One Wednesday in April
Matt LaWell (4)

One Wednesday in April

Managing editor Matt LaWell recaps his first visit to Augusta National and the Masters … in cobbled rhyme.

April 12, 2022

“Hello, friends,” we heard Jim say,
“and welcome to another day
at a course both charming and special:
It’s called Augusta National.”
And so began a splendid morn’
(After so much rain just poured and poured)
When for some reason, would you believe,
They let us walk from tee to green.

Before Tiger grinned and Rory surged —
Before Friday’s cut and the field’s purge —
Before Scottie simply wowed,
Guy, Lee and I just walked the grounds.
It helps, I think, Masters first-timers
To have a friend a little wiser:
“Go here, watch them, check that, not this,
Snap a photo and make a wish.”

Guy helped so much — two trips’ll do that —
And while we gawked, he just hung back.
He did point out some recent change,
But wanted us to seize the day.
And so we did! From nine to noon!
Until we heard the sirens — Boo!
T-storms, tornadoes, fast approaching,  
And on our walk they were encroaching.

We dragged our feet as best we could,
Walking slowly through the wood.
There was no rush, we tried to wait,
But again were told: “Evacuate.”
No sadder words could’ve been dispensed.
Was our day now in the past tense?
Radio tuned, forecast updated,
Inside our car, we sat and waited. 

And then — a rush! A flash of patrons
Made their way back to the gates, and
Could it be? Was that sign accurate?
The course reopened for those with badges!
Back in we walked, smiles unwavering
This was icing, a bonus, gravy.
The golf gods smiled on tens of thousands,
Sent back inside to stroll and browse, and

Browse we did, 1 to 18 …
And inside the Golf Shop. See,
I sort of told a bunch of chums
My travel plans: “Please get me stuff?”
The line alone was Disneyesque,
Wrapped and curling, a midday rest.
And once inside — Gunga galunga! —
Whole paychecks died in moments. Oompah! 

Six caps, three shirts, a quarter-zip,
A towel trio to clean club drips.
Some playing cards and divot tools,
Pin flags, ball markers, all are cool.
My uncle wanted just a ball.
For you, old Tom, an easy call.
Never did see those trendy gnomes
Would’ve sat on my lap the whole way home.

And then some lunch, as light as bricks:
Pimento cheese (I ordered six),
Four pecan clusters, lemonade,
Sweet tea, some bottled waters made,
Perhaps, from old Rae’s Creek on 12.
Oh! And one banana, just to help
Refuel my legs on grassy stuff —
Never enough potassium. 

Met up again with Guy and Lee,
There was more course for us to see.
Up and down and up again —
Elevation change is real, my friends.
We watched Cam, Vijay and Woosie,
Then at the Par-3, Weir and Hughes-y.
The sun peeked through, the day was grand,
And then, oh no, sirens again.

Once more, a voice told us to leave,
And this time, no, no clemency.
We filed out at 4 o’clock,
Shoulders touching, golf small talk.
Who knows the next time we’ll return?
Next year, I hope, without concern.
If not, we’ve been there once (not twice),
So we’ve got that goin’ for us, which is nice.