Monthly Archives: March 2022

The Tipping Point — Tears for Fears

Listen To This

What does it take for two legendary music geniuses to reunite and drop the same hook-n-play firepower as if time stood still? The same common thread that brought them together in the first place: life’s emotional journeys of good and bad with the saving grace of hope.

Tears for Fears has been an iconic staple in pop/new wave music since the early ’80s with classic songs like “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” and “Shout,” providing a vast catalog of tunes that defined the MTV era and bridged the gap between the British invasion and American pop.

Now, after a complicated road of bogged differences, twisty musical directions and some years well spent apart (the two would not speak for nine years), the unrivaled power duo of Kurt Smith and Roland Orzabal returns to the basic formula that brought them together almost 40 years ago with The Tipping Point, their first studio release in 18 years.

The opening track “No Small Thing” is an organic crescendo of sound and color that sets the rest of the record on fire. Tracks to follow like “Break the Man,” “The Tipping Point” and “Rivers of Mercy” craft a flowing river of inspiration only Tears for Fears can deliver. The promise of a season in bloom is the vibe of spring, and The Tipping Point is the soundtrack.

– Chris Rucker

So Help Me Golf: Why We Love the Game by Rick Reilly

Literary Loop

In this book, available May 10, bestselling author and golf aficionado Rick Reilly unpacks many of the wonderful, maddening, heart-melting, heart-breaking and captivating things about golf that make the game so addictive.

We meet the PGA Tour player who robbed banks by night to pay his motel bills, the golf club maker who takes weekly psychedelic trips and the caddie who kept his loop even after an 11-year prison stint. We learn how a man on his third heart nearly won the U.S. Open, how a Vietnam POW saved his life playing 18 holes a day in his tiny cell and about the course that’s absolutely free.

Reilly mines the game’s quirky traditions, from the shot of bourbon you take before you tee off at Peyton Manning’s course, to the way the starter at St. Andrews announces, “You’re on the first tee, gentlemen,” and means it literally: St. Andrews has the first tee ever invented.

You’ll visit the 18 most unforgettable holes around the world including the hole in Indonesia where the biggest hazard is monkeys, the one in the Caribbean that’s underwater and the one in South Africa that requires a shot over a pit of alligators.

Reilly expounds on all the great figures past and present in golf, and connecting it all is the story of his own personal journey through the game.

Cool to be Kind

People

Busby’s Heating & Air has launched The Busby’s Cares Community Contribution, an initiative in which the company makes a $1,000 donation to a small local nonprofit organization each month. The inaugural recipient of the funds was Garden City Rescue Mission in February.

“With small local charities, $1,000 can be significant,” says Rick Busby, owner of Busby’s.

The company also conducted a food drive for Garden City Rescue Mission, the largest men’s homeless shelter in the CSRA, and Busby’s delivered the food contributions at the same time that it presented the financial donation to the rescue mission.

“A lot of folks have helped me in my life one way or another. I just feel like the world would be a better place if more people helped each other,” Busby says. “We’ve always given back. That’s just part of our culture. That’s how I was raised.”

Restoring the Warrior

People

Photos courtesy of Operation Double Eagle

Operation Double Eagle prepares veterans and transitioning active duty military personnel to work in the golf industry.

U.S. Army veteran and Grovetown resident Matt Weber, who medically retired from the military in 2009 after five years of service, had fallen on hard times.

He lived in his car with his service dog, a Dutch Shepherd named Max, for a while. He moved in with a friend, but that situation ended up causing more harm than good. Then Weber spent the little money he had left on a hotel room. In November 2020 his hours were cut before he ultimately lost his job during the pandemic. He struggled with alcohol abuse and addiction to his medications.

“I was in a dark place for the better part of four years,” the 36-year-old Weber says.

Last fall, however, his circumstances started to change. In October 2021, he met Jeremy Tindell, program manager for Operation Double Eagle, through a local veterans service organization.

Operation Double Eagle is a nine-week skills development program at Augusta Technical College that connects veterans and transitioning active duty service members to a network of employers seeking “job-ready” veterans for nationwide career opportunities.

The program, a workforce initiative of the Atlanta-based Warrior Alliance, actively recruits veterans with barriers to employment through its network of partners, transitioning active duty military personnel and government agencies.

Tindell, who lives in Evans and served in the Army for 20 years, talked to Weber about Operation Double Eagle. Although a session had started a week before their conversation, Tindell squeezed the veteran into the program.

“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do or where I wanted to go,” Weber says. “I kind of bounced around for a couple of years. I was making an attempt to figure out what I wanted to do. Operation Double Eagle had resources for me to make something of myself.”

Weber finished the program on December 17, 2021, and three days later he started working as an equipment operator for Landscapes Unlimited, one of the largest golf course contractors in the country.

“The first thing I told my boss was that in two-and-a-half years or less, I plan on taking his job,” says Weber.

And that wasn’t the last time he put his director supervisor, Brett Ambrose, on notice that he’s coming after his position. Ambrose, a Landscapes Unlimited project superintendent, appreciates the ambition.

“I want to have people that want to move up and have goals. If he’s a go-getter, let’s do it,” he says. “I said, ‘Dude, come and get it. Let’s see it happen.”

Landscapes Unlimited also hired one of Weber’s classmates, and Ambrose hopes to hire many more people from the program. “I like where they’re going with it. It has a lot of promise and gets people in different careers in golf,” he says.

Optimum Exposure

Operation Double Eagle is the brainchild of Scott Johnson, president and chief executive officer of the Warrior Alliance. During his 20-plus years as a corporate executive, he worked with wounded warriors and saw a contingent of the veteran population that was unemployed or bouncing from job to job.

“I wanted to try to help veterans find a way to be trained like they are in the military. This is the kind of work they want to be doing, and it was a chance to try something that hadn’t been tried before with veterans. We want to restore the warrior that is inside of each individual,” Johnson says. “On the flip side, it solves a huge problem for the golf industry where there is a high demand for skilled labor.”

With local assets such as Fort Gordon, a rich military tradition, the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center and Augusta National Golf Club, Johnson says this area has been the ideal place to build the program.

“Logistically, Augusta made sense,” he adds. “Why not take the mecca of golf and do something unique for it?”

Nine-week cohorts are scheduled four times a year, and up to 15 selected “warriors” per session receive a monthly stipend for housing and meals to attend the free educational program. Participants are not required to use their GI Bill benefits, and graduates receive Augusta Tech’s Golf Turf and Landscape Specialist certificate. In addition, the students earn 14 college credit hours.

The first cohort was launched in February 2020, but Operation Double Eagle went on hiatus from March 17, 2020 until June 2020 because of covid.

The program is structured so that students receive classroom instruction from 8 a.m. until noon Monday through Friday at Augusta Tech. Topics include golf course maintenance, horticulture science, irrigation, construction, turf management, mechanical and equipment operation, golf operations, landscaping and pest control.

“We tell people on the second day, ‘You’ll learn a dozen different things in nine weeks. Get passionate about one of them, and you’ll find a career,’” says Johnson.

In the afternoon the students go to the Performance Center, a par-3 hole that was built in 2019 at Augusta Municipal Golf Course, for hands-on learning opportunities.

At the Performance Center, the students practice golf course design, construction, renovation and maintenance skills. Veterans, as individuals and teams, tackle clearly defined projects to solve real-time challenges.

“We have everything that a larger golf course operation would have,” says Evans resident O’Neil Crouch, a former golf course superintendent and Operation Double Eagle program director. “They get to learn real-world problems. If we have to, we create problems.”

The students also take field trips to local golf courses such as Champions Retreat and Forest Hills Golf Club as well as Belle Meade Country Club in Thomson. They also have helped prepare the course at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta for the Tour Championship.

“Veterans love to be outside. They love working in tough nature conditions. They love working in teams,” Johnson says.

In addition, the program covers golf course etiquette and what to expect when working on a golf course and introduces students to industry sales representatives.

“We try to expose them to everything possible so they can make a decision,” says Crouch. “We’ve had a few graduates that have started their own business or more veterans support programs.”

The Right Fit

Warriors have to go through a three-tiered application review and assessment before they are accepted into Operation Double Eagle. “You have to educate veterans and find people that are right for the program,” says Johnson.

As part of his responsibilities, Tindell recruits students and vets the military applicants. He conducts an overall evaluation of the soldiers to assess each individual’s attitude, aptitude, academics and achievement.

Operation Double Eagle finds recruits through the Department of Labor, social services organizations, veterans services organizations, career centers, grassroots efforts, word-of-mouth, social media and by visiting military installations.

“When potential students fill out a questionnaire and application online, they self-identify their barriers to employment,” Tindell says. “I contact them and build a personal relationship with them before they join the program.”

Johnson has found that warriors often have difficulty transitioning to civilian life because they lose their network when they leave the military or realize that the work they have been doing does not translate to other employment opportunities. Weber agrees.

