Certainly by tradition and maybe by club policy, only the chairman of the club can speak on behalf of Augusta National Golf Club.
It's almost comical to approach a green-jacketed Augusta member, who almost invariably is a captain of industry back home, and ask him the simpliest, most harmless question, only to have him respond, like a mantra, "You'll have to ask the chairman, Mr. Billy Payne, about matters pertaining to the club."
I'm not talking about questions like, "When you guys going to finally get a female member?" I'm talking about, "Is that tree new this year?" or "How are the greens running today?"
The absurdity of the policy reached a new height this week when one of the best players in the club, Jeff Knox, was drafted to play as a marker Saturday and Sunday in the Masters. After his round on Saturday with Miguel Angel Jimenez, Knox, 45, who once shot 61 from the member tees, could not comment on his round.