The Masters

Masters catching up with the times, but needs more

Masters catching up with the times, but needs more

The folks at Augusta have done a great job of branding their golf haven as a special place, where the ghost of Bobby Jones still hovers around the dogwoods and pines at Augusta National Golf Club. And the Masters does signal the beginning of spring and the start of major championship golf for the year.

No doubt. Augusta is special. It oozes beauty and history. No smartphones or electronic scoreboards. And 1960s like prices at the concession stands.

This amazing place is a throwback. And while that works well in some many areas, it has been a problem in others.

The most obvious is the racial issue, ANGC is still lagging behind, but has finally brought in African-American and female members. It’s a good start, but needs to continue to progress. Hopefully, it will.

The other is technology. The Masters is also making strides here. Still, ANGC needs to speed up the process.

The Masters app is top notch, the live streaming is more than up to par on the app and website. The Twitter site is also very well done, and I was surprised to hear the Masters has even added a Snapchat filter this year. I’m sure it’s just the way Bobby Jones envisioned it.

Pretty good for a place that seems to delight with its “take me back in time” reputation.

However, it’s time for the Masters to give us full-on, hole to hole coverage on the TV side. You can see some of the tournament before ESPN coverage begins in mid afternoon. The app and website gives you access to two feature groups, Amen Corner (11,12 & 13) and a few highlights.

It’s well done, but not enough.

If you wanted to see Phil
Mickelson’s early round, you had to wait until he finally got around the number 11, and once he finished 13, that was it until ESPN picked him up late at the end of his round.

I know what Augusta has been thinking through the years, give them less TV early, and golf fans will be waiting with remotes in hand when network coverage finally begins. Make them want more.

Today fans want a lot more, especially young viewers who are attached to their smartphones and are used to seeing whatever they want, whenever they want.

It’s time to open that technological door, to keep growing the game and maintaining interest.

The Masters can keep all of its wonderful on course traditions, like no electronic scoreboards, intrusive advertising signs or phones inside the gates. It does feel different once you’re there walking the course. It’s an experience you can really soak in and enjoy.

However, for the fans who aren’t there, and waiting to see as much golf at possible at this springtime cathedral, let’s pull back the curtain and let them totally in.

It’s time.

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