Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Augusta National and the ladies

Satan himself has icicles hanging from his ears. Porky and Petunia Pig have sprouted wings and are cruising at Mach 2. For all I know, maybe John Boener and Nancy Pelosi have become all touchy-feely. And OMG, Augusta National Golf Club, home of the fabled Masters Tournament, has decided to admit women members.

What's next? The sports editor of this paper, Jeff Kuehn, returning punts for the Detroit Lions? My long time critic and Tiger fan Al throwing Woods under the bus in favor of Rory Sabbatini? The sky is falling, everybody out of the water, and surely Defcon 1 approaches.

After being in business for 80 years, it seems Augusta National, one of the last bastions championing an all-male membership, has opted to pass their own version of the 21st Amendment to our constitution. The repeal of Prohibition. Many will claim it's about time, yet some men might shake their heads and say, "Wow, if THEY caved, we poor working stiffs don't have a chance. There's no getting away from them anymore. We're doomed". Both sides would seem to have a point.

The first two honorees will be Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore. Rice is well known for her days as the national security adviser under former Prez George W. Bush. Moore is some sort of -- surprise -- big time southern financier. There's little doubt she's a conservative Republican as well. Check out her picture. No liberal would be caught dead in a Leave It To Beaver hairstyle like that.

Yep, they've both got big bucks. While Augusta National won't disclose how much a membership initally costs, or what the annual dues fees are, it's pretty safe to assume joining that particular club is a tad more pricey than, say, the Eagles, Moose, or Elks.

About ten years ago, one Martha Burk and her women's advocacy group challenged Augusta over its all-male membership. Burk even staged a protest down the street from Augusta. It drew about 30 people. 30 people? There would probably be a bigger turn out than that supporting a statue of Fidel in Miami, Adolph in Tel Aviv, or Osama at ground zero. Needless to say, it wasn't exactly a million woman march going on. Martha had her 15 minutes of fame, then disappeared from the radar. Now Martha is back claiming, "we finally won". Burk didn't win anything, nor did those who sympathized with her cause. Augusta did things in their own way, like they always have. For any who doubt that, consider that when Burk was in the news and the liberal media was nipping at Augusta over women -- the membership responded by severing ties with TV sponsors for 2 years. No commercials allowed. We'll do it ourselves and we don't need your money. That little gambit sent a strong message to those that were used to having their way for a price. Their bluff had been called and they had to fold.

At the time, former Augusta chairman Hootie Johnson stated they might one day ask a woman to join, "but that timetable will be ours and not at the point of a bayonet". Indeed, a source privy to the inner workings at Augusta anonymously said the club had been considering Rice and Moore as members for 5 years. Despite their wealth and fame, one can assume they were thoroughly vetted over that period. The people at Augusta don't bow to pressure. They do things when they're damn good and ready, for their own reasons -- and not until. It's their PRIVATE club, and they should be able to run it as they see fit. Evidently, after years of deliberations, they decided Condi and Darla would be beneficial to their former "fraternity".

Certainly that requires a new locker room and shower facilities, likely a minor detail to the gentry at Augusta. It might just be that the 2 new female members will be on probation for a while -- just to see how they work out. If they get their green jackets and understand their "place" as low dogs in the hierarchy (seniority-wise)  -- perhaps the door will open again for others. But if they start wanting to redo all the furnishings, raise hell about the placement of women's tees, and change "Amen Corner" to "Women's Corner" -- the good ole boys might have to reconsider. Probation is a good thing sometimes.

If these two pass inspection, you just know who's on deck. The former First Lady, Senator from New York, and current Secretary of State running all over the planet telling other world leaders how they should run their countries.

If she gets into Augusta -- then Roseanne and Judge Judy can't be far behind.

God help them.


  1. Come on now John. I prefer to consider myself not a critic, but a voice of reason to counter some of your not so well thought out rants.

    I found this post to be one your best, combining cynicism and wit with a bit of humor. In fact there were a couple times that I even chuckled.

    I think that one of the main reasons it took Augusta this long to invite women was Martha Burks. I think her little sideshow and 15 minutes of fame in fact delayed the policy change for a few years.

    And I agree with you about Darla Moore probably being a conservative Republican. In fact there probably aren't any liberal members of Augusta. Or if there are, wouldn't that make them among the biggest one percenter hypocrites around?

    Well, another barrier gone. I suppose the next noble liberal cause will be to try to hold a same-sex marriage ceremony at Augusta National. I bet old Bobby Jones would come out of his grave to prevent that one.

    1. Al. Agreed on Martha likely making the membership dig in even deeper. Good one with the 1%er hypocrites. A same sex marriage at Augusta? Yikes! I get this mental image of Tiger and Rory taking their vows on that bridge that Nicklaus stood on (can't remember the name of it) Quit it. You trying to give me nightmares or something? Thanks again, and keep that reason coming. Lord knows, I'll take all I can get.