FanDuel - WFBC

May 05, 2006

Johnson Waxes Off:: 75-year-old Hootie Johnson announced he's stepping down as head of the Augusta National Golf Club. Under his tutelage, the Club became longer in yards, began the long, slow process of racial integration, and ran the Masters Golf Tournament commercial-free and without interruption on CBS for a few years as an experiment.

But of course, he'll be best known, some say unfairly, for his battles with Martha Burke and the National Council of Women's Organizations over changing Augusta's men-only policy, which is still in place.

posted by chicobangs to golf at 04:35 PM - 80 comments

His replacement, Billy Payne, has headed the Master's Media Committee since 2000, and he was instrumental in bringing the 1996 Olympics to Atlanta. History will probably remember him as an arrogant ass, and he probably deserves that. (One of the reasons the Masters ran commercial-free was to avoid a commercial boycott.) But I'll give him this: he was very good for his club.

posted by chicobangs at 04:39 PM on May 05

I hope Billy Payne does well at Augusta National. I certainly hope he does better than he did with the Atlanta Olympics.

posted by roberts at 04:56 PM on May 05

Ding dong, the witch is dead.

posted by JJ at 05:03 PM on May 05

You know what .....good for him. I think that if women can have a LPGA and still have the opportunity to play in the PGA than let the men keep their men only golf course. Not all clubs are this way and there is plenty that allow women. Alot of women feel they should have the right to women only but when the men want that they start screaming inequality. Let them have it I say.

posted by skydivemom at 05:12 PM on May 05

Skydivemom said it very well! Augusta National is a 'private' club; not a public accomodation. Hootie's handling of Ms. Burke was classic. Apparently she has not accomplished very much as President of her own organization; and, she was looking to capitalize on the prominence of the Augusta National, in general, and the Masters Golf Tournament, specifically. I can only hope that Mr. Payne has the same intestinal fortitude to make whatever decisions that are necessary based on the Club's needs, not some mouthy outsider!

posted by joel4827 at 06:23 PM on May 05

That's all well and good, but they hold a major championship there, which means (and this is the part of the situation that Hootie never understood) they owe something to the sport, and to the fans of that sport as well. Augusta may be the most storied place in golf this side of St. Andrew's, but the fact that Augusta National has decided to ignore the changes in gender attitudes that have happened in the last 120 years reflects badly on the entire sport of golf, not just his little club. To the casual watcher, the impression becomes that golf hates women. Now, you & I know that's not true, but that's because we follow the sport. But Hootie Johnson, with his stubbornness and his condescending attitude and demeanor, has presented a face to the rest of the golf world that reinforces a lot of the ugly stereotypes about the ignorant southern redneck. He let Tiger play in the Masters, but only under duress. How many black members are there in Augusta now? One? Two? Martha Burk did herself no favors, PR-wise, but Hootie Johnson was on the wrong side of history, and the fewer ignorant old farts being obstinate for obsinacy's sake getting in the way of having sports be the reflection of the best humanity has to offer like it bloody well should be, the better. (I kept my opinions off the front page of this post, because that's not where opinions belong. But you wanna know what I think? Women will be playing at Augusta by the end of next year. Billy Payne just ran an Olympics. They may not have been a good Olympics, but regardless, he presumably understands and respects the concept of women athletes. One can hope.)

posted by chicobangs at 06:47 PM on May 05

why do i even have my own login? i just keep agreeing with everything chico says.

posted by ninjavshippo at 06:52 PM on May 05

skydivemom: I think that if women can have a LPGA and still have the opportunity to play in the PGA I hear women can go to Harvard these days, too -- also a 'private' club. What is the world coming to? chico: Martha Burk did herself no favors, PR-wise, but Hootie Johnson was on the wrong side of history Excellent assessment of both characters.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:02 PM on May 05

Could it be possible that now that Hootie has stepped aside, they would think about letting women play at Augusta?

posted by dbt302 at 09:38 PM on May 05

Congratulations on a job well done, Hootie. You fought the good fight and won. I'm sorry to see you go. Membership at Augusta National, or any other private organization, is a privelege, not a right. Martha Burk should keep her mouth shut about Augusta and focus on some of the many issues that are a LOT more important to women. Why fight over an issue that is of absolutely no relevance to the millions of women worldwide who suffer poverty, illiteracy, abuse, and exploitation? Billy Payne can't just unilaterally let women into the club. He has the members to deal with. And even if women are able to force their way in, the men will still find ways to do their business deals when the women aren't around (as is their right to do).

