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America's All-Male Golfing Society [New York Times Editorial Alert]
The New York Times ^ | 11/18/2002

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.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; US: Georgia
KEYWORDS: augustanational; cbssports; hootiejohnson; kennethchenault; masters; sandraoconnor; sanfordweill; tigerwoods; viacom
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1 posted on 11/18/2002 11:41:11 AM PST by GeneD
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To: GeneD
The only right that liberals detest more than the right to bear arms is freedom of association.
2 posted on 11/18/2002 11:43:12 AM PST by UncleWes
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To: GeneD
The chances of Tiger boycotting the Masters is about as likely as me qualifying for it.
3 posted on 11/18/2002 11:44:24 AM PST by Phantom Lord
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To: GeneD
As a woman I say, "BULLY FOR HIM!"
4 posted on 11/18/2002 11:45:22 AM PST by apackof2
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To: GeneD
"The constitutional right to choose is real, but it is not limited to Mr. Johnson and his all-male choir."
If the Feminazi are so upset by this, they can pony up the money to build and fund their own course. Men are habitually rejected by women's spa's, health clubs and even some exercise programs.
Sometimes men just want the ability to be themselves without having to apologise for every action to a woman who never forgets anything.
5 posted on 11/18/2002 11:46:48 AM PST by Governor
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To: UncleWes
The only right that liberals detest more than the right to bear arms is freedom of association.

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.

6 posted on 11/18/2002 11:47:02 AM PST by dirtboy
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To: GeneD
I guess the NYT didn't catch wind lassat week of the failed lawsuit by the guy who wanted join the women only gym.
7 posted on 11/18/2002 11:47:29 AM PST by Texas_Jarhead
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To: GeneD
The New York Times (like most liberals) can't get it through their thick skulls that Tiger Woods just isn't interested in their petty little political squabbles. He just wants to play golf, period.
8 posted on 11/18/2002 11:49:54 AM PST by jpl
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To: GeneD
But that Masters magic is based on discrimination that Citigroup, American Express, CBS and other modern corporations vowed to eradicate decades ago.

False. When did these companies vow to eradicate freedom of association.

9 posted on 11/18/2002 11:50:11 AM PST by Balata
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To: GeneD
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 can’t quit! I’m 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.

10 posted on 11/18/2002 11:52:37 AM PST by dead
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To: Governor
I DEMAND the Lucille Roberts begin accepting male members immediately.
11 posted on 11/18/2002 11:53:19 AM PST by WaveThatFlag
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To: GeneD
...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

Does this mean that the NY Times will take the lead and not cover the Masters next year? Somehow I doubt it.

12 posted on 11/18/2002 11:55:02 AM PST by centexan
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To: GeneD
The one good thing about this nonsense is that Augusta WILL NOT cave in as the countless others have.
13 posted on 11/18/2002 11:55:44 AM PST by 1Old Pro
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To: GeneD
To demonstrate the hypocrisy, have a look at the article, which I've "ever so slightly" re-edited.

Hillary Clinton has become the poster girl for a particularly regressive branch of the college set. As she announced somewhat testily last week, Wellesley, her famous all-female college, has no plans to admit men - not anytime soon and certainly not in time for the 2004 elections.

Wellesley is a private college, Ms. Clinton explained, and has 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 Ms. Clinton and her all-female choir. If the club that runs Wellesely can brazenly discriminate against men, that means others can choose not to support Ms. Clinton's college. That includes more enlightened members of the college, its alumni, various foundations and branches of government.

Wellesley is one of America's toniest colleges, one that brings in hundreds of millions of dollars a year. But that magic is based on discrimination that modern corporations vowed to eradicate decades ago. Corporations and foundations that support Wellesley need to think again.

Hillary Clinton, perhaps Wellesley's most famous alum, could simply choose to disavow her college and its policy of discrimination. The disapproval of its most famous alum would put a dreaded asterisk by the name of future graduates. It would send a powerful message that discrimination isn't good for the college business.

Of course, if Ms. Clinton took that view, the college might suddenly find room for a few male students. President Bush's nephew is said to be a very good pupil.


14 posted on 11/18/2002 11:56:21 AM PST by governsleastgovernsbest
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To: 1Old Pro
The one good thing about this nonsense is that Augusta WILL NOT cave in as the countless others have.

Yes they will. It just can't be now, so that it appears they are responding to pressure. I think you'll see it in about 2-3 years.
15 posted on 11/18/2002 11:58:00 AM PST by BikerNYC
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To: GeneD
I wonder what the New York Times thinks about the exclusive all- female golf club in Toronto?
16 posted on 11/18/2002 12:00:06 PM PST by ewing
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To: GeneD
If Bubba was a member, this wouldn't even be an issue.
17 posted on 11/18/2002 12:01:14 PM PST by Paul Atreides
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To: ewing
Really? What club is this?
18 posted on 11/18/2002 12:02:41 PM PST by Lost Highway
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To: GeneD
Our dykee feminist sisters will try to ruin the upcoming Master's for participants and spectators.

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).

19 posted on 11/18/2002 12:04:07 PM PST by martin gibson
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To: BikerNYC
Yes they will. It just can't be now, so that it appears they are responding to pressure. I think you'll see it in about 2-3 years.

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.

20 posted on 11/18/2002 12:05:28 PM PST by 1Old Pro
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To: Lost Highway
Sports Illustrated's terrific back page columnist had a great profile about the exclusive Toronto club.

I'll try and find it for you.

21 posted on 11/18/2002 12:07:55 PM PST by ewing
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To: GeneD
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.

I volunteer to take their membership slots.