“You’re losing that ‘suited and booted’ mentality,” he says. “You knew that what you were doing was important. When you have to stop wearing that uniform for whatever reason, you feel like it’s been taken away from you. There’s a lot of camaraderie in the military that you rarely get in civilian life.”

Veterans lose the team mentality that the military fosters as well. However, Crouch says golf course superintendents sometimes model their maintenance staffs on military groups to build camaraderie.

“The golf course maintenance staff has always been a very tight-knit group,” he says. “They work outside in all kinds of weather and situations. Rarely do you do a job by yourself.”

Tindell says that employment in the golf industry offers structure and uniformity. In addition, he says, “There’s a therapeutic aspect of working outside and working with your hands.”

With Tindell’s military connections and Crouch’s ties to the golf industry, they make a good team as well.

“He can find veterans that need training and employment,” says Crouch. “I know superintendents all over the country that need quality employees. The labor pool is very small. There’s a great demand for quality labor.”

Crouch also oversees fundraising for the program. He says fundraising tournaments are coming up locally, in Atlanta and in North Carolina, and people can get involved by making donations on a monthly or yearly basis. They also can help make connections with potential employers, sponsors for the program, military resources and industry players.

“We are seeing a tremendous amount of support from the community,” Crouch says.

‘Purpose, Direction and Motivation’

Tindell keeps track of everyone who completes the program for 24 months post-graduation. “I try to instill a sense of purpose, direction and motivation in everyone who comes through the course,” he says.

About 50 people have gone through the program so far, but Johnson hopes that close to 100 will complete the certification this year. Students have ranged in age from 25 to 64 years old, and 30% to 40% of them have been female. While the program has drawn students from across the country, 60% to 70% of them live in the local area.

The participants agree that they will start working or continue their education after they finish the program. Johnson says 90% of the people who have gone through the program have “made it.” He hopes Operation Double Eagle, which also is building partnerships nationwide, can be a solution for a lot of people, like it was for Weber.

In January Weber moved into a house, and he is continuing his education by pursuing a degree in Golf Course Turfgrass Management at Augusta Tech. He also hopes to mentor the students in the next Operation Double Eagle class.

“Because of what they’ve done for me, I want to give back as well. I want to give them direction like Jeremy did for me,” he says. “I’m immensely blessed because of the program. I’m more than grateful for everything they’ve done. Every aspect of it from that first conversation with Jeremy allowed me to have what I have right now. I went from having nothing to having everything.”

By Betsy Gilliland

Photos courtesy of Operation Double Eagle

Key to Happiness

In The Home

Photography by Sally Kolar

With a mix of farmhouse and contemporary décor, along with pieces from the past, an upbeat family finds its rhythm in their Bartram Trail home.

When Evans residents Jamie and Dennis Sidener discovered their Bartram Trail home almost two years ago, they knew it struck just the right note for their blended family.

“I found the house when I was driving through the neighborhood and saw that it was for sale,” says Dennis. “The house had been sold, but we made a counteroffer. A couple of days later, the house was back on the market.”

At the time the Sideners were living in the Jones Creek patio home where Jamie and her daughters, Hannah Kate and Molly Mulanax, had moved after her first husband passed away in 2016. When Jamie and Dennis got married in 2019, they quickly realized that the patio home wasn’t big enough for a new husband and his daughters, Gracie and Preslie.

They started house hunting, and Jamie, the music teacher at Stevens Creek Elementary School, says there was one key feature she needed to live in harmony in a new home.

“We had to have a big, eat-in kitchen with a large island and double ovens so we can accommodate our families,” she says.

The kitchen in the Bartram Trail house was perfect, except for the black cabinets that left Jamie unimpressed when she saw them online. She changed her tune, however, once she saw the house in person. Consequently, the house didn’t stay on the market again for long – and the cabinets are still black.

Farmhouse Feel

While black cabinetry initially may not have been her style, Jamie had plenty of ideas to put her imprint on the house.

“I’ve always liked to mix farmhouse and modern pieces,” she says. “I don’t like homes that are perfectly curated. I like things that tell a story and give a house texture and warmth and comfort.”

Every nook and cranny of the house seems to share their story in one way or another. For instance, the home is filled with farmhouse pieces that Jamie brought from her native Kansas when she and her family moved to the area in 2005.

The old church pew in the foyer came from her home church in Lawrence, Kansas. “When they remodeled the church, they got rid of the old pews,” says Jamie. “I had it cut down, and I painted it.”

She filled a wire basket on the wall with black-and-white family photos. The snapshots include a picture of her parents, an old photo booth picture of her grandparents, a 1940s-era image of her mother as a little girl dressed in overalls and a picture of Jamie as a young girl in a Winnebago with her father and siblings.

In the dining room, Jamie loves to set the table with her grandmother’s gold-rimmed, 1940s Blue Willow china. A small bride-and-groom cake topper that Jamie’s grandparents used at their wedding has a place of honor in the china cabinet.

“I don’t want my house to look like a granny house or to be full of knick-knacks, but I like to use one or two special things,” Jamie says. “Most of my things are old, family pieces. I’m not a ‘go into a store and buy something new’ kind of girl.”

Highlighting Jamie’s musical background, an old French horn and a violin case rest on top of the china cabinet. While she plays a variety of instruments, she primarily is a pianist and a vocalist. She also performs in community theater productions with Augusta Players and Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre.

Architectural features in the dining room include a high chair rail, a trey ceiling and a column that provides separation from the foyer and the den.

All About Authenticity

A coffered ceiling, a built-in bookcase and a gas fireplace with a raised stone hearth add definition to the adjoining den. A collection of old-fashioned keys hangs from the fireplace screen, and more keys are piled in a small white dish.

Jamie’s affinity for keys dates back to her college days as a Kappa Kappa Gamma, which has a key as its symbol, at Kansas State University.

Even though she’s not in Kansas anymore, Jamie has filled the home with treasures from her home state, such as the coffee table in the den. While the table, originally a chicken egg incubator, is used for storage now, it has served other purposes.

“It has been several different colors,” Jamie says. “It’s so sturdy. You can’t hurt it. My girls have been involved in fine arts and theater, so it’s also been a stage. We would clear it off, and they would do little shows.”

An old farmhouse door, another find from Kansas, leans against the den wall, and Jamie centered a wreath, which she made by rolling hymnal pages into cone shapes, on the door.

“My farmhouse pieces are real. They’re authentic. They have true peeling paint,” Jamie says. “I used to go to flea markets and estate sales in Kansas. In the ’90s, these things were cheap.”

However, the focal point of the room is a 1929 Vose & Sons piano. Jamie, who comes from a “long line of musicians,” received the piano in 2000 as a Mother’s Day gift from her late husband.

“It hasn’t been refinished. I like the patina on it,” she says. “I love that it has been around for almost 100 years. So many people have played it and loved it and learned on it.”

Jamie teaches piano lessons to neighborhood children about two afternoons a week – something she has done since 1995.

“My parents gave me an upright piano as a college graduation gift,” she says. “They said, ‘If all else fails, you can teach piano lessons wherever you live.’”

Old hymnals and music books that belonged to Jamie’s grandmother, who played the piano and organ, are stacked on the bookcase, and the volumes are filled with her grandmother’s handwritten notes.

Although he prefers to be outdoors fishing in local bass tournaments at Clarks Hill Lake or golfing, Dennis says the den is his favorite spot in the house. He likes to watch TV there, but he says, “I’m usually either in the yard or with my fishing lures in the garage.”

In Fine Form

The master bedroom features a trey ceiling and mix-and-match furniture. Two pictures of Japanese silks, which Jamie’s grandfather brought back from Japan after World War II, hang on a wall.

The adjoining master bath features granite countertops, tile flooring, double vanities, a walk-in shower and a jetted tub. Jamie built a shelf for the tub out of an old piece of wood that she stained and attached handles on each end.

“I know my way around some power tools,” she says. “If I can’t find what I want, I figure it out. I don’t like to pay people to do things I can do for myself.”

Two of the most functional rooms in the house – the kitchen and the laundry room – are in fine form as well.

A custom-made pinewood cabinet is tucked in the corner of the kitchen, and it is filled with white dishes, including vintage Delta Airlines pieces that Jamie picked up at garage sales. Two pendant lights hang above the spacious island, and the backsplash features quatrefoil tiles. Jamie displays more Blue Willow china in glass-front cabinets.

The adjoining breakfast area features a round table and four chairs. As part of the centerpiece, Jamie wrapped pages from a copy of Pride and Prejudice around a pair of pillar candles and tied them with a piece of twine.

She wallpapered the laundry room with a pattern featuring black-and-white buffalo checks. “That was a lot of blood, sweat and tears,” she says. “This is probably the only laundry room I will ever wallpaper.”

Of course, the laundry room has the requisite washer and dryer, but Jamie also stores more of her quirky treasures in the space.

