February 03, 2004

And the debate stumbles on...."If the girls come out and think they can play against the guys and fail every time, that can't be very positive."

posted by garfield to golf at 09:14 AM - 85 comments

if the girls come out and beat half the guys in the tournament, that can't be positive for the old line's manhood. the shark needs to relax. all i'm reading are excuses. like this guys cares about sponsership for women golfers. the chicks are showing that they can be competitive and some of the old line are a little scared or put off by that. these are competitive people so i can understand some of negative reaction to playing with the ladies in tournaments. as long as people tune to see the ladies play in men's tournaments the fad won't go away. the only people going away, judging by norman's comments, are him and his buddies. eventually one of these ladies is going to make the cut and eventually one is going to win a tournament and that's what these guys are scared of.

posted by oliver_crunk at 09:41 AM on February 03, 2004

I want Wie versus Norman at Sherwood. From the mens tees. For a $1 million. On primetime television. He'd choke. I know it. You know it. He knows it.

posted by 86 at 09:48 AM on February 03, 2004

These are PGA events and should only be open to PGA members. Period. Change the rules to limit sponsors' exemptions to PGA members only...and the controversy goes away. That being said...Open up PGA eligibility to women. Let them go to Q school and qualify for a tour card. If they're good enough to get one, then they belong. Same goes for "open" events. There are qualifying tournaments, so let the women prove themselves there and earn the right to play. This sponsors' exemption crap is being used to turn PGA tournaments into media circuses.

posted by rocket88 at 09:52 AM on February 03, 2004

I don't know if you can tell a sponsor who they can or can't exempt. They are paying an awful lot of money to sponsor tournaments, and often it will be to their advantage to exempt women into the tourneys. But I also agree that women should have to go through Q-School to play regularly. Maybe the PGA could enforce a rule that each non-PGA player can only get one exemption per season, but any woman can go through Q-school in an attempt to qualify for the full tour. Shark said one thing I definitely agree with. The LPGA will suffer the more their best women eschew them for the PGA tournaments.

posted by vito90 at 10:01 AM on February 03, 2004

Has (is?) Q-school been specifically closed to women by a clause in the eligibility requirements, or is it just implied/understood that it is for male players only?

posted by mbd1 at 10:59 AM on February 03, 2004

On the BBC website, Greg is quoted as saying: "We can't go play on their tour because we're not female, that's the wording they have in their bylaws. I think we should do something about it." I think the real story here is not that the Great White Shark doesn't want the women to play on the men's tour, but that he seems to want to play on theirs! [/sarcasm] Sponsors may invite whoever they please to play in their tournaments. End of.

posted by JJ at 11:11 AM on February 03, 2004

Q-school is open to women. There is nothing in by-laws preventing women from entering.

posted by dales15 at 11:46 AM on February 03, 2004

Ernie Els: "We can't keep on giving them invites if there are guys good enough to get sponsor's exemptions." What the hell does that mean? How is someone good enough to get an exemption -- it's a perk that lets someone skip the normal qualifying procedures for an event, at the discretion of the sponsor footing the bills. I think it's telling that people like Norman and Els want to stop women from getting exemptions, but they don't say a word against the practice of exemptions in general. Why am I not surprised they would be in favor of a system that lets well-known players skirt the rules and play in events they might not otherwise get to play? Has any male golfer expressed a single qualm about keeping someone else out by taking his own exemption? Norman's comments make me happier about his Masters collapse, one of the greatest chokejobs in sports history.

posted by rcade at 11:49 AM on February 03, 2004

This sponsors' exemption crap is being used to turn PGA tournaments into media circuses. Hello, we are talking about a professional sport here, right? One which endeavors to take every dollar of profit it can and is having a tough time lately with Tiger in a big slump. So you expect them to avoid controversy and press coverage?

posted by billsaysthis at 12:04 PM on February 03, 2004

with Tiger in a big slump I think this says volumes about how great Tiger has been...the guy wins PGA TOUR PLAYER OF THE YEAR (voted so by his peers) and is still considered to be in a "big slump". I get the feeling that Norman is shilling for a Riggs/King scenario between himself and Sorenstam. I would love to see that happen...

posted by grum@work at 12:15 PM on February 03, 2004

On ESPN Radio this morning, Dan "The Duke" Davis reported this story by saying: "An older male golfer expressed the opinion that women should stay off the PGA Tour -- but he's such a has-been his name isn't worth mentioning." I love The Duke.

