Is Augusta a little piece of heaven?
Someday, hopefully not soon, I am going to die. And when I transition from this world to the next - I expect to play a lot of golf. Yes, I am sure I'll hit the ball a lot straighter, I'll make more birdies than bogeys, and the ball will lip-in instead of lip-out, but what I am most excited about is the opportunity to play golf with the legends of the past.
I look forward to watching Sam Snead bomb the ball down the centre of the fairway, barefoot. I expect I'll see Hogan hitting 5 irons on the range, each ball landing within a couple of feet of the others. Byron will be there too, modestly knocking wedge after wedge to within a few inches of the cup, shooting a sly smile as the odd shot falls into the hole. And Bobby Jones, immaculately dressed, sits on the porch enjoying lemonade and watching the action around him.
And then, as the morning dew melts away, we all head to the first tee - at the most heavenly course of them all, Augusta National. As we each step up and fire our balls down the centre of the first hole, "Tea Olive", a crowd begins to gather to watch us play. And as we five walk among the rolling hills and majestic pines of the most storied course in golf - fivesomes are allowed in heaven - the crowd swells around us and cheers as we hit high draws into tight pins, and roll in 40 footers from the fringe.
But until I shake loose from this mortal coil, I'll have to be content to watch the best players of today march around the 7,400 yards that is heaven-on-earth, the crown jewel of golf, Augusta National. And content I will be, there is nothing quite like the back nine on Master's Sunday to get a real glimpse of just how good the game of golf can be!