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Now Hear This The grand pooh-bah has some words for the wise about the Masters telecast

April 03, 2000
April 03, 2000

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April 3, 2000

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Now Hear This The grand pooh-bah has some words for the wise about the Masters telecast

Good morning, gentlemen of CBS. As chairman of Augusta National
Golf Club, I've found it beneficial to hold a pretournament
get-together to cover the many dos and don'ts we insist on in
your coverage of the Masters. Before we get down to specifics,
I'd like to remind you to think of the National as not merely a
golf course but as a cathedral, so when you're on the air, you
will speak in hushed, reverential tones.

This is an article from the April 3, 2000 issue Original Layout

Also, I am always to be called Mr. Johnson, just as Cliff was
always Mr. Roberts. There have been times when some of you older
fellows have called me Hootie. That's permissible when we're
having a drink at 21, but here, and especially during Masters
week, formality is required.

Now to some nitty-gritty. You over there, the man who's yawning.
Mr. Hegarty, I believe?

"Feherty."

Whatever. You got a little frisky last year. I realize you're an
Irishman and that Irishmen are known for their wit, but be
forewarned: There is no room for wit at Augusta National. Surely
you know what happened to one of your colleagues, the one with
that ridiculous mustache, when he attempted what he thought was
humor. So don't try being clever around here.

Now I understand you have a new man on your team, a Mr. Enberg,
who will be stationed in Butler Cabin all week. Is that you over
there, Mr. Enberg?

"Yes."

Yes?

"Yes, sir."

Very good. Mr. Enberg, I know you consider yourself a genius with
words, but we must insist you have your extemporaneous remarks
written by noon every day so we'll have sufficient time to edit
them.

Recently one of you--I don't know who because most of you sound
alike--while covering some lesser tournament, mentioned that a
missed putt cost a fellow $102,000. May I remind you, gentlemen,
never, ever do that here. The competitors are battling to become
Masters champion. Money is irrelevant. As a matter of fact, in a
recent phone conversation with commissioner Finchem, I floated
the idea of eliminating prize money at the Masters, that winning
a green jacket might be reward enough. After a brief coughing
fit that the commissioner ascribed to a lingering cold, he said
that while he personally thought the idea had merit, he'd have
to run it by Tiger.

I hope you won't think me overly critical if I remind you of our
policy of not televising the front nine. We like to think of our
course in terms of two sisters, one beautiful, the other--how
should I say it?--less beautiful. In short, we want to keep our
front nine in the closet, so to speak. In recent years you have
sneaked some hand-held cameras out there, and we have chosen to
look the other way. No more. Show people the front nine, and we
will have to show you the door.

I have some answers to questions you've submitted in writing.
Let's see. No, the azaleas are the pink ones. The dogwoods are
the white ones.

Yes, there used to be small fish in the pond at the 16th hole,
but, curiously, they seemed to have disappeared the same year we
began adding a blue dye to the water.

One of your equipment men asked if it would be all right to park
his truck in the open area just off the 5th hole. I'm not sure
where the 5th hole is, but tell him I'm sending someone out to
find it and see if it's O.K.

No, it is not true that we have pressured our 1957 champion,
Doug Ford, to step down as an active competitor. I realize Doug
has had trouble breaking 90 and has not made the cut since 1971,
but our gallery exit poll shows that 38 percent of the patrons
still enjoy watching him.

Finally, I realize there have been rumors that we at the National
have been secretly pushing for some changes in your announcing
lineup. More specifically, that we are hoping you, Kenny, might
be ready to give up your position as the CBS analyst and join
Byron and Sam on Thursday morning as an honorary starter. Trust
me, Kenny, we consider you family and would never push you out.
Excuse me. Yes, Miss Bevans?

"Mr. Johnson, your luncheon guest is here."

Oh, good, show him in. Gentlemen, I'm sure you all know Johnny
Miller.

COLOR ILLUSTRATION: VICTOR JUHASZ
Be forewarned: There is no room for wit at Augusta National...
so don't try being clever around here.