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Paula Creamer wants a Women’s Masters at Augusta [SB Nation]

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Basically this is what bugs me:

ANGC holds Drive, Chip, and Putt the Sunday before the Masters. Its purpose to to grow the game by encouraging boys and girls to develop skills and compete at golf in an approachable way. Awesome. The whole thing happens in the shadow of The Masters, with the tournament looming and all the past champions coming by. What bugs me is that there's an implicit subtext that tells the boy, "Look at all this, if you try hard enough, you can be a part of this one day" while what we're telling the girl is "Look at all this, if you try hard enough, you still won't be a part of this." I know, women can theoretically qualify for The Masters. But they can't actually. It'd be cool if Augusta helped to legitimize the women's game, in much the way they're legitimizing the youth game. I get that there's logistical challenges and it's a pain in the ass for ANGC and its members. But let's try to figure something out. Get a 5 year rota of courses and have one be ANGC and the other 4 be various other well-known courses. They'll matter by association much the way all the Open courses matter more because they're hanging with St. Andrew's. Or hold the women's Masters every 2 years like the Ryder Cup. Whatever. Try to find a solution.

That is a decent point. The girls can aspire to become members, but there are still very few women members. Would I like to see it someday for the reason you state, yes. I would say this is probably a non-starter until there are actually a fairly substantial number of female members of Augusta National.

I do like the historic legacy that the course landscape itself has. I wonder if the LPGA would consent to play it as it is - i.e. no new tee boxes constructed beyond what exists currently and accept the scoring that results?

Personally, I think a better approach is to get some of their corporate sponsors and sponsor-enriched stars (Annika?) to build their own special course and build up a legacy like was done with Augusta. A course emphasizing precision / consistency rather than power to befit the typical player on their tour with fewer par 5's for power advantage but a few more tricky par 4's or tough / long par-3's? I personally agree that one major per 4 seasons is more 'fitting', but I guess they are actively trying to make their tour a bit more world-wide which may help their long term popularity / success.

I do like the approach that was done with Pinehurst being played by the men and the women. That showed appropriate collegiality for 'Open' competition as with the Open Championship, but The Masters is a private club / course and I'm okay with not forcing them to change the golfing layout. Openness in the membership was / is a separate issue IMO.

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And to his second point, I completely agree as well.  Maybe ANGC wouldn't quite "double" their money, but there would be no way they wouldn't make a lot of money on all of the deals and no way they wouldn't sell out the place.  If the people weren't going to see the course then there'd be crazy-popular ticket lotteries for all of the other tournaments as well - and AFAIK, there isn't.  The course is the biggest part of the draw there, no question.

I am not a member of ANGC so I do not know definitely but IMHO they do not care about the "money".

They are doing just fine with the revenues from the Masters.

"As Golf Digest reported , the Masters will take in about $115 million in revenue this year and turn a profit of $29 million. Here’s the revenue breakdown: merchandise ($47.5 million); tickets ($34.75 million); international TV rights ($25 million); concessions ($7.75 million). Noticeably absent: domestic television revenue. As per golf digest: This is the 60th consecutive year CBS has broadcast the Masters on a one-year contract…n either CBS nor Augusta National makes money on the deal.” - Forbes

Because of the one-year contract with CBC the Masters has a lot of control over the broadcast. So much control that when Burke threatened to force sponsors to pull out from the Master's telecast, ANGC preempted this by cancelling all commercials from their telecast.

Forbes estimates that if ANGC decided to go into a long term television contract they could command $100 million a year.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by dkolo

Basically this is what bugs me:

ANGC holds Drive, Chip, and Putt the Sunday before the Masters. Its purpose to to grow the game by encouraging boys and girls to develop skills and compete at golf in an approachable way. Awesome. The whole thing happens in the shadow of The Masters, with the tournament looming and all the past champions coming by. What bugs me is that there's an implicit subtext that tells the boy, "Look at all this, if you try hard enough, you can be a part of this one day" while what we're telling the girl is "Look at all this, if you try hard enough, you still won't be a part of this." I know, women can theoretically qualify for The Masters. But they can't actually. It'd be cool if Augusta helped to legitimize the women's game, in much the way they're legitimizing the youth game. I get that there's logistical challenges and it's a pain in the ass for ANGC and its members. But let's try to figure something out. Get a 5 year rota of courses and have one be ANGC and the other 4 be various other well-known courses. They'll matter by association much the way all the Open courses matter more because they're hanging with St. Andrew's. Or hold the women's Masters every 2 years like the Ryder Cup. Whatever. Try to find a solution.

