Who knew conservative, old fashioned Augusta National could be so tech savvy with online Masters coverage?
For being one of America’s most old fashioned country clubs, Augusta National & the Masters sure are ahead of the curve in terms of live Masters coverage from all angles.
I don’t know about Martha Burke, but I’m all too willing to kick the ladies to the curb here if that means having total 360 access this week.
We don’t have to wait until 4 p.m. to watch ESPN’s live coverage thanks to multiple channels broadcasting the back nine online at Masters.org, including the “Amen Corner” channel and my favorite, the “15 & 16″ channel (15 is my favorite hole at Augusta for sure). True Masters addicts can tune into the interview room for live, unedited player interviews.
Now they did go a little overboard broadcasting the par 3 tournament this year, which is little more than three hours of live action at Chuck E. Cheese’s.
But thanks to 15 & 16 bonus coverage, we could catch Ian Poulter’s hole-in-one live while at the office, or watch repeated shots into the drink on the par-5 13th (nobody seems to want to lay up here). I’m also not sure who the commentator is at Amen Corner, but he seems to know each player well enough to guess their color jockeys.
There is also a course map below the online leaderboard where, if you hover over a hole, it tells you which group is on it at the moment. Further details even show the pin location. Now they’re just showing off.
It’s all commercial-free online, and lest we forget ESPN & CBS coverage has limited commercial interruption. The Masters have more control over how their tournament is presented in the media than practically any other sports event. Somewhere, Pravda editors are wondering how Augusta is able to control Mike Tirico & Jim Nantz’s always gushing praise. Gary McCord learned the hard way there are certain things you just can’t say when you’re in the booth at the Masters and now he’s no where to be found this week.
But having no Gary and putting up with the club’s stubborn, old school ways is a small price to pay for this abundance of live coverage from all angles. I hope the USGA is furiously taking notes this week.
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I'm amazed at the functionality of their site. It puts most others to shame.
As for RonMon, I suddenly have this very disturbing image of him inside the Chuck E. Cheese mouse costume every weekend. Hold onto your kids, people. Very tightly.