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?

9. I think I speak for any parent in the UK when I say that having a final round that starts at 9.20am your time, and 2.20pm our time, was a bit of a mess. I appreciate that you had some bad weather coming in but this played absolute havoc with days out and family harmony.

Have you ever considered having some form of roof?

10. Speaking of which home-improvement programmes have been all the rage over here in the UK for years now so maybe you could get DIY SOS in to do something about the Butler Cabin? It looks like the waiting room in a funeral home.

Perhaps hold an episode of Antiques Roadshow in the flowerbed behind 12?

I’ve got more if you’d like to hear them?

11. The top 50 players in the world seems awfully harsh, is there not a bit of wiggle room to get the best 75 players into the field? On the other end of the spectrum you might want to install a three-year ban for the player who finishes dead last. This year that would have meant a sudden-death play-off between Olly and Cabrera. How much drama do you want?

12. Along these lines could we get some sort of Whistling Straits bunkering into play on the par-3 course? I haven’t got the Strokes Gained stats but there must be some scope for toughening things up a bit, taking a few tees back, thickening up the rough to the Shinnecock standards in the dark days and hiding a few pins away. Let’s try and get the winning score at over par.

13. Magnolia Lane seems to be an accident waiting to happen with everyone on their phones.

Slap a fine and a few points on them and you’ll soon see an improvement in behaviour.

14. To add a bit of colour anyone getting into the ‘property’ early should not be allowed to put their fold-up chair wherever they like unless it is accompanied by a beach towel.

15. I haven’t watched the Drive, Chip and Putt too closely but I presume that they haven’t ventured out on to the 11th yet? If you want to single out a deserved champion get them off the tips there, ideally with a 30mph wind in their faces, and

Let’s see what they’re made of.

16. Are the dates set in stone? On one year the Masters clashed with the Grand National, the FA Cup semi-finals AND the Boat Race.

Maybe it would be worth involving yourselves in a bit of dialogue with those at the helm of these sporting occasions so you’re not all fighting for the same air time.

17. Rather than the white boiler suits for the caddies could we take things down the retro route and let the loopers pick any outfit from the classic era line-up of The Village People?

Please reply ASAP.

Kind regards,

Mark Townsend

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