He vastly improved tournament parking, brought in several women members, expanded the dining and business entertaining options, built a vast driving range and practice facility, increased the number of on-campus beds significantly, improved security, successfully enforced (defying the demands of modern culture) a no-cellphone policy and has built a media center that is far closer to the Taj Mahal than a traditional press tent.
He hired marketing and sales people from leading American companies, and was happy to pay for their skills, though they’d work in almost complete anonymity.
Ridley, since 2011 the chairman of the tournament’s competition committee, will surely oversee changes to the course—or "improvements," as Cliff Roberts preferred to call them.
Ridley’s job in that regard will be, at a minimum, to maintain that status quo, through the Latin American and Asian amateur events, through national and international broadcast contracts, through other forms of media.
If Fred Ridley can get the course where it needs to be, today’s community of golfers might speak of Rory McIlory and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas as Payne and his gang thought of the original Big Three going back to the ‘60s.
- Ridley takes over as new Augusta National chairmanThe Japan Times
- Pro golf: Billy Payne retiringSouth Bend Tribune
- Payne retires as Augusta National Golf Club chairmanAsheboro Courier Tribune
- Billy Payne retiring as Masters, Augusta National chairmanLos Angeles Times
- I've disagreed with Billy Payne, but on some things we share the same tuneUSA TODAY
- The good -- and the bad -- can rub off on prosESPN.co.uk
- Payne stepping down as Augusta National chairmanQuad-Cities Online
- Billy Payne retires as Masters chairmanWJBD Online
- Rosaforte: Payne opened Augusta to Drive, Chip and Putt kidsGolf Channel