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Things the Press Doesn't Know About Augusta National
The American Prowler ^ | 12/16/2002 12:03:00 AM | Lawrence Henry

Posted on 12/16/2002 6:48:15 AM PST by dts32041

The things the popular press does not know about the Augusta National Golf Club would fill a good-sized book. Let's start with only the most recent, Secretary of the Treasury designate John Snow's resignation of his membership from the club. Here's the mainstream, generally liberal, spin on that resignation, from a December 10 USA Today editorial:

"As a private club, Augusta can be as pigheaded as it wants. But that doesn't erase or excuse its shameful bias (against having women as members). Snow wasn't sensitive enough as a corporate chief to take a stand against it. But he was smooth enough in his new role to recognize an important truth. Just because something is legal doesn't mean it's right."

And here's the conservative reaction, from a New York Post editorial the day before:

"The club's men-only policy has made it a prime [New York] Times target -- and Snow could expect a lot of grief from Democrats and other Times' acolytes during his confirmation hearings. If he's so reluctant to risk offending the Gray Lady on these grounds, whatever will happen when serious business is under discussion? It's a cause for concern."

What both these newspapers miss is that the Augusta National Golf Club has been created in the honor and image of revered amateur golfer Bobby Jones, as a home for American gentlemen, and as a shrine to golf. The club has always tried to be the most wonderful place on earth for a certain kind of man, and it has succeeded. You can't buy your way in, or lobby your way in, or elbow your way in. You can only be invited. The members honor by emulation the refined example of Bob Jones's life, as a sporting champion and as an exemplary man who suffered most of his life, without complaint, from an excruciating, crippling disease. Bob Jones stood for something, something only dimly understood any more. The club still stands for that.

Indeed, the Masters itself is an invitational tournament, unlike any of the other three "major" golf tournaments throughout the year.

The National Review's Jay Nordlinger, writing only semi-facetiously in NR's "The Corner" on December 10, got closest to the truth: "Anyone who would give up a membership in Augusta National to be Treasury secretary is absurd. In fact, anyone who would do so is too misguided to hold high public office."

John Snow did not resign his Augusta National Golf Club membership to spare himself grief in the confirmation process, or to indicate agreement with the obsessive editorial stand of the New York Times about the club's not having women members. He resigned to spare the club any difficulties his new job might have caused. The club came first. That's why he resigned so promptly.

Keep this always in mind: The club is better than anyplace else. The club is more polite, more refined, more educated, more enlightened, than any vulgar newspaper or political organization or television network. The club does not need money, does not need anyone's approval, does not worry about pop culture or intellectual fashions.

It is quite literally untouchable.

Here's how untouchable the Augusta National Golf Club is, in contemporary terms. When the whole Martha Burk brouhaha blew up, the club canceled commercials on its upcoming 2003 Masters broadcast on the CBS television network. As reported, this was widely interpreted as the Augusta giving up advertising revenue in order to spare sponsors any difficulties.

Not so. The club didn't give up anything. They compelled CBS -- without a by-your-leave -- to give up CBS's advertising revenue. CBS sells the ad spots -- not Augusta.

How can the club do that? For some 40 years, CBS has been broadcasting the Masters, and has had to buy the rights to do so, at the club's insistence, one year at a time. Augusta has set that fee ridiculously low -- now in the $5-6 million range, when it's probably worth four times that much. That gives the club virtually complete control over CBS, which gets the immense prestige and power of delivering the Masters broadcast, and would die rather than give it up.

N.B. Michael Bamberger, writing in the November issue of Golf Magazine, said -- without any source -- that "it is likely" that Augusta National would forego its CBS broadcast fee and pay for the TV show. Writing a month later in the same magazine, John Feinstein mentioned no such thing. I don't believe it.

So what else could Augusta National do, if the New York Times persists in its silly obsession to use public pressure to compel the club to admit women -- and, more to the point, if the club decided that the Times's crusade might in some way damage the club's atmosphere or its members' comfort?

