There’s been much Augusta National despair for Rory McIlroy as he strives to capture the one major that has so far eluded him but it’s not been all gloom for McIlroy in his many visits to the famed Georgia golfing gem.
McIlroy was asked ahead of this week’s Zozo Championship that in the times he has visited Augusta, what time of year he has liked most.
“I’ve always said, my favourite times at Augusta have been not the Masters but the times we’ve taken a couple of father-son trips, which has just been awesome,” he said.
“It’s the greatest — I think for a golfer, the greatest experience in golf is being invited to Augusta by a member, staying in one of the cabins, doing the dinners at night, going down to the wine cellar, picking your bottle of wine, all that sort of stuff.
“That’s the cool — there are the cool things about Augusta that a lot of people don’t see. I’ve always said my favourite times at Augusta have been away from Masters week and I would say there’s a lot of people that feel the same way.
“There’s going to be a little bit of that feel come November where it’s quieter, no patrons on site, all that stuff.
“We’ve played two majors this year where there hasn’t been fans and it’s still a different atmosphere than what you get week in and week out. But no, as I said, those experiences at Augusta when you’re there and there’s nothing on the line apart from just having a good time, they’re the best times.”
Choosing your own wine?
Let’s quiz McIlroy more about visiting the Augusta National ‘members only’ wine cellar and what wine type he selected.
“There’s been a few thankfully, which is nice,” he said, breaking out into a smile.
“Jeez, we’ve drank all sorts of wine there. I do remember, we went with Jimmy Dunne one time and he picked — there’s a winery, Dunn Vineyards, so we had a bottle of that.
“The cool thing about Augusta, their wine selection is unbelievable and the prices that the members pay for the wine is very reasonable compared to what it would be in restaurants and other places.
“If you’re an Augusta member and you’re a wine lover, you’re in luck.”
The golf world wishes so much that on November 15th McIlroy will get to be presented with his own member key to the Augusta National wine cellars.