posted by jeffmshaw at 12:18 PM on February 03, 2004

Sponsors may invite whoever they please to play in their tournaments. End of. This comment suggests that you have a problem with the sexist LPGA by-law prohibiting male golfers from gaining sponsor's exemptions. That's precisely in agreement with Norman's comments.

posted by rocket88 at 12:42 PM on February 03, 2004

This comment suggests that you have a problem with the sexist LPGA by-law prohibiting male golfers from gaining sponsor's exemptions. That's precisely in agreement with Norman's comments. uh...no. the sponsors know the rules. the rules are no men on the LPGA tour. if they think it's sexist they don't have to participate. the money talks, if a sponsor had a problem with the rules, i'd doubt they'd participate at all. are YOU saying the LPGA is sexist? how is this in agreement with norman? the big picture here is that this isn't something the players will ultimatly decide. they can whine all they want but if it's good for ratings and draws attention to the sport you can bet your ass it'll continue to happen.

posted by oliver_crunk at 01:03 PM on February 03, 2004

You have a PGA and an LPGA for a reason. One is a tour for men, the other is a tour for women. Right or wrong, that's the way things were set up. I don't have a problem with women playing with men, but let's just go ahead and do it the right way abolish the LPGA and make everyone compete equally. That eliminates the gender problems totally, but I don't think the 95% of the women who would be out of the professional golf business would be so hip on that.

posted by wfrazerjr at 01:04 PM on February 03, 2004

are YOU saying the LPGA is sexist? Are you saying the LPGA isn't sexist? Kinda hard to argue it isn't sexist when they have an exclusionary by-law directed towards males. That's pretty much the definition of sexism. I understand why it is so, but that doesn't make it less sexist.

posted by garfield at 01:10 PM on February 03, 2004

by definition, yes it is sexist. the sponsors, paticipants, media, spectators and pretty much everyone with half a brain realizes, though, why the LPGA is sexist. to use the the example that the LPGA is sexist and compare that to the PGA by-laws where the LPGA provisions are absent doesn't really illustrate any point about why a women should be able to compete with a man where a sponsor sees fit within the rules.

posted by oliver_crunk at 01:33 PM on February 03, 2004

hmm...really. So why don't the same half-brained people realize why the PGA is sexist. Just making a point. One's sexism does not exonerate the other's sexism. And by comparing sexist by-laws illustrates the apparent necessity of such by-laws for the survival of two separate tours.

posted by garfield at 01:49 PM on February 03, 2004

and two tours is better for women's golf than one and a half.

posted by garfield at 01:52 PM on February 03, 2004

since when is the PGA's by-laws sexist? that's part of my point. you can't compare the two. they both have 2 seperate sets of rules.

posted by oliver_crunk at 02:09 PM on February 03, 2004

since they are trying to enact a sexist by-law.

posted by garfield at 02:11 PM on February 03, 2004

The PGA isn't the MPGA, folks -- there have never been any rules in the sport that would exclude women. Every sport has a league that is open to the best athletes. In golf, it's the PGA, and its members have bigger purses to compete for -- and get better TV ratings -- because their league is the top in their sport. This isn't happening because it's a top mens-only league. They got to the top because they were the best. It would be idiotic for golfers like Greg Norman to be allowed to diminish their league's stature by limiting it to men only. If a woman could play her way into any pro sport, who would argue that she be excluded from participation? As for the LPGA being sexist, in a literal sense it is. And the Senior PGA (champions tour) is agist, and the amateur events are professionalist. And my Little League baseball team was elementarist. Every sport has leagues that have an exclusionary rule because there's no other way for it to be competitive. If male golfers were allowed in the LPGA, they'd dominate and drive out the women. If young golfers were allowed on the Senior Tour, they'd dominate and drive out the older players. If the PGA needs to exclude women to remain competitive, let's argue that point ... not rely on a simplistic "what's good for the goose is good for the gander" argument.

posted by rcade at 02:18 PM on February 03, 2004

If the PGA needs to exclude women to remain competitive, let's argue that point. I think its the LPGA that needs the exclusion to remain competitive...with advertisers/media/fans. The individual golfers are really not the story, it's the sharing of talent between leagues which is the crux. If that can be worked out, awesome.

posted by garfield at 02:25 PM on February 03, 2004

there have never been any rules in the sport that would exclude women do you know what 'golf' means, rcade?

posted by garfield at 02:31 PM on February 03, 2004

In snooker, qualifiers for tournaments are open to anyone, male or female. I can't really see why golf doesn't allow this, too.

