Can it really be 20 years since I played Augusta National Golf Club?
Now that's the kind of statement guaranteed break the ice at parties, send guests racing for the exits or pulling at their noses in Pinocchio fashion. As if I'd be telling porky pies!
But at the risk of boring those who may have heard of my story before - last mentioned on the site in 2002 - it seems an appropriate time to share what I still regard as the best golf experience of my life.
I was editor of what was the top-selling UK golf magazine at the time and accepted an invitation from the US Masters media committee - just like the players, you have to be officially invited you don't apply - to represent the title at the 1991 US Masters. As part of the media corps it offered the chance to walk just outside the ropes, jostle with the legends in and just outside the clubhouse and attend all the press conferences.
It was an opportunity not to be missed, especially as we had Ian Woosnam contracted to the magazine to provide a series of articles for which we paid a handsome sum to the IMG management company and received fairly regular access.
I'm unsure if it's still a tradition, but 40 of each year's media - and there are approaching 800 attending every US Masters from around the world (writers, photographers, broadcasters, commentators, cameramen and women, sound recordists, producers and directors) are drawn from a ballot for the chance to play the course the morning after the green jacket has been presented.
Realising that my flight out of Augusta airport was not until at 2pm on the Monday, I put my name forward but as a newcomer felt my chances of winning this particular lottery were between slim and nil.
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