Woods' game features Masters
Tiger Woods' golf game (File)
Kapalua - The Masters is about to let anyone play Augusta National - at least in a video game.
In another step toward reaching a younger audience, the Masters will be featured in EA Sports' next edition of the popular "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12" golf game franchise.
The game will go on sale from March 29, a week before the Masters.
It will be the first time Augusta National has allowed its fabled golf course to be used for a video game.
The move is part of a broader effort by the club to increase interest in golf around the world, especially among youth.
In his four years as club chair, Billy Payne has started a programme in which juniors can attend the Masters for free with an adult who has a season badge. He also put the Par 3 tournament on television.
Payne also announced on Tuesday the "Masters Tournament Foundation," a charity arm that will allow Augusta National to invest in developmental programmes around the world.
Payne said all proceeds from the EA Sports game would go into the new foundation.
"Our desire to help grow the game of golf throughout the world is sincere, and it is that commitment that first led us to EA Sports more than three years ago," Payne said in a statement.
"EA Sports, Tiger Woods and the PGA Tour have developed an extremely successful franchise that responds to one of the popular entertainment choices of kids today.
"We hope our inclusion will foster an appreciation for the history and traditions of the Masters and inspire the next generation of golfers."
Payne has tried to broaden the appeal of the Masters during his tenure, especially through technology.
He has expanded by one hour the weekday TV coverage, and he added one hour of coverage before the telecast each day through live streaming on the tournament website, along with live video of Amen Corner and the 15th and 16th holes.
Augusta National and the Royal & Ancient Golf Club also collaborated in creating the Asia Pacific Amateur, in which the winner is awarded an invitation to the Masters.
The Masters has donated more than $36m to charities over the last decade. Payne was not specific about what projects would be funded by the new Masters Tournament Foundation.