Gerald Baygents probably has the best part-time job in Thomson.
While his day job is the tourism director of McDuffie County, when Masters Week rolls around, his second employer comes calling.
Baygents is a spotter for CBS' coverage of the Masters Tournament, and his job is an important one. Baygents stands atop the tower adjacent to the 10th green, along with CBS broadcaster Peter Kostis.
"My main job for Peter is that I have a guy up the fairway, that when they tee off, I know where the pin is for that day, and he knows about where most of the drives come," he said. "From that location he can step off the yardage he knows it is to the hole, and he shoots it in to me, I put it in front of Peter, and he uses it if he wants."
Baygents also is responsible for relaying additional information including who's playing and their locations and scores.
"If they're calling for who's putting, I say, 'Palmer for par,"' he said. "You don't sit there and talk and spin yarns and do all that stuff. They want quick, concise information."
Baygents has been working for CBS during Masters Week since 1973. Others among the other 25 or so local residents have been at it longer. In most cases, they've become close friends, and Baygents even likened it to a "fraternity." Many of them have been stationed at the same hole, doing the same thing since the 1970s. Baygents has moved around, working at several different holes, but has been a fixture at No. 10 for several years.
He said he enjoys his brief annual stint as a spotter, but is sometimes happy to return to the calmness and serenity of being tourism director.
"There are some tense moments. You've got to be sharp, you've got to be ready, you've got to know golfers, and you've got to know golf," he said. "It's fun, but I wouldn't want to do it every week. I like it simply because I get to see the course every year and I get to see my buddies. And it keeps me close to golf."
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