The significance of Augusta National's new membership policy
By mustang6560 on 8/21/12
As I stated earlier, I've read numerous opinions about Augusta National since the news broke about its 21st Century membership policy in an effort to formulate my own opinion about the significance or the symbolism of inviting two female members to golf's formerly most prominent all-male golf club.

I've fit two of the long standing demographics of Augusta National's membership policy my entire life - I'm male and I'm white. But, I don't fit the most important demographic — I'm not one of the most influential businessmen — and now businesspeople — in the world, therefore, unless I cure cancer or magically win The Masters, I'll never be invited to be a member. I do agree with the sentiment that adding Condeleezza Rice and Darla Moore sends the right message to young female golfers, however, it doesn't change the nature of Augusta National — it's still a golf club for the one percent of the One Percenters.

It's rumored that there are 300 members at Augusta National. If you compare that to the population of the United States, which is 300 million and counting, one in every one million people is a proud owner of a green jacket. And if you compare the number of members at Augusta National to the world's population, well, you get the idea.

So, Condeleezza Rice and Darla Moore, both purported lovers of the game of golf, will receive their green jackets in October when the club opens again. But, what does that really mean? Sure, it's very symbolic for the future of the game, however, at the end of the day, the 99 Percenters — you and me — will still never be able to step foot on the sacred grounds of Augusta National to watch the golf's elite play in a major championship on one of golf's most beautiful venues, or be able to walk in the footsteps of golf's greatest players for 18 holes.

If Augusta National really wants to make an impact on the game of golf for golf's actual fans — I guarantee you I'd kick Condeleezza's and Darla's you know what in a golf trivia game — then they should open up Augusta National to the fans of the game. Let us 99 Percenters stroll the fairways for a once and a lifetime round of golf. If you can pay your way to Scotland, then you can play a round of golf at St. Andrews. The same is true for Torrey Pines and Pebble Beach. But, unless you know a member or are a professional golfer, good luck playing a round of golf at Augusta National. The least the folks at Augusta National could do is open the viewing up even more so the four days a year we're allowed to see Augusta National, we can watch for more than just a few hours and only on certain holes.

As a fan of golf, I hope one day I'm able to visit Augusta National as a patron, and even more so, I hope one day one of the one percent of the One Percenters invites me to play a round of golf there. But, I won't hold my breath because even though Condeleezza Rice and Darla Moore are the newest members of the most exclusive golf club in the world, it doesn't improve my chances any.

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Image via Flickr, pocketwiley

[ comments ]
bkuehn1952 says:
I like your description, "purported lovers of the game." Darla Moore neither carries a handicap in South Carolina nor is she an Oober. I don't care how much money she has, she is not going to be voted into my golf club.

Dr. Rice, on the other hand, carries a 12.1 index (CA) and has posted 20 scores since June. I will overlook her lack of an Oob membership (maybe give her an honorary one?) if she wants to join my course.
rmetz676 says:
I must be missing the point... There's thousands of private clubs in the US that never let a non-member on the grounds. Augusta National does open their gates once a year, but on their terms. I'll probably never get past the gates of at least 2 of the most "exclusive" clubs in Milwaukee, Blue Mound CC and Milwaukee CC. They created a private club so it could be just that... Private. There are just as or more exclusive clubs than Augusta, they just don't get as much publicity.
Torleif Sorenson says:
Augusta National does more to support women's golf in one year than the radical, self-appointed social engineer Martha Burk could hope to do over a lifetime of her infantile hissy-fits. For years, women have played Augusta National as guests, plus ANGC have provided hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars in financial support to the LPGA, the USGA, and The First Tee.

Miss Burk should have concentrated her quasi-psychotic rage on men-only clubs where women are not even allowed on the premises: Places like Burning Tree (Bethesda MD), Butler National, and Black Sheep (also outside Chicago). Likewise, Muirfield in Scotland bans unaccompanied women and doesn't even allow them in the clubhouse. *Honourable Company* of Edinburgh Golfers??!! Ex-squeeze me? Baking powder? Spare me - a *real* group of honourable gentlemen wouldn't behave like such knuckle-dragging schlubs - they would treat women better than they treat themselves.
dartboss04 says:
I don't understand why a male only club and treating women with respect are mutually exclusive ideas. I doubt the members of a male only county club treat their woman poorly, at least not more than any other sample group of men.

Where are all the men protesting Curves gyms?
Werepuppie says:
The thing that bothers me about this is that Augusta broke it's policy of not admiting who the members are.They do not normally mention who has been admitted as a member.
snuffyword says:
I wanted to keep my mouth shut but I don't seem to have the discipline. It's a PRIVATE club. They can admit whoever they want. They can discriminate, if they choose. I will never be a member, nor do I care to be a member. However, I do want to see the Masters continue on. If people think that this is progress, then great. If people think that ANGC submitted to the public relations pressure and public opinions, fine. Some people care about that. I don't. I just want to see good golf and if I am lucky enough to walk the grounds at ANGC, then I can die a happier man. Other than that, this is not SIGNIFICANT news to me. I wonder if I can find a local club that only accepts males who are full-blooded Asian.
Wes11point5 says:
I would like to see an end to "Women's Only" private colleges. They all take federal money and should be open to all persons regardless of gender. This inequality will not stand.
onedollarwed says:
I love to play golf, which is why I could care less about Augusta National. Like I said, I love to play golf, but do not need to follow it. Golf Celebs - the courses included - are a bit like any other celeb. At least golf has a merit system for the playing of the game, so that the winners actually are the best players. I don't need the fantastic courses, just to play more often and play better. That can be done anywhere - field, forest or stream!
Matt McGee says:
If Augusta National wasn't already in the national spotlight, and if they hadn't restricted membership on the basis of race until 1990, this wouldn't even be news. However, they are, and they did, so it's a big deal.
C-4 says:
Who cares!!! but i am proud of Augusta...a female and a colored..glad to know it is not a racist club....NOT..really who are they trying to fool. Thanks but no can have your private club.
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