Gates to open for children

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One of the toughest tickets in sports just got a little easier to obtain -- if you're the right age.

Augusta National Golf Club Chairman Billy Payne announced Thursday that, beginning with the 2008 Masters Tournament, children ages 8-16 will be admitted free on tournament days (Thursday through Sunday) when accompanied by an accredited patron.

The individual named on a series badge application is considered an accredited patron. Only one child per patron will be admitted.

The initiative is part of an effort by the club to reach a broader and younger audience.

"We want to inspire the next generation of golfers now," Mr. Payne said in a written statement. "We're serious about exposing youngsters to golf and the Masters."

The move will give young fans a chance to see first-hand the world's top golfers. Other major golf tournaments offer free or reduced-price tickets for youngsters, but the Masters badge with a face value of $175 is one of the most sought-after tickets in all of sports.

Getting a badge for the Masters has been a difficult task since the 1960s.

A waiting list for series badges was established in 1972 and closed in 1978 when demand far exceeded the club's supply.

The waiting list briefly reopened in 2000 and individuals who applied for practice-round tickets from 1998-2000 were added by random selection.

The 2008 Masters will be April 10-13.

Reach John Boyette at (706) 823-3337 or john.boyette@augustachronicle.com.

PAR-3 CONTEST TO BE ON ESPN


Television viewers will get to see a different part of Augusta National Golf Club in 2008.


ESPN will broadcast the Par-3 Contest, the prelude to the Masters Tournament, from 3-5 p.m. April 9. ESPN also will televise the first two rounds of the 2008 Masters.


The golfers' children often caddie during the family-oriented event, which is held on the adjacent par-3 course at Augusta National.


The par-3 course, which measures just 1,060 yards, has produced 63 holes-in-one since the event's inception in 1960.


"It's an event everyone enjoys, and we think it will demonstrate to kids just how fun golf can be," Augusta National and Masters Chairman Billy Payne said.

Comments (20) Add comment
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JimCox
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JimCox 12/07/07 - 06:10 am
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I wonder if the National will

I wonder if the National will require birth certificates to verify ages?

justputtin
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justputtin 12/07/07 - 06:42 am
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Unbelievable gesture! Great

Unbelievable gesture! Great move Aug. Nat'l.

lars
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lars 12/07/07 - 07:53 am
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Another class move by the

Another class move by the National.

browser
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browser 12/07/07 - 08:37 am
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Do you think you have to be

Do you think you have to be the original badge-holder to bring your child? The story says you have to be an "accredited patron." By their definition of accredited patron, is that what that means?

Gruvy Legz
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Gruvy Legz 12/07/07 - 09:28 am
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"The individual named on a

"The individual named on a series badge application is considered an accredited patron." I've never seen a badge, but by this statement, sounds like the name on the badge and the individual w/ the badge should match to be considered an "accredited patron".

biggdawgmoneyclip
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biggdawgmoneyclip 12/07/07 - 09:37 am
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Great, now rich kids will be

Great, now rich kids will be able to attend the Masters for free.

lulu
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lulu 12/07/07 - 09:47 am
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It's also a nice way to catch

It's also a nice way to catch people who sell the badges to brokers. If the person using the badge tries to take in a child and does not have the name of the original badge holder it will go into the database. Just a thought.

lulu
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lulu 12/07/07 - 09:54 am
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Sellers beware

Sellers beware

CantTrustaDumbocrat
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CantTrustaDumbocrat 12/07/07 - 09:56 am
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"Great, now rich kids will be

"Great, now rich kids will be able to attend the Masters for free."
You are right bigdawg, the 'accredited patron" is the person who's name is on file with the National. This means that "regular" kids who's parents may have borrowed a badge from someone will not be able to attend. If the owner (who is likely out of town) wants to go he can take a child but not someone he loaned the badge to.

jshep67
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jshep67 12/07/07 - 12:35 pm
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BIGDAWG.., who pee'd in your