posted by TerpFan at 11:17 PM on May 05

Can that really be called a "win" for Hootie if the board just waits till he wanders off into the sunset before they turn the lights on? TerpFan, I love this quote from you: Martha Burk should keep her mouth shut about Augusta and focus on some of the many issues that are a LOT more important to women. It sounds like you're telling Martha Burk to "keep her mouth shut" because you know better than she does what matters to "women." As if women were a separate race of physically and mentally inferior Stepford robot drones that all think exactly the same. So enlighten us. What are women, as an amorphous borg-like block, really caring about? Poverty? Illiteracy? Abuse? Exploitation? Do you care about these things, more than anything else? More importantly, does every woman you know? Because if not, then there's a pretty serious hole in what you just typed. People care about what they care about, they fight the battles they think they can win, and when an old cracker dinosaur is being a smug jackass and making the public face of an otherwise elegant and all-inclusive sport into a grotesque caricature, then maybe there's a wrong there that needs to be addressed.

posted by chicobangs at 01:42 AM on May 06

I have to agree with TerpFan. Find a real battle to fight. I can't call Burk a good leader when it's essentially a PR battle she must wage, and the only area she's ever been known for is fighting for a rich, old white woman to play at a goddamned golf club.

posted by vito90 at 01:48 AM on May 06

Seriously? Equal rights for women isn't a "real battle?"

posted by chicobangs at 02:02 AM on May 06

So enlighten us. What are women, as an amorphous borg-like block, really caring about? Poverty? Illiteracy? Abuse? Exploitation? WORLD PEACE!!! You idiot. Speaking for all women, of course...I've got the poll results right here... People care about what they care about, they fight the battles they think they can win Or the ones that they feel they can't afford to let go un-fought. It should be noted, however, that the National Council of Women's Organizations website (the organization of which Burk is president) lists the Augusta National Golf Club issue among others such as child care, women's health, global and domestic issues, social security, younger women's issues, and so on. As the president of this organization, clearly Burk has been fighting much more than the Augusta membership committee. Odd, isn't it, that people choose to chide Burk as wasting her efforts on Augusta. Perhaps it's these critics, and not Burk, who haven't been paying attention to "the many issues that are a LOT more important to women". Work on women's health issues and you get a big yawn; try to get into a golf club and it's "Get back!"

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:54 AM on May 06

as a private club they can include or exclude anyone they want. Having a major tournament at there club exposes them to the forces of public opinion, Augusta allows black members because the negative press was too much to bear for the club, and the PGAtour when Martha threatened the club, Hootie,decided that they could weather that storm bynot selling ads for the broadcast, avoiding a boycot by there sponsors. It was a brilliant move on Hooties part, as it defused the whole issue. In the process making Burke look like the fool. There are many clubs that exclude entire groups of people. They just don't have the media exposure of augusta national.

posted by yankee0758 at 10:17 AM on May 06

chicobangs - I just find it hard to believe that the "typical", "average" woman who is a working mother making 75 cents for every dollar a man makes and then has to spend half of that on daycare would give two shits about Augusta. It's an interesting debate because it's not just a gender debate but very much a class debate as well - surely when Augusta capitulates the pioneering woman member will be rich, old, and lily white.

posted by vito90 at 12:34 PM on May 06

vito, I just find it hard to believe that there exists a "typical," "average" woman who can speak on behalf of her entire gender. If it's not equal at the top of the economic ladder, then the rest of the sport has no chance. And if that alleged made-up working mother has a daughter, and that daughter is whacking a golf ball around in the living room with a putter and starting to talk about maybe picking up the game, the mother reads about the racists and sexists who have a stranglehold on the game, and she pushes the kid into doing something else. And the sport of golf is poorer for that. You don't understand that? You don't think that happens? You don't think that's a problem? You don't think someone should be working to change that impression?

posted by chicobangs at 01:04 PM on May 06

I don't get the "private club" argument, not in 2006. Sounds too much to me like discrimination should be allowed because the members have enough money in their pockets and TerpFan's suggestion that men will get together and do their deals anyway is exactly the problem for me. Just substitute African-American each time you see woman and tell me how its different than 1959. I don't understand why a man would care if some of the other golfers are female. Why in the world would men want to make deals only with other men, especially if the men in question are corporate executives rather than individuals (e.g., doctors, lawyers, private investors)? Their job is to optimize company profits whether the other side of the deal is represented by a woman or man. The fact is that a club like Augusta, with most members being very high-level individuals, is not just about golf but about the relationships and contacts to be made there and so membership IMO does become a public question. That this tournament is one of the PGA majors, with all the attendant publicity and significance, only pushes this further into the public sphere.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:13 PM on May 06

