News & ToursApril 4, 2012

The do's and don'ts of being a patron at the Masters

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- It's the 75th anniversary of Byron Nelson's first Masters victory. Golf was a lot different then. And so was spectating.

Gallery control and roping wasn't implemented at the Masters until 1942, when Lord Byron won for the second time at Augusta National. "Pine log benches" for patrons had appeared in 1938.

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In 1937, spectators had a lot of freedom. But as a set of 15 "Gallery Don'ts" in that year's PGA tournament handbook spelled out, it still had its limits.

Some highlights:

Don't wander aimlessly. Be sure you are off the fairway.

Don't rush. If all take their time, all can see what is taking place.

Don't walk through traps and bunkers. Keep out of the sand. Traps are bad enough without being churned into endless heel prints and ruts.

Related: Photos of Masters patrons through the years

Don't walk across the greens. Greens cost a mint of money to keep up, and constant tramping on them renders them uneven.

Don't talk or shout when the player is addressing the ball or when he takes his stance. The nerve strain is hard enough.

Seventy-five years later, wandering aimlessly or tramping on greens is still probably not a good idea.

-- Bill Fields

Follow @BillFields1

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