Now that the Augusta National thing has been settled, it's time to move on to a more important matter.
It's club championship week around the Carolinas.
Time to shine the golf shoes, spring for an expensive sleeve of balls, make sure the clubs are shiny, check the look in the mirror and get the game face on.
This is showtime, golf on the rocks, no mulligans, no gimmes, no partners to lean on and no excuses. They give you a scorecard and when you bring it back, whats there will be recorded in blinking neon lights (OK, in black and white on the scoreboard) for all to see.
It's one good reason to play golf.
Practice ranges will see heavy traffic this week as swings are honed, sort of.
A lot of the swings are not something you would commit to canvas but in each of them, there is a crazy little dream.
People who play courses several times a week will play a practice round on the day before the tournament opens, as if they didnt know the layout better than they know their lawns at home. Because this is serious stuff. You play in the club championship tournament, you wear your best looking golf shirt.
If you play golf, you talk at the end of the round. Woulda, coulda, shoulda stuff, right? It gets deep when its the club championship. "Man, I can't believe it. I had it going, three over after five, and then the wind kicks up and knocks my shot down into the pond and I wind up with a triple bogey and that pretty much ruined my day and I couldnt get off the bogey train after that. Geez."
"I know what you mean. Me, I ."
The club championship is different things to different people but if you love golf, it's a beautiful thing. You don't have to win. Heck, just about everybody knows theyve got no chance but it feels good to stand on that first tee and feel a little nervousness and sort of know how the pros feel and maybe fantasize a little about what's waiting out there.