posted by dng at 02:39 PM on February 03, 2004

Women have been free to qualify for PGA tournaments for years. The fact that not many have done so shows that extremely few women are good enough to compete equally with the men. I don't think many would argue that fact. The issue here is that many PGA professionals, including Norman, have a problem with the recent trend of sponsors' exemptions going to women. Of course everyone assumes this is sexist and indicative of an "Old Boys" mentality, but traditionally, the sponsors exemptions went to qualified, top-tier players who didn't or couldn't qualify for various reasons. That was the designed purpose of the exemption rule, and the players feel that now it's being abused by the sponsors to purposely generate controversy and thus increase the public exposure of the sponsor's event, at the expense of one deserving PGA professional who didn't get the exemption. The players simply want a return to the old system...a system that benefited PGA tour players. They want the PGA to discourage sponsors from exempting unqualified players just because they're women. And if the sponsor's don't comply, the players want the PGA rules changed to explicitly exclude women. Everyone is simply looking out for their own interests here....the players, the sponsors, the PGA, and even the LPGA. There's no underlying sexism or misogynism. Greg Norman, Vijay Singh and others who have vocalized their opinions aren't evil and don't deserve to be vilified as they have been by misguided public opinion.

posted by rocket88 at 03:21 PM on February 03, 2004

rocket88 - good points, but often sponsor's exemptions go to local club professionals or tournament alumni players or others who might be (and probably are) less qualified than the best women. Has a celebrity or a pro athlete from a different sport ever been given a sponsor exemption? Norman's claim that Wie's exemption is bumping out another qualified man would be diminished if that was the case.

posted by vito90 at 03:30 PM on February 03, 2004

went to qualified, top-tier players who didn't or couldn't qualify for various reasons Exactly how "qualified" and "top-tier" are these players that they can't make it into a low-end PGA tournament? Do you mean players that USED to be good but now suck (compared to the current PGA standards)? If they were REALLY good and have developed a following, I doubt some sponsor is going to bump them for a female golfer. I don't think Nicklaus, Trevino, Watson, Palmer or Rodriguez are in any danger of losing their chance to play in a PGA tournament.

posted by grum@work at 03:31 PM on February 03, 2004

while that maybe true rocket....why aren't norman and others saying exactly what you are saying. instead we get comments like this: "If the girls come out and think they can play against the guys and fail every time, that can't be very positive."

posted by oliver_crunk at 03:42 PM on February 03, 2004

do you know what 'golf' means, rcade? I know what it doesn't mean.

posted by NoMich at 03:51 PM on February 03, 2004

traditionally, the sponsors exemptions went to qualified, top-tier players Like Mark Rypien, or Bill Murray and Tom Brady?

posted by jeffmshaw at 03:51 PM on February 03, 2004

As I said before, if Norman and the like were trying to rein in sponsor's exemptions for all players, I could support that. But they're against any changes that would exclude dicks.

posted by rcade at 04:07 PM on February 03, 2004

Here's a couple of articles explaining the rules and recent history of sponsor's exemptions, including the recent trend to give them to women. Many up-and-coming or has-been (male) golfers rely on these exemptions to make a living...and that's why players don't like to see them used for publicity stunts. Soenstam and Wie don't need the money.

posted by rocket88 at 04:22 PM on February 03, 2004

The LPGA's bylaws are, at least at a glance, sexist. But they serve a purpose. If not for the LPGA's bylaws; every other few weeks we'd hear about some drunken asshole vying for the leaderboard (ultimately missing the cut and drowning his cart in the water hazard). It would cripple the sport, if not demean its standing. Lets face it folks, its far more likely that a man would have crashed the LPGA tour to make some cash and gain notoriety. Whereas, the women golfers playing in the men's events are just trying to prove that they are "atheletes" too. The LPGA needs the bylaws. The PGA does not. I say let 'em play. And I pronounce it "Gaawwwff!"

posted by lilnemo at 04:30 PM on February 03, 2004

Are we just saying women should be able to play in the PGA because they're women? And men can't play in the LPGA because they're men? That's the most sexist argument of all. I'm tired of all this happy horseshit of it goes one way, but not the other. Fuck that. Women should have all the same entitlements as men, so let's level the playing field. Disband the LPGA and combine the two tours, and forget the Champions Tour also. No one gets treated any differently than anyone else. And while we're at it, get rid of the distinction between the WNBA and the NBA. Make 'em all play in the same damn league. Think the WNBA and the LPGA want that?

