A Sense of Huber: Now on the tee...

Luke Donald
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Jim Huber enjoyed listening in on some of the banter between players and caddies while announcing on the first tee at East lake during the Tour Championship.
Jim Huber

Series: A Sense of Huber

Published: Friday, September 30, 2011 | 1:47 p.m.

I guess, in the words of the Beatles, I passed the audition.

After a day of doing the first-tee announcing at the Tour Championship last year and two days last week, I have been officially booked for all four days from now on... or until either my voice or my brain goes.

A great honor but an even more interesting few hours as first the caddies and then the players make their entrances into what is a u-shaped tee box surrounded on three sides by grandstands.

Their ritual is intriguing. They exchange scorecards, check for towels and water and extra bananas. Good friends shake hands and tell quiet jokes. It is football season and often the conversation turns to whose college team did what. Some apparently would just as soon not talk about theirs.

Many of them know me and thus their reaction is a funny double-take. They are used to seeing me with a microphone in my hand, but bearing questions, not introductions.

"What the --- are you doing there?" was Jim Furyk's semi-whispered query last year.

Good question. Since I have no official journalistic duties at East Lake that week, taking the first-tee duties is a great way to maintain good contact with the tour's elite.

It's easy - unless you try to get Euro-cute with Freddy Jacobson's last name - it's quick and it's there in the midst of one of the game's greatest venues.

The quick part is especially nice on the bladder. As Ivor Robson, the high-pitched legend on the Open Championship's first tee, can attest, long uninterrupted days can be leg-crossing. Of course, he does about eight more hours and 120 more players than I do.

Thirty is just right.

The only issue is with the beating sun, which can still be fierce in mid-September in those parts. Coat-and-tie, no hat equals a two-hour sauna. It's why, I have discovered, they call the jacket a blazer.

But no complaints. The compensation is really abundant (a nice Coca-Cola tie) and the company (in search of $10 million or so) is in a good mood.

I am, as I said, deeply honored.

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