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Friday, May 6, 2016

Lockins experience a dream come true at Masters

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Lockins got to see a reflective golf icon,Arnold Palmer, on their trip to Augusta ...
Getting tickets to the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia is not easy. Two Aurelians, John Lockin and his son Brian, are both long-time champion golfers, and members of Aurelia's "First Family of Golf."

Brian and other members of the family have been applying online just to win an opportunity to buy tickets to watch a practice round at the Masters. Yes, I said a PRACTICE round. Even that is a tough ticket!

Long story short,- last September, after six years of applying, Brian received a letter from the Masters Golf Tournament that his name had been drawn to give him the opportunity to purchase four tickets for the Monday April 5th practice round. The very next day, John also received a letter, stating that he had won the opportunity to purchase four tickets for the Tuesday April 6 practice round.

... and they also watched a modern-day icon, Phil Mickelson, who would go on to win this year's Masters, play a practice round.
John and Brian talked it over and, though the elder Lockin said that going to the Masters had always been his dream, he didn't think at his age there was any way he could realistically could walk the entire 18-hole course, and no carts are allowed on the esteemed Augusta National Course.

John suggested that his four children take both his tickets and Brian's and "go have a good time" on both Monday and Tuesday at the Masters.

And so they did - "We didn't have to think twice," said Brian.

And so it was that Doug, Alan, Brian and LeAnn (Patton) Lockin - champion golfers all - got to experience the dream of their (and their father's ) lifetime.

Bria Lockin "prays" at the famous "Amen Corner" at Augusta National.
As Brian told me after they returned (and after his feet again touched the ground), the four siblings had a wonderful time in Augusta, and they were just in awe of the setting. Brian said that, as beautiful as the Augusta course looks on television, "you can magnify that 10 times" in person.

Brian says he wishes everyone - especially sports fans, and golf fanatics in particular - could get a chance to see and experience the sights the four Lockin "kids" got to on their two glorious spring days at the Masters.

left to right - Doug,Brian,Al and LeAnn (front)on the course.
"Lock" said that he had read somewhere that the best way to walk the Augusta course was to start on hole 18 and walk backwards (not literally) to hole number one, and that is what the group did on Monday. He said he was really glad they did it that way because they saw virtually everyone who was playing that way. The 18 holes took them from about 8 a.m. until noon, and then after a brief lunch, they started over again on #1 and walked the 18 holes in the usual order. Lock says he estimates that there were approximately 25 - 30,000 spectators walking the course that day.

Brian said one neat thing was that AT & T was one of the tournament sponsors, and the company had set up a bank of phones every few holes for the spectators to use (no cell phones are allowed on the course, either). So at each bank of phones, the Lockins took turns calling their dad and filling him in on what they were seeing, thus allowing him the chance to vicariously enjoy his life-long dream through his offspring.

One of Brian's many memories that I'm sure will last a lifetime was the sight of a group of very proper Augusta National members - all dressed in their green blazers on an 80 degree Monday morning - each carrying a spray bottle in one hand and a small cup in the other. The men were systematically looking at the course and scattering what appeared to be grass seed on every little "dime-sized" spot of bare grass they saw and spraying it with what Brian assumed was a chemical of some kind. Lock said the course is the most immaculate, weed-free course you could ever imagine.

I've run out of space, but believe me, if you happen to run into Brian - or his sister and brothers - I'm sure they'll be more than glad to further describe their once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Personally, I think John deserves a "Father of the Year" award - and I can think of at least four people who would agree with that wholeheartedly.

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