Well, that dream came true Monday, sort of.
I called him at his home in Gold Hill, Colo., but I wanted to discuss his music.
"I can't believe it actually happened that way, but I would be asked about my playing music rather than golf!" the bluegrass and country roots artist said.
Mr. McCumber will visit Augusta for a performance at 9 p.m. Friday, April 25, at Still Water Tap Room, 974 Broad St., with his band McCumberland Gap.
"I've performed in clubs all around Augusta, in Macon, Columbus and elsewhere, and have been to the Masters about six or seven times, but I've never performed in Augusta before," he said.
Mr. McCumber, who goes by a shortened version of his middle name, Kortmann, grew up in an extremely musical and golfing family.
His mother, Joy Myers, played for the Jacksonville Symphony for more than two decades, and the instruments he plays include guitar, mandolin, banjo, harmonica, piano, bouzouki, cello and bass.
His father, Jim, owns McCumber Golf, a worldwide leader in course design and operations, based in Jacksonville. His uncle, Mark, spent nearly 30 years on the PGA Tour and has been playing the Senior Tour.
Mr. McCumber will perform a tribute show on May 7 at Jacksonville Landing to commemorate the 20th anniversary of his uncle's winning the prestigious Players Championship tournament in Jacksonville.
Kort's older brother, Josh, now is playing on the Nationwide Tour, which has launched a lot of Masters-qualifying players.
Kort McCumber is no golfing slouch: He played collegiate golf at the University of Virginia and University of Florida. His sister, Beth Wilberger, who plays fiddle and sings harmonies in his band and lives near him, played collegiate golf at Florida State.
"Last Thursday night, I was in Crested Butte (Colo.) performing, and I watched some of the Masters on TV that day," he said. "There it was the first day of (final rounds) play in Augusta and I was seeing those beautiful azaleas and dogwoods in bloom while I was buried in Colorado in eight feet of snow, and I realized how different my life is now!"
Mr. McCumber's life took a major turn when he was "burned out with golf" and attending the University of Florida in Gainesville. He had seen how happy "some singer-songwriter guys" were playing their own music in local bars, and he decided to try his hand at it.
"My first public, solo performance singing six of my original tunes came on Jan. 31, 1998, at a little bar in Gainesville called Common Ground," he said. "I was pretty hooked on being a singer-songwriter after that."
Since then, Mr. McCumber has performed more than 1,000 shows throughout the U.S. and Europe, including Robert Redford's Sundance Film Festival in Utah, and opened for such acts such as Vince Gill.
His sixth and most recent recording project is his 2007 CD Lickskillet Road , which features Mr. Gill on a couple of numbers singing harmony and playing mandolin and guitar. The CD is named for the road where Mr. McCumber and his graphic artist wife, Amy, live.
"This record is real rootsy bluegrass and American stuff; sort of like the Flying Burrito Brothers and Gram Parsons with my own little stamp on it adding elements of blues, country and rock," he said.
You can find out more about Mr. McCumber and his music through his Web site, kortmusic.com.
Don Rhodes has written about country music for 37 years. He can be reached at (706) 823-3214 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to listen to a portion of "Middle Child" by Mr. McCumber.
LADY 'A' ON ELLEN'S SHOW: Lady Antebellum, consisting of Lakeside High School graduates Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood and their partner, Hillary Scott, will perform on The Ellen Degeneres Show at 10 a.m. Friday on television station WRDW (Channel 12), according to Capitol Records publicists. The group, which just released its debut, self-titled CD and a single, Love Don't Live Here (Anymore) , performed briefly leading up to a commercial break on the CMT Music Awards show Monday night on CMT.