Turbotodd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘bobby jones

Turbo’s Virtual Round At Augusta

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Turbo tees off at hole number one at Augusta National, where The Masters has been played most every year since 1934. Only in this case, Turbo has gone all Neo and is playing the Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2012 virtual edition of the course on his Macbook Air. He figures its the closest he’ll ever come to playing the real course.

It’s Masters week, if you hadn’t already figured that from all these golf- and Masters-related golf posts.

I’ve never had the honor of visiting or playing Augusta National myself, but I know people who have.

In fact, I was attending a recent IBM event in Las Vegas when a very senior IBM executive confided to me that he had played Augusta National for the first time recently with several other very senior ex-IBM executive (the gender mix of which I’m not at liberty to reveal.)

I asked him what he shot, and it was a very respectable mid-handicap number, especially for Augusta National — people who don’t know golf can’t really fathom how long 7,435 yards is for a golf course. (That’s why you see so many players who don’t have good distance off the tee hitting long irons and even utility clubs to get onto Augusta’s greens.)

He also explained, as I’ve also heard from others, that TV just doesn’t do the course justice. He explained that the hills and undulations are so much more pronounced when you’re out there walking the grounds.

“Eighteen,” he explained, me nodding my head. “Like walking straight up a hill.”  On TV, it obviously looks like it’s uphill, but not nearly the angle at which he was suggesting.

It was at this point that I had to tune out, as he was killing me with this reveal.

So yesterday, after work, I decided I wanted to get to know the course better, and figured why not try and see if there were any golfing games that included Augusta National in their course lineup.

I figure this is the only way I’m going to play some of the world’s great courses, so it’s probably a pretty good investment.

Turns out, Electronic Arts had released a Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2012 edition in that year that included the ability to play Augusta National, and they had a Mac edition, AND Amazon would allow me to download it on the fly and install it.

All for a whopping $20.

I also discovered the 2014 Tiger Woods PGA Tour edition will have a version of Augusta for the Masters in 1934 — so not only can you play with the likes of Bobby Jones and Ben Hogan and all the other greats, but you can play the course the way Bobby Jones and Alister Mackenzie originally designed it.

You just have to have an X-Box 360 or Playstation 3 (neither of which I own!)

The 2012 version will do nicely for now. Once the DMG was downloaded and I had installed the software and got the online presence set up (the game allows you to play a round with others out in cyberspace), I was off to hole number 1, Tea Olive (see pic above).

My score for the round was atrocious, as I was just learning all the controls for shotmaking in the game (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it), but the visualizations and greenery were an excellent way to find your way around the course, and to help you better learn how and why players navigate Augusta National the way they do.

For the record, on number 12, I hit about five balls into Rae’s Creek before finding the green — hopefully not a prophecy of things to come should I ever get to actually play a round at Augusta National.

I also found myself in situations that most Tour players would never find themselves which, for me, is about par for the course.

Written by turbotodd

April 10, 2013 at 10:28 am

The Masters: So Much Tradition, So Much Uncertainty

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If I didn’t have a real job, I could spend this entire week blogging about The Masters.

It’s my favorite sporting event of the year, of all sporting events. If you’re an avid golf fan who knows anything about golf history, that’s kind of the way it must be, at least for American golf.

The Masters was initiated by Clifford Roberts and beloved amateur golfer, Bobby Jones, at Augusta National, a new course Jones had built in Augusta, Georgia.  The first Masters was played in March 1934, officially billed as “Augusta National Invitational.”

Jones himself came out of retirement to play the tournament, which helped bolster awareness of the new tournament that was destined to become the pinnacle of American golf’s four majors.

Over the years, it attracted and helped craft the legends of the best of the best in golf: Ben Hogan, Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Tiger Woods.

To date, Jack Nicklaus was the record for the most Masters victories: Six. Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer have four each.

My handicapping for this year’s tournament? Well, I’d say like any major, it’s a pretty wide open field. But, if I were a gambling man, I’d certainly have Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, and Tiger Woods up at the top of my list.

Hunter Mahan, fresh off his Shell Open victory in Houston yesterday, with a putter that is mostly sizzling, would lead the next tier, a group to which I would include Graeme McDowell, Luke Donald, and Angel Cabrera.

I also wouldn’t rule out Jason Day, Jason Dufner, or even South Korean newbie Sang-moon Bae.

But my money’s going to be on that first group. Tiger’s victory at Bay Hill was well-timed, and his laser iron shots were made for Augusta (and let’s not forget Tiger tied for 3rd last year at Augusta). And Rory demonstrated in last summer’s U.S. Open he could move past the psychological barrier of the hole 10 disaster at Augusta and literally run away with a major victory.

So, it’s anybody’s guess, really.  And that’s why we golf fans love The Masters so much.

It has so much tradition…and yet so much uncertainty.

Written by turbotodd

April 2, 2012 at 3:02 pm

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