When they couldn’t give away US Masters tickets around Augusta

Annette K. Brown

Sixty-four years of televised Masters tournaments has turned the once-a-year very first important of the period into a familiar worldwide spectacle.

Now viewed as the coveted ticket in sports activities, a Masters badge commands a king’s ransom on the secondary industry and just acquiring a resort space in Augusta, Georgia, this week will established you back a couple months of house loan payments.

It was not constantly that way. Even the noble Masters essential some marketing and advertising gimmicks to get people’s interest and draw enthusiasts to Augusta for the week.

While now a globe-renowned golfing tournament that golfing giants Ben Hogan and Sam Snead served set up with their run of dominance, the Masters nonetheless had difficulties even offering tickets away in the 1950s. Jerry Franklin, who sooner or later outlived all his other fellow unique Augusta National Golfing Club users, would go all over to regional firms which includes the newspaper and plead with proprietors to purchase up 10, 20, or 50 tickets.

“Buy the tickets, give them to staff members, clientele or advertisers, but make sure you aid the event,” Franklin would say.

In an exertion to capitalise on the celebration, which was scheduled to be televised by CBS for the very first time in 1957, area business leaders shaped Masters 7 days of Augusta Inc, with the mission of making approaches to market the event and attempt to draw people today to town.

From 1957 to the mid-1960s, Masters week pretty much came with pageants and pomp and parades in an effort to encourage a match that no extended demands marketing. In the 1957 inaugural Masters Parade, Augusta Countrywide founder Bobby Jones rode in the lead Cadillac convertible with Augusta mayor Hugh Hamilton. Not much guiding, Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson — as perfectly as other notable Masters rivals dispersed through — saluted the 25,000 followers lining the streets, with precise natural beauty pageant queens donning formal robes on floats driving them.

Someplace in the parade queue, The Augusta Chronicle wrote, was a float from the Fort Gordon Library that depicted Satan attempting to blast out of a sand entice.

“It seriously was a amazing intensely attended parade,” said Doug Herman, an 80-year native Augustan and historian who was a teenager when the Masters Parade and pageant era released.

“Absolutely, there ended up throngs on Wide Street on each sides you could barely see. There were a amount of noteworthy golfers in the parade. Persons had been sitting down on top of the ledges of the structures, their legs dangling off.”

“It was just a serious enjoyable point for our little nation town,” Lillian Cullum, who died in 2015, instructed The Augusta Chronicle of the event her late spouse — Cullum’s Outfits Retail outlet proprietor, Jim — aided build as a different tradition contrary to any other.

BACK IN THE DAY: Bobby Jones and Augusta mayor Hugh Hamilton during a parade ahead of the 1957 Masters. 	Picture: Augusta National/Getty Images

Back again IN THE Working day: Bobby Jones and Augusta mayor Hugh Hamilton through a parade forward of the 1957 Masters.  Picture: Augusta Nationwide/Getty Pictures

Masters 7 days advertising ideas in the late ’50s involved a horse show and a flyover by a blimp squadron from Glynco Naval Base in Brunswick, Ga.

The Masters Week centrepiece, on the other hand, was a spring parade that newspaper editorials, city leaders, and civic organisers hoped would examine to the well known Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York Town and mature to rival the once-a-year Match of Roses Parade that precedes the Rose Bowl each new 12 months in Pasadena, California.

In conjunction with the parade, there would be a Miss out on Golf natural beauty pageant early in the week at the Bell Auditorium as effectively as a mid-week coronation gala to crown the winner.

Herman was a teenager in the newly merged Aquinas Significant University when the parade and attractiveness pageants to start with arrived to town in 1957. Really youthful women driving atop floats or convertibles down the middle of Wide Street appealed to him a whole lot additional than a bunch of men hitting golf balls at the non-public club off of Washington Street.

