The Masters Humble Beginnings

David Owen, author of "The Making Of The Masters," discusses how the Masters has shaped modern professional golf in innovative ways.

Released on 4/6/2015

Credits

Executive Producer: Harris Levinson

Produced by: Emoticon Productions

Transcript

00:02
(light acoustic guitar)
00:10
When Clifford Roberts and Bobby Jones
00:12
first started talking about this golf club,
00:13
they had always wanted to hold the US Open
00:18
but then it became a critical marketing idea.
00:20
We need something to put the course on the map.
00:22
At that time, the US Open had never been held
00:25
farther south than Illinois, so what Roberts realized
00:29
was that if they were gonna hold a tournament,
00:31
they were gonna have to create their own,
00:33
and if they wanted people to come to it,
00:35
Jones was gonna have to play in it,
00:36
and Jones didn't want to play in it.
00:38
The reason that he wasn't playing was that
00:40
the USGA declared that he was a professional.
00:43
He had taken a lot of money from Hollywood and from Spalding
00:46
and he was no longer an amateur.
00:49
The workaround that Roberts came up with was to
00:52
in all of the tournament literature, he made no distinction
00:55
between amateurs and professionals, it was just a list
00:57
of players, and so Jones could compete
00:59
without having to sort of acknowledge that he was a pro.
01:03
A lot of what we think about as a golf tournament nowadays
01:05
started at the Masters, the Masters was the first
01:08
tournament to play over four days instead of to play two
01:10
18 hole rounds and then one 36 hole day.
01:12
Something we take completely for granted today,
01:15
over and under scoring, you know, giving a player's score
01:17
in relation to par was an innovation at the Masters.
01:20
It was Frank Trikini and the CBS producer
01:23
and if you watch broadcasts before that innovation,
01:26
it's like an arithmetic test.
01:28
It was the first stadium course, really, it was the first
01:30
golf course that was shaped repeatedly and dramatically
01:33
in order to improve the experience for people who were
01:36
watching it, whether on TV or on the grounds.
01:39
It's probably the most altered golf course
01:42
anywhere in the world, people like it.
01:43
The tournament grew because the club has always focused on
01:47
reinvesting in it and improving every year.
01:50
Even once it got to the point where you think that
01:52
you know, this is great, why continue to sweat it?
01:54
(light acoustic guitar)
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