I’m scheduled to play Augusta National with Craig Stadler on Tuesday, which meant I had to fly home from the PGA Merchandise Show on Friday for a charity event at Coppinwood on Saturday, then fly back on Sunday for a once-in-a-lifetime treat.
I was invited through some charity work I’d done and I’ve met Craig Stadler a couple of times. I got to play three holes with him at a tournament last year at Bayview Country Club.
He’s a wonderful guy. Just the way he talks, the way he jokes, the way he carries himself makes him so popular. I think when he was on the PGA Tour, people loved him because he seems to have that happy-go-lucky demeanor and I think that’s true in real life.
He just seems to be a fun, nice guy to hang out with and he’s a big hockey fan.
I also met him through Spalding years ago when I was at Seaton in Pickering, Ont. That was probably 25 years ago. Spalding invited us to a cocktail party and I was just a young guy at the time. You go and have your picture taken with him and there weren’t a lot of people in the room, so it was a lot of fun.
I was very impressed with him 25 years ago, just as I was last year.
The other part of Tuesday’s experience, of course, is playing Augusta. There are so many great courses in the world that you can get on, like Pebble Beach, but Augusta is usually a different story.
I expect it will be tough, but the truth is, I’m just going to be looking around so much that I don’t think my focus is going to be on my golf game as much as it will be on the property itself.
I’ve been to the Masters many times and loved it, but I’m assuming we’re going to be out there with not many people around, so we’ll feel like we have the course to ourselves. That should make it an entirely different experience.
It will be magic. I guess that’s the word. I’ll fill you in on what happened when I get back.