Our readers react to Augusta National News....Predictably
Reaction to Augusta National's decision to admit female members has generated mail, but not tons of it. James Owens of Marion, OH, was disappointed for Sergio Garcia that missed out on his chance for a Golf World cover. Harry Frank of Ann Arbor rued our failure to mention Marion Hollins' role in the creation of Augusta. (She created Pasatiempo in Santa Cruz, CA, that served as a model for Augusta National). None of the letters, interestingly, was celebratory. There was, I think, a feeling of inevitability, a sense of the time's come, as Marcia Chambers makes clear in her interview on Golfdigest.com.
But there were also readers who felt that the time should never have come, for example, this one from Notre Dame:
Now that constitutional freedom of association has been eroded by the campaign to stampede Augusta National into sex integration—abetted by Golf World—will your magazine now advocate for women’s clubs to be required to admit men? Or will Golf World continue to be a bit hypocritical and incoherent?
If women’s clubs are unobjectionable, why not men’s clubs? Not to allow the latter is indeed sex discrimination. (And what about all-female basketball and softball teams—and golf teams?)
Your “public role” argument with respect to AGNC as a special case is easily rebutted, as well. Have you heard of the League of Women Voters?
Otherwise, keep up the good work.
John F. Gaski, Ph.D.
Notre Dame IN
Should Women Be Celebrating? I find it funny when any group or organizations spend so much time and energy to break down barriers when the energy can be spent elsewhere. The recent case of Augusta National allowing two women to join is fine by me, I don't care. The decision was Augusta National's. Women's groups are celebrating because two women were able to join the club.
Martha Burk was chairwoman of the National Council of Women's Organizations and boasted the membership was 30 million women. Here's my thinking: If Martha were to ask every member for a $10 contribution, she would raise $300 million dollars. That money could be used to build a golf course, clubhouse and still have money to keep it running for years. This would be a private club for women only and more women would enjoy it rather than just two. Augusta National, a non-profit agency, chose to open its doors to women and was not forced by the courts system. I'm sure there are male institutions that have opened its door to women either because of possible lawsuits and/or chose to for added income.
Now will the LPGA, Bryn Mawr College, Atlanta Women's Club or women-only fitness centers open its door for a male? I think not and many men really don't care if there are women private clubs/colleges. We let it slide off our backs. Some men just don't care.
By the way, Marion Hollins founded the female-only Women's National Golf and Tennis Club at Glen Head, on Long Island, in 1923. For years it fared better financially than did Augusta National. David Owen wrote about Hollins and the club earlier this year.
Posted by Bob Carney
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