Most golf fans will remember that several years back some yahoo named Martha Burke set out to ruin The Masters by protesting the fact that the club did not have any female members. Yet as soon as soon as the tournament began, poor old Martha was sent to a small patch of grass away from the action, where she was eventually forgotten (by most). To be honest, it was reminiscent in many ways to the occupy Boston protesters that I watched outside my office window this past fall (until it got too cold for them). Mike Weir won the green jacket that year in a fantastic tournament, which remains my enduring memory from 2003.
Now I know that sounds very harsh, and all the female golf fans out there are about to send me a slew of hateful comments calling me the next Hootie Johnson. Frankly, I think it’s a good thing that Augusta finally accepted their first female members – Secretary or State Condeleezza Rice and Financier Darla Moore. There’s no doubt that golf’s female fan base is growing, and I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve gotten by butt whipped, handily, playing against women on several occasions. It makes good logical sense, and I’m happy for both women and the game of golf – there’s no doubt the Augusta plays a special role in the game’s storied history.
My issue and reason for writing this article is simple – no, Augusta should not be scorned for not allowing women members. They’re a private club, and frankly they can do whatever they hell they want. I don’t care if you’re male, female, blue, green, or an opossum – Augusta is one hell of an exclusive club and always will be. But the segregation! The discrimination! Please. Let me tell you who Augusta is discriminating against – you, me, and everyone else who wants to play there. Am I about to make a picket sign and stand out there protesting until they let me in? Far from it.
This is just one recent episode of a much larger social issue, one that embodies itself in many different ways across this country. We saw it recently with Chik-fil-a as well. I’m 100% in favor of gay marriage, the president of Chik-fil-a is not – people have differing opinions, and that’s what makes horse races. But what we need to understand is that when it comes to private golf clubs or chicken sandwiches, it simply isn’t that important. It’s bad business sense – I doubt very many gay couples are running out for chicken sandwiches and I’m sure many women aren’t buying tickets to the Masters. But that’s all it is – your opinion, whether it’s more nonrestrictive or not, is merely your own opinion. When these issues truly matter are when it comes to important freedoms – think voting rights, medical care, your ability to serve in the military. So America, listen to me – pick your battles, homie.
Still not convinced? I don’t know many women who would want a boy in their daughter’s girl scout troop. How about bathrooms? They don’t allow women in the men’s room… make a sign! Get out there! Hope you enjoy the guy in the stall next to you after that you scarf down that bacon-egg-and-cheese and too much coffee.
Whether or not g-o-l-f stands for “Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden” is up for debate – I rest in the this is an urban myth camp – but it’s certainly a good thing that Augusta’s taken its first shot of estrogen. Have you seen the new Footjoys in the pro shop? They’re super cute!