posted by wfrazerjr at 05:30 PM on February 03, 2004

All due respect, wfrazerjr, the LPGA and other women's sports organizations recognize that most women can't compete head-to-head with most men -- hence the need for separate leagues. On the other hand, the PGA (Professional Golfers Association, remember) sells itself as showcasing the best golfers in the world, the implication being regardless of gender. They should only change if they don't really mean to showcase the best golfers in the world.

posted by jeffmshaw at 05:55 PM on February 03, 2004

Did I read that Tiger's in a slump? He's played one tourney this year and finished T-4. This speaks volumes to the mentality of the current sports fan these days. Headlines, only give them the headlines. And last week a sponsor's exemption went to former amateur champion Ricky Barnes and he was in contention all weekend. Yet he couldn't make it through Q School but I would take him against any woman out there. And it is possible that some of the best golfers in the world can't put together 5 straight rounds of golf that determines where they live and how they eat next year. Look at Q School as being the world's toughest interview. And they're not all the spawn of millionaires. So often times, these guys left outside the ropes have used these sponsor's exemptions like the lottery to earn their card that way, rather than wait another year to go through Q School again. Hank Kuehne did it last year. He earned his card by taking as many as he could get. And if anyone has seen him play, the guy is amazing. I saw him play at the BellSouth Classic last year where he finished T-3. He broke Daly's streak of driving distance titles for 8 years. One other golfer used sponsor's exemptions to get on Tour in 1996, using one to debut on Tour in the Greater Milwaukee Open where he finished T60, then using another to win the Las Vegas Invitational and earn his card. His name? Tiger Woods. In fact, the only knock on him from fellow players is that he never had to go through Q School. Even with his resume, everyone wanted to see how he would do. But the mainstream media barely touched this subject because they don't understand the rules. You guys remember when every writer, not just sportswriters, were talking about Tiger? Somehow, he even lived up to that hype. Mickelson also used a sponsor's exemption to win as an amateur in the Northern Telecom Open in 1991. And these are only the ones I know off the top of my head. Just because you guys want women on tour, doesn't mean you have to assume all sponsor's exemptions go to old, fat white guys. I know it helps your cause and helps you sleep at night, but I've tuned in to see Annika and Wie just as much as the next guy, but I would bet money that some other guy that was passed over could have at least made the cut. You don't get paid for almost making it. But apparently you keep getting second chances to.

posted by usfbull at 09:31 PM on February 03, 2004

Just because you guys want women on tour, doesn't mean you have to assume all sponsor's exemptions go to old, fat white guys. No one's assuming that. But if you're going to go after the sponsor exemption system, working to remove only the women from that perk is bogus. There's a far bigger problem with undeserving men getting those spots than the two women who have gotten them in the entire history of golf.

posted by rcade at 10:00 PM on February 03, 2004

Did I read that Tiger's in a slump? By slump I mean he hasn't won a major in over a year. Sure he was once again PotY last year but I'm talking about attracting the kind of fans (like me) that only follow golf to see how Tiger's doing. Not having that, some of the organizers are looking to generate interest elsewhere.

posted by billsaysthis at 10:52 PM on February 03, 2004

Ivan Lendl got an invtie to the Dutch Open once. Michael Jordon tried his hand at golf for a while after he retired the first time, and I'm fairly sure he played a pro tournament. I don't know if either of them made the cut. Just for the record, I was once told by an LPGA player that they have to sign a form stating that they were "born a natural woman", which would indicate to me that the laws are more designed to stop sex change cheats than to specifically preclude men from playing. I suppose really the thinking has always been along the lines of "Why would they want to?" - it'd be a bit like Manchester United asking to play in the 3rd division for a week or two.

posted by JJ at 06:53 AM on February 04, 2004

The best thing about it though? A 40 comment thread on Sportsfilter!

posted by JJ at 06:54 AM on February 04, 2004

Faldo throws in some common sense...

posted by JJ at 07:13 AM on February 04, 2004

the LPGA and other women's sports organizations recognize that most women can't compete head-to-head with most men -- hence the need for separate leagues. Ok, so which is? Either they can't compete, which is why you have the LPGA in the first place, and the women have their own league, or they can compete, and then you don't need the LPGA, right? I'm just calling bullshit on having it both ways. Women want to compete with men, that's fine. I'm all for it. Just don't have two separate leagues where women can go one way and men can't go the other. That's sexist bullshit.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:06 AM on February 04, 2004

That's exactly the problem frazer, not all women could compete on the PGA. Lest God strike me down for under-estimating the fairer sex, apart from the super star female golfers (which, btw, the LPGA heavily depends on) the status quo of the LPGA would be negatively impacted by the creation of 'the one league'. It's up to the players to decide what is more important, winning/endorsements/being considered the best, or testing yourself against the best.

