It is Masters week in Augusta Georgia, and spectators from all over the world will experience top-notch customer service. And not just because we have over 500 of our students working there for the duration of the tournament. The strong customer service philosophy was instilled years ago by a man called Cliff Roberts. The tournament was conceived, nurtured and run for nearly forty years by Roberts, and more than three decades after his death, the Masters still operates as if he were at the controls. Customer service excellence was the guiding principal behind Robert’s perfectionism and his conception of almost every aspect of the club and the tournament. His practice of calling spectators ‘patrons’ was a reflection of his belief that the purpose of the club during Masters week was to serve the people whose support had made the tournament possible in the first place.
The Masters is still viewed almost universally as the best-run golf tournament in the world, if not the best-run sporting event, and it has maintained its standing without acquiring the modern trappings of success. Spectators can still buy lunch for half the price of any other tournament, because Roberts believed that anyone who had to travel hundreds of miles to watch a game of golf ought to be able to buy a decent meal at a decent price. Teams of uniformed workers constantly clean up after spectators because Roberts felt that litter detracted from the beauty of the course and the dignity of the event. In fact, the cups and sandwich bags are green, making them nearly invisible to television cameras – a major issue with Roberts. Members still wear their green coats all week, as they have done since 1937, because Roberts felt that knowledgeable sources of information ought to be easily identifiable to spectators in need of assistance.