Hmmm, let me see, I am a lilly white, successful businessman that lives in the south. Can I be a member of Augusta National? No. One of the statements above said something to the effect of "it's a private club, they can allow whomever they see fit", Augusta National has that RIGHT, whether it's a good thing or a bad thing is a completely different debate.

posted by stockman at 06:04 PM on May 06

its still a private club. start your own club and let in who YOU want.

posted by yankee0758 at 06:32 PM on May 06

its still a private club. start your own club and let in who YOU want That happened in my town of Sydney, Australia. The Jewish community found they were being barred from joining existing golf clubs. So they formed their own, Monash Country Club, which has a policy of NOT excluding anyone on the basis of race, creed, colour or gender. The best 'revenge' of all is to show you are a better human being.

posted by owlhouse at 06:46 PM on May 06

so how much does it cost to be a memberI'm pretty sure i wouldn't be able to afford it. so does that mean i'm being discriminated against?

posted by yankee0758 at 07:14 PM on May 06

No, it means you're price discriminating.

posted by JJ at 07:43 PM on May 06

having lots of money isn't the only criteria to get into augusta, it didn't help Bill Gates. Who was turned down

posted by yankee0758 at 07:55 PM on May 06

I have always found this to be a silly debate. Good or Bad, Right or Wrong, why would one want to join a club where they are not welcome in the first place.

posted by Folkways at 07:59 PM on May 06

The definition of private club has changed in the last 40 years, yankee0758, whether you recognize it or not. And Folkways, your opinion is fine for you but I'm sure you realize not everyone agrees.

posted by billsaysthis at 08:47 PM on May 06

it doesn't matter if they agree or not it's a PRIVATE club. they make the rules, and accept who they want as members. again you certainly have the right to start your own club,and run it as you want

posted by yankee0758 at 09:23 PM on May 06

He let Tiger Woods play, but only under duress The Masters has a strict, and different,(allowing former winners to play for life) invitation policy that I will not go into detail about, and as such, has the weakest field of any of golf's 4 majors. Tiger qualified, first, as the winner of the the 1995 U.S. Amateur, the winner of which gets an invitation to the Masters regardless of race, creed, or color. Lee Elder broke the Color Barrier at The Masters long ago. History will probably remember him as an arrogant ass A finer compliment you could not pay an old cracker dinosaur Hootie Johnson, with his stubborness and condescending attitude and demeanor, has presented a face to the rest of the golf world that reinforces a lot of the ugly stereotypes about the ignorant southern redneck There are just as many ignorant Northern rednecks as Southern, some of which may be members of Augusta National. Har Har. when an old cracker dinosaur is being a smug jackass and making the public face of an otherwise elegant and all-inclusive sport into a grotesque charicature Golf is much bigger than Hootie or Augusta National. There are plenty of opportunities for girls/women/blacks to play the game if they so choose, and likewise, to form their own club. As a social issue, Augusta National ranks lower than , say, getting your dog spayed or neutered. If a bunch of well heeled gents want a place to smoke cigars and tell off-color jokes, or whatever they do, what's the big deal? I think most of the outrage is mere jealousy. Hootie Johnson, a banker, is anything but an "ignorant southern redneck". He was instrumental in the desegregation of the State of South Carolina's universities, colleges, and other institutions of higher learning. He was a board member of The National Urban League. He was a trustee of Benedict college (a historically black institution). He recieved the Outstanding Citizen Award from the B'nai B'rith, the only South Carolinian besides Bernard Baruch to be so honored. Hootie is a first class gentleman, the views he has espoused are those of the club and it's members, not his personally. And those views are not racist, chauvinistic, or ignorant. Exclusionary, I suppose. But whose life will be incomplete without being a member of their club? yankee0758's comment directly above mine says it all.

posted by mjkredliner at 11:06 PM on May 06

There are many clubs that exclude entire groups of people. They just don't have the media exposure of augusta national. Seriously, what is the big deal that Augusta chooses their own membership criteria? Womans Workout World prohibits men from being a member. I don't see any national womens organizations complaining about that. Also, I'm sure it costs an average joe a life savings to join Augusta, if allowed. Why doesn't anyone complain about that Augusta discriminates based on income also? Augusta is a private club. They do not owe anyone anything. I'm sure they don't hate women, hate poor people, hate the handicapped, hate single parents, etc......... They just have the right to set their own membership criteria. Why do so many people spend so much energy bashing Augusta, Hootie and their membership criteria? The only reason I can think of is that Augusta National has name recognition and opposing parties try to capitalize on their reputation for cheap publicity. Its frickin about time someone stand up (Hootie) and says "Tough shit if you don't like it, I am not here to please you!"

posted by panteeze at 01:16 AM on May 07

It will be a cold day in hell before a woman get a membership at Augusta... Like stated its a private club they can do as they please....Its just like having clicks in High School and Hootie and the other members have their own click we deal with it....

posted by wishbone_ten at 02:23 AM on May 07

It will be a cold day in hell before a woman get a membership at Augusta Hmm, sounds like somebody's nerve got struck...

