A year ago during Masters week, on a perfect Southern evening, Ian Orefice, the executive producer of SI.com video, and I stood just outside the glare of the Kino Flo lights that illuminated a makeshift outdoor set at Augusta Country Club. We watched in silence as three senior writers from SPORTS ILLUSTRATED held forth on that day's play in a TV version of our popular PGA Tour Confidential roundtable. Impressed by the sharp analysis, Ian leaned over and whispered, "Wouldn't it be awesome to do this in front of an audience?" And thus the idea for SPORTS ILLUSTRATED at the Majors was born.
Next week in Augusta, the SI Golf Group—GOLF MAGAZINE, SIGOLF+ and GOLF.com—will unveil the fully formed outgrowth of the seed that Ian planted. We are building a 60-by-60-foot studio, about the size of the 12th green at Augusta National Golf Club, on Washington Road, kitty-corner from the course in the National Hills Shopping Center. (Look for the big golf ball in the sky.) Inside, our usual complement of 30 writers, editors, photographers and videographers, along with celebrity guests and GOLF MAGAZINE's network of Top 100 Teachers, will offer expert analysis and rich storytelling, up-to-the-minute photography and video, plus free lessons and other fun activities—morning, noon and night. SI welcomes you to participate, even if it's simply to watch the action unfolding across the street on our bank of five 50-inch flat screens or to have your picture appear on a cover of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
Augusta is only the start. SI will also be building SPORTS ILLUSTRATED at the Majors studios at the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup, each in a unique setting. For the Open at Olympic, SI's set will be situated in the heart of San Francisco, in Union Square Park. For the PGA at Kiawah Island, SI will operate in Freshfields Village, the hospitality center minutes from the Ocean course. SI has chosen another iconic urban location, Navy Pier in Chicago, for the Ryder Cup at Medinah. Dates, times and directions can be found at GOLF.com/majors, or see our ad on page 61 of this week's SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.
So, if you're in the neighborhood during one of the four best U.S.-based events in golf, stop in and see us. Ian will be grateful.
JAMES P. HERRE
Managing Editor, SI Golf Group