One of my favorites, but I like to golf.

You cannot believe how hard it is until you’ve tried it.

I had the privilege of seeing the Augusta National, Augusta, GA last year, and one of things you don’t see, even in HD, is how much up and down there is to the place, which, again, makes golf awfully hard(er). There are putts measuring 6 feet there that you hope you don’t hit just a fraction too hard lest you wind up 50 feet away (or worse) for your next one.

Tiger has choked in the first round; could’ve easily come in -5 and finished -2; Chad Campbell had a shot at a major championship course record of 62 and bogeyed 17 and 18 for a “lame” 64–I say “too late”–and if I had to pick a winner after Thursday, a ridiculous thing, it would be Jim Furyk, who has as messed up a golf swing, or worse, as many of my amateur hack partners. He’s tough as nails, though, and I think that will pay off for him this week.

It’s a marvelously beautiful place. Probably the most carefully groomed piece of land I have ever seen. Rumor has it they actually ice the azaleas if they’re blooming too soon. You can’t drop a piece of paper (all colored grass-green just in case) without someone catching it before it hits the ground. Immaculate. And just so you know, beers are $1.50, sandwiches too, and even the golf souvenirs are extremely reasonably priced. No TV cables, all those are buried permanently; no outhouses, all those are permanent structures and extremely efficiently run by volunteers who seem weirdly professional when it comes to managing bathrooms; no running, screaming, yelling, or any other bullshit allowed. My best friend had to tear off the label of his water bottle before he got in. No creepy advertising allowed, either. It was a Bucket List deal for me.

A picture for scale (shoes and socks seem tragically unnecessary):


Update: I like beautiful and completely untouched pieces of land, too. Augusta National is just the best of both land and landscaping I’ve ever seen. It was beautiful before they built a golf course on it, and it is beautiful afterwards.