Today is Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Locals volunteer at Masters in Augusta

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By SAM HATCHER
The Wilson Post

Two local golfers, both members at Five Oaks Golf and Country Club, are experiencing a golfers dream this weekend.

Dwight Belew and Denny King are volunteering this week at the Masters in Augusta, Ga.

For Belew, owner of American Jewelry Company in Mt. Juliet, its his 10th year to serve as a greens volunteer and for King, who just recently retired as the U.S. Marshal for the Middle Tennessee District, its his second.

Both men, avid golfers themselves, will have the opportunity thats only a dream for most.

In May they will be invited back to Augusta to play the Masters course at Augusta National Golf Club, a reward paid volunteers for their service during the week of the tournament.

I tell people Augusta National is just like stepping into a picture postcard. You cant describe how immaculate everything is, Belew said some three years ago in a story published in The Wilson Post about his experience at the Masters.

Belew, who holds a not so shabby 12 handicap at Five Oaks, has always been stationed at the first hole at the Masters and has the duty of being what he describes as a gallery guard.

We also are walking information booths. I probably answer 100 questions a day, from wheres Tiger? to how do you get to Amen Corner? and what kind of grass is this? The question Im probably asked the most is how did you get this job?

Belew said in the previous story written by Ken Beck that he has been at his post long enough to know a few habits of the PGA tour professionals: Tiger is always the first one out on the practice rounds, early in the morning, he said, whereas V.J. Singh prefers to practice late in the day when the shadows are long.

King, who incidentally maintains an 18 handicap at Five Oaks, is a scorer on hole number 11.

According to Bryan Combiths, the golf professional at Five Oaks, King has multiple chores at his green.

He is one of four scorers at the green on hole 11, Combiths said, explaining that King is responsible for collecting certain details from each golfer assigned to him playing the hole.

He said King must keep up with each players score, the number of putts made on the green and even the club used by his assigned player to get on the green. The information King collects is eventually passed to other officials who see that it is posted on Internet and social media sites maintained by the Masters and kept as a tournament record.

Both men began their assignments on Sunday, one week before the tournament concludes this Sunday.

Theyll rub shoulders with some of golfs most celebrated professionals; see putts sunk at distances so great that not even the pros will think they can make them; and they will also likely see a few famous folks in the audience attending.

But best of all theyll have a bucket full of stories to tell when they get back home.

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