There was a time I hated watching golf, for the same reason some of you probably don't watch golf.
I considered it a dull game that I didn't understand.
For a while, I thought a birdie putt was one that broke before it got to the hole.
"You know who that is?" my grandfather would ask, pointing to Arnold Palmer on the television screen.
I'd just shrug.
"That's arguably the best player in golf history," he said.
This was before I was 12 years old.
When I was 12, Tiger Woods won the Masters by 12 shots and changed the game for the rest of us.
Golfers weren't black. They didn't dominate and pump their fist on a golf course and make Nike commercials introducing themselves to the world.
Golf was cool.
So cool that my brother and I dragged some old clubs from my grandfather's garage and hit whiffle balls in the small yard of his patio home.
"Frank, you got a couple of future PGA Tour stars on your hands," passers-by would say.
"They got a long way to go," my grandfather responded.
That was my first Masters memory. My grandfather scored two Tuesday practice round tickets in 1998.
I was going to the Masters.
My dad, when he worked for a bank in the 1980s, would often take my mom.
I'd never had the opportunity to go.
My job as a 4-year-old was to drive the golf car when he played near our home in Spartanburg, S.C., and pull the flags and knock down the pins on the practice green.
I didn't like golf, but I liked being a caddie.
It was different the night before my first Masters 11 years ago. I sat with my grandfather in a Ryan's restaurant and asked questions for probably an hour.
My grandfather knew a golf pro at Bay Hill, Palmer's home course. Maybe I could get Arnie's autograph, he said.
Maybe I could get Palmer and Woods to sign the same hat.
I nearly choked on my roll.
The next day, after we'd made the hour drive down 1-20 from Columbia, I was struck by the surroundings. There was a McDonald's, I think. A Waffle House. A couple of apartment complexes.
This is the home of golf's hallowed ground?
After we got beyond the hedges, though, I saw what all the fuss was about.
Everything was so green -- Augusta National HD.
I snapped all 31 pictures on my disposable camera.
I captured Phil Mickelson's curiosity as he stared down at the kid with the camera near the putting green.
A nice man took a fuzzy picture of my grandfather and me in front of the clubhouse.
The best shot I had, it turned out, was of John Huston.
My grandfather pointed out a strange character standing near the putting green.
The man was wearing a pink shirt, green pants and red shoes. His hair was white.
"That's Doug Sanders. Go get his autograph."
We ate pimento cheese sandwiches for less than five bucks. A year later, we'd pay $9 at Pinehurst for a hot dog and bottled water.
We saw Tiger Woods.
It was the only time I've been to the Masters.
I watched the final round that year on the couch with my dad. It was Easter Sunday. We had the windows open.
And the neighbor cranked up the lawn mower.
My dad, who had left banking to become a Presbyterian minister, angrily slammed the windows.
With the tournament just around the corner, I'm curious about your memories.
Tell me your story. Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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