“I recall going to the 1958 Masters Parade,” reported Herman, who was pictured in the newspaper staring up at a float stuffed with pageant queens. “I was down there that calendar year due to the fact I liked seeking at ladies. That was all over the arrival of brief shorts, with the natural beauty queens and young gals in sporting attire. I’m aged plenty of now I can’t get in issues for indicating that.”

In those days, Herman and the claimed 25,000 parade-goers who lined the most important drag by downtown Augusta amongst 13th Street and 5th Street experienced to crane their necks to see the floats, marching bands and balloons that rolled down the parade route. That was not commonly the circumstance out at Augusta Countrywide.

“The group was hardly just about anything out there at the Nationwide then. It was mainly regional and rarely any from out of city would appear in — additional of a social function,” Herman claimed, likening the Masters to what most regular tour events are in their respective communities.

All the Augusta teens would cling around 16 and consume beer. A single of my buddies jumped in the pond through participate in. He bought ushered out but it was just amazing fun.”

The parade feature from 50 to 65 units via the many years, which includes floats and giant balloons up to 150-ft extended — which contrary to the Macy’s parade had to be held low to the ground for the reason that of overhead telephone wires together the parade route.

Dozens of army, school and high college bands would conduct, and majorettes would twirl golf golf equipment in its place of batons.

The Parris Island Maritime Band was an yearly favourite, ordinarily top off the festivities with a live performance in entrance of the Augusta Chronicle’s News Setting up.

In 1964, the governors of three states — Carl Sanders of Georgia, Donald S Russell of South Carolina and Frank G Clements of Tennessee — “welcomed the environment to the Masters” as grand marshals to guide the eighth and final parade.

“Everybody who could confirmed up simply because it was something so novel in this article at that time,” Lilliam Cullum instructed the Chronicle. “Every year (the crowd) just doubled or extra. Absolutely everyone was so enthusiastic.”

Barbara Anne Harris of Greenville, South Carolina, was a 20-year-old student at Columbia College when she won the Miss Columbia pageant and earned a chance to compete for Miss Golf before the 1966 Masters.

Barbara Anne Harris of Greenville, South Carolina, was a 20-12 months-aged college student at Columbia Faculty when she won the Miss Columbia pageant and gained a likelihood to compete for Miss Golf right before the 1966 Masters.

Barbara Anne Harris of Greenville, South Carolina, was a 20-12 months-aged college student at Columbia School when she received the Overlook Columbia pageant and attained a opportunity to contend for Pass up Golf right before the 1966 Masters.

The enamoured newspaper reporter who loaned her a pen to sign autographs described her as “a amazing blonde with emerald inexperienced eyes” who gained the swimsuit competitors en route to getting crowned Skip Golf 1966.

Now living in Charleston, Barbara Harris Sorkin recollects her pageant days, which provided competing in Skip The united states representing South Carolina, fondly.

“There was an outpouring of local community assistance to welcome all the ladies to Augusta.

“Absolutely, the pageant scene was substantial again then. They did their investigate and researched tendencies and realised it was a fantastic marketing for the early times of the Masters to deliver men and women in. The entourage who arrived with the golfers and the contestants have been added to the quantity of individuals readily available for the parades.”

The regional paper was as smitten with the attractiveness pageant as it was with the golf event. An editorial in the Chronicle gushed that “its ability to incorporate magnificence and exhilaration to an already stunning occasion has made the Pass up Golf Pageant a emphasize of every single year’s Masters 7 days. Both equally the pageant and its winner add lustre to the week and totally sustain their appropriate to be regarded as the principal side attraction to the Masters tournament alone.”

The theme of the 1966 pageant was “Cinderella” and provided a 10-foot-tall pumpkin on stage with the 12 finalists. The co-MC was Nancy Moore of Aiken, the reigning Pass up South Carolina who the calendar year ahead of lost her individual bid to become Overlook Golf. Moore would go on to become Mrs Strom Thurmond and the mother of four of the extended-time US senator’s young children.

