Monday

Can the Mythical Masters Still Transcend Golf?















It's a Monday morning in mid April. The green jacket has changed hands and the Master's is over for another year. The reviews are in and it was proclaimed...a snoozefest. It was also called "one of the most forgettable, utterly dull Masters in recent memory". Mike Bianchi, writing for the Orlando Sentinal even suggested that it was "so neutral the winner should have been awarded a gray sweater."

The winds were too capricious, the course was too difficult, things just weren't working. There were lots of reasons given but the fact is, there just weren't enough dynamic shots being made to provoke the requisite roars... Even very subdued roars...from the galleries.

Excitement definitely did not rein on the back nine yesterday. There was no magic at all, and that's not good, because we've come to count on this place for magic. This mythical tournament is the card we pull out each year to draw in the noncommitted golf audience. And it often works. Last week I was with a group of people who had little interest in golf. They had never played or spoken about it with me before, yet all were looking forward to watching the Masters. That amazed me, but they said it was because the course was so beautiful, the season so promising and Tiger so terrific. They all seemed to have memories of their families gathered around the teleision on a Spring Sunday watching the Masters. And it occured to me that like Tiger himself, himself, the Masters transcends golf. It reaches beyond core golfers to the general public. It follows that maybe if these non-golfers see a good show they'll come back for more, perhaps they'll even decide to play. We could certainly new golfers. The Masters itsself knows that, they've added a section onto their website where they request feedback from anyone and everyone on how they can better attract new players and fans, especially children.

So, I'm hoping this year's less than stellar show didn't turn off any potential players. After it is springtime and Augusta National is as pretty as ever.