Trip to the 2023 Masters, by Alex Weiss

We are once again so grateful to be able to offer the amazing opportunity of sending a First Tee participant on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Masters! The winner of this year’s Masters Trip was First Tee participant, Alex Weiss, who wrote all about his experience which included sitting front row on the 18th green, getting a behind the ropes tour of Augusta National, and watching Tiger Woods play at The Masters.

Alex Weiss at the 2023 Masters Tournament
Alex Weiss at the 2023 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club

What made you decide to apply for this Masters Trip opportunity?

I have seen and read about the Masters Award trip for several years now and have been able to talk with other First Tee participants who were recipients of the award. They all described it as a surreal experience to be at Augusta National. I have watched The Masters on TV for as long as I can remember, but I was truly hoping to experience the sights and sounds in person.

What was your favorite part of the trip? 

My favorite part of the trip was being able to walk the entire course with my Mom. Even though it was raining, we were able to see each hole in person and bring what I’ve seen on TV for so many years to life. We were able to meet a recently inducted member of Augusta National who gave us a behind-the-ropes tour before the general public was let in. We got to see each of the buildings and understand from an insider what they were all used for. There is such history and tradition at Augusta that are inspiring. I love how they use the old fashioned scoreboards and keep the concession costs down. I had heard about the pimento cheese sandwiches, but I really enjoyed eating all of the sandwiches they offered!

What players were you excited to see and what experiences inspired you? 

I’m glad I got to see Tiger before he withdrew from the tournament. To see Tiger Woods play at such a prestigious tournament was truly amazing. I was also really inspired by the low amateur Sam Bennett who had an amazing tournament. During play, we spent some time on the 14th hole grandstand where we could see the players on the famous 13th green. We also had a front row view of the 18th green, sitting in the chairs that we set up there. It was fun to see the players battle the tough conditions and display many of First Tee’s Core Values such as perseverance and judgment. We unfortunately were rained out at around 3 p.m., but that didn’t stop us from enjoying the experience at the Masters.

Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in applying for the Masters Trip next year? 

The First Tee of SCW is so lucky to have such a great ambassador in Mrs. VanderSluis who generously donates her tickets to a First Tee participant and their parent each year. I am a better person for knowing her and how she gives back to the community. The opportunity she gives to participants in this chapter to experience a life-long dream is nothing short of amazing. I would encourage anyone eligible to apply for this trip as it is truly amazing to be at the Masters.

Check our website in August if you or someone you know is interested in applying for the 2024 Masters Trip.