One of the best days of my life happened 10 years ago today. I was in Augusta Georgia for the Masters golf tournament with my son Josh. I enjoy playing golf and enjoy watching golf on television. Actually walking around the most famous golf course in the world and standing next to the best golfers in the world was a thrill of a lifetime for me.

It is very difficult to get Master tickets, you have to enter your name in a lottery drawing. It is done online at Masters.com. My son Josh and I had been entering our names in the drawing a number of years before we were finally drawn for tickets They were practice round tickets for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays. The excitement of getting an email saying you had been picked to receive practice round tickets for the Masters was so surreal. We booked our airline tickets and hotel rooms the same day we found out we had tickets. To me this was better than getting Super Bowl tickets or World Series tickets or tickets to a Taylor Swift concert!

It was 10 years ago, but I can still remember vividly what happened at Augusta Georgia. Josh and I flew into Atlanta on a Saturday, we had practice round tickets at the Masters for Monday. We toured Atlanta and the Braves stadium and Olympic Park. While taking a tour of the Atlanta Braves stadium we kept hearing people yell Whoooo! Whooo! Wrestlemania was being held in Atlanta that weekend also, so fans of WWF wrestler Rick Flair were imitating his famous yell.

My son Josh and me at the Masters

It was a fun Saturday and Sunday in Atlanta. Augusta is about 3 hours from Atlanta, so we jumped in a shuttle van Sunday afternoon with some other people for the three hour ride to Augusta. One of the persons in our van had a different accent, he was from South Africa. He was fun to listen to, he looked kind of scruffy and not well kept. He told us he was a caddie for Miguel Jimenez from Spain. My first thought was “Yeah right.” I listened to him tell stories and thought this guy is no way a caddie for professional golfer Miguel Jimenez at the Masters. The van then dropped him off at a small house in Augusta close to the golf course and he said he was staying at this house during the Masters tournament. Well, that convinced me for sure that he was lying to us about being a caddie at the Masters. Caddies for sure stayed in really nice hotels and would be living the luxury life. Well, the next morning, to my surprise, Josh and I were standing outside the clubhouse where the golfers come out to the practice greens and driving course. Guess who was walking with Miguel Jimenez and wearing a white suit carrying his clubs? You guessed it the guy in the van! I was stunned!

Early Monday morning Josh and I arrived at Augusta and stood in line with thousands of other people. If I remember right it was about 5:30 and completely dark out. The gates opened just as the sun was coming up and walking around the golf course was a memory I will always remember. During practice rounds you could have a camera with you and take pictures of your favorite golfers. It’s amazing how you could just walk up to the golfer and start talking to him. My favorite part of the day was sitting in the bleachers at hole number 16 where the golfers had some fun during practice rounds. They would skip the golf ball on the water and get it up on the green. The crowd was large and loud. We left the golf course about 8pm and went directly to the Augusta Airport and flew home.

Augusta golf course is what it is made out to be, the most prestigious and beautiful golf course in the world. Lots of history on that course and I was lucky enough to be there and sharing that experience with my oldest son Josh.

Tony Ourada - State Farm ad

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