posted by garfield at 09:15 AM on February 04, 2004

I agree that it's foolish to screen out women from the PGA if they can compete. I agree that the double standard of "men can't play in women's events because they dominate" vs. "women should be able to compete anywhere they're competitive" is a logical boondoggle. Suggestion: How 'bout a separate inter-gender series of events between the LPGA and the PGA? Mixed doubles and gender blind competitions between the best from both sports? Bound to get attention and ratings if handled properly. Or is this already done?

posted by forksclovetofu at 10:59 AM on February 04, 2004

Ok, so which is? Either they can't compete, which is why you have the LPGA in the first place, and the women have their own league, or they can compete, and then you don't need the LPGA, right? Ahem: note the *most*. Most women can't compete against men. Some can. Those that can should be able -- in fact, encouraged -- to compete on a tour that styles itself as the best competition in the world. Simple.

posted by jeffmshaw at 11:15 AM on February 04, 2004

Frazer: You keep making this a sex thing, but it doesn't have to be about gender at all. Jay Haas, 50, is now eligible to play on the Champions Tour. In 2003, he made eight top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour, so he's clearly able to compete at that level still in 2004. Would it be unfair for him to play Champions and PGA events this year, simply because a golfer younger than 50 can't do the same? Somehow, I find it hard to believe you believe Haas would be "having it both ways" and that the senior tour should be abolished, simply because some of its members can still compete at the highest level. (Incidentally, while we're talking about Haas, he's staying in the PGA.)

posted by rcade at 11:52 AM on February 04, 2004

Rcade: It IS a sex thing, or we wouldn't have the LPGA along with the PGA. You are right that Haas can and will continue to compete on both tours, as he both eligible and capable of making it on both. The difference is Wie and Sorenstam can play the PGA, LPGA and, when they reach 50, the Champions. Haas doesn't have the reverse option. Neither does any male on the planet. You all are framing this as an issue of giving Sorenstam et al a chance to compete at the highest level they can. I wholeheartedly agree with that idea. I just don't agree it's ok for one set of people to pass back and forth from tour to tour while another can't. And as for Haas, I DO believe he should pick a tour, for the same reason NASCAR drivers should not be allowed to drop down and compete in Busch Series races. Can low-tier golfers sign up for a Buy.com event? How about Tiger? The point is, you either can play at the top level or you can't. Pick one. Suggestion: How 'bout a separate inter-gender series of events between the LPGA and the PGA? Mixed doubles and gender blind competitions between the best from both sports? Bound to get attention and ratings if handled properly. Or is this already done? I really like this idea, except when the hell would you play the events? The damned seasons are so long as it us, plus international competitions, etc. I assume we'll just keep seeing mixed Skins Games and the like.

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:49 PM on February 04, 2004

Haas doesn't have the reverse option. Neither does any male on the planet. My response to any professional male athlete who would make the same complaint: boo fucking hoo.

posted by rcade at 01:16 PM on February 04, 2004

nice one.

posted by garfield at 01:19 PM on February 04, 2004

I disagree with the assertion made here (by some) that the women shouldn't be allowed in PGA events because they have their own tour. They should be allowed to compete at the highest level with the men, but they should qualify, and not rely on hand-outs from sponsors, to do so. One thing I would like to see, though, is an automatic invite to The Masters for the winners of the previous year's LPGA majors.

posted by rocket88 at 01:29 PM on February 04, 2004

My response to any professional male athlete who would make the same complaint: boo fucking hoo. My response exactly to any professional female athlete who wants it both ways.

posted by wfrazerjr at 03:10 PM on February 04, 2004

Michelle Wie may eventually be good enough to qualify for the PGA. If that happens, are you stating that she should be excluded from the tour unless the LPGA agrees to allow men to play? If the answer is yes, should Major League Baseball have refused to admit Jackie Robinson until the Negro Leagues agreed to admit white players?

posted by rcade at 04:04 PM on February 04, 2004

My response exactly to any professional female athlete who wants it both ways. If Annika wants it both ways, I won't turn her down. ;-)

posted by rocket88 at 04:11 PM on February 04, 2004

and look what happened to the Negro Leagues.

