1.) The small field — The Masters is supposed to be one of the four great championship events of the year, yet the field is small. It’s essentially an invitational event. A championship is supposed to tell us who the “best” is. What’s the best of an invitational field? I dunno, but my tennis club does the same thing. Why isn’t CBS there? I’ll take the U.S. Open’s qualifying free-for-all any day.
2.) The tradition — Unlike Wimbledon, where the tradition is almost charming, it’s stultifying in Augusta. And, yes, I’m saying there’s too much of the “wrong kind” of tradition. Lee Trevino didn’t feel welcome there. Lee Elder qualified for the tournament 15 years before the club had—in the 1990s!—its first African-American member. There’s a good reason Martha Burk was protesting the event. Yuck.
3.) CBS’s reverential coverage — As I understand it, the club mandates a certain tone in the coverage. If I’m forced to choose between the raucous(?) Jack Whitakers and Gary McCords of the world and the unctuous, Masters-approved Jim Nantzes of the world, I’m going with the Whitakers and McCords every time.
4.) Larry Mize
5.) Exclusivity — I’m not welcome—as, ahem, a “patron”—at the tournament, and you’re not, either. This is from the tourney’s website: Tournament or ‘Series’ Badges (Thursday through Sunday) have been sold to those on our patron list which was closed due to demand in 1972. A waiting list began in 1972, and was closed in 1978. It reopened in 2000, and it too is now closed. No applications for ‘Series’ Badges are currently being accepted.