Let's see. They could hold the tournament in private, pretty much the way it started back in 1934. The club has a waiting list of ticket-holders a mile long; the same 30,000 or so patrons would show up who always show up to eat pimento cheese sandwiches and drink soft drinks from the Augusta National's signature green paper cups.

They could choose not to invite the press. If they wanted to, they could make their own film of the tournament (they always do) and then just release the film after the event.

They could, in short, do anything they wanted to. The Augusta National Golf Club, most delightfully, can flip the bird to the entire culture if it so chooses.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Extended News; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: augustanational; hootie; thebird
Someone who understands real power.

To bad the stupid party doesn't.

1 posted on 12/16/2002 6:48:15 AM PST by dts32041
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To: dts32041
$5-6 million to the folks at Augusta is chump change. I bet Bill Gates would donate it personally if they ever would invite him in.
2 posted on 12/16/2002 6:54:03 AM PST by KellyAdmirer
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To: dts32041
What newtowrk would televise the Augusta National proudced tournament on TV?

Would it be on Don King pay per view?

3 posted on 12/16/2002 6:56:21 AM PST by ewing
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To: KellyAdmirer
One of the interesting things as you point out, is the initiation fee.

In several cases that I have heard of, it the redoing of a hole or a couple, maybe redoing the Club House.

There is no exact fee, you are asked to do something for the grounds and the club.

4 posted on 12/16/2002 6:57:49 AM PST by dts32041
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To: dts32041
A post in the historic tradition of FreeRepublic. Brings to mind a legal battle with someone named JimRob against the media giants. I have a feeling, the next time will not be so one-sided. The nytimes and latimes are nothing, if not behind the times.
5 posted on 12/16/2002 7:01:05 AM PST by wita
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To: dts32041
"That gives the club virtually complete control over CBS"

Ask Gary McCord about that one.

Pine Valley in NJ makes Augusta National look like a road side attraction.

BTW From all I have read about Bobby Jones, he seems like a real Jerk not the saint he is now made out to be. And the Music and the church-like presentation of the Masters is nauseating. I don't buy into the Holy Masters. I watch it every year though.

6 posted on 12/16/2002 7:02:48 AM PST by Afronaut
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To: ewing
If the Masters went pay-per-view, it would be the biggest grossing event in history, by a mile. If they shopped it to other networks, EVERY network would be interested. If they decided not to televise it, the mystique of the event would increase tenfold. It's the ONLY golf tournament that non-golf fans watch year in and year out, regardless of where Tiger is in the field. I hope they use this immense power to stick it in the eye of the NY Times and the socialists, because very few institutions have the power to do that.
7 posted on 12/16/2002 7:04:05 AM PST by Republic of Texas
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To: dts32041
I've never seen the area, but I thought I saw an aerial photo of the course and it appeared to be sitting in the middle of an industrial park. Apparently there's alot going on just beyond the trees that make up the serene, rolling greenery.


8 posted on 12/16/2002 7:18:05 AM PST by Hatteras
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To: Afronaut
Please tell, Afro, what is it about the Masters that draws you to it every year? Nothing better on the tube?
9 posted on 12/16/2002 7:40:19 AM PST by Lou L
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To: Afronaut
Interesting point on Pine Valley.

Ya know - PVGC has only one set of tee markers, and a lady golfer with less than collegiate skill level has no chance of completing a round. It requires at least a 220yd carry to play the course.

(If a foursome is taking more than 4 hours, after one warning it is invited back to the clubhouse.)

(I spent a few strokes in 'hell's half acre', but never had to play out of the DA, although I visited, just to see how bad it would be.)

