Skip to comments.America's All-Male Golfing Society [New York Times Editorial Alert]
Posted on 11/18/2002 11:41:11 AM PST by GeneD
William (Hootie) Johnson, the chairman of the Augusta National Golf Club, has become the poster boy for a particularly regressive branch of the golfing set. As he announced somewhat testily last week, his famous all-male country club has no plans to add women members not anytime soon and certainly not in time for the Masters tournament in April. Augusta National is a private club, Mr. Johnson explained, and thus his members have a "constitutional right to choose" who can be excluded from its expensive inner sanctum.
The constitutional right to choose is real, but it is not limited to Mr. Johnson and his all-male choir. If the club that runs the Masters can brazenly discriminate against women, that means others can choose not to support Mr. Johnson's golfing fraternity. That includes more enlightened members of the club, CBS Sports, which televises the Masters, and the players, especially Tiger Woods.
Some club members, like Sanford Weill of Citigroup and Kenneth Chenault at American Express, have called for an end to the gender discrimination. A lot of good that did back in Augusta however. The club reaffirmed its all-male code.
Augusta National is the host of America's toniest golf tournament, one that brings about $20 million to the club from the public and untold profits for CBS Sports. But that Masters magic is based on discrimination that Citigroup, American Express, CBS and other modern corporations vowed to eradicate decades ago. Mr. Weill and Mr. Chenault should lead the way by resigning from the club and encouraging other C.E.O.'s to do the same. CBS Sports, which seems to think this issue is no big deal, needs to think again.
Tiger Woods, who has won the Masters three times, could simply choose to stay home in April. The absence of golf's best player would put a dreaded asterisk by the name of next year's winner. And a tournament without Mr. Woods would send a powerful message that discrimination isn't good for the golfing business. Of course, if Mr. Woods took that view, the club might suddenly find room for a few female members. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, for example, is said to be a very good golfer.
Hey, at least the Times is calling for private action against Augusta National, not government intervention. The right of association also includes the right NOT to associate with someone in a business relationship because you disagree with their policies.
False. When did these companies vow to eradicate freedom of association.
Mr. Weill and Mr. Chenault should lead the way by resigning from the club and encouraging other C.E.O.'s to do the same.
Oh horrors! Sandy and Kenny cant quit! Im sure the other members will be too distraught by their absense to ever golf again.
CBS Sports, which seems to think this issue is no big deal, needs to think again.
"This completely manufactured non-story that nobody gives a crap about is actually extremely important."
Thus spaketh the New York Times, dark uber-lord keeper of newsworthiness rankings.
Does this mean that the NY Times will take the lead and not cover the Masters next year? Somehow I doubt it.
Look for all kinds of disruptions from the 'hairy/puppetry/goddess ceremony/abortion enthusiast' crowd with lot's of encouragement from the NYT girly men.
A rat is a dog is a pig is a feminist (...with profound apologies to rats, dogs and pigs).
They are saying now and have said that they aren't ruling out women members and they will probably have them, on their timeline. So I don't see that as a cave in. A cave in would be to do it in the next few months or even during 2003.
I'll try and find it for you.
I volunteer to take their membership slots.
The same as they think about 99+% of the combat deaths in a war with Iraq will be males. Another exclusive all male club...the combat dead.
No Man's Land
(by Rick Reilly, Sports Illustrated)
It's out-and-out discrimination! To be barred from a golf club based on your genitals is an outrage! And for 78 years now!
Augusta National? Nah. The Ladies' Golf Club of Toronto.
Since it opened in 1924, the Ladies' Golf Club has never had a male member. Thousands of men have wanted to join. Are you kidding? You'd give your left Titleist to be a member. The course is gorgeous! Located on the outskirts of Toronto, it's lined with huge trees and has steep elevations.
But unless you have ovaries, don't even apply.
I know. I tried. The waiting list is one year -- unless you're a man, in which case the waiting list is forever and a year.
