9 Things Augusta National Doesn't Want To Talk About\nFrom membership policies to course maintenance, the topics you won't hear much about when you watch the Masters.\nAugusta National is one of the few courses to have never been given an official course rating by the USGA. Its members actually use their own system developed by co-founder Cliff Roberts. However, Golf Digest had Dean Knuth, former USGA senior director and inventor of the rating system, evaluate the course on his own in 2009. He came up with a course rating of 78.1 and a slope of 137.\nYes, it’s usually pretty easy to spot a member of Augusta National on site by those green jackets, but if you’re looking for an official list of members (thought to be about 300 in total), good luck. The club is very protective of that information and in fact, and often times, members -- like pictured NFL Hall of Famer Lynn Swann -- aren’t discovered unless they attend the Masters.\nThis criteria – or if there is any specific membership criteria – is kept secret as well. However, there is one well-known tenet concerning getting in: If you have to ask, the answer is no.\nIt’s widely known that CBS pumps in bird noises during its telecasts to make Augusta National seem even more of a natural paradise during the Masters. The network has admitted doing this for other golf events as well. Curiously, many people who attend the tournament observe very few actual birds on the grounds.\nAugusta National Golf Club borders Augusta Country Club (You can see part of the course separated from ANGC's famed 11th hole by just a few trees), but the two are worlds apart. That doesn’t mean they haven’t worked together through the years, though, usually in land deals that have allowed ANGC to lengthen holes or expand its property. But the details of those deals, including a reported one in the works to buy an acre behind the 12th green and 13th tee box, remain very hush-hush.\nRumor has it, Augusta National freezes its famed plants during warmer years to ensure they’re always in full bloom the week of the Masters. However, in 2012, there was a noticeable lack of color when the flowers bloomed before the tournament. So maybe the rumor isn’t true. Or maybe someone forgot to do his job that year. . .\nGolf Digest’s Mike Stachura was fortunate enough to play the course in 1996 – and bold enough to take a sample from the pond in front of No. 15. Tests revealed the water contained food dye, similar to what’s used in blue-colored icing you might find on a kid’s birthday cake.\nWhat is known is that Augusta National has had a one-year contract with CBS to broadcast the Masters that has been renewed every years since 1956. What isn't known is what those exact terms are, although, it is believed that neither Augusta National or CBS makes money on the deal. Why does Augusta National not offer tournament rights to the highest bidder like other big events? It would rather have complete control over the broadcast.\nAugusta National is particular when it comes to referring to those attending the Masters as patrons, but it doesn't release the particulars on how many patrons go to the tournament each year. We're not sure why, but we know the exact number is whatever Augusta National decides. The Masters remains one of the toughest tickets in all of sports.