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:40 AM on May 07

He-Man Woman Haters Club Sued For Defamation, Loses Federal Funding This is starting to sound like an Our Gang scetch.

posted by Folkways at 10:20 AM on May 07

guffaw chortle thanks folkways very funny!

posted by mjkredliner at 10:35 AM on May 07

Let them have their club! I personally would not want to play with a bunch of men who don't want me there. Curves is also a workout place that only allows women. Where is the foul there. Some (notice I said some) women only cry foul when it does not benefit them. All the women I know could really give a crap if they have an all men's club. There are much more important things in the world to be upset about. They are not taking away my right to vote on anything except what they do in that club. Big deal!

posted by skydivemom at 06:59 PM on May 07

There are much more important things in the world to be upset about. Which is more silly: getting "upset", as you call it, about an issue that you care about, but that other people think is trivial...or getting upset about what other people get upset about?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:18 PM on May 07

Ok - you win - I really don't care and I am not losing any sleep over this issue so instead of stating my opinion I will just go back in my corner and stop commenting on this subject. I will just let them continue their she-women man haters club.

posted by skydivemom at 08:30 PM on May 07

Yeah, SDM, what gives you the right to speak for women? Just because you are one doesn't give you the right! Don't you know that the mere existence of a club such as Augusta, demeans women everywhere? You should be enraged! I'm male, I'll never get into to Augusta. You are a female, you'll never get into Augusta. I don't really care and neither should you. Let it be something for others to cry about. Just don't say that you are not offended by it...you just don't know what's at stake for women everywhere! If women can get into Augusta, maybe they can be Secretary of State! Yeah, you just don't have a clue how important this is for women. Oh, and by the way, they don't let men into Curves because they stare. You should be ashamed of yourself.

posted by tselson at 10:46 PM on May 07

Ok - you win - I really don't care and I am not losing any sleep over this issue so instead of stating my opinion I will just go back in my corner and stop commenting on this subject. Please don't play the aggrieved-put-upon-and-censored card. You were the one who said the issue didn't matter and that no one should care about it. I will just let them continue their she-women man haters club. Wow. "She-woman man haters[sic] club"? Did you bother to look at the website of the organization that you're so characterizing? Did you even bother to read my comment above in which I summarized what's to be found there? You're taking an organization that's working on plenty of legitimate issues and attacking it as a "she-woman man haters club", when for all you know their work has benefited you personally by helping to secure and maintain equal rights for women. WTF???

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:24 AM on May 08

I am completely dumbfounded at how passionate people are over something as ridiculous as membership to a patch of grass with some holes and flags scattered around. I thoroughly enjoy the game of golf, but to waste my time worrying about a bunch of billionaires deciding if I or anyone else is worthy of membership to their private "CLUB" is completely childish. I believe I outgrew that type of narrow-minded behavior when I was in grade school. Sure there are many rich and influential people that are members. But none of them are putting food on my table, nor are they telling me how to run my life. The only thing about Augusta and their members that chaps my ass is the outrageous amount of money paid for membership. It may be chump change to them, but there are so many more important and beneficial ways to use that money. Personally, I would get much more gratification and enjoyment in buying a home, food and clothing for a family that has nothing, which could be done a few times every year with their club dues. To hell with being a "member", what a waste. I can probably golf better than half of the club anyway. I'll take my lowlife public courses for $15-$20 bucks a round anyday. They can have their club, and maybe I can dig up one of my old "NO GIRLS ALLOWED" signs that I used in second grade and mail it to them. Who wants to be a member of an old farts club anyway. Damn, I just wasted five minutes of my time on this bullshit. Never again. Got real things to concern myself with.

posted by jcreibs13 at 09:37 AM on May 08

jcreibs13, you do realize this is a sports discussion site you signed up for, right?

posted by chicobangs at 09:50 AM on May 08

Sure do chico, I was pointing out that this thread seems more like a political forum than a sports one. I'll talk golf anytime, but like I said everyone want's to turn this into an equal rights debate. Sure there is some connection albeit small. Sorry if I wandered off a little. But I would say I am pretty well in line with all of the other comments. And all of my comments were related to golf in one way or another. In relation to Augusta and it policies.

posted by jcreibs13 at 10:04 AM on May 08

Sure do chico, I was pointing out that this thread seems more like a political forum than a sports one. I'm guessing that chico may have been commenting on your "dumbfounded"ness over people getting passionate about something to do with a sport.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:22 PM on May 08

Damn, I just wasted five minutes of my time on this bullshit. Never again. Got real things to concern myself with. So it would make a whole lot of sense for you to comment again?