posted by garfield at 04:12 PM on February 04, 2004

Don't turn this into a race analogy. Everyone on the planet is either male or female; not everyone is either black or white. Furthermore, unless your forename is Adolf, I doubt anyone would be willing to infer an intrinsic physical advantage on the part of a particular race - whereas, only an idiot who has galloped off in the wrong direction with a large bundle of political correctness stashed under their arm would be willing to claim that no such physical disparity exists between the sexes. Stick to the topic at hand - there was never any justification for discriminating between races, but there is a strong (and, I believe, valid) justification for discriminating between the sexes - at least in this discussion. The thing that's starting to irritate me more than anything else in this debate (in general throughout the world, not just on this page) is the small, but vociferous, group who think they are defending the rights and welfare of women in golf by shouting their demands for them to be allowed to play in PGA tour events. It doesn't take a genius to apply a little bit of forethought here and see that if all the best women go and play on the PGA tour, the LPGA tour will die a slow, horrible death, thus depriving countless women of the oppotunity to play golf in an attractive arena. Maybe it's just me, but that seems like a step back, rather than a step forward. It's all very liberal and cosy to say so, but I think the general approach should be one of celebrating our differences. Let any women who can qualify to do so play on whichever tour they chose. The idea voiced above of having more mixed events is also a good one, and would certainly draw a crowd - but homogenising the world isn't the answer. Next week: Gymnastics - how can we go about ending this sexist sport where women are precluded from the parallel bars, and men are prohibited from walking the beam?

posted by JJ at 04:12 AM on February 05, 2004

Come to think of it - let the men walk the beam - a couple of slips and bam!... no more little gymnasts! The problem is its own solution!

posted by JJ at 06:52 AM on February 05, 2004

Exactly JJ. I gave up on this debate because it is clear that some on this thread suffer from chronic "white guilt." It most commonly occurs in the minds of liberals. I'll take the risk of turning this into a commentary on society and post the definition below: A frequent response of white persons to learning about white privilege. White guilt makes white individuals feel shameful about the history of oppression of people of color and the role white persons have played in perpetuating that system, as well as their individual complicity with that system.

posted by usfbull at 07:02 AM on February 05, 2004

In 1964, PGA golfer Charlie Sifford was refused admittance at a southern country club's lounge because he was black. As Sifford ate outside in a storm, another golfer, George Archer, persuaded everyone in the lounge to leave and eat with Sifford. Poor Archer. It's such a shame he suffered from white guilt. You can smear me with any name you like, usfbull, but feelings of guilt have nothing to do with my belief that every sport should be egalitarian at the highest level. The gender issue is analogous to race because they're both things we're born with that have nothing to do with whether we are good enough to play golf in the PGA. If Michelle Wie is good enough to qualify for the tour someday, nothing should bar her from playing -- certainly not the fact that many other female golfers are not good enough to qualify. If sponsors are allowed to give exemptions to anyone at their discretion, they should be allowed to invite female golfers.

posted by rcade at 07:51 AM on February 05, 2004

It doesn't take a genius to apply a little bit of forethought here and see that if all the best women go and play on the PGA tour, the LPGA tour will die a slow, horrible death, thus depriving countless women of the oppotunity to play golf in an attractive arena. Maybe it's just me, but that seems like a step back, rather than a step forward. Bravo!

posted by garfield at 08:10 AM on February 05, 2004

egalitarian Affirming, promoting, or characterized by belief in equal political, economic, social, and civil rights for all people. How does the LPGA fit into that scheme? And as I understand this, if Wie is good enough to knock someone out of a PGA tour spot, that's perfectly ok, but if a man tries to do the same to an LPGA player, he's a sexist pig. Wow.

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:41 AM on February 05, 2004

Yeah, wow.

posted by garfield at 08:55 AM on February 05, 2004

I think everyone is missing the point. The most important thing to think about at this stage is that if the ladies end up playing in the same tournaments as the men, then the men will have to be afforded the same dress code rights as the ladies. Result? Tim Heron in shorts and little ankle socks with fluffy pom-poms.

posted by JJ at 09:15 AM on February 05, 2004

Frazer: You overlooked four words in the phrase "egalitarian at the highest level." When a sport has a top-tier league that is open to all, as the PGA has been since they finally became the last major U.S. league to allow black athletes, it should remain open to all. The PGA markets itself as the best golfers in the world, not the best male golfers in the world. Lower-tier leagues often have to exclude some people for competitive reasons on the basis of age, gender, or amateur status. If the league needs to be exclusionary to exist -- the Seniors Tour wouldn't be possible without an age restriction -- I don't see why that would be offensive. If Greg Norman and some other threatened male golfers want to start the MPGA to protect themselves from Michelle Wie and Annika Sorenstam, I think they should go for it.

