AUGUSTA, Georgia -- Children will be admitted to the Masters for free starting in 2008 and the Par-3 contest will be televised, said Augusta National Golf Club chairman Billy Payne.
Children will have the chance to see Tiger Woods in action at the Masters for nothing next year.
The aim is to boost youth interest in golf and Payne said they were the first initiatives of a multi-year plan to use the Masters to promote the sport worldwide.
"We want to inspire the next generation of golfers now. We're serious about exposing youngsters to golf and the Masters," Payne said.
"These initiatives are important first steps and a great kickoff to our ongoing mission of growing the game."
Children aged eight to 16 will be admitted free to Augusta National for tournament rounds starting next year, but only when they are accompanied by an accredited ticket holder, one whose name appears on the badge application.
A new television deal to show the Wednesday Par-3 event on ESPN will give the world a chance to see someone play themselves out of winning the first major championship of the year, if tradition holds.
No winner of the Par-3 competition has ever captured the Masters in the same year since it began in 1960. It is played over a par-27 layout measuring 1,060 yards on the Augusta National grounds.
"The Par 3 Contest is fun and exciting for the entire family. It's an event everyone enjoys and we think it will demonstrate to kids just how fun golf can be," Payne said. E-mail to a friend