Thursday, April 8, 2010
Nyah Nyah, You Can't Come In
My guy loves the Masters.
"It's the prettiest golf course ever," he says.
But it rubs me the wrong way now that I know girls aren't allowed.
No, I'm not demanding that women be allowed to play the Masters. I'm wondering why women aren't allowed to be members of Augusta National.
It's pretty. Very pretty. And very, very exclusive. One article I read said there are only three hundred members and those are only let in by invitation. Bill Gates has not been invited. So women are in pretty successful company.
But women are not permitted to be members, though they're allowed on the course to watch the tournament and I even saw a woman official helping some poor guy whose ball looked like it had landed next to the privvy in the trees.
But no women members.
The National Coalition of Women's Organizations wrote to Hootie Johnson, the head of Augusta, suggesting that this might be the year to change that policy. Hootie is no red neck but was an official of the National Urban League and helped integrate South Carolina's schools by getting the state to establish the state's only undergraduate business program at a college that was, at the time, only attended by blacks. If you wanted to study business, you had to go there. Pretty smart.
But his reaction to the private letter from the NCWO was a public scold, maintaining that the course would change that policy when it was ready to, not at the "point of a bayonet."
I would have thought a fellow like Hootie would have felt that letter as goad to his conscience, not a bayonet to the gut.
So Tiger Woods, the guy who has a little problem with women, makes his big comeback at a course that won't let women be members.
The timing really was perfect for Augusta National to step up and be better, to join the 21st century and maybe even set an example for its tarnished star.
I'm not a foaming-at-the-mouth, let-me-in-or-else woman, but I'm a woman. And I have a daughter. I had a mother. And I am offended that because we're not men, no matter what our qualifications, no matter what our connections, there's a club that simply will not let us join.
My mom liked to play golf. Hootie, you'd have enjoyed playing a round with her. She was serious about it and she was good company.