15,265 Days to Augusta: An epic Masters adventure
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15,265 Days to Augusta: An epic Masters adventure


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MASTERS WEEK

Sunday

I checked the forecast for Augusta for Saturday: 100 percent chance of rain. High of 65. (Awesome. Go figure!)

"I don’t care," I said. "Nothing is going to dampen this week for me."

We got 4 inches of snow Sunday afternoon...April 1st. (No fooling.)

"I don’t care," I said. "Nothing is going to dampen this week for me."

Monday

I checked the forecast for Augusta for Saturday: 100 percent chance of rain. High of 67. I spent an hour-and-a-half packing way too much into way too small of a bag. Checking a bag would have cost me one of my five meals.

Tuesday

I checked the forecast for Augusta for Saturday: 100 percent chance of rain. High of 68. (Son of a...)

The temperature was getting better, but the rain was giving me the finger. I started to think maybe for once this year the meteorologists would be right. (Go figure!)

My son said, "Dad, you’ve waited 40 years for this and it’s going to rain all day. After all of this, they’ll probably cancel Saturday’s round."

Interestingly enough, I hadn’t yet considered that. Now I couldn’t think of anything else. I Googled "Cancelled Masters Rounds" and read that it almost never happens. (Almost. Never. So they’re saying there’s a chance! Son of a...) I nervously unpacked my bag then repacked it. Not sure why.

Wednesday

I checked the forecast for Augusta for Saturday: 100 percent chance of rain. High of 70.

I’m starting to wish bad things upon whoever the meteorologist is on Weather.com. Particularly when I watch the Par-3 Contest and see how unbelievably perfect the weather is at Augusta National RIGHT NOW. If those announcers say one more time how perfect the weather is I’m going to shut the TV off. Twelve times later I’m still watching the telecast. (Son of a...) And then Jack Nicklaus’s grandson gets an ace on the last hole of the Par-3 course. Jack says it’s the single greatest moment of his life. Makes me wonder if he’s going to let his Masters golf career end there. Will this be it for Jack?

Thursday

Another beautiful day in Augusta. I checked the forecast for Saturday: 100 percent chance of rain. High of 72. (Son of a...)

I then checked eBay, Craigslist and Stubhub to see how much Saturday passes were going for. I found three in the neighborhood of $2,100...EACH. Dang. I’d never seen anticipation so high for the Masters. Tiger, Phil, Rory, Jordan, Justin and Dustin. I told a friend that Patrick Reed was my dark horse favorite to win.

"Zero chance," was the reply.

"I’ll bet you $10 he finishes Top 5," I fired back.

He laughed. "You’re on." (Message @GetawaysGolf on Twitter. He’ll confirm it’s true.)

Friday

Another beautiful day in Augusta. I checked the forecast for Saturday: 100% chance of rain. High of 72. (Son of a...)

I checked eBay, Craigslist and Stubhub again for Saturday passes. There was one for $2,000 and a handful of others for $2,200. I credited Jordan Spieth’s opening 6-under 66 for the general climb in prices, with the guy who essentially broke his leg Wednesday (Tony Finau), Rory, Rickie and Phil under par. Oh...Patrick Reed was too.

My flight for Charlotte (via Chicago) left at 5 p.m. A full flight, two-and-a-half hours long, there was a guy six seats over from me who I swear stopped talking only once—long enough to give the stewardess his drink order. Me and the 70 or so people confined within 20 yards of him learned about his recent root canal, his fear of driving at night, his thoughts on various brands of toilet paper and how much he dislikes onions on tacos. Had the woman seated beside him been an Air Marshall I’m convinced she would have used her gun on him (or herself), and had a line of people ready to use it after her. There was also a screaming baby on that flight. Clearly she, too, was close enough to overhear that unbelievably annoying chatterbox. I’ve never hated a plane so much for not having charging ports in the seats so I could have kept my phone alive and droned out the moron with music.

That said, then I would have missed the full-grown adult sitting one seat directly in front of the moron asking the flight attendant LITERALLY four times, "How much longer until we land?" I kept myself from opening the Emergency Exit door beside me by calmly repeating, "I’m going to The Masters...I’m going to The Masters...I’m going to The Masters."

When we landed I heard the moron say, "Man, that was a short flight." The lady beside me chuckled and muttered, "Only for you, dip----." I couldn’t help myself. I raised my hand and she gave me a high-five. So much for "stranger danger."

About the author

Eric N. Hart

Eric N. Hart

Eric Hart (aka MobileGolfer) is an award-winning travel and leisure writer for Golf News Net and the owner of Stays + Plays Travel Agency in the Midwest. Eric has stayed at 250-plus resorts and hotels around the world and played 500-plus golf courses. He has worked with 16 tourism agencies and written more than 1,100 articles for 14 regional, national and international golf, family and travel publications since he began in 2007. With a passion for promoting both golf and family travel, Eric routinely hits the road with his son and/or the full family (wife and four kids).

Reach Eric by email at info[at]staysandplays.com