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 02:30 PM on May 08

Men don't think much of exclusivity. Men who like it are less than other men. A man who refuses to play golf around women is laughable, no matter who he is or how rich he is. He is a coward, and a cad, and a cut below other men. What does he fear? It's a question of manliness; a question the mens' club at Augusta clearly isn't ready to answer yet. Maybe with a new leader, they will. Maybe they'll get a real man in charge.

posted by Hugh Janus at 04:10 PM on May 08

Maybe with a new leader, they will. Doesn't look like it. This article makes a few decent points.

posted by tselson at 04:54 PM on May 08

This article makes a few decent points. The author's central point seems to be: The main difference can be reduced to this: Male golfers have a much greater tendency than female golfers to view playing golf as the most important nonwork, nonfamily activity in their lives, and to conduct themselves accordingly. Not being a golfer, I'm curious: for those of you who are golfers, do you a)feel that this observation is true, and b)really, honestly, have the experience with both male and female golfers that would make this a valid generalization? I'm perfectly willing to believe that it is true (although I'd like more than one person's data points), and that it thus changes the experience such that you really wouldn't want to be playing golf with people who are after a different experience. I wonder, however, if that's an accurate representation of the reasoning behind the Augusta policy.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:03 PM on May 08

If the Augusta National Golf Club's membership was comprised entirely of women, or of blacks, this would not be an issue whatsoever. Hugh Janus: You do not speak for all men. Your comments are untrue, unfounded, and pusillanimous. Your assumption that these men are cowards, cads, and a cut below other men is laughingly obtuse. In fact, I would dare speculate that Ms. Janus has the huevos of the Janus household. These men are titans of industry, lawmakers, entrepenuers, men of vision, and many of them served in WW II or Korea. So, get off your white horse and discard your chivalrous notion that there is a wrong being committed, or that you are in any way better than they are, just because they choose to belong to an exclusive club, that does not allow women. Or better yet, go to a quilting bee with some of your manly pals.

posted by mjkredliner at 09:31 PM on May 08

P.S. A real man does not call another man a coward unless to his face.

posted by mjkredliner at 09:43 PM on May 08

I don't think Real Men spend a lot of time discussing the rules they live by on message boards either. They're out ropin' doggies. Big ones too, like St. Bernards.

posted by yerfatma at 06:35 AM on May 09

These men are titans of industry, lawmakers, entrepenuers, men of vision, and many of them served in WW II or Korea. And if they've done all that, and are still afraid to play golf around women, then they're laughable. I overstate my case, but I'm talking about a mindset that, like the racism that came and went before it, reflects poorly on the individual men who embrace it. In my view, they should be ashamed of themselves. And of course I don't speak for all men. I speak for myself, and if I thought you were a coward, I'd call you one, to your face or on a bulletin board. After reading your snide comment about my wife, I'd like to meet you and straighten you out. Funny how you think my disparaging a bunch of guys you don't know merits your insulting my family.

posted by Hugh Janus at 08:42 AM on May 09

Not being a golfer, I'm curious: for those of you who are golfers, do you a)feel that this observation is true, and b)really, honestly, have the experience with both male and female golfers that would make this a valid generalization? Personally, I see golf as a great way to waste four hours of a beautiful morning/afternoon. I'll golf with men, women, and any combination of the above. Hell, if monkeys pick up the clubs and start playing, I'll hit the links with them, too (get it? links? Link? Holy crap, I just linked to Link!) I don't do business on the golf course, and even if I was in a position to do my bidness on the links, I probably wouldn't, because I enjoy the game too much. I'd much rather spend the morning/early afternoon handling the business of business at the office, then spend the rest of the day golfing/drinking/having a good time, and maybe winning some money from my playing partners. The golf course also happens to be one of my favorite places to get stoned, which I'll also do with men, women, and/or chimpanzees. Oh, and before we get into a glove-across-the-face-I-demand-satisfaction-sir pissing match about who speaks for all men, and what constitutes being a "real man," none of you do, and each of us defines it differently, so shut up with the jibba jabba.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 08:44 AM on May 09