That is a decent point. The girls can aspire to become members, but there are still very few women members. Would I like to see it someday for the reason you state, yes. I would say this is probably a non-starter until there are actually a fairly substantial number of female members of Augusta National.

I do like the historic legacy that the course landscape itself has. I wonder if the LPGA would consent to play it as it is - i.e. no new tee boxes constructed beyond what exists currently and accept the scoring that results?

Personally, I think a better approach is to get some of their corporate sponsors and sponsor-enriched stars (Annika?) to build their own special course and build up a legacy like was done with Augusta. A course emphasizing precision / consistency rather than power to befit the typical player on their tour with fewer par 5's for power advantage but a few more tricky par 4's or tough / long par-3's? I personally agree that one major per 4 seasons is more 'fitting', but I guess they are actively trying to make their tour a bit more world-wide which may help their long term popularity / success.

I do like the approach that was done with Pinehurst being played by the men and the women. That showed appropriate collegiality for 'Open' competition as with the Open Championship, but The Masters is a private club / course and I'm okay with not forcing them to change the golfing layout. Openness in the membership was / is a separate issue IMO.

They do have a major at a repeat course every year.  The ANA Inspiration, formerly Diana Shore, is at Rancho Mirage.  It's the week before the Masters on a beautiful course with a great finishing hole.  They have a cool tradition of jumping in the pond for the winner.  It is not as hard as the US Open in terms of score relative to par, but neither is Augusta.

I understand Paula's desire to play Augusta in the tournament and fully respect her for voicing her opinion.  But two in one year is a lot to ask of a course.  Given that they close the course for part of the year and probably shut it down a few weeks before the Masters, the members would only get six to seven months to play there.  It would be like being a member at a course in New England :cry: .  And it is very expensive for membership.

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It was fun watching the men and then the ladies playing their respective US Opens at Pinehurst.  However, Augusta National is probably the most pampered course in the nation with significant closed seasons to protect it.  To get the full effect of the Masters, the blooming azaleas and dogwoods would be preferred also, but I doubt the members would want the course trampled two weeks in a row.

I learn a lot watching ladies play, but they have to develop their own tradition.  I would suggest taking a well known and traditional course and holding a major there each year.  I would go after Pebble Beach which is designed for a lot of play and I suspect welcome the ladies' major every year.  Augusta is the Masters and its annual lifecycle is based around the tournament.  Their track record on progressive changes is poor to say the least and I doubt they would ever have most of us as members, but I do give them credit for treating the course with care giving all of us a great venue for what many of us feel is the most important men's major.

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They do have a major at a repeat course every year.  The ANA Inspiration, formerly Diana Shore, is at Rancho Mirage.  It's the week before the Masters on a beautiful course with a great finishing hole.  They have a cool tradition of jumping in the pond for the winner.  It is not as hard as the US Open in terms of score relative to par, but neither is Augusta.

I understand Paula's desire to play Augusta in the tournament and fully respect her for voicing her opinion.  But two in one year is a lot to ask of a course.  Given that they close the course for part of the year and probably shut it down a few weeks before the Masters, the members would only get six to seven months to play there.  It would be like being a member at a course in New England .  And it is very expensive for membership.

I recall reading that this is not the case, that the dues are surprisingly modest.  Probably has something to do with the millions generated by the Masters.  It is the initiation (which is just getting asked) which is the real killer.

Good point about the ladies already having a major with a repeat course already.

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Originally Posted by natureboy

I do like the historic legacy that the course landscape itself has. I wonder if the LPGA would consent to play it as it is - i.e. no new tee boxes constructed beyond what exists currently and accept the scoring that results?

No need for any new tee boxes.  They already have members tees that play at 6365 yards .

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Money, tickets, ratings, revenue, publicity... all that stuff is irrelevant.

There's only one reason they should do this- the LPGA is an American professional golf tour, and Augusta is the premier course in the country, they may be private, but they are golfs utopia, so let the tour have an event there, what's the big deal? it would give them a true major like the US Open.

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Money, tickets, ratings, revenue, publicity... all that stuff is irrelevant.

There's only one reason they should do this- the LPGA is an American professional golf tour, and Augusta is the premier course in the country, they may be private, but they are golfs utopia, so let the tour have an event there, what's the big deal? it would give them a true major like the US Open.

Let them have an event there, to heck with the members having to give up access to their exclusive course for another tournament. I mean, who cares about their paying members right? Not to mention the excess wear and tear of having all the gallery/media there.. It's all about what they "should do" for the LPGA?

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Money, tickets, ratings, revenue, publicity... all that stuff is irrelevant.