A retro medicine cabinet, another flea market find, hangs on the wall, and Jamie also keeps an authentic vintage packing paper dispenser from a general store in the laundry room. She has had the paper dispenser since the 1990s, and through the years the newsprint has been used for everything from table covers to the girls’ school projects.

The Sorority House

One of Jamie’s prized possessions is the baptismal dress, bonnet and bloomers that her daughters wore when they were christened. Her mother embroidered the girls’ names and baptism dates on the bloomers, and Jamie arranged the clothing in a shadow box with a piece of pink toile fabric in the background. She put the shadow box in an antique white frame that she found at a garage sale.

The frame hangs by the staircase that leads up to a TV room and the girls’ bedrooms. The Sideners fittingly call the second floor the “Sorority House,” and like a good, 21st-century mom, Jamie texts the girls – sometimes days in advance – when she is venturing up to their turf.

The TV room features a gallery wall of family photos. “We took pieces of my past and Dennis’ past and our daughters and put them all together,” says Jamie. “It’s chaotic and messy like our family.”

Tucked in the corner of Molly’s bedroom is a large architect’s desk that belonged to her paternal grandfather. “He is a retired architect,” says Jamie. “This was his drafting table when he was in college and first got started.”

All four of their daughters are dancers, and in Gracie’s room, two frames hold pages from a French magazine, Noir Et Blanc, that feature ballerinas. Jamie bought the magazine from a street vendor during a family trip to Paris in 2012 and had the pages custom framed.

The white dresser and bed in Preslie’s room belonged to Jamie’s late husband’s grandmother, and Jamie picked up the full-length mirror on the side of the road.

“I’ve always had to figure out ways to make things work,” she says. “I get things off the side of the road. If someone offers me a hand-me-down piece of furniture, I never turn it down.”

Bucket List

The screened-in back porch, where they spend a lot of time, offers a view of the woods behind the Sideners’ house. “One of the reasons we love this house is because we feel like we’re in the trees,” says Jamie.

Two strands of string lights extend from wall to wall, and a wicker bistro table with two wood chairs accents one side of the porch. Along with the kitchen, the porch is Jamie’s favorite spot in the house.

“The screened porch is so peaceful. I’ll have my coffee out here,” she says. “And the kitchen is where everyone gathers. I love to cook, and I love to eat. I love to style tables and food.”

Jamie likes to prepare themed meals such as taco night and, of course, pimento cheese sandwiches for the Masters. She insists on fixing Dennis’ plates so she can style the food.

“I want it to look like restaurant food,” she says. “I’m a table setter. If you have it, you should use it.”

Since the back porch doesn’t have a fireplace, the Sideners improvised. They put a vintage mantel in the corner and placed a firepit in front of it.

A wall art sign, featuring “The Porch Bucket List,” hangs above the mantel. The list includes read a book, watch the sunsets, visit with friends, enjoy life and make memories.

That’s just what the Sideners intend to do – whether they are home alone or they have a house full of family and friends.

“We look forward to having grandkids in this house,” she says.

By Sarah James

Easter Egg Nests

Appetizers and Snacks
  • 6 carrot slices
  • 6 eggs, hard boiled
  • 12 cloves or peppercorns
  • 6 diced pieces red bell pepper
  • Lettuce

Using a paring knife, shape carrot slices into top combs. Cut a small slice off bottom (wider end) of each egg so it stands upright. Make a half-inch slit in top of egg and insert carrot slice for comb. Add cloves or peppercorns for eyes. Cut a small hole with tip of paring knife for beak and insert diced red bell pepper. Layer bowl with lettuce and top with egg “chicken.” Makes 6.

Coming Up Roses

Garden Scene

 

Photos courtesy of Sacred Heart Cultural CenterThe Garden City Festival is back in full bloom with familiar – and new – activities.

Springtime in Augusta is synonymous with the Masters Tournament. However, the Garden City Festival at Sacred Heart is another spring celebration with strong roots in the area.

“The festival has been a tradition since 1992,” says Kim Overstreet of Sacred Heart Cultural Center. “It started as a small flower show, but it has grown through the years as new features have been added.”

Although the event was cancelled in 2020 and a modified version was held in 2021, this year’s festival will have something for everyone from to novice to experienced gardeners.

The Garden Festival Preview Party, which begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 21, will kick off the festivities.

The evening will feature fine cuisine, musical entertainment and the first viewing of the gardens and floral exhibits created by local garden professionals. Guests also will have the first opportunity to shop for plants and garden accessories in the Garden Market. Tickets are $75 per person.

The festival itself will run from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Friday, April 22 and Saturday, April 23 at Sacred Heart. Festival-goers can see landscape and floral exhibits, shop in the Garden Market, enjoy Seedling Saturday and the Butterfly Habitat and Garden Tour, and hear educational speakers during festival hours.

The Speakers Series will offer how-to demonstrations and tips that people can use to enhance their gardens. As a new addition this year, vendors will teach 30-minute Wandering Workshops on topics such as “How to Create a Container Garden” and “Cooking with Herbs From Your Backyard.”

“The workshops will cover simple things that people can take home and do,” Overstreet says.

Food trucks and vendors also will be available from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Advance tickets for the festival and garden tours are $25 for both days until April 21. Tickets will be sold at the door for $30. Tickets for the festival only are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

The private garden tours are scheduled for noon until 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Featured gardens include three in Augusta and three in Walnut Hill in Evans off of Gibbs Road.

The festival also is collaborating with Pop-Up Augusta! for its first ever Friday party – an exclusive dining and concert experience from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. The location will be revealed 48 hours prior to the event to ticketholders only. Register at popupaugusta.com to receive an exclusive ticket invitation.

The festivities will conclude at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 24 with the Blanton Garden Tea at Blanton Farm. This event will include fare from recipes featuring organic produce grown on the farm as well as afternoon tea. The gardens will open at 4 p.m., and seating, which is limited, will follow at 5 p.m. for a talk and tea. A separate ticket is required. Call (706) 826-4700 for reservations.

“We want people to experience good gardening ideas, be inspired and learn something about eco-friendly living at the festival,” Overstreet says. “Whether someone lives in a small space like an apartment or on a large landscape, they should be able to take away something.”

Tickets are available online at sacredheartgardencityfestival.com, by phone at (706) 826-4700 or at various locations including Sacred Heart.

Tournament Tips & Landmarks

Masters Guide

Course LandmarksMagnolia Lane – tree-lined main entrance to Augusta National

Founders Circle – two plaques honoring founding members Clifford Roberts and Bobby Jones at the base of the flagpole in front of the clubhouse

Crow’s Nest – a cupola atop the clubhouse that provides tournament housing for amateur players 

Oak-TreeBig Oak Tree – a gathering spot for media interviews behind the clubhouse

Rae’s Creek between the 11th and 12th greens 

Hogan Bridge at No. 12 green 

Nelson Bridge at No. 13 tee

Sarazen Bridge at No. 15 green

3.-Landmark--Arnold-Palmer-Plaque-behind-No.-16-teeArnold Palmer Plaque behind No. 16 tee 

Jack Nicklaus Plaque between Nos. 16 and 17

Record Fountain to the left of No. 17 green

Augusta National Golf Club cabins

Ike’s Pond – a spring-fed, 3-acre pond on the Par-3 Course behind Eisenhower Cabin

Par 3 Fountain – adjacent to No. 1 tee on Par 3 course; includes list of Par 3 Contest winners 

 

Prohibited Items
• Cell phones, beepers, tablets and other electronic devices
• Any device capable of transmitting photo/video*
• Backpacks, bags and purses larger than 10” x 10” x 12” (in its natural state)
• Cameras on tournament days**
• Weapons of any kind (regardless of permit)
• Radios/TVs/noise- or music-producing devices
• Folding armchairs/rigid type chairs
• Flags/banners/signs
• Strollers
• Food/beverages/coolers
• Golf shoes with metal spikes
• Ladders/periscopes/selfie sticks

Violation of these policies will subject the ticket holder to removal from the grounds and the ticket purchaser to the permanent loss of credentials.

*Fitness tracking bands and electronic watches are permitted. However, they cannot be used for phone calls, emails, text messages and other photo, video or data recording and transmission.

**Cameras (still photography/personal use only) are allowed at practice rounds on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tournament Amenities:

  • Automated teller machines
  • Concession stands
  • First aid stations
  • Golf shops
  • Information centers
  • Lost and found
  • Merchandise shipping/check stands
  • Message center
  • Pairing sheets with course map and tee times
  • Parking
  • Picnic areas
  • Patron photos (tournament days only)
  • Restrooms
  • Scoring information
  • Spectator guides
  • Telephones
  • Water fountains

Autograph Policy
For player safety and protection, there is a no autograph policy enforced on the golf course. Autograph seeking is only allowed in areas adjacent to the Tournament Practice Area and on the Par 3 course during the Par 3 Contest.

Re-Entry Policy
Patrons will be allowed one re-entry per day.

