Beyond the Build


A Few Days in Augusta This Week

With the exception of the last couple of years, I have visited Augusta on several spring trips. I have seen a lot in that time spent here–trials and tribulations and some great golfers. If you have not been to Augusta National, you might not know that the topography sets it apart from most other PGA courses. The elevation change between Amen Corner and the 10th tee is about 200’, which may not seem like a lot, but it makes a big difference in how the course is played.

Having watched players over the years, a few things come to mind that are somewhat parallel to business. Perhaps the biggest lesson is that when everything is going smoothly, watch out…change can come quickly.

The last time I was here, the leader at the time was a couple of strokes ahead and then dropped his lead to zero at Amen Corner. Tiger then went on to win, coming from behind with just a few holes remaining. I also remember Freddie Couples’ ball hanging up on the grass a few inches from the water on hole 12, a few blades of grass saved it, and he won the tournament.

It seems this quote from Bobby Jones sums it up best: “Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots – but you have to play the ball where it lies.”

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Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.