OT: Augusta National admits first female members

Submitted by translator82 on August 20th, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Title says it all really. The golf course that's home to The Masters will admit Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore (a S.C. businesswoman) as its first female members. Welcome to the 21st Century, Augusta National.

Link to column that broke the story

Link to AP story

Comments

justingoblue

August 20th, 2012 at 11:11 AM ^

Ginni Rometty wasn't in this group. The last news I heard on all this was that IBM might put some pressure on Augusta National, since their CEO is traditionally invited to become a member.

gjking

August 20th, 2012 at 12:16 PM ^

Not sure how others feel, but the elitist culture of golf sickens me. The sport has become a mechanism for rich white people to surround themselves with other rich white people by paying exorbitant country club fees.

I never watch professional golf, it is boring, and being good is more a product of privilege than anything else.  

Anonymosity

August 20th, 2012 at 12:56 PM ^

Strange, the reason you dislike golf is exactly the same reason I like golf.  I'll assume the inverse is true for demolition derbies or grit eating contests or whatever it is the peons beneath me consider entertainment these days.

justingoblue

August 20th, 2012 at 1:04 PM ^

Looking at my hometown public course (in a fairly big metropolitan area) eighteen holes varies between $21-$45 depending on the day of the week, with a discount for weekday afternoons and a price bump for weekends and holidays. In high school, golf paid the same fees as football and basketball did.

Edit: I went back and forth on whether to say this or not, and I'm sure I'm about to get negged to bolivian, but I don't really see why it's okay to say something of this nature about one group of people/sport and not another. If you or I had posted this same comment replacing "golf" with another sport, "rich" for poor and "white" for another race, this whole site would be up in arms about it.

go16blue

August 20th, 2012 at 2:52 PM ^

I don't agree with half of what gjking said, but he does have a point about golf talent being a result of priveledge. Obviously people like Tiger Woods are incredibly talented, but not many people have a shot at being good at golf.

With regards to your comment (your edit specifically), it doesn't really work that way. A rich white male can go to his local gym and practice basketball, just like a poor man could. They aren't priced out of that at all. But poorer people are definitely priced out of playing golf. Not only can many people not afford the fees, but buying equipment alone is at least a couple hundred dollars. Even having a local public course is something only the upper middle class generally have access to. That's why poor people instead turn to basketball/football/soccer, and golf is almost exclusively for rich people.

justingoblue

August 20th, 2012 at 3:45 PM ^

Oh there's no denying that basketball and soccer are less expensive to play, my issue is more about being critical of the logic behind his decision not to watch golf and the reaction from the board to his post. I will say, though, that affording the thirty dollars per week during the summer plus the initial equipment investment isn't something I would call upper middle class only. I know more than a few people in lower income brackets that spend about that much on baseball games, hockey games, ect.

Using the PGA in place of his general statement about golf, it's just as ridiculous to say that the PGA is unwatchable because it has a lot of white men with (probably) college educated parents from the suburbs competing as it is to say the NBA is unwatchable because it's made up of predominantly young black men from the inner city, with many coming from lower income households. Despite being substantively the same statement, the general reaction seems much different.

gbdub

August 20th, 2012 at 3:55 PM ^

The rudiments of soccer are cheap (a ball, something to vaguely determine goal boundaries), but soccer can and does get really flippin' expensive to get good at. League fees, travel, shoes and uniforms,expected volunteer time from parents, coaching, camping, private schools with the best teams, etc. don't come cheap.

Sure, you don't need those things to play, but if we're talking about relative opportunity to become a professional in a sport, you're still better off being wealthy.

On the flip side, hand-me-down clubs and a bucket of balls, the equivalent of back-alley soccer, are pretty inexpensive.

One of the other benefits of golf is that you can continue to enjoy it at any age, and players of any ability level can still enjoy each other's company (and even compete against each other). That's hard to do with contact team sports like soccer or basketball, or even other blueblood "yuppie" sports like tennis.

jabberwock

August 20th, 2012 at 4:52 PM ^

but I don't really see why it's okay to say something of this nature about one group of people/sport and not another. If you or I had posted this same comment replacing "golf" with another sport, "rich" for poor and "white" for another race, this whole site would be up in arms about it.

I'm not going to neg you or anything, your post was obviously respectful & genuine; but if you really don't see why it can cause an uproar you need to study more of this country's history and do some traveling.  It would be nice if we were at the point where anything is "fair game", sadly we're not quite there yet.

justingoblue

August 20th, 2012 at 5:37 PM ^

"Shouldn't" might be the better word to incorporate there. I think my second paragraph of my second comment is a better way of saying what I originally meant, which boils down to race being an illogical factor to base sports viewership on.

WindyCityBlue

August 20th, 2012 at 1:14 PM ^

....the NFL and NBA sicken me too.  Its just a bunch of rich African Americans surrounding themselves with other rich African Americans.  Then complain that there not enough black coaches, QBs, etc, yet 90% of the league is black.

\s

MaizeAndBlueWahoo

August 20th, 2012 at 2:10 PM ^

Of course, nobody should ever want to hang out with people who they have something in common with.  I'll bet whatever activities you do for fun, you make extra sure to partake of them with people from all possible walks of life.

Tater

August 20th, 2012 at 4:36 PM ^

I don't like the political nature of your post, but I do think that golf's growing lack of inclusion for the working class in this era is affecting the quality of the sport in the arena of competition.  I belileve that we are getting too many spoiled, entitled country club players on our tour, and it is a major reason why we are getting trounced by international players in too many majors and in the Ryder Cup.  

If Rory McIlroy had grown up in the US, I doubt that he would have had the access to enough practice to become as good as he is now.  

It's much worse on the LPGA, though; the US tour has been pretty much taken over by Asian players who, simply put, grossly outwork their US counterparts.  Most of them are working class, and golf is their way "out" of their situations there.  

This isn't a diatrabe against the rich, though, or even those who belong to country clubs.  It's more of a wish that the US would find a way to provide access and teaching to young players who could develop into the next Rory McIlroy or Yani Tseng.  

gbdub

August 20th, 2012 at 6:12 PM ^

I strongly disagree that golf is becoming LESS accessible to the working class - what exactly do you base that on? Koreans are also taking over Starcraft, but we don't call that a class thing. Perhaps they do work harder, but I suspect their dominance in the women's tour has more to do with the relative popularity of women's golf in Asia.

Drew Sharp

August 20th, 2012 at 12:32 PM ^

I don't have a problem with it, but I wouldn't have admitted any women. It's a men's club...er...was. It is not, and never has been about equal rights, at least for me. I've never understood why people got so upset over it. It's a men's club. Where's the controversy? Is it really a big deal to have a private men's club? Nobody has ever been able to properly articulate to me why he/she was so upset.

Marvin

August 20th, 2012 at 12:42 PM ^

The two main reasons I think are

1. They have as members many prominent public figures, politicians, CEOs of major corporations etc. So (you could argue) it follows that if they refuse to admit women, the members (again, members who have significant ties to the general public) support discrimination.

 

2. They host one of the most prestigious golf tournaments in the world. If they refuse to admit women, one could argue that advertisers, Jim Nance etc., the entire PGA . . . ., support a discriminatory policy.

 

They're a private club, in other words, but their ties to the public are significant and far reaching.

 

That's my understanding anyway.