Parking
Free Masters parking is available at Augusta National Golf Club on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Quite an Encore

Masters Guide

Photos courtesy of Augusta National Golf Club

A decade after earning low amateur honors in his first Masters Tournament appearance, Hideki Matsuyama of Japan outlasted the competition to claim the green jacket in 2021.

Call it destiny. Call it 10 years in the making. Call it a banner week in golf for Japan.

And call Hideki Matsuyama the 2021 Masters Tournament champion.

Matsuyama got his first Masters hardware in his 2011 debut as the 2010 winner of the Asia – Pacific Amateur Championship, a tournament the Masters helped launch, by earning the low amateur sterling silver cup. Last year, however, he added a green jacket and a trophy to his Masters collection when he became the first male golfer from Japan to win a major.

“I hope it will affect golf in Japan in a good way,” he said. “Not only those who are golfers already, but hopefully the youngsters who are playing golf or thinking about playing golf. I hope they will see this victory and think it’s cool and try to follow in my footsteps.”

Only eight days earlier, his compatriot, 17-year-old Tsubasa Kajitani, had won the Augusta National Women’s Amateur in a sudden death playoff.

“It was fantastic. I hope I can follow in her shoes, and again, make Japan proud,” he said on Saturday after posting 65 to pull away from the field with a four-shot lead going into the final round.

Shooting 73 on Sunday, he hung on to win the tournament by a stroke over Masters rookie Will Zalatoris, who was under par all four rounds.

“I thought I did a really good job this week of just enjoying the moment, but not letting it get to me. . .. to come up one short and be disappointed is motivating, but obviously very exciting,” the newcomer said.

Firm and Fast

Zalatoris was one of only six first-timers in the field of 88 players at the 85th Masters.

Held just five months after the previous Masters was postponed until November 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, the 2021 tournament had a limited number of patrons in attendance as well.

However, the lucky patrons who scored practice round or tournament tickets practically had their own private – but properly masked and socially distanced, of course – viewing parties. That group included local healthcare workers who were provided with credentials to attend the tournament.

The weather for the practice rounds on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday was tailor-made for the Masters. Lows in the 50s; highs in the 80s. Nothing but blue skies and sunshine.

Although the Par 3 Contest was canceled for the second year in a row, two words that are associated with the golf course’s famous greens – firm and fast – were back.

The firm, fast greens stood in stark contrast to the soft course conditions of the 2020 Masters, and three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson welcomed their return.

“For the last decade, the greens here are in the top 25 percent of softest we play on Tour, and the golf course’s only defense is the greens, right? So when the greens are firm, the precision, the course management, the angles . . . become incredibly important in your ability to play this course effectively. When the greens are soft, it’s irrelevant because you can fly the ball over all the trouble. Angles don’t matter. . .. So if it’s firm, I think it’s going to be a real test,” he said in a Tuesday press conference.

“And major championships should challenge and test the best players. . .. I think with firm greens, this golf course needs to be respected. And I think it’s been a long time since it’s had to be respected.”

In his annual Wednesday press conference, Fred Ridley, Augusta National Golf Club and Masters Tournament chairman, spoke about the course conditions as well. He said the weather had been ideal leading up to the tournament and that the course hadn’t played this firm and fast since 2013.

“Our intention would be to maintain that throughout the week. In the past, we might have started out a little soft and then got firmer as the week went on and vice versa, and last year we were pretty soft all week,” said Ridley. “I think we have the golf course where we want it. It’s playing . . . firm and fast, and not only the greens but the fairways. The ball really is rolling.”

‘Like a New Course’

Steeped in history and tradition, Augusta National started the tournament by adding to its legacy with the honorary starters ceremony.

Lee Elder, who in 1975 became the first Black man to play in the Masters, joined Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, who have nine green jackets between them, on the first tee Thursday morning for their ceremonial shots.

In 2020 Augusta National announced that it would create the Lee Elder Scholarships and fund the launch of a women’s golf program at Paine College in Augusta, and representatives of the

Historically Black College and University watched the ceremony. Two scholarships – one each for a student-athlete on the men’s and women’s golf teams – will be awarded annually, and the teams are expected to start competing in the fall of 2022.

“I think it was one of the most emotional experiences that I have ever witnessed or been involved in,” Elder, who died in November at age 87, said of serving as an honorary starter. “It is certainly something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”

The golf course also lived up to its promise when the tournament got underway. The wind picked up mid-morning, and only 12 players finished the day under par.

With a score of 65, Justin Rose of England held the first-round lead at 7-under. He had an eagle on No. 8 and birdies on Nos. 9, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16 and 17, shooting 9-under in a 10-hole stretch. The only blemishes on his card were bogeys on the first and seventh holes.

Matsuyama and Brian Harman shot 69, leaving them tied for second place and four shots behind at 3-under-par. Matsuyama eagled No. 8, birdied Nos. 2 and 13 and bogeyed No. 17.

“It’s my tenth year, but I’ve never seen the greens so firm and fast. So it was like a new course for me playing today, and I was fortunate to get it around well,” said Matsuyama.

Five players finished at 2-under-par, including Zalatoris. Squeaking into the field with a Top-50 world ranking the week before the tournament, he was trying to become the first newcomer to win since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979.

“If I’m stupid enough to think I can play here, then I’m stupid enough to think I can win it,” Zalatoris said.

Another Englishman also had a memorable afternoon. Tommy Fleetwood made a hole-in-one on the par 3 No. 16 with a 9-iron when his ball bounced a couple of times and rolled into the cup.

With that shot, he made his second ace in competitive rounds in two weeks. “It’s really nice to have one at the Masters. . .. It’s very special,” Fleetwood said.

Cloud cover, humidity and a lack of wind were factors on Friday, and 40 players shot scores under par.

After a roller-coaster round, Rose ended the day where he started – atop the leaderboard at 7-under. He went out in 39 on the front nine, birdieing the second hole but bogeying Nos. 1, 4, 6 and 7. However, with birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th holes, he came home in 33 to shoot even par for the day. Rather than separating himself from the field, however, he found his lead trimmed from four shots to one.

Zalatoris birdied the last three holes and Harman, another late entry into the field by virtue of cracking the Top 50 the week prior to the Masters, birdied the last two holes to finish T2 at 6-under-par.

Shooting 71 in the second round, Matsuyama was one of six players tied for sixth place at 4-under-par. He birdied Nos. 9 and 15, and eagled No. 13. He had bogeys on the fifth, 10th and 16th holes.

“I like my position, but I’ve got to keep working. And hopefully tomorrow I’ll be in the same position or even better,” he said.

Jockeying for Position

For the weekend, 54 competitors made the cut, which included the top 50 players and ties, at 3-over-par. The wind, gusting up to 20 – 25 mph, picked up as the day wore on.

One of the highlights of the day was an ace on No. 6 with an 8-iron by Canadian Corey Conners, who finished the round in sixth place at 6-under.

“I was trying to fly it somewhere over the bunker and get it to go in, get it to go close to the hole. It was a little draw, turning at the pin,” he said. “I think I hit the pin with a little bit of steam, but it was right in the middle.”

A gentle rain came in the late afternoon, suspending the action for an hour and 15 minutes. When play resumed after the delay, golfers took advantage of more favorable scoring conditions and began to jockey for position on the leaderboard.

In a span of about 90 seconds, Zalatoris, paired with Rose in the final group of the day, birdied No. 10 to tie his playing partner for the lead at 7-under. With birdies on the 11th and 12th holes, Matsuyama was tied for the lead as well.

After birdieing No. 13, Schauffele, who was playing with Matsuyama, drained a 60-foot putt to eagle No. 15 and grab a share of the lead.

Rose then birdied No. 12 to retake the lead at 8-under, just before Matsuyama eagled the 15th hole to pull in front at 9-under. He called the 5-iron he hit into the par-5 hole his best shot all week by far. Following his eagle with birdies on Nos. 16 and 17, Matsuyama was 11-under.

On No. 18, Matsuyama saved par with a clutch shot from 25 yards behind the green to come home in 30 and shoot 65 for the first bogey-free round of the tournament. He played the final eight holes in 6-under after the rain delay to take a four-shot lead into Sunday over Rose, Zalatoris, Schauffele and Australian Marc Leishman.

“After the horn blew for the restart, I hit practically every shot exactly how I wanted to,” said Matsuyama, who spent the rain delay in his car playing games on his cell phone.

For the fourth round, Matsuyama and Schauffele were paired together for the second day in a row. On Sunday, though, they were in the final group.

Matsuyama got off to a shaky start on No. 1 when he hit a 3-wood off the tee into the trees on the right. He bogeyed the hole, dropping him to 10-under.

“I felt really good going to the first tee, until I stood on the first tee, and then it hit me that I’m in the last group of the Masters Tournament, and I’m the leader by four strokes,” he said after the round. “And then I was really nervous.”

