They have some weird takes on things at Augusta National. I was reminded of some of their little rules during my drive to Gainesville with my brother Butch. He spent 9 years as a caddie at ANGC. Here are a few things you must say if you are doing TV or radio coverage there:
Flag stick, instead of pin
First cut and second cut, instead of rough
First nine and second nine, instead of front nine and back nine
Patrons, instead of fans
If you are a caddie and call those things by the wrong word, you get a note in your file for a few mistakes. Then, at some point, they don’t ask you back. Same for the commentators.
Gary McCord is one of those who found out these guys mean what they say.
I’ve been so fortunate to visit both St. Andrews and Augusta National both iconic venues for golfers. Both are indescribable when viewed in person. OH did the best job of painting the picture of Augusta National in his Masters columns. I also love hearing Clay talk about playing there and Butch’s experiences caddying. You do OH proud Clay. Very proud.
I love the Masters & love the aura around ANGC even though I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing it in person. However, I think rules like that are silly & pretentious. I can see them encouraging TV commentators to use certain terms, but making them rules? Nah. I think they need to get over themselves down there.
(I think Jeff is right about the McCord remark that got him canned. Everyone knew he was saying that tongue in cheek. Members take things too seriously.)
Gary McCord was a very good announcer and a very funny one, too. He was a character in every sense of the word. He didn’t follow the pompous protocol so the powers at Augusta pressured CBS to fire him from the broadcast, and that is what happened.
The CBS broadcast team has not been the same since they terminated their relationship with Peter Kostis and Gary McCord. Both were excellent and knowledgable, and McCord brought a humor from another dimension. After David Feherty left, CBS has struggled, in my view, to replace those guys.
I agree that Augusta is quirky about their rules but it does add to their sense of being one of a kind… when NOW protested their lack of women members years ago, the President sent a letter to the 400 or so members and asked them to make up the 13 million in lost revenue to protect their sponsors by not running ads on the telecast. Augusta members sent in 19 million and you had the Master without ads that year. It’s the most coveted trophy in golf. Unlike every sporting event in the world, you can get a $2.00 sandwich and one dollar beer if you walk through the gates.
That’s another difference, they do not have a club president. He is chairman. And there are no votes. They have committees. But the chairman decides everything.
Members do not talk much about what they are doing as far as course changes, etc.
Broyles would tell my dad who was going to play Qb or a tip in recruiting. But he did not tell him if they were building a new tee box at Augusta. Jack Stephen’s might, but he was Chairman and could do anything.