I never thought I’d see the day when I would write a piece centering around golf. As most of my followers know, my dislike for golf is deep. Honestly, I’d rather watch paint dry than watch a round of golf. But the this story isn’t so much about golf, rather it’s a story about equality and civil rights.
For those of you not up to speed, here is the gist: Augusta National Golf Club, the home of the Masters Tournament – one of golf’s most important tournaments, after a “no women” policy of 80 years, has extended invitations to two women to join as members. The two are Condoleezza Rice, whose previous works include Secretary of State and National Security Adviser, and Darla Moore – a banker/ finance mogul from South Carolina. This all comes ten years after women’s organizations first protested the club’s refusal to allow female members.
The whole notion of exclusive clubs that don’t allow people to apply for admission is antiquated, if you ask me, and that is the way Augusta operates. But, fine, whatever. My main issue is that these two very respectable women, I feel, are being used as a fig leaf for this backwards, chauvinistic place (which also has a history of racism – the first black member was allowed in 1990). If Rice and Moore were to turn the invitations down – it would send the message that this is 2012, we have plenty of other places to play and we don’t need your favors. This should have come a long, long time ago and now it’s too late.
Augusta has about 300 members. If they are serious about admission of women, and making it a place where women will truly enjoy playing, they need to invite a whole lot more (they would need to be rich women, though, – membership fees are pricey). Otherwise this is nothing but a stunt to get rid of the endless controversy surrounding the club, and I wouldn’t want any part of it. I don’t know why any other women would want to play somewhere she isn’t truly welcomed, let alone represent something that isn’t real. My only hope is that Rice and Moore, if they choose to be active at the club, will somehow change things from within and make this the ‘step in the right direction’ it ought to be.