"We do not accept men," the receptionist said when I called. "However, if you know a member, she can sponsor you to become a guest-card holder. If you're approved, you can play before 8:30 a.m. and after noon, except on weekends, when you can play after 3. And you pay full greens fees as well."
Wait a second. Restricted tee times? Extra fees? What am I, some kind of second-class citizen?
Still, I badly wanted to play the course. I did know, barely, one member, Sandy Guluk. Like most women, Sandy has only one thing on her mind -- golf. She plays five days a week, 36 holes if she can, unless she can play 61, which she did once. She said I could join her for one (1) round last week.
Driving up to the course, it hits you that the Ladies' Golf Club has the most beautiful entrance north of Magnolia Lane. The driveway weaves under the huge trees and up a hill to a graceful, white-and-green, 82-year-old clubhouse. Seems oddly familiar, doesn't it?
But if you happen to be a man, don't try to park in the main lots. Those are female-only lots. Not members only, female only. A $9 hooker asking directions can park right up front, but I had to drive another 200 yards around back and park on gravel.
And that was just the start of the humiliation. The women's locker room takes up almost the entire top floor of the clubhouse and has a beautiful veranda overlooking the 18th green. The men's locker room is way in the back, behind the pro shop. It's the size of Gandhi's closet -- one lousy urinal, no TV, no radio, one crummy golf painting on the wall, no shoeshine guy and no attendant.
"We're lucky we have this," said guest-card holder Bruce North. "Until three years ago all we had was an old shack. There weren't any showers or lockers. You just hung your clothes on a hook. We used to have to sneak beer in and keep it on ice."
Men aren't allowed on the driving range. Or at the member-guest events. Husbands and boyfriends are not allowed on the grounds without a member. And you can just guess how many times men ask to play through.
"They better not," said one of the club's 650 members. "Or they get the boot!"
Women are pigs.
Sandy was polite, but there was tension from the start. Our group included a seventysomething woman, and Sandy had to ask, in a whisper, if she'd mind playing with a you-know-what.
"A what?" the old lady yelled.
Sandy whispered louder.
"A man?" the old lady creaked. Then she peeked around Sandy's elbow, glared at me, crinkled her nose and said, "I guess."
This joint makes Augusta seem like the ACLU.
Twice Sandy found my ball 50 yards behind where I was looking. "Typical male," she muttered. And she didn't seem to appreciate the little chipping tip I gave her. "Just like my husband," I think she grumbled.
Still, it was such a good course. Why should some old-girls' network keep men out? True, it's believed to be the only ladies-only private golf club in North America, but, hell, 78 years from now there could be another!
Men, let the girlcott begin. Until this is resolved, withhold sex. When your wife brings you your home-cooked dinner, refuse thirds. Upon settling into your Barcalounger, snap it back brusquely.
Look, any Neanderthal knows it's wrong to keep women out of Augusta National. As soon as Martha Burk can find a woman willing to eat peach cobbler with a lot of dandruffs wearing flammable green coats, I say let her in.
As soon as they let one of us into theirs.
Issue date: September 16, 2002
How patronizing and insulting! The Left has been trying to co-opt Woods for years and he has consistently rebuffed all attempts to be politicized or used as some token for their causes. Leave it to the New York Times to hint that he be a good black boy and fall into line behind his Great White Liberal Fathers!
So confusing nowadays to be a liberal isn't it? OK- so seperate dorms for blacks, feminists, and gays are a good thing on campuses- but all male golf clubs are not "enlightened"? All Female schools are good- but all male military schools are not? Classes that exclude white males becasue they "intimidate" females are good but eating societies are sinister cauldrons of white male priviliage?
Of all the adjectives I've heard used to describe Augusta, this was never one of them.
Of course, "toniest" may apply if the NYT was describing itself...
I guess you can't just "join" Augusta. From what I've heard it's nearly impossible to join. Bill Gates asked to join a number of years ago and they still haven't allowed him to join.
