The year 2012 is going to be one of many milestones for Dennis Palmer. Not only did I turn 55, which now allows me to utilize my discount of 10% at Albertson’s the first Wednesday of every month, but I will also attend my 25th consecutive Masters, and on June 1st will attain Quarter Century Club membership in the PGA of America. Although my discount at Albertson’s is important, it is the latter two milestones that really bring joy to my heart.
Thanks to my former boss Rich Lamb, who was, and still is the Director of Golf for the two city of Ft Myer’s golf facilities (Eastwood Golf Club and Ft Myer’s country Club) I was able to make my initial journey to the legendary Augusta National Golf Club in 1988.
That first year was a complete surprise to me as I had on June 1st of 1987 acquired my Class “A” Membership in the PGA. In early January of 1988 Mr. Lamb had informed me that even though I had now qualified for a free ticket to The Masters, he had to rely on me to make things happen, as he and Tommy Wallace (1st Assistant) were planning on going, as they had done for many years. Mildly disappointed, I accepted my responsibilities and was looking forward to 1989.
Alas on the Wednesday prior to the 1988 Masters, Rich and Tommy took off leaving Dennis in charge. That following Saturday at 8:10 in the morning Mr. Lamb called to see how things were going. After I told him everything was under control, he told me to take the company check book and catch the flight leaving Ft Myers at noon. He wanted me to head to the airport and get on that flight to Augusta!
I was off in a minute, heading to the airport to purchase the ticket to my first trip to Augusta. Upon arriving at the airport I ran up to the Delta counter and told the attendant the flights I wanted to purchase. I just about fainted when I was told that this ticket was going to cost $1013.00!! I wrote the check and in two hours, I was on my way to Augusta! That first year was special as I was given a pass to go into the clubhouse (only been in once since then) and on the flight back from Augusta to Atlanta, I sat next to the legendary golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Sr.!
What great memories of my initial trip to The Masters. Over the next 24 years, I have continued my love affair with The Masters, and cherish every visit!
The above story could have never taken place without my membership as a Class “A” member of the PGA of America. Not only have I had the ability to attend 25 years of Masters Tournaments, but also one PGA and Two U.S. Opens! On top of that I have been able to make a living doing what I love — and that my friends is what I call being very fortunate!
I have worked for some great golf Professionals, and I have had the chance to meet so many people who share my love of the game of golf. As I get closer to the end of my career, I think how lucky I have been to have chosen a career that allows me to experience all the perks I love so much!