Hugh Janus: You do not speak for all men. I'm just waiting for the day when one of you jokers starts applying your rules to your own conduct. P.S. A real man does not call another man a coward unless to his face. So...real men don't call other men cowards through the internet, but real men do call other men less than manly through the internet? Questioning a man's courage is not permissible, but questioning his masculinity is A-OK? Have I got that right?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 08:48 AM on May 09

The men Mr Janus referred to as cowards are, in all likelyhood, NOT members of Sports Filter, and therefore, will in all probability, NOT be able to respond to his unfounded accusations of being cowards, or less than men, which I have a problem with. Apparently, Mr. Janus does not like unbased allegations hurled at him, either. But at least he has a chance to respond.

posted by mjkredliner at 10:03 AM on May 09

Read my response again: I overstate my case, but I'm talking about a mindset that, like the racism that came and went before it, reflects poorly on the individual men who embrace it. In my view, they should be ashamed of themselves. You're going to leave your personal insults to my wife and family lying there, after I've tempered my abuse of these men with my opinion as to why they're wrong. They may not be cowards or cads, but in my view there's something wrong with them; very wrong. I'm going to assume you don't know them. And I'm going to ask again: What makes you think that, in defense of some men you don't know, you should insult my wife? I notice you didn't respond directly to me, the last time I pointed this out. I'm currently revising my opinion on who's a coward.

posted by Hugh Janus at 10:30 AM on May 09

I don't mean to police my own thread here, but: mjkredliner, once again, you've made this into a personal argument. Hugh, cut it out. Take this shit offline. We're here to talk about sports and related issues, not whose dick is bigger.

posted by chicobangs at 12:08 PM on May 09

...have the experience with both male and female golfers that would make this a valid generalization? I would say that it is more true than not, however still a broad generalization. For me I would consider a round of golf with my wife and kids as an entirely different experience than a round with my three best friends. When I play with my family, I want to help them. I am simply enjoying spending time with each of them. My focus is not on my round, a missed put from three feet is not a big deal. To enjoy an afternoon with them is why we are there. A round with my friends is different. We are playing for very small sums of money. It's not about the $1 a hole, it's about winning. We are all competitive and it is a way to compete. It is a release of the competitive juices which still flow in our blood. We are too old to compete in the organized sports we played in our youth. The same three foot putt, on the same course becomes an entirely different personal experience, depending on who I'm with. The membership of Augusta represents roughly, .0000012% of our population. If women were admitted how many women would be invited to join? Three? It took Bill Gates years to get in, Bill Gates. This place is so exclusive, the club sandwich doesn't include bacon! I simply miss the need for the outcry for the rights of the super wealthy to play golf. As SDM said, let them have their club.

posted by tselson at 12:38 PM on May 09

Fine. Then move the Masters somewhere that better reflects the ethics of the PGA, which, given what's been going down with Wie & Sorenstam lately, can't be jibing with this very well at all. Then Augusta can do whatever the hell they want.

posted by chicobangs at 12:53 PM on May 09

Augusta owns the masters. its an invitation only tournanent.

posted by yankee0758 at 01:01 PM on May 09

if we are going to see a female in a major, it will probably be the U.S. Open, where you can qualify at a regional site.

posted by yankee0758 at 01:03 PM on May 09

How come men refer to women as "females" in contexts where they don't refer to men as "males"?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:45 PM on May 09

26 years in the army, where women are refered to as females, and men are refered to as males. just a habit, no offense meant

posted by yankee0758 at 01:49 PM on May 09

The Masters tournament is different than admittance into the club. It is an invitation only tournament. Invites these days are based on world ranking, PGA ranking and exemptions for previous champions etc. Very few if any of the golfers invited are members of the club. The club itself and the tournament are two different animals. If and when a woman qualifies for the Masters tournament, I would be shocked if she wasn't invited. Again, the tournament isn't a members only tournament it is an invitational. Until a woman qualifies for the tournament this is not an issue. When that happens

posted by tselson at 01:58 PM on May 09

How come men refer to women as "females" in contexts where they don't refer to men as "males"? Jebus, what a chick thing to say. I kid!

posted by HATER 187 at 02:26 PM on May 09

I think this argument that it is a private club and can do what they want is pretty funny. If we followed that rule for all sports, there would be no Sportsfilter. Let's not talk about the Red Sox or Yankees. They are private businesses, they can do whatever they want.