Zalatoris birdied the first two holes to draw within one shot of Matsuyama at 9-under. However, Zalatoris bogeyed No. 3 and Matsuyama birdied the second hole to move back into a three-stroke lead over Zalatoris and Schauffele, who also birdied No. 2.

Adding birdies at Nos. 8 and 9, Matsuyama climbed to 13-under to build a five-shot cushion over Zalatoris after he bogeyed the 10th hole.

Jordan Spieth, the 2015 Masters champion who finished T3, had just birdied the 10th hole for the fourth day in a row, becoming the only player in tournament history to birdie the long, downhill par-4 in all four rounds.

Matsuyama bogeyed No. 12 to drop back to 12-under, but he still held a five-shot lead over Zalatoris; Schauffele, who birdied No. 12; and Spieth, who also birdied Nos. 13 and 14.

Matching birdies with his playing partner on No. 13, Matsuyama maintained a five-stroke advantage over Schauffele. That birdie also put him at 12-under for the week on the 15 par-5 holes he had played to that point.

The Masters was threatening to become a runaway until the final group arrived at No. 15 and Matsuyama’s stellar play on the par 5s came to a watery end. After his second shot flew over the green and rolled into the pond on No. 16, Matsuyama bogeyed the hole to fall to 12-under.

Meanwhile, Schauffele made his third and fourth birdies in a row on Nos. 14 and 15 to pull within two shots of Matsuyama.

Just as quickly as the outcome of the tournament appeared in doubt, however, the suspense evaporated when Schauffele’s tee shot on the 16th hole found the water. He made a triple bogey to fall back to 7-under.

Matsuyama bogeyed No. 16 as well, leaving him with a score of 11-under and a three-shot lead over Zalatoris. With a birdie on the 17th hole, Zalatoris cut the margin to two strokes.

After parring No. 17, Matsuyama stood on the 18th tee with a two-shot lead. He hit his second shot into a bunker and blasted out to within 5 feet of the cup. He two-putted for bogey to win the tournament by a stroke.

The new champion tipped his cap to the cheering gallery, and his caddie, Shota Hayafuji, acknowledged the moment as well. In a show of gratitude and respect, he removed his hat and bowed after returning the flagstick to the hole on the 18th green following Matsuyama’s victory.

The 29-year-old Matsuyama, the tournament’s seventh low amateur who later claimed the green jacket, said it was a thrill to be an inspiration to the young golfers in Japan who watched him win the Masters. However, he wasn’t ready to pass the baton to them just yet.

“Hopefully in five, ten years, when they get a little older, hopefully some of them will be competing on the world stage,” he said. “But I still have a lot of years left, so they are going to have to compete against me still.”

By Betsy Gilliland

Get the Ball Rolling

Masters Guide

Photo source: Facebook

Another multiple Masters Tournament winner will be on the first tee for the honorary starters ceremony this year.

Two-time Masters champion Tom Watson has shared many special memories at Augusta National Golf Club with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. Now, he is about to add one more to the list.

Watson will join Nicklaus, a six-time Masters winner, and Player, who has three green jackets, on the first tee Thursday, April 7 as an honorary starter.

“Augusta National in April is one of my favorite places to be,” Watson said. “With the many fond memories of both watching the Masters as a youngster and then competing in the tournament for so many years, I am greatly honored to join my friends and fellow competitors, Jack and Gary, as an honorary starter in this upcoming Masters.

“In both of my victories, Jack was on my heels. And when Gary won his third tournament in 1978, I was there to help him put on the green jacket. Moments like those stand out in my career, and the opportunity to share the honorary starter tradition with Jack, Gary and the Masters patrons will be very special.”

Watson earned his first green jacket in 1977 when he shot a final round 67 to defeat Nicklaus by two strokes. As defending champion a year later, he finished one shot behind Player in a tie for second place.

In the 1981 Masters, Watson fended off runners-up Nicklaus and Johnny Miller with a 71 in the final round for a two-stroke victory.

He finished runner-up three times in his 15 top 10 showings at Augusta National. He also finished in the top 3 six times and the top 5 nine times. One of 17 players to win multiple Masters, Watson’s 72.74 scoring average ranks fifth in tournament history.

After competing in the Masters as an amateur in 1970, Watson made 42 consecutive starts from 1975-2016, the fifth-longest streak in the history of the tournament. His 58 subpar rounds are second all-time behind Nicklaus (71), and he holds the record for most consecutive years with at least one subpar round (21, 1975-1995).

Watson also is the oldest victor in the Par 3 Contest. When he was 68 years old, he won the nine-hole contest for the second time in 2018.

Fred Ridley, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, announced in January that Watson will join Nicklaus and Player as an honorary starter at the 86th Masters.

By Betsy Gilliland

Playing the Long Game

Masters Guide

Three holes that have seen some of the most famous shots in Masters history have been lengthened ahead of this year’s tournament.

The Masters Tournament field might want to say another prayer at Amen Corner this year.

No. 11 – White Dogwood

The 11th hole, one of the most difficult on the course, may play even harder as the Masters tees have been moved back 15 yards and to the golfer’s left. In addition, the fairway has been recontoured, and several trees have been removed from the right side.

This hole marks the beginning of Amen Corner, a three-hole stretch that was christened with its moniker by American sportswriter Herbert Warren Wind in 1958, and wind often is a factor on the downhill par-4 that now stretches to 520 yards. A pond guards the green on the left, and a bunker strategically lies right-center of the green.

Historically, No. 11, called White Dogwood, is the second-hardest hole on the golf course, trailing only Camellia, the downhill par-4, 495-yard 10th hole. (For the past three years, however, No. 5 – the uphill dogleg left, par-4 named Magnolia, which also plays to 495 yards – has ranked as the most difficult on the course after its Masters tees were backed up 40 yards in 2019.)

The last time changes were made to the 11th hole was in 2008 when the fairway was widened and several trees were removed from the right side of the fairway.

Perhaps the most memorable shot on the 11th hole in Masters history came in 1987. On the second hole of a sudden-death playoff to decide the tournament, Augusta native Larry Mize sank an improbable, 140-yard chip shot for birdie to defeat Greg Norman.

No. 15 – Firethorn

In another significant change to the course for the 2022 tournament , the Masters tees on No. 15, a par-5, 550-yard hole called Firethorn, have been moved back 20 yards. The fairway has been recontoured as well.

The 15th hole is a reachable par 5 when winds are favorable, and many golfers will attempt to reach the green in two. A well-struck second shot must travel over the pond and away from the bunker on the right side of the green.

Traditionally, No. 15 is the second-easiest hole during the Masters, trailing only the par-5, 510-yard 13th hole, Azalea.

The last changes to the 15th hole came in 2009 with the addition of eight to nine yards to the front of the Masters tees. The change did not affect the yardage, however.

The most famous shot on No. 15 came early in Masters history in 1935, when the course nines had been reversed from the previous year’s inaugural tournament, with Gene Sarazen’s “shot heard ’round the world.” On his second shot, Sarazen hit 4-wood 235 yards for a double eagle to tie Craig Wood and forced the tournament’s only 36-hole playoff, which Sarazen won, 144-149.

No. 18 – Holly

This year 13 yards also have been added to the back of the Masters tees on No. 18, the par-4, 465-yard hole named Holly. The length of the hole will not be affected.

One of the most famous finishing holes in golf, this uphill dogleg right is protected off

the tee by two bunkers at the left elbow. A drive hit down the center of the 18th fairway often requires a middle iron for an uphill second shot to a green guarded by two bunkers.

Traditionally, this hole ranks seventh in difficulty.

The last changes to the 18th hole came in 2002 when the Masters tees were backed up 55-60 yards and moved five yards to the golfer’s right. The bunkers also were enlarged by about 10%. Trees were added left of the fairway bunkers as well.

In 2004 Phil Mickelson birdied the last hole to win his first major, making him the fourth Masters champion to win with a birdie on the final hole. Arnold Palmer (1960), Sandy Lyle (1988) and Mark O’Meara (1998) also birdied the 72nd hole to claim a green jacket.

By Betsy Gilliland

The Land of the Rising Stars

Masters Guide

Photos courtesy of Augusta National Golf Club

With a sudden-death playoff victory in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur, 17-year-old Tsubasa Kajitani of Japan kicked off a memorable week in golf for the island nation.

At the time, the second annual Augusta National Women’s Amateur seemed to offer little more than an unexpected ending to the 54-hole tournament. Starting the day two shots behind the lead, 17-year-old Tsubasa Kajitani of Japan ultimately prevailed over American Emilia Migliaccio, a 21-year-old Wake Forest University senior, on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff.

Little did anyone know Kajitani’s victory was a harbinger of things to come the following weekend.

With her even-par 72 in the final round, Kajitani became the first player from Japan to win at Augusta National Golf Club. Eight days later, however, her countryman, Hideki Matsuyama, backed up her performance by winning the Masters Tournament.

