November 11, 2002

Hell, no!: Hootie Johnson, in an interview with the Associated Press held November 4 and released today, says Augusta National will not have a female member before next year's Masters, which will go on, no matter what. (full Q&A text)

posted by msacheson to golf at 06:40 PM - 2 comments

He's absolutely right that there will always be a Masters. Despite what Martha Burk seems to think, you can't separate The Masters from Augusta National Golf Club. It wouldn't matter if CBS went away and 99% of the pros rejected their invitations. Augusta would still defiantly hold The Masters every April. The winner might be a club pro from Boise, but he'd be don the green jacket. The problem with this entire fiasco is that you have two incredibly stubborn individuals opposing each other, and both take positions that are legally defensible. Since there are no legal issues involved, Burk argues for "the greater social good," while Hootie argues for the right to associate with whomever the hell you want. Both of those (imho) are objectives worth pursuing/defending. So which prevails? Augusta would rather lose it all than risk appearing to be pressured from the outside. For this to be resolved I think there have to be some deep behind-the-scenes negotiations in which a woman member will be admitted in a way that saves face for Augusta. I envision something along the lines of Augusta indicating that they have been exploring the idea for some time, and will take their time making a decision. A year or two down the road, with little or no fanfare, they'll admit a woman member. However, I don't think Burk will go for that (even though it would get her what she ostensibly wants). Finally, I always have to note that this is such a silly place for Burk to focus. ANGC's main discrimination is against those who are not rich and connected. That's the discrimination that excludes me, you, and Bill Gates, and 99.9999% of the population, let alone one token woman.

posted by jmpeterson at 10:38 AM on November 12, 2002

This issue is still pissing me. The reasons why are changing a bit now as I hear more and more about it. First, let me say that I could care less about Augusta, their club and it's membership. I think about that place for maybe four days a year and for those four days the club is less of a club than a simple venue for great golf. Outside of that extended weekend, why should I give a crap about them? I'm a white dude, but I can say with reasonable certainty that I'll never be allowed as a member there. They won't allow me, my friends or women. Sounds like a stupid club to me and I don't want to belong. All in all, I don't understand why they shouldn't be allowed to keep me or anyone they want out of their stupid club. And as such, I don't know why anyone cares? People call it a symbol or symbolic or something, but shouldn't Ms. Burk be working on more important issues that affect all of those she's working for rather than one or two super-rich, snobby women? My solution: Augusta should allow a single woman member this year and it should be Ms. Burk. Once she's a part of the club she'll see how much it sucks to hang out with those losers and it'll all go away. Then she can get back to important work.

posted by 86 at 12:47 PM on November 13, 2002

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