Friday, April 8, 2011
In the Grill Room
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- There are signs that a place is authentic, little touches that cannot be faked. Follow me past the two security guards to the white door with the brass plaque: Grill Room. The tables and chairs are sturdy. A rack of famous golf clubs is down at one end and, at the other, the computer where I once saw Davis Love and David Duval's kids checking the cut line to see whether their dads were staying for the weekend. The bar's got a good selection of scotch, and their Arnold Palmers are done in a Martini shaker to give 'em a froth. Walk past all that. On each table, with the ketchup and mustard, is a bottle of Durkee Famous Sauce. It's a sandwich condiment, mainly, one with a long history. According to the Durkee people, abandoned bottles of the stuff have been found buried by time near old wagon trails. Supposedly, it was in Lincoln's White House. But mainly, it is a staple of Southern ladies who lunch. My grandmother wouldn't eat a sandwich without it. My mom keeps it in her fridge. I keep it in mine. I see it almost nowhere. So, the first time I came to the Masters, I was stunned for a moment when it appeared on the Grill Room table. Earlier today, I sat for lunch with Bev Norwood, an IMG veteran who used to handle Tiger Woods' PR. We split a club sandwich, and when I uncapped the Durkees, he looked at it and, like most everyone not from the South, asked what I was putting on my sandwich. I was proud to tell him it was the same thing that my grandmother put on hers.