posted by bperk at 02:44 PM on May 09

-lets not talk about the Red Sox or Yankees...- They ARE private businesses, and, they CAN do what they want. How many women have ever played for either team? Why is that? Does that mean we can't talk about them? I guess i don't understand what you mean by your comments

posted by yankee0758 at 02:51 PM on May 09

Yes, but that has nothing to do with us debating them constantly and discussing the wisdom of their actions. No one kills a discussion on whether the Cowboys should have signed TO with the argument that Jones owns the Cowboys and can do whatever he wants. It is a silly argument in a sports context because whoever we are discussing can always do whatever he/she/it wants.

posted by bperk at 02:59 PM on May 09

Mr. Janus, I did not mean to insult your wife, I meant to suggest that she wears the pants in the family. That said, I was wrong to even mention her, as she had nothing to do with your scathing accusation of the members of Augusta National Golf Club being cowards, and for that I apologize. You are correct in that I do not personally know any of the members, but I have contributed to more than one of their war chests, and would not have done so if I in any way considered them to be cowardly. Many of the men that you called cowards served our country honorably, so that you and I may have such latitude as having a place to hang out with whomever we choose. To call another man a coward, particularly one you don't know, behind his back, is one of the lowest forms of cowardice, especially if you consider the true meaning of "coward". I'll not link to the definition here, as I think we all know what it means. Perhaps your choice of words was unfortunate, as was my reaction. Here's wishing everyone the freedom to associate with whomever they choose, wherever they choose.

posted by mjkredliner at 03:56 PM on May 09

When that happens... oops.

posted by tselson at 04:40 PM on May 09

Many of the men that you called cowards served our country honorably, so that you and I may have such latitude as having a place to hang out with whomever we choose. The neat thing is that's so far from on point I'm not really sure which logical fallacy best applies. I do know the whole comment is such a back-handed bullshit "apology" that it does speak volumes. My gut is Post hoc ergo propter hoc, but there's also the fact you don't offer any evidence that your underlying claim (Augusta National is populated by a number of WWII veterans or veterans in general), which would be begging the question. My personal opinion is there aren't too many combat veterans out there who would be willing to get their asses blown off for some other guy's right to prevent a woman from playing golf. If you disagree, read the preceding statement aloud and then ask yourself if the opposition sounds defensible.

posted by yerfatma at 04:52 PM on May 09

It's not like Augusta National is the only men only golf course. Where is the outcry over Southern Dunes? Just another one of several men only courses. For those truely interested in this debate, its a good article

posted by Folkways at 05:09 PM on May 09

Thanks for the link Folkways, but I'm not sure I buy the argument. I went to an all-male high school and I would gladly send any son I have to one because I think there are some built-in advantages to not spending puberty trying to impress the opposite sex when you're supposed to be learning (something). I just don't think you can set aside golf courses in the same way because women play the game in such smaller percentages. With high school, there are a zillion other comparable options out there for girls because there are just as many (slightly more, actually) females under the same demand curve. When a course is closed to women, can you say they aren't missing out? Where's the comparable option (I realize Southern Dunes is in AZ and there are plenty of other courses, but that's not the case all over)? More to the point, Southern Dunes isn't Augusta; Augusta is a stand-in for the game itself and the game itself has a nasty history of exclusionism. Augusta would do well to open its doors to whomever can afford to march through them as a means of cleansing old wounds.

posted by yerfatma at 05:33 PM on May 09

There are 4500 private golf clubs, of which 24 are male only nationwide. This doesn't even take into account the puplic courses out there. I don't really think women are missing out with this ratio. The bigger issue is premium tee times being reserved for men at clubs both public and private. It's getting better, but, i've still seen this policy at a public course within the last year. Prehaps this is where more energy should be focused in regards to equal access to women at golf clubs.

posted by yankee0758 at 06:07 PM on May 09

What this comes down to is that Augusta is a private club. Since the Masters is an invitation only tournament, the club should have the right to admit whoever it wants. As stated above, it is not like a man can just walk in, say hey I have balls and I play golf, and he will be allowed to play in the Masters. However, I think playing in the Masters and being in the club are seperate issues. The owners of Augusta have the full rights to admit whoever they want into the tournament. If they feel someone is not up to par then they should not be forced to allow them in. Once a woman wins a men's tournament however, I think they will have to review their policies. As for the club, can their "No females women" policy be considered discrimination?