10 posted on 12/16/2002 7:50:36 AM PST by Triple
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To: Hatteras
No It's sitting right off the busiest throughfare in the area, right beside fast food row, completely hidden by a tall fence so us peons cannot ride by and see the grounds.
11 posted on 12/16/2002 7:59:16 AM PST by dwilli
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: dwilli
Please don't misunderstand, I'm pulling for Hootie on this one abd the course I see on TV is absolutely beautiful but, does the springtime scent of the Magnolias and Dogwoods compete with the mouth watering aroma of the French Fries?
13 posted on 12/16/2002 8:10:52 AM PST by Hatteras
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To: dwilli
I know what you are saying, I have friends who live in Augusta.

They took, me by the course and pointed it out.

I said where, they said behind the wall.

Television can deceive you so easily.

14 posted on 12/16/2002 8:14:09 AM PST by dts32041
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To: Hatteras
It's right down the street from Taco Bell, TGIF, Logans; etc
not far from I-20. I have been on the grounds but not during the Masters. There an almost Cathederal (SP?) like atmosphere about the place. Truly a special place anytime.
15 posted on 12/16/2002 8:15:48 AM PST by dwilli
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To: Hatteras
No.
16 posted on 12/16/2002 8:17:26 AM PST by Triple
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To: Triple
Best of the season to you, my friend.
17 posted on 12/16/2002 8:18:10 AM PST by OWK
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To: Triple
When the ladies and all decide to picket the Masters, they had better make sure their insurance is up to date because they will be walking to and fro on a very busy street
18 posted on 12/16/2002 8:23:21 AM PST by dwilli
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To: Lou L
Competitive Golf
19 posted on 12/16/2002 8:36:48 AM PST by Afronaut
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To: Afronaut
You've got to at least play golf a little to really appreciate how a course like Augusta can turn a par 3 into a seven for good golfers and just how fast the greens are and how that can kill you.
20 posted on 12/16/2002 8:50:02 AM PST by dwilli
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To: ewing
Read the article. CBS will be televising it w/out commercials.
21 posted on 12/16/2002 8:56:51 AM PST by Guillermo
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To: Hatteras
I wouldn't say industrial area, but certainly commerical.

You drive by, and say "THAT is Augusta National"? (It has very high fences, so you cannot see in).

But what I wouldn't give to play there!
22 posted on 12/16/2002 8:59:23 AM PST by Guillermo
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To: Guillermo
The Masters has always allowed CBS to air commercials only six minutes per hour during the telecst and The Masters would only allow two sponsors, used to be Cadillac and Citigroup.
23 posted on 12/16/2002 9:06:57 AM PST by dwilli
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To: Republic of Texas
I hope they use this immense power to stick it in the eye of the NY Times and the socialists...

Republic O.T. - I get real tired of posting this... They are NOT 'socialists'. Neither are they 'liberals' or 'progressives' or 'leftists' or any other such newspeak bullsh*t.

They are hardcore, unrepentant neo-Stalinists and nothing but.

I could really use some help down here in the language war.

24 posted on 12/16/2002 10:14:35 AM PST by martin gibson
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To: OWK
Right back at you.

High Regards,

25 posted on 12/16/2002 10:56:31 AM PST by Triple
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To: Republic of Texas
Would it still be a major on pay per view or would the PGA move to put the Players Championship in its palce?
26 posted on 12/16/2002 10:58:47 AM PST by ewing
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To: dts32041
I disgaree.

If CBS is forced to not televise the tourney because of the NAG gals, I think the status of the invitational as a major could be in doubt.

Does the PGA need this beef when the Players Championship is a couple of weeks before?

27 posted on 12/16/2002 11:01:19 AM PST by ewing
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To: ewing
Regardless of what the PGA did, the Masters would always be a major.
28 posted on 12/16/2002 11:06:00 AM PST by Republic of Texas
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To: martin gibson
I'll work on the language. I'm ahead of the curve by using socialists. I've been calling the Dems that for years. But your term is correct. When they achieve socialism, Marxism-Stalinism is next.
29 posted on 12/16/2002 11:07:34 AM PST by Republic of Texas
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