"In recent years the Masters has been willing to allow others to pass it in the payout of prize money. Does the management believe that the money pendulum may have swung as far as is good for the game of golf? It is no secret that the Augusta National passed up a per annum increase in its TV rights fee of about $250,000. The purpose was to secure an agreement to limit television sponsors to a total of two and to limit the number and type of commercials....
"Another tournament policy forbids the commercialization in any form, insofar as is possible, of the Masters tournament. Although several members of the Club are connected with The Coca-Cola Company, the Coke coolers in the concession stands must be covered so as not to display the company's trademark. It is, of course, necessary in order to obtain complete television coverage for the telecasts to be commercially sponsored. But the two TV sponsors have no voice in tournament procedure or policy....
"The Club no longer sells tickets at the gate.... Only Series Badges are available and these may be purchased by mail directly from the Club, but no one can buy badges unless his name is on a Patrons' List.... The longer a person has been a regular patron, the more certain he is to get his usual full allotment. Sometimes large orders from business corporations receive no allotments at all. The Club prefers to deal directly with responsible individuals who are known to have a genuine interest in the game rather than in customer relationships.... Each applicant for Series Badges must sign a Pledge that he will not permit any badges allotted to him to find their way into the hands of speculators."
At one point in his chronicle, Historian Roberts quotes Chairman Roberts as saying,. "In short, the Masters had to excel." The Masters does indeed excel, and much of the credit belongs to this man, whose capacity for taking pains is said to be both infinite and ferocious.
A Heap of Policing
It takes 135 Pinkertons, plus an equal number of other uniformed guards, to put on the Masters even in so-to-speak peaceful times. At the 1970 Masters, it was thought at least that many would be required, chiefly because of Gary Player, who comes from South Africa. Earlier, South Africa had refused to allow Arthur Ashe, a black American tennis player, to compete there. This prompted certain U.S. activist groups to suggest that in retaliation Gary Player not be allowed to play in the United States. If he did play, it was argued, he should be harassed, humiliated and perhaps maimed in the interests of justice and decency. There were rumors that the extremists would make their move against Player at Augusta.
But Cliff Roberts said that a great competitor like Player deserved every courtesy America could extend, and he acted to insure this by alerting his security forces. The few club guards were reinforced as always by a mixed bag of lawmen: Pinkertons, city police, state police, deputy sheriffs, prison guards and firemen masquerading as peace officers. Player was given an escort of uniformed Pinkertons on the course, and it was reported the FBI was keeping a protective eye on him, too.
One of the Roberts regulars was Officer C. W. Epps Jr. of the Richmond County sheriff's department. Epps bore a remarkable resemblance to the symbolic Southern sheriff as portrayed in the cartoons of the underground press, serious movies, Dodge commercials and the fantasies of most civil libertarians. He was a broad, grizzled man with a big hard belly and three rolls of fat on his short red neck. On Masters duty he wore a service revolver in a holster and carried a sap in his back pocket and a can of Mace on his belt. He was posted at the 11th green most of the time. Despite his formidable appearance, he proved a pleasant man, though his habit of moving his lips as little as possible while talking gave him a faintly sinister air.
"What sort of problems do you have down here?" he was asked.
"Not many. Some boys from the North ain't used to this Georgia sun, get a little too much toddy. We hustle them out. Somebody tries to take a pee behind a bush. Things like that."