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 06:17 PM on May 09

What this comes down to is that Augusta is a private club. Since the Masters is an invitation only tournament, the club should have the right to admit whoever it wants. Really? No Jews, no dogs, no Irish ok by you? GITTES Do you accept anyone of the Jewish persuasion? Evelyn can't quite conceal her surprise at the question. PALMER (very embarrassed) I'm sorry -- we don't. GITTES (smoothly) Don't be sorry, neither does Dad. Wanted to make sure though, didn't we, honey?

posted by yerfatma at 08:05 PM on May 09

...Royal Fox, which was the first private golf club in the Chicago area to permit women to join on their own, as full voting members rather than as spouses. The response was underwhelming. "Very few women applied, or even asked about applying," he told me. Today, Royal Fox has roughly 275 members, of whom six are women. From the article linked above. There is not much, if any demand on women joining clubs like Augusta. If everyone wants to scream bloody murder about the fact that possible 6-7 women are not being allowed to join Augusta, have at it. Are there any applications from women that are laying dormant due to Augusta's policy? I don't know. While it seems all well and good to champion the rights of women to join this club, the facts are that one would only be championing the rights of a handful of people. A f-n handful! This club and their policies are so miniscule it is laughable. Perhaps there is fear that Augusta is only the beginning...I hear that pink golf balls are being banned. These goofballs are not a threat to anyone. I honestly don't get why people get so pissed off about 300 rich guys, being pompous. If tomorrow they changed their policy and allowed women to apply for membership, they may end up with a couple who are even remotely acceptable, by their standards. Remember, these members had a hard time accepting Bill Gates. He's a dork, but a rich one. No matter, they focused on dork not money. This place is goofy. As long as their tournament invites anyone who qualifies no matter their gender, I really don't see what the fuss is about.

posted by tselson at 10:44 PM on May 09

yerfatma: Your use of Latin is, well, never mind, lets just say that "logical fallacy" would have sufficed for your argument. I never implied that men defended our country so that another guy would have the right to prevent a woman from playing golf. Belonging to a club, exclusive, or otherwise, is just one of the many liberties that we enjoy as a result of their sacrifices. Augusta National does not prevent women from playing golf, upwards of 1,000 rounds a year are played by women as guests of the members of Augusta. There are municipal courses and other country clubs in Augusta, Georgia, as well, for the local women who may feel disenfranchised. Exclusivity is not an Augusta Trademark: Try getting a tee time at Merion, or Winged Foot, or any one of hundreds of private clubs around the country, and you will have no luck, unless you are a "guest" of a member. I did not say that a vast majority of the members were veterans, it is a sad fact that only a small percentage of Tom Brokaw's "Greatest Generation" remain here with us. But, as recently as 15 years ago, I think that the number of members who were indeed veterans would have surprised even the most cynical naysayer. Even so, you may be surprised at the number who are there today, given that the average age of the membership is 72 years old, with many much older than that. Many of the members, past and present, were/are prominent enough citizens that a bio of some type was written of them. Veteran or not, their being a member of Augusta in no way constitutes a reason for someone to call them a coward. You will find the qualifications for invitation to the Masters tournament here. Although these have changed in recent years, I wholeheartedly wish that anyone who knows of the governing body of Augusta changing these to exclude a person of color or of the female gender in the last 50 years, would kindly inform me of the incident. I believe there was a case in the 1950's involving Charlie Sifford, but we have forgiven baseball it's transgressions in this area, so I do not see why Augusta can not be afforded like treatment. Lastly, I really didn't get the joke/jab about the St. Bernards. I've come to expect much more razor like humor from you.

posted by mjkredliner at 01:45 AM on May 10

I honestly don't get why people get so pissed off about 300 rich guys, being pompous. tselson, you and all the other folks crying, "Let it alone!" need to look in the mirror, I think. Nobody's drafting you to picket the front gate at Augusta, and it's no skin off your nose if someone else chooses to do so. Yet if you look at the comments in this thread, I think you'll find that the people getting "so pissed off" are the ones who seem irrationally angered at others' beliefs that it's time for Augusta to take the "no girls allowed" sign off the clubhouse. Who's getting "so pissed off" here? Why not take your own advice and let it alone?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:46 AM on May 10

Chicobangs, I'm sorry. I should have kept it in check.

posted by Hugh Janus at 08:02 AM on May 10

I, as well, Mr. Janus.

posted by mjkredliner at 08:15 AM on May 10

Who's getting "so pissed off" here? I didn't mean anyone here, sorry if that's how it sounded. I meant the people who did...Ah what the hell. I was just trying to offer my perspective on it, guess I'll just quit being irrational and shut the fuck up.

posted by tselson at 12:36 PM on May 10

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