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Why the Augusta news is being blown out of proportion

August 20, 2012

Can we all settle down? This news that Augusta National has finally added women members is certainly welcome, but to call it a "joyous occasion" and pretend it'll revolutionize the game is absurd. It's nothing more than one private club finally accepting female members. Two of them.

Is it a sign of progress? Of course it is. Will it change the face of the game? No, sorry, it won't.

As much as golf is believed to be stuck in the 19th century, the fact is the overwhelming majority of golf courses welcome women with open arms. The overwhelming majority of manufacturers make golf clubs specifically for women. The overwhelming majority of apparel companies create gear exclusively for women. This has been the case for years, and will continue to be so for years to come.

Also, the overwhelming majority of female golfers will never become a member at Augusta National. The club is still an uber-private, buttoned-up association that grants access to a select, privileged few. It's just that now, for politically correct reasons, it has two female members.

Too many people -- especially those who are attaching too much importance to this news -- are mistakenly suggesting that the practices of one private club represent the sport as a whole. That's more upsetting than the membership policies of a single private club.

It shouldn't take today's news for the public to realize that golf has long distanced itself from its stodgy, insular past.

The best news to emerge from today's announcement? We won't have to answer the "Why doesn't Augusta have any female members?" question that inevitably comes up before every Masters.

What a relief.