As the trees bud, lawns green up and temperatures rise, many of my colleagues are itching to dig in their gardens. I, on the other hand, am ready to hit the links.

I’ve heard it said that the Masters is the official start of spring, not just the true kickoff to the golf season. After attending the legendary event, I couldn’t agree more. In past years, I’ve not been all that excited to brush the cobwebs off my clubs. But something about experiencing golf at its finest changed my view of the game.

It’s a tournament rich in tradition – from the famed Magnolia Lane to the coveted green jacket. There’s a certain mystique in being the only golf tournament played at the same location every year. And what a location. The moment you step on the course, the smell of Georgia pines overwhelms you.

Walking With Giants

After watching Tiger tee off on No. 1, we followed him up to the green. There stood a sea of spectators waiting to catch a glimpse of him in action. I quickly concluded that starring at the back of middle-aged men’s heads was not my idea of a true Masters’ experience. Instead, we walked the course trying our best to soak it all in.

Even with a high-def big screen, you can’t begin to get an appreciation for the topography of the course. The changing elevation. Slope of the fairways. False fronts on the greens. Looking at the pin placement and realizing the precision required to land the ball on an area the size of several pool tables. Not to mention the wind that swirls and shifts between the trees. (Golf Digest recently named Augusta the best course In America.)

My ladies’ night golf group starts up again on Tuesday. While I don’t expect to make history like Kenny Perry or Angel Cabrera, I do plan on enjoying my time on the course a bit more than I have in the past. My colleagues can have their green thumbs. I’ll settle for greens.