Spring is right around the corner and we golfers are looking forward to it. For most people the sign of spring includes; longer days, the grass turning green or flowers blooming. Not for me, the sign of spring is the Masters commercials on CBS and the Golf Channel. Kind of strange, but once you see the images of Augusta and hear Jim Nantz say “The Masters” you know that golf season is nearby.
This time last year a group of us had the opportunity to go the Monday practice round at the Masters. We wrapped our spring golf trip around the event, if you recall we played Pinehurst and TPC Piper Glen. Needless to say, it was a dream come true as a golf fan to walk the hallowed grounds of Augusta National. Two things struck me throughout the day while we were there. First, how much grass there is on the property. I know I know it is a golf course so there should be a lot of grass. That is not what I am referring to, there is grass everywhere even outside of the course. This is no ordinary grass, it feels different to walk on it and it certainly looks different. You cannot find a weed, dead spot, brown spot or any blemish anywhere on the site. I could not believe it, the place is meticulously kept. The second thing that struck me was how nice everyone was. I was kind of expecting the staff and members to be a little stuck up. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, as our day concluded we went to the practice tee to watch a few pros work on their game. The tournament director walked by, stopped and spoke to us for awhile. He could not have been nicer or more welcoming.
Now let’s get on to the predictions for this year’s Masters Golf Tournament. I believe it will be exciting as it always is because of all the young guns playing well right now. As always Tiger, Phil and Angel will be in the mix. However, I am predicting this year’s winner to be Dustin Johnson. My prediction is based upon a few factors. First, Dustin has been close in majors a few times now and is used to the Championship setting. He has felt the pressure, understands the expectations and realizes he needs to be patient. Second, he is VERY long, which is always a big factor in producing the winner at Augusta National. Finally, he has great touch for a big dude and we all know the importance of that at Augusta.
Others I see playing well are Martin Kaymer, Lee Westwood and Bubba Watson. Some of the young guns to watch are Hunter Mahan, Rory McIlroy, Ricky Barnes, Rickie Fowler and Ryan Moore.
Who do you like to win this year’s Masters? Please post a comment with any predictions you would like to share?