On April 17, 2024

A stroke of bad luck

The Masters ended this past weekend, and like so many other golf fans, I was glued to my phone and television for four days as the pageantry and competition unfolded. The event did not disappoint as the world’s No. 1 Scottie Scheffler struck precision golf shots for four days, outlasting any challenges his competitors made.

I traveled to Augusta National in Georgia several years ago to witness the tournament firsthand. It had been a bucket list item for decades, so when a work colleague mentioned he had a spare ticket, I jumped at the chance.

I didn’t know this person well, but my rapport with him was solid so I wasn’t concerned. However, on the day before leaving, he mentioned that two other people would be joining us, which did concern me. Traveling with three strangers in a car for hours was not how I pictured this fantasy unfolding. Nevertheless, I shook off the anxiety and convinced myself that my three compatriots were likely golf fans who were equally excited to attend and, therefore, would be fun to be around.

On the morning of our trip (we attended the Friday round), I met everyone at the appointed location before sunrise. The goal was to beat the traffic and get there early. Everyone was on time, so we were off to a solid start.

After a few niceties, we piled into the car and headed out. The early conversations were guarded; we talked business for most of the time. But as we got closer to the event, I purposely turned the conversation to golf. After all, it was The Masters, and I was growing increasingly excited at what was about to unfold.

 

That’s when it became apparent that none of the other three passengers were golf fans. In fact, two of the three admitted that they only agreed to go because other people pushed them to do it.  

I did my best to throw out some Masters history and current insights thinking it might pique their curiosity. Unfortunately, it had little effect. Two of them had never golfed and the one who did mentioned that he regularly drank a 12-pack during his round…

My dream was to walk all 18 holes of Augusta National so I could put the images I’d been seeing on television into perspective. However, it became apparent once we got through the gates that this was never going happen. First of all, the three other gentlemen weren’t built for traversing a hilly golf course in high heat. And secondly, they seemed more interested in buying merchandise and alcohol than they were in watching the players.

Once they all had their drinks, we walked down a couple holes and watched several groups play through. It was apparent they were bored so we worked our way back up near the clubhouse where they proceeded to drop hundreds of dollars on Masters apparel. I love the tournament and the history of the club, but there was no way I was buying a logo golf shirt for $130.

I did enjoy walking around the shop looking at the multitude of items, and the people-watching was spectacular, but it was the most un-masterful part of the event as far as I was concerned.

Eventually we made our way over to the food court where we each purchased the famed pimento cheese sandwiches. The food at The Masters is priced ridiculously low so a sandwich and drink only cost $3.50 (compare that to the $19 beer I bought at my last NBA game).

After we ate, we headed back out onto the course, but then tragedy struck. Clouds had been rolling in and there was a hint of thunder on the horizon. Soon enough, the horn blasted to signal a stoppage in play due to lightning and impending storms.  

The guys decided that this was a sign to leave, so we headed to our car, piled in, and started driving away just as the rains arrived.  

I was dejected but didn’t let on. My dream of walking Augusta National was mostly dashed, but I was happy to have been at the hallowed location, if for only a short time. I’m intent on returning again one day — but I’ll be doing it my way on that occasion.

This week’s documentary feature, “David Foster: Off the Record,” is about an individual who has done it his way for his entire life — and made no excuses about it. 

David Foster is not a household name but his indelible mark on the music industry is profound. As a writer, producer, and performer, Foster has been the creative force behind some of the most memorable music of the last 50 years. I promise that David Foster has been involved in at least one music composition that you love — guaranteed!

If you appreciate music documentaries, then give this one a shot. I knew very little about this man, but I found his life story to be fascinating for a multitude of reasons. 

A rhythmic B+ for “David Foster: Off the Record,” now streaming on Netflix. 

Got a question or comment for Dom? You can email him at moviediary@att.net.

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