A journalist’ s work description is difficult to distill within two words, but two words and phrases often stressed are accuracy plus clarity. We seek to present a tale as it is, and we hope to do so in a manner that an audience can understand.
For some reason, I think of the every year around the Masters because of the technique word “ patron, ” which usually at Augusta National is what each uses to describe the men and women who view the tournament in person. Other golfing tournaments have fans. The Experts has patrons.
The use of the word traces to Clifford Roberts, Augusta National’ s co-founder with Bobby Jones, who wanted to distinguish spectators at the Masters as they saw them as more than butts in seats, but consumers of the experience— no different than regular customers of a restaurant or an ie.
“ Roberts really did feel that it was the particular spectators who made the Experts possible— hence patrons, ” states David Owen, author of the defined history of Augusta National, The Making From the Masters . “ This individual wanted to remind everyone involved in the competition that the focus had to be on continuously improving the experience for the people viewing. ”
For decades, because the guys who run the Masters make reference to attendees as patrons, media shops have followed suit. Disregard tv producers CBS and ESPN from this debate because they are rights holders and basically at the mercy of Augusta National’ s requires. They use patron because they have to, in the same manner the club requires them to make use of “ first and second nine” rather than “ front and back again. ”
But other outlets not sure by the club’ s demands utilize it, too, and only here. The lede to the Nyc Times’ account associated with Tiger Woods’ opening round upon Thursday began by describing the particular “ Masters patrons who flocked to watch Tiger Woods’ s initial round of a major tournament within 963 days. ” Scott Michaux, columnist for the tournament’ s home town paper, the particular Augusta Chronicle , says he or she uses patron this week because it seems integral to the Masters’ character. “ I don’ t use it somewhere else. Just like I’d never use the phrase ‘ car park’ anywhere however the British Open, ” Michaux states. “ I tend to think of the particular lingo as part of event. ” (At Golf Digest, use of the word reaches the discretion of the writer).
In his first push conference as Augusta National leader on Wednesday, Fred Ridley unsurprisingly referenced the experience for “ clients, ” but even reporters experienced compelled to use the word as well. Think about this question:
Increasingly (on) the tour this season, players have complained about unruly crowds. That doesn’t happen here. Very best club’s philosophy behind the rules concerning the patrons?
Again, the rest of the PGA Tour offers “ crowds, ” but from Augusta National, they are “ customers. ”
In order to Michaux and others, the reasons you contact fans patrons at the Masters because one week a year, that’ s what exactly they are. Again, it’ s a question associated with accuracy, in a sense no different than phoning Theresa May the prime minister from the United Kingdom. We might prefer to call our own heads of state “ presidents, ” but the title designation isn’ t ours to choose.
OK, fine. But the additional way to look at it is that outside of the shortage of tickets and the prestige from the event, a person who goes to the particular Masters is essentially the same as someone who would go to the U. S. Open, or some kind of other golf tournament. They pay out their money, they watch the particular golf, they are confined to outside of the ropes. By all other measures, they may be “ fans” or “ spectators” or members of a “ photo gallery. ” In the interest of clearness, why assign an elusive term to describe them just because the golf club prefers it that way?
It’ s worth observing that even Owen, who was provided rare access to Augusta National’ t extensive archives when researching, had been averse to using the word customers in the book, and got flack about this from then-chairman Jackson Stephens because of this.
“ I called them vistors in my book, because that’ ersus what I call them, ” Owen said. “ Jack Stephens mentioned something like, ‘ Why don’ big t you call them what High cliff called them? ’ But We disagreed with him. ”
Perhaps the last term on this should go to Golf Digest’ s writer-at-large Dan Jenkins, that has attended the Masters since 51, knew Clifford Roberts well plus knows even better the distinction among tradition and pretension.
“ I never known as them ‘ patrons, ’ ” Jenkins said. “ It by no means occurred to me to use the term. We called them fans. I thought the ‘ patrons’ was a sponsor or even someone who didn’ t know a lot about golf. ”