Augusta National aiming to grow the game of golf around the globe

Golf

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Monday morning at the Masters. The main event may be kicking off, but Augusta National has been busy for days now. We’ve already had championships for women and kids here. All part of making sure more golfers get to enjoy this special place.

“Pumped for this week.”

The patrons anticipating an amazing practice round.

“Excited to be here. Definitely. Thank you.”

“We travelled all the way from D.C. here, about a 9-hour road trip. We’re just excited to be here. I think a big part of it is just being a part of this broader golf community, and just people who love the sport.”

Yes, it’s officially Masters week, but this place has been in golf mode for a while now.

The women competed for a championship here on Saturday.

And kids enjoyed the Sunday spotlight in the Drive, Chip and Putt finals.

“Obviously as a lady I’m very into it.”

Neary 90-years after it opened, big changes around here. Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez, fresh off her ceremonial tee shot in the Women’s Amateur Championship, appreciates every bit of it.

“The thing is, Augusta National is doing it right,” says Lopez. “They’re promoting amateur golf and I think that’s the best way to do it.”

And Augusta National has made its mission clear with these extra events. The goal is to not just grow the game for women and children. It’s to grow it around the globe.

“Certainly, I think it’s working. Big time. We’re from Japan and when we had Matsuyama as an amateur come in and play, that opened a lot of big doors, new spectators and new people interested in golf.”

“I think it’s great. I think it’s going to open up the audience. I think it’ll be better for the sport, period.”

The Masters has been called the most prestigious sporting event in the world. The toughest ticket. And somehow Augusta National found a way to make it better.

“It’s a pretty amazing place and the atmosphere is awesome.”

So many families out here Monday. Grown ups enjoying golf, children dreaming about being here one day. Looks like the effort to grow the game is working.

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