“I can’t really imagine [the reception I will receive] when I’m back to Japan,” Kajitani said. “But hopefully everybody is happy and will enjoy, and I’m looking forward to going back to Japan.”

‘My Heart Was Racing’

The first two days of the tournament, which had a field of 82 international players, were played at Champions Retreat Golf Club in Evans. Alexa Melton of the United States hit the opening shot to begin the tournament. The University of Southern California sophomore had to withdraw from the 2019 Women’s Amateur a week before the event because of a wrist injury.

“I have never been more nervous in my life,” said Melton, who shot 76. “My heart was racing, but I couldn’t stop smiling.”

Due to inclement weather, the first round was suspended in the late afternoon with 29 players still left on the golf course. American Katherine Smith, the leader at 4-under-par when play was halted, had completed only 11 holes. She held a three-stroke lead over five competitors on a day when low scores were scarce.

With a bogey on No. 3 and a birdie on No. 9, Kajitani shot even par through 13 holes. She was tied for seventh place with seven other players including Migliaccio, who had six holes to play.

Play resumed the next morning for the players who still had to complete their first round, and the second round began simultaneously on the first tee as scheduled.

At the end of the first round, Karen Fredgaard of Denmark and Sweden’s Linn Grant were tied atop the leaderboard at 2-under-par. Finishing bogey-birdie-bogey on the final three holes, Kajitani was tied for 10th place with 10 other players, including Migliaccio, at 1-over-par.

‘Hard Golf’

In the second round, players had to contend with chilly temperatures and windy conditions. At the end of the day, Rose Zhang, 17, of Irvine, California, and Ingrid Lindblad of Sweden, a 20-year-old Louisiana State University sophomore, were tied for first place at 1-under-par. Zhang, the top-ranked player in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking, and the fourth-ranked Lindblad had entered the tournament as top contenders for the title.

Even though Zhang had several makeable putts that did not drop, she appeared poised to build on her lead after birdies on the first and eighth holes. Hampered by the wind, however, she bogeyed the ninth, 14th and 18th holes – all par-5s – instead of having birdie attempts. She shot even-par 72 for the round.

Lindblad said she hit all her bad shots on the ninth hole, which she double-bogeyed with a 7. At that point, she altered her game plan to fire at as many pins as possible on the remaining nine holes.

On Nos. 10 and 12, she lasered her approach shots to seven feet and four feet, respectively, to birdie both holes. She made long putts of 25 feet on the 13th hole and 18 feet on the 16th hole to card two more birdies. After hitting her second-shot approach onto the green at the par-5 18th, she two-putted for birdie from more than 40 feet to complete her round with a 70.

Shooting even-par 72 with birdies on Nos. 7, 13 and 14 and bogeys on Nos. 2, 4 and 16, Kajitani finished in a three-way tie for fifth place at 1-over-par.

“Overall, it was a bit windy for the last two days, and also the pin position was quite difficult. But I got some lucky birdies, so I really enjoyed it for the tournament,” said Kajitani. “I was really up and down and felt impatient, so that was hard golf today.”

While she planned to make the most of her experience at Augusta National, she had a game plan for the final round.

“I’m looking forward to the golf style and patience, and when I get the chance, I’d like to get more birdies and would like to enjoy the tournament,” Kajitani said.

The day brought added drama as the field had to be trimmed to 30 players for the final round, and five players competed in a playoff on the par-4 10th hole to claim the last available spot.

Yu-Sang Hou of Taiwan, Sweden’s Maja Stark and Americans Amari Avery, Lauren Hartlage and Katherine Smith teed off in a group as the sun set in the distance.

All five players hit strong drives, and four of them hit approach shots onto the green. However, Stark was the only one to birdie the hole when she sank an 18-foot putt.

After shooting 78 the first day, Stark, a 21-year-old sophomore at Oklahoma State, knew it would be difficult to earn a chance to play at Augusta National. Nevertheless, she pushed through the second round in tough conditions to shoot a 1-over 73 and sneak into the playoff.

Although she only made three birdies in the first 36 holes, her timing was impeccable. She sank a 12-footer on the 36th and final hole of regulation for birdie to make the playoff, before making birdie on the first extra hole to advance to Saturday.

“I don’t think I ever calmed myself down,” Stark said. “I think I enjoyed the adrenaline. I think I just tried to embrace it. It’s an honor and a privilege to get to feel that way sometimes. I just tried to soak it up and behave like I normally do.”

To add to the pressure, Stark revealed that she had a big test in her developmental psychology class that was starting in 45 minutes. She hoped to get a pass, though, because of the extenuating circumstances.

Navigating the Course

The entire Women’s Amateur field played a practice round at Augusta National the day after the first 36 holes were complete, and the final round began the next day with a one-hour frost delay.

While her competitors were vying for position, Kajitani, ranked No. 26 in the WAGR, quietly navigated the golf course. After an early bogey on the par-3 fourth hole, Kajitani bounced back with birdies on Nos. 8, 14 and 15.

She double-bogeyed the par-4 17th hole, but her caddie, Chad Lamsback, told her to shake it off and focus for only one more hole. She parred No. 18 to tie Migliaccio with the clubhouse lead, then watched the final three groups finish.

Zhang, who played the first 12 holes in even par with a birdie and a bogey, ran into trouble on the par-5 13th hole when she had two penalty strokes that led to a triple-bogey 8.

Her drive went left, and even though she saw where the ball dropped, no one could locate it. She went back to the tee and hit a second drive that landed in the fairway 235 yards from the pin. Her attempt to go for the green came up short, and unable to get a club on the ball where it landed, Zhang took another drop. However, she wasn’t able to get up and down.

On the 14th hole, Zhang hit her approach shot to three feet and birdied the par 4 to vault back into a share of the lead with Migliaccio, Kajitani and Fredgaard.

The top-ranked amateur needed to par the final four holes to get into the playoff. She bogeyed the par-4 17th hole, but she still had a chance to birdie No. 18 after her approach shot landed 12 feet from the hole. However, Zhang two-putted to close the day with a 3-over-par 75 and finish a stroke behind the leaders.

“Sometimes you can’t really be too hard on yourself, especially when you are on the greatest

stage of amateur golf,” Zhang said. “This is Augusta National. I think it’s our responsibility to just be excited and happy to be on this golf course and to be able to be in contention. I don’t really want to take any bad memories away from here. I don’t think that’s what anyone wants.”

The 15th-ranked Migliaccio, who shot 2-under 70, had finished a full hour before the players in the last group completed their rounds. She made five birdies in the final round, and moment by moment, her name started creeping up the leaderboard without hitting a shot.

Fredgaard shot a final-round 73 to finish a shot off the lead, leaving Kajitani and Migliaccio, who played together in the first two rounds at Champions Retreat, in the playoff.

Two-Putt for Victory

The players returned to the 18th hole to decide the tournament. Migliaccio hit her second shot right of the greenside bunker on the right, and her third shot found the hazard. She got up and down from the bunker to finish with a bogey 5.

“It’s hard to bogey and lose to a par,” Migliaccio said. “If they birdie, it’s like, well, did everything I could. But I wanted to hit a better shot and felt good over the club and was happy to be in the fairway but it just didn’t work out.”

Kajitani made a spectacular two-putt on the 18th green for the victory. She shot 73-72-72 for a 1-over-par 217 total.

“To be honest, when I came to the States, I didn’t expect that I’m going to win the tournament,” Kajitani said. “And then day-by-day, I have been confident, and then I won the tournament.”

By Betsy Gilliland

Drive, Chip and Putt – At Last

Masters Guide

Photos courtesy of Augusta National Golf Club

Good things come to those who wait as eight champions were crowned at the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship last year.

The 80 boys and girls who qualified for the 2020 Drive, Chip and Putt Championship got to vie for the overall titles in their age divisions at last on the eve of the 2021 Masters Tournament. And with perseverance, determination and consistency, eight worthy champions ended up in first place after a year-long wait to go to Augusta National Club.

The 2020 championship was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the national finalists were invited back to Augusta National to compete in the same age group for which they originally qualified.

The four girls age division champions were Alexis Card of Cambridge, Ontario, Canada (ages 7-9); Elyse Meerdink of Tampa, Florida (ages 10-11); Yana Wilson of Henderson, Nevada (ages 12-13); and Ali Mulhall of Henderson, Nevada (ages 14-15).

The four boys age division winners were Lucas Bernstein of Fresno, California (ages 7-9); Brady Barnum of Dublin, Ohio (ages 10-11); Sam Udovich of Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota. (ages 12-13); and Jaivir Pande of Houston, Texas (ages 14-15).

Girl Power

Card took the first discipline of the day with her 205-yard drive, but placed eighth in chipping. She bounced back to sink the 15-footer on the 18th green, however, to win the putt competition and the overall championship in her age group.

When she saw her name atop the leaderboard, she said her mind went blank for a second. “I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “It’s just amazing.”

