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    Why Jim Nantz is so keen on this Augusta hangout

    Come Masters week, the French Market Grille West serves up late-night meals and golf speak.

    getty pictures

    The times get lengthy, if you’re overlaying the Masters. That’s not a criticism. However you do have to know which of the better Augusta eating places serve late, and I do. I wouldn’t name it a ability set.

    Probably the most dependable of the late-night Augusta eating places is the French Market Grille West on Furys Ferry Street, about 4 miles from the golf course. I first began going there years in the past, when the late Frank Chirkinian, the legendary CBS golf producer, nonetheless owned the place. I’ve been there dozens of instances.

    On Thursday, I wrote Tiger, filed too late, received within the automotive, made a left on Washington Street, a proper on Furys Ferry and slipped on in to the restaurant at about 9:40 p.m., 20 minutes earlier than the kitchen’s final name. I sat down and gave Ashley my dinner request about 90 seconds later. Because it occurred, Jim Nantz was two cubicles down.

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    ‘A rookie mistake’: Nick Faldo explains Rory McIlroy Masters gaffe

    James Colgan

    At any time when I see Jim, which is at the least a number of instances a yr, someplace in our dialog we often point out Chirkinian, Chirkinian’s deputy Chuck Will and varied others we all know/knew, love/cherished, admire/admired. There’s one thing about Masters week — and for me there’s one thing in regards to the French Market Grille — that makes you nod to the previous while you’re absorbed by the current and think about the long run.

    For example, in that final class: What is going to the inexperienced coats do with 13, the best par-5 in golf — besides in nonetheless situations it’s not likely a par-5 anymore?

    You don’t should apologize for being consumed with that type of factor, come Masters week. You’ll be able to watch for the toilet on the French Market Grille and have that dialogue with the stranger ready in entrance of you.

    These French Market Grille meals from way back come to thoughts with a blink of the attention:

    Frank Chirkinian, left, with Jim Nantz and former CBS golf producer Lance Barrow.


    A late dinner there with my pal Jaime Diaz, after which we retired to a grass subject beside the parking zone, the place we hit wedge photographs below the moonlight and mentioned the state of the sport and the states of our lives till 3:30 within the morning.

    A dinner with a bunch of SI writers, hosted by Terry McDonell, our editor, who informed us sooner or later we must always count on to write down for . . . the web.

    An early dinner with my pal Mike Donald, the previous Tour participant, throughout the second spherical of the 2013 Masters and watching when Tiger Woods’ third shot on 15 hit the flagstick, ricocheting off it and into the lake.

    Dinners on my own (lots of them), with different writers (lots of them), with my pal Neil Oxman, the veteran caddie.

    On his method out Thursday night time, I stated hello to Nantz, who launched me to his dinner companions, his sister and brother-in-law.

    We talked about Chirkinian and Chuck Will and varied others. Jim drove Jack Whitaker to Chuck Will’s funeral, a half-decade in the past, they usually each spoke fantastically about him.

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    The unbelievable story of Jim Nantz’s first spherical at Augusta Nationwide

    James Colgan

    I’ve written this many instances however talked about it the opposite night time to the Nantz get together: Chirkinian used to explain the Masters as a play in three acts: Thursday-Friday as Act I, Saturday as Act II, Sunday as Act III, the course because the stage, the leaders because the protagonists.

    Jim knew this complete bit, in fact. The opposite two possibly didn’t. 

    “Frank studied theater,” Jim provided, relevantly.

    “I as soon as requested Chuck to explain Frank’s golf sport,” I stated. Jim and I are the identical age. 

    Chuck and Frank logged lots of rounds collectively. Chuck had sport. Frank had enthusiasm and a slice.

    “’Driver within the tough, Ginty out of it,’” I stated, quoting Chuck.

    Jim laughed. He is aware of all about Frank’s golf sport, and all in regards to the Ginty.

    We have been in Augusta, or on its outskirts, anyway.

    We have been in Frank’s previous restaurant.

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    Michael Bamberger Contributor

    Michael Bamberger writes for GOLF Journal and Earlier than that, he spent almost 23 years as senior author for Sports activities Illustrated. After faculty, he labored as a newspaper reporter, first for the (Martha’s) Winery Gazette, later for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He has written a wide range of books about golf and different topics, the latest of which is The Second Lifetime of Tiger Woods. His journal work has been featured in a number of editions of The Greatest American Sports activities Writing. He holds a U.S. patent on The E-Membership, a utility golf membership. In 2016, he was given the Donald Ross Award by the American Society of Golf Course Architects, the group’s highest honor.

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