This is the week of the Masters, probably the most prestigious golf tournament in America or the world for that matter. The Masters is held in Augusta, GA, every April.
Tiger Woods is there, along with Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and all the other top players, including 75-year-old Jack Nicklaus, 79-year-old Gary Player and 85-year-old Arnold Palmer who as a threesome hit the ceremonial first shots on Thursday morning. (As of right now, on Saturday, 21-year-old Jordan Spieth holds an impressive five-stroke lead over the field.)
So it may not surprise you to know that I myself am heading south to play golf . . . but not at the Masters. I did not get an invitation to play this year. I have never received an invitation to play. Even in my wildest fantasy, I don't get an invitation to play at the Masters. But I have found my way to another golf mecca, which is Myrtle Beach, SC.
It's a tradition as sacred and revered as the Masters, at least among my small group of friends. We abandon our wives. We leave our various responsibilities, obligations and household chores behind. And we head off for a week of golf and all the hilarity that accompanies it. Well, we do not go to the "gentlemen's clubs" that dot the Myrtle Beach landscape. We do a little drinking; but to be honest, none of us is a real drinker. One or two beers is about our limit; or sometimes, one or two Diet Cokes will suffice.
We do however, go out to dinner and order all the stuff we rarely get to eat at home -- onion rings, French fries, hunks of meat, lots of desserts, and plenty of donuts for breakfast. We know this stuff is bad for us. But once every few years is not going to kill us. At least, that's our excuse.
We spend some extra time going to the fitness room -- for real, there a fitness room at our resort -- and prowling the golf shops looking for bargains on a new golf club or electronic doodad that promises to improve our game.
We're staying at the beach. It should be warm enough to walk the beach, but the water will probably be too cold for swimming. I do own a wetsuit, however, and I brought it along, just in case.
Most of the time, when I travel, I prefer to go with B -- like I did when we went to Philadelphia last weekend. B and I always have a great time on vacation. But sometimes, you just gotta let loose with the guys.