But for the past few years, our anticipation has taken a technological turn as we await the latest release of a new tradition—the Masters app for the iPhone. We are happy to report that, as of today, the 2011 edition is now available.
For starters, you can’t beat the price (free; there is also an iPad version for $1.99). Better yet, the app is loaded with cool features to sate the appetite of any Masters junkie: news updates, leaderboards, live video streaming, radio broadcasts and more. We are disappointed that it doesn’t seem to include the course map and individual hole flyovers seen in previous editions, but those might be added later. There are certainly enough beautiful photos to have us licking our chops and dreaming what it must be like to putt on those remarkable greens.
On a side note, there’s been a bit of controversy with Ian Poulter and Graeme McDowell getting their knuckles rapped by tournament officials for Tweeting photos and video from inside the Augusta National locker room and along Magnolia Lane.
The consensus seems to be that the officials are out of line and living in the past, and that they need to get with the times and let the kids have their pictorial fun.
We don’t agree. Why is there so much interest in photos of the locker room (and in the tournament) in the first place? Because of the privacy and mystique of Augusta National. The mystique is integral to the Masters brand. If that was your brand to protect, would you let some guy in questionable pants undermine it with his camera phone? If you relax all of the “funny” rules at Augusta National, it won’t take long before the Masters becomes just another major tournament at just another golf course. Is that what people really want?
It’s easy to take potshots at Augusta. There are no doubt some skeletons in the clubhouse closet, and they can’t help but come across as painfully old-fashioned at times. But hey, they’ve got a killer iPhone app, so apparently they’ve heard of the Internet. So let’s cut them some slack and tell Poulter to put it in his pants, so to speak.