- Chris Tilbury
National Drive, Chip,& Putt 2020
As most of you know, Masters week is the unofficial kickoff for golf in the Northern Indiana/ Southwest Michigan. This year will be different because of the COVID-19 virus sweeping the nation. Most years, today is one of my favorite days of the year because the national Dive, Chip, & Putt at Augusta National. The kids raw emotions, superb play, and great backstory of all the kids takes me back to how much fun golf can be! All golfers should take note of what these kids already know.
It is also awesome to see the kids interact with past champions that come out to watch the kids compete. Unfortunately, I do not follow similar events from other sports but I hope that their star players come out for the kids during the national championship. I think this event shows how many organizations working together to create special events for kids will grow this game. It truly takes something special to get the PGA of America, PGA Tour, USGA, and the Masters committee to work together and create a memorable experience for these kids.
I was very excited this morning when I turned on the Golf Channel and they were airing the 2019 National Drive, Chip, & Putt from last year. It was great to relive those wonderful stories, see the happiness of the kids, and create a distraction from the current state of the country. I am sorry that those kids the qualified this year will not be able to travel down to Augusta in 2020, but the committee made and excellent decision to invite them back in 2021 and keep them in the age group in which they qualified for.
As much as the Master's is the kickoff for spring, 2020 will be different. At the Foundation Golf Center we were seeing great success in fitting the 2020 equipment. Companies such as Callaway, Ping, and TaylorMade each creating some excellent equipment. The amount of people we were fitting gaining an extra 45 or 50 yards with a driver, or the person that we were able to tighten their dispersion with their irons was staggering. The end of March brought all of that to a screeching stop. Hopefully everyone is staying at home and being safe, but also creating some excitement for the start of the 2020 season whenever that maybe. I believe it will be sooner rather than later, but no one truly knows.
So, enjoy this week as I see ESPN is going to show some of the most exciting finial rounds, some of which have not been seen in a long time. This will be great for those people that don't remember Jack's final major, or Tiger Woods dominate performance in 1997. CBS will also be showing final rounds over the weekend as well. This will be a different year for sure, but it will be the best GOLF year ever. I encourage you to get outside and enjoy this great game once you are able to do so safely.
Have a great week everyone!