After winning the chipping discipline and finishing third in driving, Meerdink saw her first putt roll long. She steadied herself, resolving to sink her 15-foot putt attempt and take home the overall first-place trophy.

“After the first putt, I was not happy, but I was just like, ‘Please be within the range to where I still have a chance on the next putt to win,’” said Meerdink. “I just stepped over and kind of lined up and just trusted myself, and it went in the hole.”

She immediately set her sights on bigger goals. “Just to play, it’s very inspiring, and it motivates me to work harder so that one day maybe I’ll be able to play in the Augusta National Women’s Amateur,” she said.

In the other two ages groups, two best friends took the titles in their competitions. Wilson said she and Mulhall “play tournaments together and that’s how we push each other. If one of us beats the other one, we’ll definitely work harder the next time.”

Wilson became a two-time Drive, Chip and Putt National champion, having previously won in 2019. After holing her second attempt during the chipping portion, she was in first place heading to the 18th green. She needed to be within 2’ 8” of the hole to hold onto her lead, and she knocked her second putt safely within that distance to secure the win.

“My main goal here was just to have fun. I mean, you know you’re at Augusta National. It can’t get better than this,” said Wilson. “Except winning.”

An accomplished golfer and 2018 national finalist who in 2020 became the first woman to compete in the Nevada Open, Mulhall started the day off strong. After placing first in the driving and chipping competitions, her third-place finish in the putting discipline gave her the victory.

Mulhall said her second trip to Augusta National felt different. “I think the first year I was more in awe of what was happening and where I was at, and this year I kept my nerves more steady,” she said. “I was able to take it in more and just stay even throughout the whole competition.”

Oh, Boy

Bernstein took home the overall title with consistent performances throughout the day. After placing third in driving and second in chipping, he kept up the momentum on the 18th green.

“I was a little anxious,” he said. “I’m pretty sure my dad was a little more anxious than I was. But for the most part, before the competition, I was walking, I was calm and chill. But once you got up, and you were in line and you were next, then your adrenaline gets going.”

Barnum, who placed fifth overall at the 2018 Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals, once thought he wasn’t a strong putter. After lots of practice, however, he now loves to putt – and his hard work paid off. He sunk his first putt from 30 feet, and his second attempt from 15 feet stopped just 7 inches from the hole, securing his title as the 2021 national champion in his age group.

“I put a lot of hard work into this, and it’s a privilege to be here at Augusta,” he said.

In his third Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals appearance, Udovich was a dominant competitor. He won the first discipline with a 270-yard drive and triumphed in the chip competition to take a firm lead to the 18th green. Although he placed ninth in putting, his strong start gave him a comfortable margin to claim first place overall in his age group.

“Since I live in Minnesota, I’m practicing in domes, so it gave me an extra year to work on stuff. I practice on artificial grass for putting, so it’s very fast and that kind of helped me on my putting,” Udovich said. “I was here three times, and I think the third time’s the charm.”

Moving into the putting discipline, Pande had a three-point advantage with second-place finishes in driving and chipping. He lined up his putter, needing his 15-foot attempt to be 4’ 8” or closer to win. Instead, he sank the putt to secure the victory with the largest winning margin of the day.

“I knew I had a little bit of a lead going into the putting, and the 30-footer – I saw it got a little quick at the end, so I was able to get that one close,” said Pande. “It was a great experience to be able to make the putt on 18.”

Pande, who grew up playing golf in Nepal with his grandfather on summer holidays, said, “It’s great for him to be able to watch it in Nepal on TV and just see me here at the greatest stage in golf.”

This year’s Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals will be held at Augusta National on Sunday, April 3. Registration for the 2023 championship is underway at drivechipandputt.com, and local qualifiers begin in May at more than 350 sites nationally – the most in the event’s eight-year history – and will continue throughout the summer.

By Betsy Gilliland

2022 Masters Predictions

Masters Guide

Photos courtesy of Augusta National Golf Club

Local golf pros share their picks for Masters glory – or heartache.

The Masters Tournament is back, and so are our favorite, good-natured gurus of all things golf with their predictions for the 2022 competition. Some of them think World No. 1 Jon Rahm will win the green jacket. At least one thinks this is the year that Rory McIlroy will complete the career grand slam with a victory in Augusta. Their pick for low newcomer is nearly unanimous (go get ’em, Sam Burns), but all of us can agree on one thing. We can’t wait for the tournament to start.

Spike Kelley
General Manager and Golf Professional, Goshen Plantation
(Spike’s correct 2021 predictions: Low Senior, Highest-Ranked Player to Miss the Cut, Highest 18-Hole Score, Highest Score on One Hole)

2022 Masters Champion: I’m going with Jon Rahm. He’s pretty darn good.

Dark Horse: I’ll go with Xander Schauffele.

Low Newcomer: Sam Burns. He’s playing good.

Low Senior: Phil Mickelson

Highest-Ranked Player to Miss the Cut: I’ll go with Justin Thomas.

Toughest Hole: I’ll go with 11. It’s hard, and they lengthened it, too, this year.

Pivotal Hole: No. 13

Highest 18-Hole Score: 84

Highest Score on One Hole: 8

Tommy Brannen
Head Golf Professional, Augusta Country Club
(Tommy’s correct 2021 predictions: Low Senior, Toughest Hole, Highest 18-Hole Score)

2022 Masters Champion: Justin Thomas. He seems like he really wants it. It seems like it’s a trophy he wants in his cabinet.

Dark Horse: Luke List. I’ll go with the local guy.

Low Newcomer: I’ll take Sam Burns. He’s playing really well this year.

Low Senior: I’m going to have to go with Bernhard Langer this year.

Highest-Ranked Player to Miss the Cut: Let’s go with Bryson DeChambeau.

Toughest Hole: No. 11. They’ve made changes to it, and most of the guys don’t know it quite as well.

Pivotal Hole: No. 12

Highest 18-Hole Score: 87

Highest Score on One Hole: 9

Dan Elliott
PGA General Manager/Director of Golf, Forest Hills Golf Club
(Dan’s correct 2021 predictions: Dan needs a mulligan on his 2021 predictions.)

2022 Masters Champion: I think Jon Rahm is going to win. I think he’s due. His game fits there.

Dark Horse: Collin Morikawa. He’s young. He’s fearless.

Low Newcomer: Let’s go with Talor Gooch.

Low Senior: Bernhard Langer

Highest-Ranked Player to Miss the Cut: Bryson DeChambeau

Toughest Hole: I’ll stay with No. 11.

Pivotal Hole: No. 17

Highest 18-Hole Score: 81

Highest Score on One Hole: 8

Ira Miller
General Manager, Augusta Municipal Golf Course
(This is Ira’s first year participating in our poll.)

2022 Masters Champion: Scottie Scheffler. He’s the man.

Dark Horse: I’m going with Jon Rahm.

Low Newcomer: I like Sam Burns. He’s been playing well. He’s been in the mix.

Low Senior: You know who that’s going to be. Bernhard Langer.

Highest-Ranked Player to Miss the Cut: Bryson DeChambeau

Toughest Hole: I think it’s No. 1. That’s where all the nerves are.

Pivotal Hole: All the par 5s. Let’s go with No. 15.

Highest 18-Hole Score: 85

Highest Score on One Hole: 7

Burt Minick
Golf Shop Manager, Hickory Knob State Park Golf Course
(Burt’s correct 2021 prediction: Highest Score on One Hole)

2022 Masters Champion: Rory McIlroy

Dark Horse: Brooks Koepka. He hasn’t done much this year. Just waiting on him to do something.

Low Newcomer: Let’s go with Sam Burns.

Low Senior: Phil Mickelson

Highest-Ranked Player to Miss the Cut: Jon Rahm

Toughest Hole: No. 10. The green is so hard to hit, and once you hit the green, it’s difficult to putt.

Pivotal Hole: No. 15

Highest 18-Hole Score: 81

Highest Score on One Hole: 8

Chris Verdery
Director of Golf, The River Golf Club
(Chris’ correct 2021 predictions: Toughest Hole, Highest Score on One Hole)

2022 Masters Champion: Jon Rahm. It’s his time.

Dark Horse: Will Zalatoris

Low Newcomer: Sam Burns. I think he drives the ball really well.

Low Senior: I’ll go with Phil Mickelson, I guess. He knows the course pretty well.

Highest-Ranked Player to Miss the Cut: I’ll say Jordan Spieth, even though I like him.

Toughest Hole: If my reputation is on the line, I’ll say No. 5. I don’t want to go against the stats.

Pivotal Hole: It’s got to be something on the back nine. I’ll say No. 15.

Highest 18-Hole Score: 82

Highest Score on One Hole: It gives me nightmares to think about that, but I’ll say 9. I’d hate for somebody to shoot a 9, though.

By Todd Beck

Country Charm

In The Home

Photography by Sally Kolar

This DIY couple loves to refurbish and redecorate, but they never stray far from their roots in their Harlem home.

