Dear Augusta National,
We’re good now.
It was almost two years now since you awoke from a seemingly perpetual slumber and allowed women to be members at your esteemed club. And while I will admit I allowed myself to be excited for a few moments, my prevailing thought to all this was, ‘what the hell took you so long’? Do you need that badly to have time away from the Mrs. that you wouldn’t even consider allowing female members to walk in your hallowed halls? And while that is yesterday’s news I will admit I was disappointed in you. There, I said it.
I am comfortable admitting that because of the special relationship we have. You open up your course to me (via the glorious magic of HD TV) for four glorious days after a perpetually long Canadian winter and thoughts of Azalea’s and announcers’ hushed tones overcome me. I sprout roots on my couch and declare my love for you as the greatest golf course in North America; it’s our ‘thing’. My wife understands – or perhaps tolerates – our relationship. Four days is not much after all.
And while my disappointment in you has waned somewhat over time since that day back in August 2012, I experienced something on Sunday April 6, 2014 that made my heart grow three sizes (Grinch-like proportions). You welcomed boys, and girls, ages 7 – 15 to your course with open arms to experience a thrill of a lifetime experience…the inaugural Drive, Chip and Putt championship! With your besties, the USGA and PGA of America and a wannabe bestie, Golf Channel, you partnered to move the needle in the game of golf like no one has done in years.
I was captivated by the entire experience. Like everything you do well, it was flawless. And I was not the only one with those sentiments. You had past champions alter their schedule to show up and lend support to these skilled, lucky and wide-eyed kids and their parents. Seeing the fist pumps and smiles on 18 when kids drained their 15 footers was a sight to behold! And in doing all this you have moved the bar on the ‘grow the game’ conversation to a level few could even imagine let alone accomplish. I am confident in 2033 (or so) we will see a Masters champion who saw his (or her!) start at the 2014 Drive, Chip and Putt Championship.
In closing, I wanted to write to you to thank you for being so bold and taking a leadership role in something that is very important for us all, the future of golf. Thank you for making things right between us.
Your friend, @36aday
PS – Looking forward to our weekend together!