Two big changes coming to the Masters

December 6, 2007

AUGUSTA, Ga.---The following is a news release from the Augusta National Golf Club:

Billy Payne, Chairman of the Masters Tournament and Augusta National Golf Club, announced today the first two initiatives of a multi-year, multifaceted program to utilize the Masters brand and resources to promote the game of golf around the world.

The first initiative employs one of sports' most coveted items, a ticket to the Masters.

Beginning with the 2008 Masters, a youngster age 8-16 will be admitted free on
Tournament days (Thursday through Sunday) when accompanied by an accredited
patron. An accredited patron is someone attending the Masters who is the individual named on a Series badge application.

"We want to inspire the next generation of golfers now," Payne said. "We're serious about exposing youngsters to golf and the Masters."

In a further effort to reach a broader and younger audience, Payne also announced that in 2008 the Masters' new cable associate ESPN would televise the Par 3 Contest on Wednesday April 9th from 3:00-5:00 p.m. Added Payne: "The Par 3 Contest is fun and exciting for the entire family. It's an event everyone enjoys and we think it will demonstrate to kids just how fun golf can be."

The Par 3 Contest was first conducted in 1960 and is played over a nine hole, par 27 1,060 yard course. Since the event's inception there have been 63 holes-in-one, including five in 2002. "You don't need to be an avid golfer to cheer for a hole-in-one," said Payne.

"The Par 3 Contest is a lot of fun, one of the real highlights of every year," said two-time Masters winner Phil Mickelson. "It's been a wonderful experience to have my daughters caddie the last two years. It's special because it's a rare opportunity for both players and patrons to enjoy the game as families."

"These initiatives are important first steps and a great kickoff to our ongoing mission of growing the game," Payne added.

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  • by Bobby Jones Location: Cemetary in Atlanta on Dec 8, 2007 at 11:09 AM
    Cliff - you grumpy old "coot" - reread Billy's announcement then turn over and go back to sleep. Though he may be a UGA graduate Billy Payne understands how "generous" the Masters patrons are and how they "loan" their tickets out to total strangers every year. At any one time only a very tiny percentage of patrons on the course are the actual person to whom the ticket is registered. This is nothing more than a good PR move.
  • by cliff roberts Location: Augusta on Dec 6, 2007 at 09:56 PM
    Have they lost their minds? It is already packed shoulder-to-shoulder around every green and tee and you can no longer simply walk up to a concession stand and be waited on in a couple of minutes. I predict one out of every four patrons will bring someone - either a son/daughter, grandson/daughter, etc. That's a 25% increase - and it will grow over time. Can the tournament handle this increase without adversely impacting the enjoyment of those who have supported it for decades? I assume they are going to expand the number of entrance gates since I suppose someone will be monitoring birth certificates to make sure this kid is eight years old and not six or seven, etc, etc.
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