Women at Augusta No Big Deal

Posted: August 23, 2012 in golf, sports, The Masters

Ho-hum. Augusta National Golf Club invited two women to join the club, the first females in the club’s 80 -year history.

Before you start placing labels on me, let me say I believe in fairness and equality for all people. Everyone should have the same rights. No one should be judged solely on race, religion, gender, age, physical stature or lifestyle.

But here comes the giant BUT . . .

A private club that does not seek or receive outside help of any kind (taxes, etc.) should have a right to select its members solely on how its membership decides. Augusta National may be a bit snooty, — okay, it’s very snooty — but it is as private as a club can be. You’re not welcome unless you’re a member or the guest of a member.

Period. End of story.

I can’t imagine a Women’s Book Club being forced to include me as a member. If the Rotary Club doesn’t want me as a member, that’s the club’s decision. If I can’t afford to join a certain private country club, that’s my problem. I don’t have the right to join your private poker game.

I’m fine with Augusta National adding women to its membership because that’s what the club’s membership decided to do. I don’t think it’s a great day for women, just I didn’t think it was an injustice when they weren’t.

Martha Burke, who led a protest against Augusta National a decade ago, is taking a lot of credit now, saying she and the women’s groups she represents are the reasons Augusta National finally caved in. Bull. I think Burke’s protest, if anything, delayed Augusta National’s decision to include women because the club didn’t want the appearance of caving in. Augusta National Chairman Billy Payne has practically promoted having women guests play the famed course in recent years.

I realize some people, particular some women, will dismiss my take on this because I’m a man, but I don’t see this as a landmark occasion. Women getting the right to vote and the civil rights bill were milestones we should be proud of. If anything, forcing a truly private club to add certain members is taking away our rights and a step in the wrong direction.

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Comments
  1. jaxjoe@comcast.net says:

    That last sentence says it all, Uncle Dave. They were not forced to vote for anything. They took their sweet time, ten years in this case, to decide in favor of female membership going forward. Part of that is due to the bad publicity that Martha Burke laid upon the trunks of those old Magnolias but mostly it’s just image building for future major tournaments. I’ll bet you a dollar to a Franklin that Babe Didrikson Zaharias played 18 holes on that course at least once, and probably 5 or 6 times…with Mr. Bobby Jones himself, no doubt.

    All I care about is the lush sanctity of that lay-out and network coverage once a year, in the Spring. Who plays on it during the rest of the season doesn’t matter to me, as a golf fan. Go look at that course from space on Google and you will see why it causes old men and women to wring their hands in anxiety. It lurches out at you as this odd green color that doesn’t even belong on that northern Georgia landscape. If I were an Alien landing my flying saucer on some piece of turf, it sure wouldn’t be The White House. It would be on that strip of turf between Number 12 TEE and the WATER! Ya, know, …. the place where Tom Weiskopf dropped a ball, and then another, and another, and …. Well, ya’ll know the story…

    JaxJoe

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