THE MASTERS & THE MAJORS

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THE MASTERS & THE MAJORS
Watching THE Open at Royal Troon made me appreciate just how much better the championship is compared with the other Majors. THE OPEN: Played over historical links, against the elements, spectators can turn up on the day and pay the entrance fee. BBC Coverage is outstanding showing 8 or 9 hours golf everyday. The Presentation is an open spectator affair in reward for their courtesy and passion over the four days...The People's Open. The Masters: Used to be one of my favourite tournaments, but has become a snobbish, bigotted, exclusive club. TV coverage limited to 2 hours a day, Presentation behind closed doors by the fireplace, and the course itself (whilst being one of the world's best) is becoming a bit seen it, worn the T-Shirt. The whole thing is a closed book. 10 year waiting list to get tickets!! US Open: The 2nd best Major after THE OPEN. Tickets for spectators are drawn by ballot. Played over mostly historic tracks like Pinehurst No2, Pebble Beach, Shinnecock Hills, Olympia Fields et al. USPGA: Again, played over good courses but Prize Money apart, it's just like any other Golf Tournament on the US tour. The field I believe is made up of the leading 100 golfers on US Money list or World Rankings (not sure??). Whisling Straits, the course for the 2004 Championship looks like an old British links in parts and English Woodland on some holes. Only 32,000 tickets issued on first come basis. Austral-Asian Open?? South African Open?? European Open??

The fact that the Masters is played over the same course each year does let the interested, long-term TV viewer get to know their way round. I agree about the club and your other points though. And what's the deal with the white mechanics' overalls for the caddies?I know someone who has played Augusta a few times around Masters time. The greens are cut so short they are brown, i.e. virtually dirt. They spray-paint the greens every morning for the TV cameras. I know that some Pro tournaments in Europe spray-paint divots and par 3 tee areas, but having to do it on the greens seems ridiculous to me.(I say "paint", but it's obviously some other product). The French Golf Union (FFG) has plans to make the French Open the biggest tournament on the continent (i.e. after the Open) over the coming years. After floating around France for a few years, it has finally come to rest at the Golf National (Albatros course, near Paris). It is a great place to watch the Pros, a) Because the crowds are not as vast, although this is changing, b) The course was purpose built to include natural spectator galleries around many of the holes, c) It's cheap (10

Thanks Dave...I agree about the Caddies overalls.I've even heard that the USPGA are referring to the TPC at Sawgrass as the fifth major. Great spectacle on such a good course but never a major.I think it's great news what the French are doing...played a bit of golf there and enjoyed very much. French golf is on the up, proven by the emergence of players like Jean Van de Velde, Thomas Levet, Christian C

Have to agree - you can't beat The Open in terms of atmosphere, history, coverage, and accessibility.I also love The Masters, although not the people that run it!US Open, Zzzzzzzzzzzzz...... (unless at Pebble Beach!).USPGA, doesn't quite feel like a major. Last year's championship was just a U.S. Open "clone" on a tricked up course. But I was looking at the web site for Whistling Straits, it looks a cracker.

hey c'mon, it's the "British Open" guys ! The Open is easily my favourite, but in the Masters' defence at least they have (inadequate, admittedly) coverage of all the holes now and it is fun to watch different players get into trouble at the same places each year.

as the real start to every golf season the Masters will always be the most anticipated major, and in my view the best. Sure the British Open is great, and well ahead of the US Open and the USPGA, but the Masters has it all - especially a great back 9 that all the spectators know like the back of our hands, and can provide some gripping entertainment and the most exciting golf seen in a many a long year - see this year's tournament for example - the waiting list for tickets is a testament to it's popularity.

Dan and Joycey...what's the 'British Open'?Do you mean THE OpenAlan...agree with you about US Open and Pebble Beach.I will watch this year's USPGA with much interest to see how the top players cope with the course.Whistling Straights was designed by the architect that gave us Kiawah Island. The course is set up like a Seaside Links and typically, the yanks have even shipped over a flock of Irish grazing sheep.It is the longest course ever to be used for any of the Majors at 7,597 yds. There are three Par 4s over 500 yds.