For Crystal and Rodney Hall of Harlem, everything old is new again. Many of the furnishings and décor in their farmhouse home are treasured family heirlooms. Otherwise, Crystal says, “Almost everything in this house is from a thrift store. I love decorating and changing things, so I don’t want to spend a lot.”

The condition of the furniture when they get it doesn’t matter. Crystal has a knack for refinishing and painting furniture, so the pieces in the house, where they have lived since 2018, look brand new – or have the perfect vintage look.

Crystal, who was raised on a North Carolina farm, comes by her thriftiness honestly.

“Growing up in the country, my mother never got new things. She just got a can of spray paint and painted everything,” she says.

And she still hasn’t left country living behind. The Halls’ house is tucked back in the woods on a 10-acre piece of land where they raise chickens with names like Buttercup and Chick-fil-A and enjoy their pond – which was a must-have when they were looking for property to build their forever home.

“My mom says I’m reliving my childhood,” says Crystal. “This is the third house we’ve built, and I said, ‘This is it.’”

Sitting Pretty

The Halls, who have been married for almost 31 years after meeting on a blind date, wanted to build a one-story home, and Crystal found the house plans on Pinterest. In fact, she found so many things she liked on Pinterest that the builder eventually told her to stay off the site.

“We were going to downsize, but we ended up with the same square footage because we expanded the rooms,” says Rodney.

They have filled their space with plenty of country charm, but Crystal redecorates every three years or so. When she’s ready for new look, she sells their furnishings on Facebook Marketplace. However, she still gravitates to farmhouse décor, an affinity that begins with the welcoming front porch that invites people to sit awhile and enjoy the back-to-nature setting.

The front porch features a beadboard ceiling, stamped concrete flooring, a floating faucet water fountain, hanging baskets overflowing with ferns, more plants with colorful blooms, a black distressed chest, a front porch swing and two black rockers.

“The rocking chairs are my pride and joy,” says Crystal. “They belonged to my grandparents.”

Overlooking their pond, the back porch is just as relaxing. This covered porch features a beadboard ceiling, stamped concrete floor, a ceiling fan, recessed lighting and a fountain made out of driftwood. They have wicker furniture on the porch, and a tic-tac-toe board on the table is always ready for a game.

“Every morning I have coffee on the porch and watch the deer and listen to the hummingbirds,” says Crystal. “This is my spot.”

They also see and hear wildlife such as a red fox, red-headed woodpeckers, possums, hawks, owls and frogs in the pond.

One sign on the wall says, “Life is good in the woods,” while another reads, “Welcome to the patio, where memories are made and worries are few.” A small plaque that says “Farm Sweet Farm” is nestled in a cotton ball wreath on the wall.

“We love our covered porches. No matter what the weather is, we can use them,” says Rodney.

He isn’t one for slowing down often, however. “I’m in the woods all the time doing something. Or I’m mowing grass, spraying weeds or fixing what’s broken,” he says.

He also likes to tinker with his 1967 Chevelle show car, which has its own enclosed bay in the three-car garage.

“The car stays in its own museum. We dated in that car. We had our first kiss on the bumper,” Crystal says. “When we were building, I told Rodney he could have his three-car garage as long as I got my back porch.”

Slices of Nostalgia

While the porches are the perfect places to sit outside and enjoy the surroundings, the Halls have plenty of mementoes inside to blend their family histories with the life they have built together.

In the front hallway, a vintage Singer sewing machine cabinet, which belonged to Rodney’s great-grandmother, lines one wall. Made of wood and cast iron, the cabinet still has the sewing machine in it.

A diamond-shaped wreath hangs from the top rung of a tobacco ladder in the corner. Engineered hardwood flooring, which runs through most of the house, leads from the hallway into the family room.

The brick fireplace in the family room features a raised hearth and a mantel that was made from an 1850 farmhouse in the North Carolina mountains.

Crystal found the coffee table and end tables at a thrift store. “The coffee table was from the ’70s,” says Rodney. “You know how ugly everything was in the ’70s. I sanded it down and repainted it.”

Black and white buffalo-checked pillows and blankets add a decorative touch to the family room furnishings. A black and white buffalo-checked runner tops a chest as well.

The lamp on a distressed demilune table, which Crystal found at an online yard sale, belonged to her great-great aunt. A strand of decorative beads lies on the tabletop, and a cotton wreath hangs from the drawer hardware.

Slices of nostalgia in the room include a tobacco basket atop a curio and a gumball machine on a stand.

The family room also features a coffered ceiling and two sets of double doors that open onto the back porch.

“I wanted the whole wall to be made up of doors or glass, but it was too expensive,” says Crystal. “We just wanted a pretty view so we could see the pond.”

A wooden sign with the coordinates of the house hangs on the wall by the back doors.

Even though it doesn’t work, a guitar that belonged to Rodney’s great-grandfather is on display in the family room as well. He keeps another functioning guitar in his office.

“I just piddle on the guitar,” he says. “I decided at age 45 I wanted to learn to play.”

Mix and Match

The adjoining kitchen includes a granite countertop on the island and leatherette granite on the perimeter countertops, a corner pantry, a farmhouse sink and a coffee bar that overlooks the front porch.

A sign that says, “Fresh Eggs,” leans against the brick backsplash above the cooktop, and a wire basket full of fresh eggs sits on the island.

“We have lots and lots of fresh eggs. Anything you can do with eggs, I can do,” says Crystal.

Her favorite egg dish is quiche, and Rodney’s is “my breakfast.”

Every morning during his commute to Aiken he has a ham and egg tortilla wrap. “Coffee and a wrap, and I hit the road,” Rodney says.

A pair of antique red roosters on top of the kitchen cabinets were a gift to Crystal from her mom, and her 100-year-old grandmother gave her the rooster on the floor by the hutch in the eating area.

They took the glass out of the hutch, which is filled with knick-knacks ranging from china and more decorative chickens to blue eggs in a bird’s nest and a vase filled with greenery.

“All the little things in the hutch are mix and match. I’ve picked them up here and there,” says Crystal.

The Halls have framed photos of all four houses where they have lived, complete with their addresses and dates of residence, on a wall in the eating area.

Blinds cover the eating area windows that overlook the backyard and the pond, but they never close them. “We have no curtains in the entire house,” Crystal says.

They wash their eggs in the laundry room sink, and the shiny tile floor offers an optical illusion. “We thought the floor would be slick, but it’s the opposite,” says Rodney.

They bought the washer and dryer with their second house, where they lived from 2004 until 2009, and Rodney has completely rebuilt the washing machine.

“There’s nothing Rodney can’t fix, so I don’t get anything new,” Crystal says.

Animal Farm

Well, almost nothing is new.

They bought their master bedroom furniture at a good price from a serviceman who had never used it. “It was brand new,” says Crystal. “It still had the tags on it.”

The rocking chair in the corner of the room belonged to Crystal’s mother. “She rocked both of my children in it,” says Crystal. A large vase on the floor is full of peacock feathers that came from birds raised by her late father.

Draped with a strand of decorative beads, a full-length oval cheval mirror occupies another corner of the room. Crystal refinished the desk in front of the windows, and a birdcage full of slender branches sits on top of the chest.

The adjoining master bath features tile flooring, granite countertops, double sinks, a separate vanity and a tile shower. A butterfly, which Crystal’s great-great-great grandmother crocheted, hangs in a frame above the garden tub.

The guest bath features a leatherette granite countertop and tile flooring. “We wanted the old farmhouse look, so we picked the black and white tile,” says Rodney.

In the guest room, a quilt stand holds a quilt that Crystal’s grandmother made for her.

“If this house ever burns down, that’s the first thing I would grab,” Crystal says of the quilt. “She put all of my farm animals on it. That quilt was on my twin bed when I was little.”

In addition to their collection of 32 chickens, which includes five roosters, and their Maltipoo, Sophie, the Halls’ menagerie of real animals features a rabbit, Ollie; one Tom Turkey and his girlfriend, Butterball. They also are adding pasture for four baby goats.

Their chicken population is made up of silkies (“They’re my favorites. They’re docile and sweet,” says Crystal.), Laced Wyandottes, a Blue Andalusian and four Golden Comets. “I call them my Golden Girls,” Crystal says.

She says caring for chickens is easy. “Water every day, feed and collect the eggs,” she says. “They all have different personalities.”

Rodney built the chicken coop, which features a tin roof on the henhouse, and the egg boxes. A sign on the coop states, “Pampered Chickens Live Here.”

To pamper themselves, the Halls have a hammock by the pond, where they keep their mini pontoon paddle boat at the dock. Two red Adirondack chairs by the pond flank a table that Rodney made by bolting a wood tabletop to a stump in the ground. The tabletop came from a pine tree that he cut down in the front yard.

“There’s nothing like country life,” Crystal says. “When we commute from work, we feel like we’re never going to get home, but once we do, it’s like, ‘ahh.’ It’s worth it.”

By Betsy Gilliland