Is there a suggestions box for the Masters?

The Scoop

Mark Townsend takes the proverbial sideways glance at the traditions of Augusta and how things could change in the coming years

Dear Sirs of the Masters,

I have some suggestions regarding the Masters. Are you comfortable? There are 17 of them…

1. First up a two-parter for the ceremonial opening tee shots. Could we get the Shot Tracer out so we can take a bit of a deeper dive into Mr Player’s swing speed which would help us to decide whether the guaranteed leg kick is then merited. Feel free to shut it down for Mr Nicklaus, he can do what he wants.

Secondly could we add the ceremonial marker Jeff Knox to make it into a threeball? I’m not sure anyone has added as much to the tournament without getting the proper recognition. This would square that particular circle.

2. The app and website was genuinely a thing of beauty this year, the best bit of kit to follow golf. I had no idea at the start of the week that I would be able to follow Ian Woosnam shot-by-shot for two whole days before moving on to Satoshi Kodaira for the weekend.

Could we move things along a bit next year and have a mouthful-by-mouthful for each of the past winners at the Champions Dinner. I’m a sucker for a bit of tradition and the only thing I feel like I’m missing out on is the Tuesday night.

Being able to watch Craig Stadler shovel a load of ribeye into his face would tick this box.

3. Demand a handicap certificate ahead of the Par 3 contest with the proviso that anyone who wants to play a shot, be it an 18-inch putt or whatever, has to have a bit of paperwork to prove their credentials.

4. We know that you like a bronze statue or two on the property, apparently there have been six made. Could we up that into double figures by adding ones of Masters greats Mr Willett and Mr Reed as well as maybe a nod to those who have valiantly come up just shy?

I’m thinking Jonas Blixt and Lenny Mattiace.

5. Is there a possibility of flattening all the greens and fairways so nobody watching at home feels like they’re missing out on the severity of the slopes that “you simply can’t appreciate on TV”? Other than balls bounding 60 yards down the hill at the 10th you would have no idea that there is such a drop…

6. On a similar theme I had no idea that you re-do two greens most years, this year we had a new 5th and 18th.

If this is the case could you start again at the 7th and 16th.

When things got re-done a few years ago everyone bleated about how the 7th green wasn’t set up for a 4-iron approach. Well, somewhere along the line players started hitting enough loft to guarantee finishing stone dead to that bottom-right final-round pin position.

Likewise 16 on Sunday. It’s bad enough on Saturday when a host of players finish down the slope from where they always two-putt. Roll the dice forward 24 hours and they’re disappointed to be walking off that green if they haven’t aced it.

7. Is there scope to introduce a bucket hole on 16 on Sunday to get the scores down a little further? And maybe employ someone, maybe Jeff Knox if he’s not playing, to mark each player’s ball to prevent anything silly happening like we had in 2016?

8. Can you make the course a bit longer? Tiger Woods, who by his own admission doesn’t hit it anywhere near as far as Messrs Koepka and Finau, still hit eight 8-irons on Sunday as well as couple of 9s and a sand wedge. The only par 4 where he needed anything longer than a 7-iron was the 5th which a) he bogeyed all four days and b) is a hole that you extended.

So could we push back into the Krispy Kreme on Washington Road?

Fines for law-breaking players, Antiques Roadshow, and a roof make up just some of last few suggestions Mark has the Masters. Read them on the next page…

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