I'm back from the 10th Golf Digest Ambush where I met up with Jay Roberson, Jay Walker and some of their friends in Birmingham, Ala. In the January issue you'll read about a rain-out, a football game, nightclubs and "Mama's" ribs at one of the biggest tailgates in the country. I had my first police escort behind a team bus, worked as a spotter in an ESPN broadcast booth; I met famous deejays and ate more ribs at an iconic restaurant of the South. Oh, by the way, we played golf. The Robert Trent Jones Trail is loaded with good golf for not a lot of money (11 sites, 26 courses and 468 holes, to be exact).
Roberson, who's the associate athletic director at Samford University in Birmingham, looks a little like Tiger Woods.
"I remember going out to the Bruno's Memorial Classic back in 1996 and having kids think they recognized me," says Roberson. "At the time I was 25 years old and really skinny. Parents would come up to me and explain that they knew I wasn't Tiger, but if I could just sign a hat for their kids they'd really appreciate it."
Roberson said he went to his first Masters this year. "I flew into the same airport in Augusta that everyone flies into. I overheard bag guys say, 'There's Tiger.' As I walked around the golf course, people were giving me double takes. It was hilarious. It's been going on for 12 years."
Other than a slight similarity in looks, he can't seem to find anything else he has in common with the 14-time major-championship winner. "I'm about a hundred pounds heavier than he is, and I don't have his swing or his money."
I asked him what he signed on the hats for the kids. "Good luck and best in the future--Tiger Woods."