"Some emotions cannot be endured with a golf club in your hand" - a quote from Bobby Jones regarding his temper and club-throwing. I know what he meant because as we were approaching the Amen Corner, (hole 11, 12 and 13) the emotions bubbling up inside me could only be endured with tears, as no words were good enough to justify what I felt.
I feel embarassed by my reaction, but, it was like entering heaven and saying, " I made it, I am saved after all." Almost like a religious experience. And I am not alone in thinking that because the next day when we met with some touring pros from Asia, a guy named Chua expressed the same feelings and observation without me even telling him about my own experience. In 1958, Herbert Warren Wind, a journalist with Sports Illustrated coined the word Amen Corner in search of a perfect name for the location where the critical action was taking place that year. A poetic moment in golf and all a journalist could do is borrow an old jazz recording title "Shouting from Amen Corner" to describe it.
In the early 80's, while still in Manila, my friend NJ and his friend JC would fondly banter about "green jacket, amen corner and tee time." I knew what tee time meant, but did not relate green jacket and amen corner to golf. Augusta,I presumed was another racehorse.
So you can imagine, when 25 years later, my pumas walked the grounds of Augusta, surveyed Amen Corner and the men in green jackets. "When you see men in green jackets, it means they are members of this club." NJ relayed the trivia to me almost in a whisper. And NJ is not one to waste saliva on things that he himself is not impressed with.I noticed a few more "green men" strategically scattered along the course and I watched them almost with a reverential awe.
Those men walked around in that jacket like how the Pope strut in his mitre. That jacket sure did something because there's this man who was square,round and not tall--we would easily call him fat and ugly, were it not for the reverence of the jacket. But watch my lips on this, I will not bend a knee for that Gucci spectacled, Prada footed man in the Vatican regardless how many Roman numerals are added after his name. But I will with both knees for those men in green jacket. Square or round.
I did not appreciate the trees we had in our yard when we lived in a house, because spring means raking in dead leaves and tons of them. I like trees as long as I don't have to clean up after them. And walking around the course were young men in yellow overalls and green cap-you would think they were caddies badly needing attention, but their backs says "Litter". Yes, they were cleaning up after the people..... and the trees. Arranging pine needles.
The most abundant tree at the course is the pine and around 1600 azaleas of about 30 varieties landscaped hole number 13 from tee to green. Each of the holes are adorned with a plant after which it was named . It could not be more appropriate because the course used to be the site for Fruitland Nurseries. Since the course was built and formally opened in 1933, an estimated 80,000 more plants of 350 varieties have been added. I was awestruck at the landscape I did not even notice the Tiger approaching the 11th tee. And just as he was a spit away from me, my camera battery died on me. I cried again.
On my flight back to Dallas I read in the paper about some woman protesting about Augustas' exclusionary policy against women. I understand there are merits to this so-called feminists' movement. But all I am asking is, are we ready to see men waltzing into the womens restrooms and let them use the sink as a urinal, while we are powdering our high noses next to them? Equal opportunity ---I think I am going to cry again.
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