Augusta National and the female question

Two rites of spring for many Georgians arrive today: the first round of the Masters in Augusta, and opening day for the Braves (albeit in New York this year). I’m a bigger fan of football than baseball or, especially, golf. But whether it’s because of the length of the season, the arguably greater unpredictability of the game, or simply the fact that it takes place in nature’s own season of renewal, there’s nothing quite like the blue-sky optimism of game No. 1 of 162 for a major league baseball team. (For the record, I like the Braves’ chances of making the postseason as long as we get health from the pitchers and merely average years from the hitters.)

As for the Masters, for the first time in awhile part of the storyline there centers on the Augusta National’s lack hitherto of female members. This once hot discussion was rekindled when a woman, Virginia Rometty, became chief executive of IBM — a position that, because of IBM’s longstanding role as a sponsor of the golf tournament, traditionally comes with the green jacket of club membership. Augusta National’s leaders have long said the club would accept a woman as a member at a time of its choosing. Will Rometty’s ascension at IBM trigger that choice?

Frankly, I couldn’t care less. Many women have played golf at Augusta National, so this isn’t even a question of access. The club is a private organization, and it has as much right to stick to an all-male membership as the Boy Scouts have to accept only boys, and the Girl Scouts only girls. As someone whose own chances of joining the club are only infinitesimally greater than the chances of every woman in the world, I have a hard time getting worked up about it either way. Augusta National can maintain or change its ways and deal with whatever public criticism comes its way. No skin off my back.

What I do find interesting, however, is that this discussion about equal standing for women would be renewed during our era of demonizing “the rich” and “the 1 percent.” Could there be any less meaningful sign of equal standing for any group than the acceptance of one of its members into a private club for the 1 percent of the 1 percent of the 1 percent?

– By Kyle Wingfield

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190 comments Add your comment

@@

April 6th, 2012
7:17 am

“The only thing worse than a man you can’t control is a man you can.”–Margo Kaufman

tiredofIT

April 6th, 2012
7:40 am

” Actually, it was the Pilgrims who invoked God.”

The pilgrims (puritans) were intolerant religious fanatics.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 6th, 2012
7:54 am

“When I began teaching in 1970 in Georgia, for example, women teachers were not allowed to wear slacks in which to teach”

Nice try at attempting to show this practice was a result of the Old South, however, during the early 1970’s girls still had to wear skirts and boys still had to wear ties where I went to public school – in liberal Massachusetts!

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 6th, 2012
7:57 am

Linda, you and I will never agree on the abortion issue, but I’d like you to at least TRY to justify some of these new laws being created which require intrusive probing of women which have nothing to do with their health nor that of their fetus before the woman gets to make her decision.

Road Scholar

April 6th, 2012
8:23 am

If the head of IBM is not invited to join, I wonder if “someone” will take their computer system down during the broadcast!

Kyle, golf is wonderful. But it can be depressing, like trying to find a qualified conservative nominee for President, right?But we will continue on!

alex

April 6th, 2012
8:28 am

My dad took up golf at 80 when his knees could not tolerate any other “physical” activity. Boring “sport”, boring people…….zzzzzzzzzzz

carlosgvv

April 6th, 2012
8:30 am

What women want are; tall, handsome wealthy men.

That pretty much covers it all.

JDW

April 6th, 2012
8:38 am

Funny thing about this Virgina Rometty discussion…no one even asks is the woman a serious golfer? She is not so it wouldn’t make much sense for her to be a member of the top golf club in the world. If they choose to invite a woman it most likely will be Condoleezza Rice. She is a serious golfer and has acutally spent a bit of time at the club.

JamVet

April 6th, 2012
8:38 am

…during our era of demonizing “the rich” and “the 1 percent.”

There’s nothing like the smell of yellow journalism in the morning. Nothing.

It’s the smell of……………………… victory.

Maybe, I’ll go back and peruse the enraged, childish comments from your regular bigots and sexists, but I think I need to eat first!

LeeH1

April 6th, 2012
8:43 am

Now is a good time for IBM to quit paying for golf games. They should put their money into either profits for the stockholders, or to charities that actually help people, such as scholarships for computer and math majors in colleges.

Let the 1% pay their own way.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 6th, 2012
8:45 am

Golf is the last sport on the planet which is left to the player to police him/herself. No referees, only officials there to help interpret the rules when a question is asked.

You keep your own score. You remain quiet when others are addressing the ball nearby. You don’t move ahead of the furthest ball away from the hole, making sure you are not a distraction for the other player.

You can learn a lot about the honor and integrity of your playing partners in just one round of golf. It remains a great business tool to get to know someone you might wish to do business with, or someone you would never do business with.

It’s a game where 95% of people who take it up and play it regularly will never be good at; that is, failing to break 100. Yet it is a sport that keeps them coming back because of that ONE SHOT they make almost every round that says, “I can play this game”.

Golf is 4 (or 5) hours in the fresh air in a quiet, outdoor setting. More people should play golf and just relax.