This is what really makes me mad about the "columnists" who take Augusta's side on a "freedom of association" stance. They always say, "Its wrong, but their right". I wish someone, just someone ,would say, "No its, not 'wrong', its just a fact of life. In many situations, women want to be around only women, and minorities only want to be aound minorities. In this case, men want to be around only men. There is nothing 'wrong' about this".
They still act like that freedom of association is some "big stick" that white males use to beat-up on and exclude everyone else from some gigantic financial gains. They think that when women and minorities "exclude" others, its soley for "support" and "comfort" that could not be attained if men are present. But when men excercise the same right, the only reason is bigotry and oppresion, and that's "not right".
That's exactly what I was getting at in my #32.
You don't ask them. They invite you. (Apparently lobbying for admission is a no-no which, at the very least, delays your invitation and usually prevents it entirely.)
I don't think there is a waiting list. You're either invited or your not. There are only 300 members, and the initiation and dues are some of the lowest anywhere.
Seriously, Augusta can put pressure on a whole bunch of people in a whole bunch of places, the likes of which Martha Burk can only dream of. For example, they could cancel TV coverage of the Masters. CBS pays Augusta about 1/4 as much in rights fees as could be obtained by open auction, but the club just doesn't want that -- it wants control. CBS would scream, but they couldn't do a thing about it.
They could hold the tournament in private. It is, after all an invitational tournament, originally just for Bob Jones and his friends. Then the only people who'd see it would be the club members. If protesters showed up, the entire town of Augusta would run them out of town on a rail for blowing their yearly meal ticket. Tar and feathers, anyone?
Oh, what else. They could revoke press passes, starting with the New York Times. It's their tournament.
One thing the media has simply not gotten through its thick skull. Augusta doesn't need anybody. If people start behaving badly around the club and the tournament, they'd be just as happy if everybody would go away.
And corporate CEOs who shoot off their mouths might find their memberships revoked. It's happened before.
And there is no 'waiting list', you are asked to join once you are recommended by another member to the Club Committee (and you don't ever ask someone to sponsor you)
Bill Gates asked Warren Buffett to sponsor him and it took years for him to get into the club, some said it would never happen!
On the other hand Lou Holtz got right in this year since Hootie played football at South Carolina.
I think Sandra Day O'Connor or Nancy Lopez would be fine members personally..
Of course the profits for CBS are untold. That's because they don't make any. CBS covers the tournament for prestige, not profits.
I agree as it applies to whites and/or males. There are plenty of woman only health clubs and various minority organizations & ethinic groups that are "exclusionary", per the liberal notion of other races or ethnicities being members. I have no problem with these groups being discriminatory in their membership.
Liberal freedom of association is another case of rights for me and none for thee.
If you want on (or off) of my black conservative ping list, please let me know via FREEPmail. (And no, you don't have to be black to be on the list!)
Extra warning: this is a high-volume ping list.
Good point. Hootie has said time and again that the club will decide when it will have a woman member, not under threat of boycott or pressure from outside groups. Good for him.
There is literally NOTHING wrong with a bunch of rich men forming an exclusive club, buying a lot of land and putting a golf course on it. NOTHING. It does not require a statements, boycots, or media attention, because there is no story here.
That is, unless you believe enforced socialization rules ensure "diversity," and that this value supercedes freedom. The New York Times of course believes such nonsense. But the vast majority of people do not.
Augusta National gives the proceeds from the tournament away to charity. These are not people who can be financially extorted. I attended the Masters in 1991, and I am happy to report that, if anything, the members of Augusta National go out of their way to demonstrate that they are ruled by thier concept of manners and good taste, not the almighty dollar. Tickets to this tournamnet are easily the cheapest of the four majors. I am guessing that they barely break even on concessions. The waiting list to buy tickets to the perennially sold-out event has long since been discontinued. Augusta National could charge $2000 for a four day pass and I have no doubt that they would have no trouble selling every ticket every year.