22 posted on 11/18/2002 12:10:03 PM PST by cschroe
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To: ewing
I wonder what the New York Times thinks about the exclusive all- female golf club in Toronto?

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.

23 posted on 11/18/2002 12:12:46 PM PST by Blue Screen of Death
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To: 1Old Pro
Okay, that's fair. As more and more women become corporate execs of the type that might otherwise join the club, I don't think it's in the club's long-term interest to exclude them. If the CEO of a company is a woman who has always expressed an interest in joining Augusta, I don't think it would be particularly wise for her immediate male underlings to join. But, ya never know.
24 posted on 11/18/2002 12:13:43 PM PST by BikerNYC
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To: ewing
Is this it?

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

25 posted on 11/18/2002 12:15:32 PM PST by GeneD
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To: GeneD; All
Great column, one of my favorites.
26 posted on 11/18/2002 12:18:50 PM PST by ewing
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To: GeneD
Thanks for posting that. Good read. I may have to reconsider my opinion of SI.
27 posted on 11/18/2002 12:24:55 PM PST by Lost Highway
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To: GeneD
That includes more enlightened members of the club, CBS Sports, which televises the Masters, and the players, especially Tiger Woods.

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?

28 posted on 11/18/2002 12:25:22 PM PST by Burkeman1
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To: GeneD
What is the waiting list and the membership fees like for Agusta?
29 posted on 11/18/2002 12:25:27 PM PST by Mike Darancette
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To: GeneD
toniest?

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...

30 posted on 11/18/2002 12:31:26 PM PST by Lou L
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To: BikerNYC
If the CEO of a company is a woman who has always expressed an interest in joining Augusta, I don't think it would be particularly wise for her immediate male underlings to join. But, ya never know.

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.

31 posted on 11/18/2002 12:32:33 PM PST by 1Old Pro
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To: GeneD
Look, any Neanderthal knows it's wrong to keep women out of Augusta National.

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".

32 posted on 11/18/2002 12:34:51 PM PST by FreeTally
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To: Burkeman1
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?

BINGO!

That's exactly what I was getting at in my #32.

33 posted on 11/18/2002 12:36:32 PM PST by FreeTally
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To: Mike Darancette
What is the waiting list and the membership fees like for Agusta?

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.)

34 posted on 11/18/2002 12:37:20 PM PST by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: Mike Darancette
What is the waiting list and the membership fees like for Agusta?

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.

35 posted on 11/18/2002 12:38:41 PM PST by Moonman62
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To: Mike Darancette
If you have to ask, you can't afford it, and you've probably forever disqualified yourself by asking.

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.

36 posted on 11/18/2002 12:39:49 PM PST by MoralSense
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To: Mike Darancette
Some of the Augusta townsfolk say that the yearly fees are about $15,000.00 (no one is sure because it is not public information)

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..

37 posted on 11/18/2002 12:40:02 PM PST by ewing
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To: GeneD
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.

Of course the profits for CBS are untold. That's because they don't make any. CBS covers the tournament for prestige, not profits.

38 posted on 11/18/2002 12:40:31 PM PST by Moonman62
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To: UncleWes
The only right that liberals detest more than the right to bear arms is freedom of association.

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.

39 posted on 11/18/2002 12:40:40 PM PST by amused
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To: rdb3; Khepera; elwoodp; MAKnight; condolinda; mafree; Trueblackman; FRlurker; Teacher317; ...
Black conservative ping

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.

40 posted on 11/18/2002 12:41:43 PM PST by mhking
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To: MoralSense
I was asked to play at Augusta by a business associate and consider it one of the non-family related career highlights of my life. (that and playing Pebble Beach)
41 posted on 11/18/2002 12:42:17 PM PST by ewing
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To: 1Old Pro
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.

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.

42 posted on 11/18/2002 12:44:03 PM PST by amused
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To: mhking; All
Complete Augusta National Membership List (Alphabetical and by state) http://www.usatoday.com/sports/golf/masters/2002-09-27-augusta-list.htm
43 posted on 11/18/2002 12:47:09 PM PST by ewing
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To: GeneD
Long ago, when Groucho Marx said "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member," it was absurd enough people knew it was a joke. The modern feminist movement has made it a policy statment.

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.

44 posted on 11/18/2002 12:51:03 PM PST by Snuffington
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To: ewing
For the most part from that list, it looks like the place where wealthy old men go while they're waiting for the mausoleum to be completed.
45 posted on 11/18/2002 12:52:55 PM PST by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: Mike Darancette
Article- 'Golf's Secret Society' http://www.usatoday.com/sports/golf/masters/2002-09-27-augusta_x.htm
46 posted on 11/18/2002 12:52:59 PM PST by ewing
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To: apackof2
Me too! A private club is a private club wheter it be male or female. I'm tired of all these groups trying to bully some other group. It's time it stopped! Good for that man to not allow himself to be intimidated. Everyone needs to grow up, don't go to a show if you think it will offend you, don't turn on that TV show if it offends you, Don't read that book if it offends you. In other words...everyone has a choice! Move on and forget about so much nonsense. We're supposed to be grownups but I wonder sometimes...I really wonder!

47 posted on 11/18/2002 12:53:16 PM PST by cubreporter
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To: GeneD
Yup. Much ado about nothing.
48 posted on 11/18/2002 12:54:32 PM PST by CapedCrusader
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To: Moonman62
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.

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.

49 posted on 11/18/2002 12:55:05 PM PST by WaveThatFlag
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To: GeneD
Lol - the reality is that I've never played golf there nor never will. Although stranger things have happened. I would be disappointed if they changed their membership policies.
50 posted on 11/18/2002 12:56:06 PM PST by Frapster
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