AU Liberal in ATL

April 6th, 2012
8:46 am

So another high profile, middle aged, white, male, married with children, republican has been caught dorking a young female “friend”. This one just happens to be the head coach at the University of Arkansas. No problem. Arky fans will forgive him because he has a pretty good winning record. Holy rollers will forgive him because he was banging a woman, not another man. The the Rush Limbaugh party will forgive him because he’s rich. I don’t need to forgive him because he didn’t do anything to me and I don’t really give a flaming fk what he does. Sorry, I got off on a tangent. What were we talking about here?

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 6th, 2012
8:47 am

“Now is a good time for IBM to quit paying for golf games.”

And as soon as you become CEO or a majority stockholder in IBM, you can make that decision, LeeH1.

Otherwise, you can just sod off as far as what IBM should do.

BuckeyeinGa

April 6th, 2012
8:49 am

Linda@5:39 Buckeye@5:16, My source? I gave you 3 sources & could produce more. Evidently you did not even read my sources. The last source quoted several folks from the main stream media. Clinton’s thesis was on Alinsky. Obama TAUGHT Alinsky tactics. They were both community organizers from Chicago. Obama would have never been elected had it not been for ACORN, community organizers.

You were shocked that Obama had ever even been associated with Alinsky. What have your sources of news been for the last 4 years? The book I quoted above was endorsed by Bill Ayers, the radical from whose home Obama launched his political career.

Obama speaks as a moderate, but his actions have absolutely nothing to do with his words, & if he is re-elected, both his words & his actions will coincide, for the first time.

I did read the sources which is why I pulled the statement from one of the sources YOU listed. As I mentioned the President ISN’T a disciple and neither is Hillary Clinton. The writings according to you is from Bill Ayers..It’s funny to see people try to make it seem there is more of a link there.

DavidEm

April 6th, 2012
8:51 am

Yes, they will allow women to be members, and possibly even in the 21st century. But it has to be THEIR idea, and on their timeline, so the world knows it had nothing to do with that nasty Progressivism Glenn Beck warned them about.
And, of course, their ancestors WOULD have voluntarily ended slavery, too, sooner or later, and without those pernicious abolitionists being so unpleasant and moralistic about it.

gm

April 6th, 2012
9:06 am

Linda

You & yours are being USED by black thugs who want nothing more than to prevent blacks from advancing out of poverty. As long as blacks are in poverty, Sharpton

Being used thats a laugh, Palin, Hannity, Rush are making millions off you right wing nut jobs, and they never have to rub elbows with you idiots to do it,
once unarmed blacks kids stop getting shot down, Al and Jessie could retire.

I know you are a out of touch like Mitt, but there are plenty blacks who are doing well and not on welfare and proverty the difference is those blacks care about other Americans.

@@

April 6th, 2012
9:09 am

Wasn’t directed at me, but what the hey…

Linda, you and I will never agree on the abortion issue, but I’d like you to at least TRY to justify some of these new laws…

It’s a personal responsibility thing. Women will either accept it or reject it.

It’s as simple as that.

Given the fact that PP argues lack of education/misinformation for many who become pregnant, full awareness should be their goal.

clyde

April 6th, 2012
9:10 am

Leave the membership at Augusta International alone.It’s a man thing.
Learn to live with it.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 6th, 2012
9:10 am

gm, I have no issue with anyone, black or white, caring about other Americans.

I just don’t want them doing it with my money. It’s easy to care about someone else when you don’t have any skin in the game.

JoeFann

April 6th, 2012
9:21 am

Three quick points:
First, ANGC membership is their issue, and their choice.
Second, IF ANGC decides to offer membership to a female, I anticipate the first offer to be to a woman who has made tremendous contributions to the game of golf. After that, quietly, Ms. Rommety would likely also be offered.
Finally, one of the 5 best days of my life was spent several years ago with my 14 year old son at a Wednesday practice round and Par 3 tournament at ANGC. The beauty of the place. The grace and charm and goodwill of the staff and patrons. The family nature of the par 3 event. The wide-eyed wonder of a young man seeing it in person for the first time. The inspiration he gained to become a collegiate golfer. Many may pooh-pooh ANGC and what it “represents.” Count me out.
P.S. Apparently, Ian Poulter never got the memo about plaid being “out.” Long live absurd and colorful clothing on the links!

Happy and Blessed Easter to all!

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 6th, 2012
9:27 am

Some people are just not a slave to fashion, Joe.

Ian Poulter is certainly one of them. :)

BuckeyeinGa

April 6th, 2012
9:40 am

Callista Gingrich made comments about Augusta as well. She wants to become a member.

Road Scholar

April 6th, 2012
9:44 am

Tiberius @ 8:45- Exactly! Fore!

I hope your Easter holiday includes a round or two before watching the Masters each day. For those who don’t like golf, or feel they must get inebriated to play…stay home.

wallbanger

April 6th, 2012
9:58 am

Truthfully, the women who really matter, the ones who could afford the membership, and who would like to hob nob with the good old boys, don’t give a darn about this subject or the Masters. These women are too busy to be so petty, and have the good sense not to go where they know they aren’t wanted.

UGA 1999

April 6th, 2012
10:01 am

Did you guys see where Obama has commented on this subject. Doesnt he have enough to worry about? Fool!