BIGDAWG.., who pee'd in your corn-flakes, dude? What do you MEAN "RICH kids"? I'm a teacher w/ a SECOND job & have two Master's badges I've waited 7 years to get.., now, TELL ME how my kid is a "RICH KID"? If you want Master's Badges, all you have to do is APPLY for Practice Round tickets every year. Then you have JUST AS GOOD A CHANCE AS ANYONE ELSE to get your name pulled for the waiting list. After 5-7 years on the waiting list, your name gets pulled for BADGES. Why don't you take the time to figure this out for yourself? Oh, that's right, it's easier to come on HERE and wet your PANTS crying about rich kids. You want MONEY? Work for it. You want BADGES? APPLY for them. NOW..Go sit on your moneyclip, REDNECK.

way
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way 12/07/07 - 12:40 pm
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jshep67, this doesn't apply

jshep67, this doesn't apply to practice round tickets

way
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way 12/07/07 - 12:43 pm
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jshep67 - this doesn't apply

jshep67 - this doesn't apply to practice round tickets

biggdawgmoneyclip
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biggdawgmoneyclip 12/07/07 - 01:13 pm
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jshep67--you're too funny.

jshep67--you're too funny. This is the exact reaction I was looking for--thanks for playing.

Rob Pavey
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Rob Pavey 12/07/07 - 01:26 pm
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I wonder if we'll have

I wonder if we'll have grownup golf fans masquerading as teenagers to get into the tournament?

jshep67
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jshep67 12/07/07 - 03:01 pm
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way!.., you are WAY behind.

way!.., you are WAY behind. You see, and I'll try to explain this AGAIN.., stick with me.., to GET BADGES: 1)Apply for PRACTICE ROUND TICKETS EVERY YEAR.., emphasis on EVERY year. 2) One day, you'll be added to the WATING LIST.., are you still with me? ALomost DONE, 'way'.., and then 3) After a few years on the waiting list.., YOU are on the PATRON list and, as long as you pay face value every year (which is a VERY reasonable price, much like the chicken sandwhiches & beer they serve at the tournament).., you get your BADGES. Then, you can bring your child (within the age limits) with you to the tournament. "WAY".., did you GET that? So, you see, if you want badges..,it DOES apply to practice round tickets. RUN, FORREST.., RUN!!!

jshep67
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jshep67 12/07/07 - 03:01 pm
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my pleasure, big dawg.

my pleasure, big dawg.

dani
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dani 12/07/07 - 09:34 pm
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I think this is great for the

I think this is great for the youngsters and the game of golf. Thank you Augusta National.

TriDelta
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TriDelta 12/07/07 - 09:45 pm
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jshep67, I remember you being

jshep67, I remember you being miffed by the label "hick." Today you used "redneck." You are one contradictory character!

CKB
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CKB 12/08/07 - 06:26 am
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This is the craziest thing I

This is the craziest thing I have ever seen from the National. There are so many adults that would love to have the chance of seeing the game, who have applied every year and never received tickets to even the practice round, much less the actual tournament. I wonder how the players feel about this.... We see so many kids out today that are so ill-behaved- how are they going to deal with screaming, running at the course- especially when players are ready to "swing" and you are supposed to be able to hear a pin drop? If they can handle the problem of ill behaved kids on the course, I hope they will be available to teach management of other public places how to manage the same. Forget some of the parents on this- they seem totally oblivious. It does not matter if you are in a fast food place or a pricey upscale place, kids in general seem not to be disciplined any longer, which is sad. We have had meals disrupted in an upscale restuarant with kids throwing food across the restaurant, while the adults totally ignore what is happening. Sad that we can not expect to enjoy our meal because of their lack of responsibility. It will be interesting to see how this goes.

CKB
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CKB 12/08/07 - 06:32 am
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And as far as promoting golf

And as far as promoting golf with the younger generation, just how many kids do you think are interested in golf to start with.... most seem more content to play computer type games that requires no physical activity- have you not noticed the obesity rate in children? I think this is a horrible move for the Masters, but will stand corrected if it goes well.

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