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It has been 19 years since CBS's Gary McCord observed that Augusta National's greens were so fast, they must be "bikini waxed," thus marking the last time McCord was part of the Masters' coverage.
This week, Golf Channel invited me to be part of their Orlando studio crew for Live from the Masters. While that's not quite the same as being part of the CBS team, it still meant I would have to abide by the Masters style guide—a particularly picky set of golf jargon that's used only one week a year.
Some of the rules I already knew, since they were the classic, well-reported Augusta lingual tics. Fans on the grounds should be referred to as patrons, the rough is a second cut and bunkers are, of course, bunkers, not sand traps.
Some other quirks were more surprising. An individual does not qualify for the Masters he is invited to participate. Then players are put together in groupings, not pairings. For the rest of the world, the Masters comes down to the back nine on Sunday, but at Augusta it's all about the final nine in the final round.
No matter who wins, never mention prize money or earnings, and steer clear of the PGA Tour's corporate sponsors.
It is all part of what makes the Masters different and special, and the Augusta folks do stick to their own rules. Unlike the announcer at any other event, the member on the 1st tee simply says, "Fore, please," the player's name and "now driving." It's the greatest 1st-tee intro in golf.
Brad Faxon has won eight times on the PGA Tour.