posted by rcade at 09:22 AM on February 05, 2004

Laura throws in her two bits (as I believe you quirky Americans call it).

posted by JJ at 10:36 AM on February 05, 2004

Two cents, JJ. Two bits is twenty five cents, and that's way too much.

posted by dusted at 10:52 AM on February 05, 2004

So one group can be held to your egalitarian standard, but not other groups? That hardly seems, well, egalitarian. Fairness implies everyone, not just a selected few. I get what you are saying, rcade. I just don't buy it. If Sorenstam and Wie want to play on the PGA, I have absolutely no beef with that. You're right in saying they market as being the best. I believe, however, you can't pick and choose. Annika should renounce her LPGA status and play on the PGA tour all the time if she feels she can prosper there. And if the road travels one way, it should travel the other.

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:14 AM on February 05, 2004

"Are they scared that a woman might actually be as good as them?" said Davies. Well, in Laura's case, I think they might be afraid she actually IS a man. /cheap shot "I would not have a problem if the men vote to keep us women out - it's their tour and I will always abide by their rules. But it would be a terrible shame if they decided to keep someone like Michelle Wie out. We shoud (sic nice editing, BBC) try and encourage her, not try to stunt her development." Did that make any sense? Is she saying it's okay to discriminate against her, but not Wie?

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:17 AM on February 05, 2004

You have to be a chap to try and qualify for the European Tour, the Australasian Tour, the Southern Africa Tour, or the Canadian Tour... I couldn't find an entry form online for the PGA Tour though, so I don't know if it mentions anything in there about being male. Just for the record, you also have to be a fella to have a go at playing in the Open Championship (or "That twenty-five cent British Open" as I believe you quirky Americans call it)

posted by JJ at 11:28 AM on February 05, 2004

wfrazerjr: If Sorenstam and Wie want to play on the PGA, I have absolutely no beef with that. You're right in saying they market as being the best. I believe, however, you can't pick and choose. Annika should renounce her LPGA status and play on the PGA tour all the time if she feels she can prosper there. So, if a male player on the Nike tour wants to try his hand at the PGA tour, he should go for it -- and forswear the Nike tour if he should falter?

posted by jeffmshaw at 11:36 AM on February 05, 2004

So one group can be held to your egalitarian standard, but not other groups? That hardly seems, well, egalitarian. Fairness implies everyone, not just a selected few. If you understand what I mean, why are you continuing to get hung up on definitions? If all that matters is to be egalitarian in all things, which is an absurd position I do not hold, then the PGA tour should let everyone play regardless of talent too. When Laura Davies puts herself in a different group than Michelle Wie, I think she means that today's female pros aren't good enough to qualify for the PGA, but that Wie and those who follow her might be.

posted by rcade at 11:40 AM on February 05, 2004

JJ, thanks for the dose of reality.

posted by garfield at 11:42 AM on February 05, 2004

Rcade, I commend Archer for his bravery. But the reason Sifford was there in the first place is because he qualified for that event. So that means he was good enough to play on the PGA Tour. Unfortunately, he was a victim of society's views at the time. Apologizing for the views of 1964 doesn't help the cause or erase what happened. The real travesty is that as a PGA member, Sifford could only play in a fraction of PGA tour events and next to none of them were upper tier venues. Now if Wie, Sorrenstam or a female to be named later actually qualies for an event, then we have just posted the most meaningless thread in Spo-Fi history and this becomes a non-issue. And just to reiterate my point, I'm not for barring anyone if they have the talent and have gone through the proper channels. And as far as sponsor's exemptions go, I would bet that all recipients of an invite were at one time a card carrying member or have previously qualified for a PGA Event. So like Wie or Sorrenstam, they too have what the marketing folks call "draw factor." But bumping them to the front of the line because they are women seems counterintuitive. And if anyone remembers, Greg Norman tried to start up a competing professional tour back in 1994. It would have been called the World Tour, but PGA Tour commisioner Finchem quashed it. So he does have a chip on his shoulder when it comes to the PGA's rules and regulations. Whether or not it is justified is another story. In short, he played in too few events a few years back and lost his card. But has since got it back after some serious whining about his status and contributions to the game in general. And just an observation. I'm on my lunch break. What jobs do you guys have that allow you the freedom to post all day long? and my next question is, are you hiring?

posted by usfbull at 12:19 PM on February 05, 2004

It's gettin' snarky in herrre... so take off all your clothes... I am-gettin-so-snarky, I wanna take my clooooothes off.

posted by forksclovetofu at 01:13 PM on February 05, 2004

a little bit of uh uh.......and alittle bit of uh uh.