As her expertise, Harris sang I Take pleasure in Getting a Lady, a song from Flower Drum Tune, a Rogers and Hammerstein musical that begun on Broadway and was adapted into a motion picture in 1961. The campy song was popularised by the likes of Doris Working day, Peggy Lee and Florence Henderson.

“I’m a girl, and by me that’s only good!

I am proud that my silhouette is curvy,

That I walk with a sweet and girlish gait

With my hips form of swivelly and swervy.”

“I was an entertainer I wanted the knowledge to expand my presentation,” Sorkin reported.

Sorkin — who travelled to Vietnam with Overlook The usa and four other pageant queens to entertain the troops and afterwards carried out for reside audiences attending the Overlook The us Pageant — laughs at how significantly has adjusted in 55 years considering the fact that.


                        Barbara Anne Harris, now Sorkin, now lives in Charleston.

Barbara Anne Harris, now Sorkin, now lives in Charleston.

“The periods had been distinctive back then,” she explained. “It was these a huge deal and this sort of a big draw to have events like this to convey people today in when they have been beginning and hoping to establish up the participant and consciousness. What I was aware of and located fascinating even then was that they didn’t allow for women as customers (at Augusta Nationwide). When Condoleezza Rice was admitted I assumed, ‘Oh my god they at last did it.’”

Along with a money prize, FootJoy golfing shoes and other paraphernalia, Skip Golf typically experienced her photo adorn the deal with of Golfing Digest magazine. She also obtained to go to the Masters and pose with the new champion throughout the post-round shows. Jack Nicklaus grew to become the very first participant to repeat as winner in 1966 when Harris greeted him donning her Skip Golf sash.

“Even if they never remember me, I’ll always try to remember them,” she told the newspaper then immediately after meeting lots of of the golfers.

“I know every person was abuzz about Arnold Palmer, but I imagined Jack Nicklaus was a large amount cuter,” Sorkin suggests now.

“I was finding autographs from all the golfers mainly because I was very impressed by all of them — Participant, Palmer, Sam Snead. A long time later I uncovered whatever I had them sign and it was coated in mould and I experienced to throw it absent.”

By 1966, attendance at the golfing tournament was no lengthier the concern it was in the 50s.

The young Miss Harris could plainly see that.

“I bear in mind gangs of people today that would adhere to Arnold Palmer — just herds of them,” Sorkin explained of Arnie’s Army that favoured the four-time winner. “I’d in no way noticed anything at all like it.”

The final Masters parade rolled down Broad Avenue in 1964. The Pass up Golfing Pageant lasted only a number of several years more time prior to petering out alone.

“Why did it conclusion?” Herman asks. “My principle is the golfing tournament got into the 1960s with so substantially enthusiasm that people explained to heck with the parade and pageant.”

The tournament’s level of popularity experienced developed immensely in its first ten years on tv with bankable superstars like Palmer, Nicklaus and Player.

Augusta Countrywide established its personal par 3 contest in 1960 to entertain the expanding ranks of patrons on the Wednesday ahead of the tournament.

At that place, the number of Masters 7 days website visitors had confused Augusta’s restricted array of dining establishments to the diploma that the Chamber of Commerce produced an Old South Barbecue held at the Julian Smith Casino a limited distance from the Nationwide to try to accommodate the throngs.

By 1972, Masters tickets experienced develop into so well-liked that the club started out a waiting around checklist to get patron badges. The checklist turned so lengthy that they shut it in 1972 and only briefly reopened it once in 2000 in advance of closing it once more. Now millions of golf lovers throughout the entire world enter a lottery to appear see practice rounds.

Regrettably, that means we’ll in no way once more get the opportunity to see — involving marching bands, embellished floats and splendor queens — a fleet of Mercedes convertibles roll down Broad Street with Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and chairman Fred Ridley sitting down substantial on the seatbacks waving to crowds.

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