30 years.

3.  The fairways — in fact, all of the grass and greenery — at Augusta National Golf Club does not look real.  I had to bend down, more than once, and rub the grass with the flat of my hands to make sure.  It’s magic, that grass.

4.  I have not one picture to prove I was there.  Signs everywhere state:  No Cell Phones!  No Cameras!  And they aren’t messing around.  We walked through airport-like scanners to get in and I did not see a single electronic device for 2 entire days.  This was heavenly.  Imagine a place where you do not check the device in your hand, nor see anyone else doing it!!, for hours on end.

5.  Even the scoreboards are still hand-lettered.  No electronics.  When the person behind the scoreboard pulled back a white square to put up a number, thousands of people waited in silence to see what it would say.  The minute the number went up, the entire crowd roared or moaned.  Together.

6.  We spent all morning Sunday in the grandstands on #4 green, and the entire afternoon and evening on the hill at #16 green.  Both incredible vantage points, both obtained by showing up at the right time to grab the perfect spot.  Dumb luck.

7.  That said, we missed Adam Scott’s hole-in-one on #16 why?  Because we left our seats one time in 6 hours to get some water, pee, and buy a shirt.  So much for luck.

8.  Remember Happy?  Happy was there with her brother, Bud.  Bud had kidney cancer 2 years ago, which spread to his lungs.  It is now in his brain.  This year Bud’s dream is to go to all 4 major golf tournaments, working his radiation and treatments around his travel schedule.  I’ve never met a more upbeat, positive, fun person in my life.

9.  For years I’ve heard about “the roars” around Augusta National.  When something spectacular happens, you can hear the roar of that crowd no matter where you are on the golf course.  When I heard my first roar, a chill ran up my back and my neck and I thought I would cry.  The resounding echo of all that joy, all that humanity.  That’s what I will remember most about The Masters.

10.  And since this is a reading and writing blog, I leave you with these words from the book GOLF IS NOT A GAME OF PERFECT:

The world is full of people happy to tell you that your dreams are unrealistic, that you don’t have the talent to realize them.  But a person with great dreams can achieve great things.  Your state of mind is a matter of choice.  People by and large become what they think about themselves.

Now.  Back to work.

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25 thoughts on “The Roars

    1. Teri Post author

      I assume for that quote at the end…. I was flipping through that book and you could pretty much substitute anything for “golf” —- like writing and art.

  1. amyg

    doesn’t the south come up with great names?
    happy chandler was a senator from kentucky
    what about saxby chabliss? f. scott fitzgerald couldn’t have come up with a better name than that (speaking of fitzergerals…zelda, eudora, truman, harler lee! such great southern names).

    what a fun trip. so perfect for you; i imagine it one day setting the backdrop for the golfer you will write a biography of.

    i got my first tattoo in georgia…fast freddies in columbus. much different atmosphere than augusta, i’m sure.

    1. Teri Post author

      I imagine #2 has happened to more people than would ever admit it. I wish she’d have been there — I would love to hear all about it.

    1. Teri Post author

      It was otherworldly. In the golf kind of way, and in the no-tech kind of way. No texting to set up a meeting place? No checking the scores on-line? No checking email during a down minute or two. I’m telling you, it was heavenly.

      And speaking of technology, Rex sent me a text about 10:30 the other night that said, “You girls ok?” Which was funny considering we were FINE but my phone was dead.

    2. Averil Dean

      I loved Lisa’s story of the meet-up. The Teri Effect lives on! (Next time we get together I’m gonna grab your leg like a toddler and hang on for dear life.)

  2. jpon

    I’m not a fan of golf, but I might go next year just for #4. Love the words of wisdom at the end. Yes, you can substitute writing for golf. In fact, a writer has to.

    1. Teri Post author

      Ah, #4. When there were breaks in the action (and there are long breaks in watching golf) people were left to either sit quietly or talk with their neighbor. No electronic distractions. It really was heavenly.

  3. Lyra

    “People by and large become what they think about themselves.” Love.

    This is such a great post, the grass, the silence before the white score boards change, the roars, Happy and Bud. I copied it and sent it to my manager. He’s a golf nut (Semi-pro? Something like that. You know my sport knowledge…), and he got such a kick out of your experience. Couldn’t send him a link. Don’t want him to realize what I’m doing all day…
    🙂

    1. Teri Post author

      I already miss The Masters — mostly because there were no phones.

      That said ….. When I met my friend at In-N-Out Burger yesterday (her family was driving north from LA to SF, so we needed a quick spot right off the freeway), we couldn’t have met without text messaging about a hundred times.

      And so goes my love/hate relationship with technology.

  4. LauraMaylene

    Do you know roughly when the poet attended IWW? I hear it was a lot more competitive/tough back in the day than it is now.

    I never, ever watch golf, but I saw the very end of the Masters on Sunday. I was surprised by how compelling it was!

    1. Teri Post author

      I think she was there around 1979 / 1980.

      As for golf, this is how much I love it. And tennis. I put the 4 major tournaments of each sport on my calendar. On. My. Calendar!! I refuse to be away from a good TV during the finals of these tournaments. My dream is to one day ghost-write a pro golfer’s or tennis player’s memoir.

  5. Les

    Oh. My. God. You were at The Masters? I rarely envy anyone for anything, but that’s a dream destination of mine. And what a wonderful set of experiences. You owe us all at least a personal essay, my friend ;-).

    And, sorry for dropping off the map for so long. I closed my Yahoo email because it kept getting hacked, and am slowly building back contacts.

    Hope you’re well!

    L.

    1. Teri Post author

      Hi Les! I wondered what happened to you!

      Ahhhh, The Masters. It was one of those dream trips.

      We should try and have a glass of wine one evening after you get off work, before you head back over the hill….

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