by Jeff Skinner
Time heals all things…or so they say. Tiger Woods and his camp have to be feeling that way about now. With the announcement by EA Sports that Tiger’s video game, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 will include Augusta National there has to be a feeling that the tide may be turning for Tiger.
The members of Augusta National are very protective of their course and their lifestyle, just go ask Martha Burk. For years access to Augusta and its images have been guarded better than Obama at a Tea Party rally but now we’ll all get to see and play Augusta right along with Tiger Woods. The men of The Masters relish tradition but when it comes to the media they are fairly proactive. They embraced the internet and its power long ago, although bloggers are still not recognized by them, but they have used new technology to broaden the access to their tournament.
Now the video game playing generation will have a chance to stroll the rolling hills and walk among the azaleas without forking over a few grand for a practice round ticket. I am not a video game player but my son is and the only time he can convince me to join him is when he plays Tiger Woods PGA Tour. I play the Old Course and Pebble Beach to get an up close look at the holes. It’s one of the few ways you can get on those for free.
This also can be seen as a thawing of the cold relationship between Tiger and Augusta National. Although Tiger was warmly welcomed by the patrons at Augusta last year he was taken to the woodshed and given a lashing by Augusta Chairman Billy Payne. Payne took a switch to Tiger’s backside and let the world know that the green jackets weren’t thrilled with their champion. Maybe it was in the plans all along to put Augusta in the game this year but it certainly doesn’t hurt their relationship with Tiger.
Playing Augusta National is a dream of many golfers that will never be realized. We can play the Old Course and Pebble but you have to be invited to play at Augusta. This will be our best chance at getting on Augusta and I think I’ll be a bit more of a gamer come the first week of April.