posted by garfield at 01:49 PM on February 05, 2004

We're not that far apart on this issue, usfbull -- I'd rather see players like Wie and Sorenstam qualify for a tournament than use sponsor's exemptions. But when some incredibly weak exemptions are being given out -- Mark Rypien got one once -- I don't see the harm in allowing the best female players to get them. Besides, we're getting closer to the point where enough women have played PGA events that it is no longer newsworthy. As for work, I'm writing computer books out of my house. Or not writing them today, because I'm wasting too much time here.

posted by rcade at 02:15 PM on February 05, 2004

Regarding more important matters, what kind of line is "I'm going to see you nekkid by the end of this song"? Has the quality of pick-up lines among today's youth diminished to the point where that would actually work?

posted by rcade at 02:16 PM on February 05, 2004

So, if a male player on the Nike tour wants to try his hand at the PGA tour, he should go for it -- and forswear the Nike tour if he should falter? I don't believe a Nationwide Tour (is that a sponsorship or do they just not have a sponsor this year?) player has to give up anything, do they? Jeff, you probably know this answer better than I, but doesn't the Nationwide Tour function as a de facto minor-league system for the PGA? Once you are good enough and earn it, you go to the big show? I think these sorts of issues should fall into tiers, i.e. if you are good enough to play on the PGA Tour, then you play there. If you can't make it at that level, then you fall to the second tier. But why should sex or age make up that boundary? If Annika Sorenstam is good enough to make it in the PGA, by all means, let her play. But why shouldn't the guy she bumps off be able to slide down to the next level and displace someone on that tour? Right now that step is the Nike Tour (for men), but should be the Nike Tour (for that next group of golfers trying to make it to the top level). My argument is the current system allows advantages that it doesn't allow for men. Combine everyone and chop 'em up by the 100s for tours.

posted by wfrazerjr at 03:10 PM on February 05, 2004

As for my time, I'm a general manager at a newspaper, so I check in here occasionally, and I'm actually writing a column for next week's paper, so this is work related. :P

posted by wfrazerjr at 03:12 PM on February 05, 2004

I'm just goofing off, but I work at such a high pace that I get about twice as much done as any of my colleagues anyway.

posted by dusted at 03:30 PM on February 05, 2004

When I'm not at spofi, I'm studying to get into beauty technician school.

posted by garfield at 03:35 PM on February 05, 2004

My argument is the current system allows advantages that it doesn't allow for men. Combine everyone and chop 'em up by the 100s for tours. you can't count the number of people that the current system *might* give advantages to on one hand, if that. by breaking down the systems into to tiers....you're taking away it's marketability and appeal. no one is going to care about the third tier and it won't even show up on the golf channel. as it stands right now, there's 3 top level tours on network teevee. i think the responses in the this thread alone prove that it's to the PGA's advantage to continue the experiment the way it's going. there's free publicity all around this issue and outside of tiger no one is watching golf.

posted by oliver_crunk at 03:49 PM on February 05, 2004

Yes, Oliver, but allowing Annika et al to go play on the PGA Tour will destroy the marketability of the LPGA, I believe. This is good in the short term for everyone, but in the long term, it bones the ladies.

posted by wfrazerjr at 04:00 PM on February 05, 2004

uh huh huh, he said 'bones the ladies'. huh huh

posted by garfield at 04:24 PM on February 05, 2004

I'm a goat farmer, and three billies have to ride three treadmills for three hours to produce enough power for me to make one post. Time to whip the goats.

posted by jeffmshaw at 04:51 PM on February 05, 2004

whipping the goats? boning the ladies? I'm new(ish) here - I thought it was a nice place - now I discover it's just like all the other sites on the (much maligned) Internet. garfield - be honest though, are you only studying to get in so that you can then drop out and sing along with Grease more sincerely? As for my job: I'm a former pro - I'm that guy you see on TV saying things like "There's a big temptation to just trun pro now and go for it, but I'm going to finish my studies, just in case it doesn't work out." It didn't work out, but I'd finished my economics degree, so now I'm an economist. It's dull, but it's flexible enough that I can get sucked into protracted discussions like this one without risking getting the boot. I hope. P.S. - When I say "pro" I do mean professional golfer, and not male prostitute. P.P.S. - Further to the topic - so, if it's OK for the women and the men to play golf together, does the same rule apply to other sports? Tennis for example? *please someone bite and say something inflamatory about pyhsical differences*

posted by JJ at 04:56 AM on February 06, 2004

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