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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, February 7, 2023
HomeNewsArchivesMahogany Run Workers Caught the Masters Live

Mahogany Run Workers Caught the Masters Live

April 15, 2005 – Tiger Woods earned his fourth Green Jacket at the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Ga. last Sunday, edging out Chris DiMarco in a playoff. That's old news. Dwight Hendrickson and Darren Hodge watched him do it first-hand, and that is St. Thomas news.
The two Mahogany Run employees on Friday seemed a little incredulous about their good fortune of spending last weekend at the Augusta National Golf Club, considered among the most elite in the nation.
Chris Macken, Mahogany Run manager, said Golf Car Inc., the golf cart manufacturer the course uses, "owed us a couple favors." Macken didn't describe those favors, but the company came up with two tickets to the final round of the Masters.
Rich Hohan, a representative of the Ginn Co., which owns Mahogany Run, presented the two employees with the tickets, Macken said.
"At first, I just didn't believe it," Hendrickson said. "It was a dream come true."
Neither Hodge, the accounting controller for the course, nor Hendrickson, the food and beverage manager, had been to Georgia before. This in itself posed a few problems. They had to drive about 16 miles Sunday morning to pick up their tickets from the Club Car office. "We had a hard time finding the place," said Hendrickson, "We got about six miles off our course. I'm glad Darren was driving."
When they had left about 7 a.m., the golf course area was almost deserted. "When we came back, it was gridlock," Hodge says. "But nobody seemed to mind; they just sat in their cars and waited."
That's not typical behavior for drivers anywhere. But Macken was quick to point out the Masters "isn't just anywhere." She explained: "The Masters is different, and golf is different. It's a genteel game compared, say, to baseball. Nobody is hawking hot dogs; everybody is quiet until someone scores."
Hodge said, "They have this little booklet they give you. It says you should cheer everybody."
Getting a ticket to the Masters, Macken said, "is about like getting tickets behind home plate at the World Series. It is the tournament that's like no other, the one where everyone wants to be."
Hendrickson said he and Hodge, talking to a couple they met, asked how often they came to the tournament. "Oh, as often as we can," the couple told them. They asked them when they last had been there. "They told us about 20 years ago," Hodge said. Another woman they spoke with said she had moved out of her one-bedroom house for the week and rented it for $20,000.
To back this up, Macken said if you wanted reservations for 2006, "You'd have to start right now."
"We knew how lucky we were," the men agreed. "And we got recognized," Hodge said.
"This PGA pro saw our Mahogany Run shirts, and he came up and greeted us. He said he had played Mahogany Run three weeks ago," Hendrickson said. "That's so cool to be recognized up there.
"There was a southern lady, too. She nudged her friend and said, 'Look, Mahogany Run," he added.
The two tried to get as close as they could to view the action. "But with 50,000 people there, that's not easy," said Hodge. "We just had to jump up. We looked back over the gallery moving behind us as we moved, and all we could see were people, people; they looked like a little trail of ants coming over the hill."
They had a better shot at seeing the pros at the driving range. They were
so close, they could practically touch them, they said, and that included the biggies: Woods, Dimarco and company.
They faced souvenir hunters on their way out. "There were all these people standing just outside when we left," said Hendrickson. "They were offering $50 each for our badges. We kept ours."
"Oh," said Hodge, back home on Mahogany Run golf course. "I forgot to mention something."
He picked up a picture of the Augusta course. "See how immaculate it is," he said, pointing to a neatly raked bunker. "And they have 10 lawn mowers moving at one time, staggered one behind the other. We have one lawn mower for this course," he laughed.
Hendrickson, the food and beverage manager, started out at the course in 1987 as a messenger and housekeeper. A native of St. Kitts, he has lived most of his adult life on St. Thomas.
Did he want to play golf when he got the job? "No, I just wanted a job," he smiled. "I started to learn to play golf about five years after I started, and after watching those guys last week, I think I'll practice more."
Hodge, the controller, started in 1989 as a golf cart washer. "I was 16 years old then," he recalled. "I was a student at Kean High School. After I got interested in accounting, I went to UVI and got an accounting degree, and I started off as an accounting clerk."
"Now he has a staff of two," Macken said. "These guys have worked hard, really hard, and that's why they were chosen. They deserved it."

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