Recently a PR person at the Wall Street Journal contacted me. She wanted to alert me to their story about a new Masters book, First Sunday in April: The Masters.
They and others made a big stink about the title. (The Masters ends on the second Sunday in April.) I remember someone calling it a “shank.”
I asked Sterling Publishing VP Carlo DeVito about it today in an email. “So was the title a sneaky publicity ploy?” I wrote half jokingly.
“We know that the final round of the Masters takes place on the second Sunday in April,” Carlo answered.
“But the tournament begins the Sunday before when TV and radio and print journalists start arriving. Open a sports section on the first Sunday morning in April, and tell me there's not a major piece on the Masters in your regional or local newspaper.”
Concluded Carlo: “Was the title a ploy? Not really. Did we name it something different on purpose? Yes.”
The book itself is a collection of Masters stories from players (Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson and others) and golf writers (Herbert Warren Wind, Dan Jenkins, John Feinstein, Rick Reilly and more). It’s broken down into sections: The Traditions, The Course, The Moments, The Controversies and so on.
It’s not the kind of book you have to read from front to back. You can scan the table of contents and start wherever you like.
Last night, for instance, I read “A Master Feat,” a piece written by Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News that tells about Lee Elder’s breakthrough as the first African American to play in the Masters.
Setting aside the title debate, I think this compilation will entertain the interested Masters observer.
−The Armchair Golfer