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 6th, 2012
10:11 am

Technically, his chief dog-washer was asked about this, UGA 1999, not Obama himself.

@@

April 6th, 2012
10:15 am

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 6th, 2012
10:22 am

The more they say on this, the deeper the hole they keep digging, @@.

Mary Elizabeth

April 6th, 2012
10:25 am

“These women are too busy to be so petty, and have the good sense not to go where they know they aren’t wanted.”
============================================

It is good that African-Americans did not hold that point-of-view during the 1960s.

UGA 1999

April 6th, 2012
10:33 am

Mary….really?

Mary Elizabeth

April 6th, 2012
10:44 am

” ‘When I began teaching in 1970 in Georgia, for example, women teachers were not allowed to wear slacks in which to teach.’

Nice try at attempting to show this practice was a result of the Old South, however, during the early 1970’s girls still had to wear skirts and boys still had to wear ties where I went to public school – in liberal Massachusetts.”
=========================================

Not a good analogy. I was addressing the situation for teachers. You were addressing the situation for students. Not the same. But in an odd way, the fact that your comparison was off, and that you did not recognize it, highlights the point that teachers were viewed only slightly above “children,” as demonstrated by their job descriptions of that era, which demeaningly described their attire in such detail as to require that their jacket lengths be a certain length in order to hide female anatomy. Criteria was even more paternalistic toward female teachers, in ways far beyond dress, in the early 1900s – throughout the nation.

zeke

April 6th, 2012
11:02 am

ANGC IS A PRIVATE MEMBER’S ONLY CLUB! AS SUCH IT CAN CHOOSE TO INVITE ANYONE IT DEEMS A BENEFIT TO THE CLUB! BY THE SAME TOKEN IT CAN DECIDE NOT TO INVITE A PARTICULAR PERSON FOR WHATEVER REASON! THE MASTER’S TOURNAMENT is not a PGA event, but, a special tournament considered one of the 4 majors on the pro golf schedule! Sponsored by many great companies, televised by ESPN, the Golf Channel, CBS! Just like the stupidity of forcing Arizona to make the mlk holiday to get a super bowl or the Birmingham club to admit blacks to get a tournament, trying to force ANGC to admit a woman, IS UNAMERICAN AND IF CHALLENGED PROBABLY NOT CONSTITUTIONAL! BUT WHAT DO YOU MORONS CARE ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION AND PRIVATE RIGHTS???

@@

April 6th, 2012
11:02 am

Tiberius:

The more they say on this, the deeper the hole they keep digging, @@.

That’s because they truly believe their “mandate” is superior to our Constitution.

Mary Elizabeth:

It is good that African-Americans did not hold that point-of-view during the 1960s.

Black Capitalism preceded the 1960s.

Read “Our Kind of People — Inside America’s Black Upper-Class” by Lawrence Otis Graham,

I’ll always remember a conversation I had back in the 1980’s with a well-known New York literary figure about the black families who own weekend homes at Sag Harbor. He had spied on them on the beach, he said, and he could report that though they acted snobbish, they still ate watermelon. This ugly little joke showed, I thought, how uncomfortable even many of the most liberal white Americans are made by the idea of well-to-do black people.

The ^^^ ugly truth about white liberals.

http://www.nytimes.com/books/99/02/21/reviews/990221.21leelt.html

UGA 1999

April 6th, 2012
11:04 am

@@….you are hilarious!

Mary Elizabeth

April 6th, 2012
11:31 am

@@,

I do not believe that you grew up in the Deep South, as I did, during the era of Jim Crow. There is no need for me to debate this issue. Those who shared that time, and that place, with me know the nature of the racial injustices that were so pervasive, as well as the more sublte, yet prevalent, gender inequities.

UGA 1999

April 6th, 2012
11:41 am

Self proclaimed Mega Millions winner “I uh lost the ticket” Right!

Mary Elizabeth

April 6th, 2012
11:44 am

The private rights/public arena Constitutional debate was settled in the 1960s by the courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. For those who did not experience that era firsthand as I did, you may want read some of the history of that era through my reflections, entitled, “Egalitarianism and Capitalism.”

Link: http://maryelizabethsings.wordpress.com/2011/12/08/egalitarianism-and-capitalism/

Hillbilly D

April 6th, 2012
1:59 pm

The pilgrims (puritans) were intolerant religious fanatics.

In the interest of historical accuracy, the Pilgrims weren’t Puritans, they were Separatists and that was only about half of them. The Puritans didn’t come to the Massachusetts Colony until a few years later.

[...] everyone feels the club should move. “The club is a private organization, and it has as much right to stick to an all-male membership as the Boy Scouts have to accept only [...]

hryder

April 9th, 2012
7:39 pm

There is no issue of whom a private club invites to become a member. Only the members, possibly represented by an individual or group of individuals according to their by-laws, hold the power to invite others to join. If you do not like this tough. This is ultimately the law of the land. VOTE OUT ALL INCUMBENT ELECTED OFFICE HOLDERS IN THE NOVEMBER ELECTIONS.