Editors' BlogJanuary 4, 2008

Kids at the Masters

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Golf World's Bunker story about the Masters admitting children 8-16 for free, drew a fast, unfettered response from Toronto reader Jim Szabo:

  • "And here is Tiger putting on 18 for the win"................"Waaaaaaa, Daddy I wanna go home!!!!" *

The decision to allow each patron to bring a child between 8 - 16 free on Masters tournament days is a HUGE mistake.  Sure, you want to interest the next generation but not during the Masters!!!  Let them do it during practice rounds when the atmosphere is much looser and players will not be bothered by the "quick to be bored" kids being dragged around by daddy.  It is going to be a disaster.  Save this letter and publish it the Monday after the Masters along with my "I told you so" letter.  It is going to be a nightmare.  Picture it.  It is already a tight squeeze due to the limited land that the course sits on and now you are going to potentially double the amount of spectators!!!  And the extra 25,000 or so are going to be children!!  Wake up!!  Have you never been to a child's birthday party??? >

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I have been a patron at the Masters for many years and I look forward to that week more than Christmas itself.  However, I am not looking forward to sharing it with 25,000 kids.  >

Jim, Jim, Jim. You sound like W.C. Fields: "I never met a kid I liked."

Things will be better than you think because:

  1. There won't be 25,000 kids since only the "named" ticketholder may bring a child. If your wife and you each attend but the badges are in your name, only you may bring a child. If you give the badge to your cousin for a day, he may not bring a child.

  2. Augusta has plenty of room. It sits on 365 acres.  This year it's added a 2,000-person seating area on hole 16.

  3. At the Masters attendees seem to know how to act;  they'll know how to manage their children. I took my son last year and at one point, much sooner than I'd hoped, he was done. We left. But he was bragging about being there later.

Augusta seems to be saying, show kids the best of the game and the real competition--they can watch the Par-3 on TV--and maybe they'll get as taken with golf and the Masters as we are. Good for Billy.

--Bob Carney

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