Former NBA coach and forward Sam Mitchell said a sour time at a golf club near his Georgia home gave him a bad impression of what it would be like to play at Augusta National.
Mitchell told the Toronto Star on Friday at one course he felt like he was being overly watched by some of the staff members. He assumed that when he was invited to play at the same course where The Masters is held each year, he would have a similar experience.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” Mitchell told the Toronto Star. “You know what I mean? Augusta National. The wealth at that club is astronomical. I thought it would be a little stuffy, at least.”
Mitchell said it was totally the opposite of what he anticipated.
“The thing about it that was crazy was the people were so nice, so gracious,” the former Toronto Raptors coach said. “They took you on a tour. They wanted you to experience the whole atmosphere of being at Augusta National. And I thought that was something special. You’ve got members who are some of the wealthiest, most influential people in the world, and they’re showing you around, telling you about the history, telling you about the course. They take pride in it.”
Mitchell said he even got some tips about how to play some of the greens because the course is so difficult. He added that he learned a valuable lesson about assuming the worst.
“Sometimes you’re just wrong. Give people a chance before you form an opinion. It goes to show you the old saying: Money just makes you more of what you are. If you’re a bad person, it just makes you worse. If you’re a good person, it makes you a better person … Good people are good people, regardless of titles in front of their name or the number of zeros in their bank account.”
The Masters started Thursday after having been postponed due to the coronavirus. The tournament will be played again at its normal time in April.