The First Call Inbox

Are changes needed for Augusta National, the Masters?

While it is hard to find fault with the club's handling of the course and year's first major, readers of The First Call have a few tweaks in mind

Question of the week [April 8-14]: If you were chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters, what changes — if any — would you make to the course or tournament?

RELATED: The First Call Inbox archive

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My question is about with all the land that Augusta National has and why can't they figure how to not have patrons stand in that line for hours to enter the merchandise shop to spend money? It is ridiculous,

Cindy Staszak
Gainesville Georgia

Absolutely none. Some traditions should remain traditions and not be tinkered with. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 

Bob Norris
Cincinnati, Ohio

I would like to see more people selected through the lottery so that more are able to see the most famous tournament and course in golf instead of the same people being able to go every year. I want to experience the Masters before I die.

Larry Lanser
West Bend, Wisconsin 

The entire 18 holes should be televised and come on early with regards to TV and viewing.  
Steve Pratt
Ardmore, Pennsylvania

The change that I would make to the Masters is not allowing an amateur tournament to be played the week before. It’s too much stress on the golf course for a major tournament.

Arthur Willis
Houston, Texas

The Masters tournament is without a doubt the best run, best organized of any event on any tour. Chairman Fred Ridley and all of the committees work tirelessly to ensure everything is prepared to exacting specifications.

In addition, anyone who has ever had the opportunity to walk the National will agree there is not a better conditioned course anywhere in the country. The entire maintenance team takes pride in the course.

An example of their dedication was evident last year when three large trees fell near the 17th tee just be for the siren sounded. The team not only cleared the line of play, but removed every spec of debris, filled the hole left by the tree roots, and completely resodded and rolled the grass to the point where you could not tell a tree had fallen. This was all completed before play resumed. Now that is a combined effort.

To that end, in my estimation there is nothing that needs to be changed. This is a tournament like no other. 

Paul Vicary
The Villages, Florida

The only tweak I would make to ANGC would be to continue to modify the golf course to keep up with advances in technology.

A great example is hole No. 13, which has in part now been restored to a true par 5. Operationally, the tournament is superbly run so I see few, if any, changes that need to be made. Credit to AGNC, they do things so well. They are the gold standard of professional golf.

Reid Farrill
Toronto, Ontario

No one who has taken money from LIV can play unless the same money is donated to families of 9/11. Then eligibility is restored.

Don Crocker
Porterville, California

The Masters could continue to show up other major golf organizations by announcing a Persimmon Masters tournament, where competitors compete with equipment prior to 1990.  

This event would shine a light on this overlooked and undervalued equipment that is 10,000% more affordable to the golfing public.

Cory Crelan
Norwalk, Connecticut

I have one suggestion for the Masters.

Add the top amateur for the weekend, even if none make the cut.

I like the way they have reached out, hosting the Drive, Chip & Putt and now the Augusta National Women's Amateur, a great great addition to the world of golf. 

Letting one amateur play the weekend is just another nice touch. The Masters adds amateurs to grow the game and the audience. If they let at least one play the weekend — besides getting to participate in the excitement of the final round — it adds to the amateurs' motivation, even if none are going to make the cut. Do not affect the cut number. 

The idea gives that golfer's friends, family, school, NCAA conference, nation or any amateur a reason to watch the final two rounds. It makes the event even more interesting and popular, and it moves all of golf a few more inches away from the aura of stuffy and privileged.

Donn Rutkoff
Oceanside, California

I would ask/suggest that Augusta National Golf Club offer patrons the opportunity to buy practice round tickets to the ANWA. 

William S. McCalmont
WaterSound Beach, Florida

There were 89 players this week at Augusta. It is safe to believe that 40% of the field had no chance of winning. In addition I believe that there may be up to a dozen or more players not in the field who could have won the tournament.

Since there is no doubt that the Players Championship has the strongest field, it is my opinion that TPC should be the fourth major. Yes, the Masters has tradition but it is a private affair and not worthy of the accolades.

Dennis Brissette
Lake Mary, Florida

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