There's only one reason they should do this- the LPGA is an American professional golf tour, and Augusta is the premier course in the country, they may be private, but they are golfs utopia, so let the tour have an event there, what's the big deal? it would give them a true major like the US Open.

You are pretty open and free with other people's property.

And I would argue that the US Women's Open already IS a true major.  Possible the only ladies major I would truly call a major.  A true major comes from tradition, not designation, IMO.

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No need for any new tee boxes.  They already have members tees that play at 6365 yards.

Well then they would be playing Augusta National, but not really 'The Masters'.

Personally, I find watching LPGA and Symetra players interesting. I've paid to watch Symetra, and would pay to watch LPGA if there was one nearby. They are all better golfers than I am ever likely to be, so I definitely can learn from watching their good swings & play. If I ever have kids, I would be as eager to teach a daughter the game as a son if either was willing.

I do think the 'coat tails' comments have a bit of relevance in terms of The Masters aura. I honestly think that the national championship - U.S. Open - should be collegial as at Pinehurst. I don't think the same expectation need apply to Augusta. Maybe Augusta can address the Drive Chip & Putt girls not playing Augusta, by hosting past participants (or just winners) male & female to play a round (parents caddy) with members during the course's regular season when they are old / long enough to play from the members' tees.

So long as there is sexual dimorphism (vive la difference), there will never be a merging of the two tours. Some exceptional female players will likely be able to make the cut or compete in PGA events, but the men's average will be stronger for a very long time. That doesn't mean the LPGA can't significantly close the gap in popularity .

It seems that while a few of the LPGA players are very long off the tee, the bulk of their membership thrives on consistency and accuracy...clean play. Perhaps some clever architects and players can analyze what those tour strengths are, and design (or gradually refine) a 'shrine' course that plays to them. I am thinking a short tight course, sharp doglegs, lots of OB and water in play, and encroaching gnarly woods & native areas that gobble up errant tee shots, elevated greens with deep contours that emphasize shot game accuracy & putting touch. Basically, a long but wayward / unskilled amateur's nightmare. They could build in event traditions that underscore the unique culture / image of the women's tour.

Long-term I think they will be more successful in increasing popularity if they focus on building a unique brand & events with their own awesome sauce flavor.

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I'm against it, get your own signature event. The only time this cowboy actually catches a few seconds of the LPGA is when Michelle Wie is bending over putting hoping for a malfunction in the skirt region. Other than that it does nothing for me!

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The USGA, R&A;, and the PGA are all governing bodies of golf in some fashion. That obligates them to host championship tournaments for both men and women.

But the Masters is an invitational tournament put on, and controlled entirely, by one golf club. In that sense, it is a niche tournament, which, despite its outsized stature, owes nothing to anyone except the members of the club.

Live with it.

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The USGA, R&A;, and the PGA are all governing bodies of golf in some fashion. That obligates them to host championship tournaments for both men and women.

But the Masters is an invitational tournament put on, and controlled entirely, by one golf club. In that sense, it is a niche tournament, which, despite its outsized stature, owes nothing to anyone except the members of the club.

Live with it.

I agree to an extent, but Augusta has put itself out as a body devoted to growing the game globally, by its own words, in much the same way as the other 3, so I don't know how worthwhile a distinction it is.

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I agree to an extent, but Augusta has put itself out as a body devoted to growing the game globally, by its own words, in much the same way as the other 3, so I don't know how worthwhile a distinction it is.

This saying "growing the game" keeps coming up, but I don't see how a woman's masters at augusta has anything to do with growing the game.

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If the LPGA wants more exposure they need more better players. It's not about where they play.

Bingo. The thing is, they ARE good, but most of the dominant players are non-US players, and that's not popular with a majority of your country club, white male crowd. And I'm a CC white male...but I'll watch hot looking chicks shoot under par all day long. Far better entertainment then the LPGA Tour in the 70s and 80s.

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This saying "growing the game" keeps coming up, but I don't see how a woman's masters at augusta has anything to do with growing the game.


That's a good point.

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If the LPGA wants more exposure they need more better players. It's not about where they play.

LPGA defintely needs better American players on the LPGA.   Some leadersboards seem to have mostly Asian players at time.

The LPGA playing a televised tournament at Augusta National on a regular basis would " grow the game " by allowing young American girls to see the sport at its best venue (on TV) and possibly gain an interest in the sport at an early age.

But I'm not a proponent of this - I think Augusta National (and its founders) built the legacy of The Masters and it shouldn't be tarnished/diluted by adding another tournament.

Let the LPGA develope its own legacy.

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