I grew up playing golf. The first time I remember going to the golf course, I was probably nine years old. I grew up in a small town that had a Par 3 City golf course. My brother and I took lessons for kids and played a few times.
When I got older, my mother suggested, in the way only a mother can do, that I try out for the high school girls golf team. I made the team, but it was probably because they were desperate for players. So I played golf in high school but quit when I started college.
The first spring I lived in Georgia, two things impressed me. The beauty of the azaleas and the Masters. If you turn on ESPN, the golf channel, or your local news, I'm sure you've heard mention of this prestigious tournament and seen the beautiful azaleas.
I always enjoy hearing about the players and their lives and what inspires them. To compete at this level, or really any love there has to be determination and dedication.
I'm sure you've all heard of Tom Watson. He won the Masters twice. At sixty-six years old, he played his final Masters this year. Friday he received a standing ovation as he walked to the 18th green. He ended with 152 which was two shots over making the cut. Amazing!
Then there's Bubba Watson. He's a UGA graduate, and one of my favorite players. He has shared his personal story of trying to adopt to encourage and inspire others. Twice Bubba and his wife, Angie, had adoptions fall through. At last in 2012, Bubba played in the Masters while Angie remained in Florida completing the adoption of their son, Caleb. What a sweet victory. He won the Masters and more important, they finally had a child.
Phil Mickelson continues to play competitively despite having psoriatic arthritis.
Do you know about Jordan Spieth? His parents were college athletes. Jordan played baseball before transitioning to golf at twelve years old. His brother, Steven plays basketball at Brown University. And Jordan is a devoted big brother to his sister, Ellie. I've seen her at many of his tournaments cheering for him.
Rory McIlroy won four major championships by the time he turned twenty-five. The Masters is the elusive title he's yet to win.
I can only imagine the pressure he's putting on himself to win this year.
So if you are channel surfing and see golf, please don't think it's a silly game. There is so much more to these men than golf.