If you're reading this, chances are good that you know all about
imaging swing analyzers and why Bobby Jones called his gooseneck
putter Calamity Jane and how the continually astonishing Jack
Nicklaus, who will play in his 44th Masters next week,
revolutionized the game. You know that the most eccentric of
archaic balls was a feathery that was in fact stuffed with
feathers. Never mind how Mark Twain said that golf was the best
way to ruin a good walk. The point is, you play golf and follow
golf, and if somebody wants to start an argument about how the
evolution of golf technology is a threat to the fundamental DNA
of the game, well, they can just play through. It's the same with
us here at SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. We know who you are.

What you should know about the magazine you're holding is that it
is the first-ever stand-alone issue of SI GOLF PLUS, the bonus
editorial section that was launched inside the magazine in 1994.
The core idea is the same now as it was then: to be the
preeminent source of golf journalism for the most knowledgeable
and enthusiastic golf readers in the world. We're sending this
issue to 700,000 of SI's golf-loving subscribers at no charge. If
you are one of them, we want to thank you for helping us
celebrate the 10th year of GOLF PLUS with this Masters Preview
and with a similar stand-alone U.S. Open Preview in early June.
Let us know what you think.


B/W PHOTO: JAMES DRAKE JACKED UP Nicklaus (in '75) has won a record six Masters.