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Sunday, April 12, 2015

2015 Masters "A Tradition Like No Other"

In 2006 our famous son MJ, National Special Olympics Golf Champion and Halloffamer, was invited to the 70th Masters. We wrote one of our 5 golf books about this great experience. We renamed all the holes and followed Tiger around in the third round of the tournament. Ala "Walking 18 Holes With Tiger" was written. This year we returned with MJ's avid golfer mom Linda and experienced a sensational Southern trip that began in Sea Island, then to the "Magical Masters" in Augusta and ending up in Savannah.

Some of the highlights on this trip that will be etched in our memory banks forever included 3 glorious days at Sea Island. We played golf at the Seaside course(there are 3 other courses) where they play the PGA tour McGladery Open that resident Davis Love runs, fine dining at many of their 9 restaurants, a tennis exhibition with  resident pro golfer Matt Kutcher and Venus Williams, learning about the history made in the George Bush's G8( top 8 powers of the world) conference room held in 2004, and watching the sun set over the Atlantic each night to the sound of the bagpiper soothing your soul. The spectacular resort is a only 1.5 hour drive from Jacksonville and offers something for everyone. It is great for family vacations and business meetings. I have attached an article for more information and to make reservations.

Augusta is a 3.5 hour drive from Sea Island. If you are not fortunate to be invited to the tournament or don't want to spend the money for tickets, you can submit your name in the lottery for tickets each year. It is an experience every golfer or non golfer should see one time. The colorful flowered grounds are immaculate, the food and drinks are 1960's prices(example 1.50 sandwiches and 3 dollar beers) and the history is unlike any other and full of tradition in its 79 year history. The tradition begins with famous golfers hitting the opening tee shot. This year Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus did the honor. They are all former Masters winners and have done great work on and off the golf course raising millions of dollars for various charities. It is an emotional and special tradition to begin this great event.

This year we had dinner at one of Ben Crenshaw's favorite restaurants Luigi's in downtown Augusta. It one of Augusta's oldest restaurants being established in 1949. It is a combination of homemade Italian pasta and Greek dishes with perfectly seasoned meat balls and a variety of pizzas. It is open every day at 5 p.m. for dinner. The patrons enjoy the walls with many pictures of special Masters memories. They have a collection of coveted Master badges proudly displayed at the entrance. There are no reservations but they serve you drinks outside as you wait for dinner. It is also across the street from the Augusta Museum. The museum is filled with golf history and pictures of former Augusta resident and rock and roll Halloffamer James Brown. As James used to sing, "I feel good" and Luigi's will make you feel real good.

The Masters was a special moment for former 2 time winner and Ryder Cup captain Ben Crenshaw. It was his 44th appearance and last time playing at Augusta. On each hole of his final round, the patrons gave him a standing ovation. He shot a 91 and 85 but was quoted as saying, "I felt like I won the tournament with the overwhelming and kind appreciation from the knowledgeable and classy Augusta patrons." 

Our Southern trip continued with a 2 hour drive to Savannah. This is charming seaside town full of rich history. You can take a 90 minute trolley tour that is highly recommended. Over 60 movies were made here including Tom Hank's Forrest Gump. They also say many of the old houses are haunted and offer interesting ghost tours. There are many great foodie spots to dine including Paula Deen's famous Lady And Sons. They require reservations and serve lunch from 11-4 and dinner from 4-10. They have a buffet of Southern treats that features her famous Southern Fried Chicken. She has a store next to the restaurant where you can buy many of her sauces and kitchen utensils. Her motto is "put some south in your mouth" and a food experience that is a "must do."

For more information and to make reservations for your Southern experience go to: