No women are allowed, either.
Status quo in Chicago
By Torleif Sorenson on 11/20/12
Over the last two weeks, a firestorm has arisen over the lack of women members in the Royal & Ancient, one of the two major golf rule-making bodies in the world.  Some private club members in Chicago recently decided to make things even more embarrassing for our game.

News emerged on Monday that the membership at Butler National Golf Club recently voted to continue to keep women out of their club - by more than a 6-to-4 margin.  This means not only that women are not allowed to play as guests, they are not even allowed on the property.  Insiders say that none of the club's facilities or the clubhouse were ever designed with women in mind.

Also worth noting is the fact that Butler National is a private club and they are free to do what they collectively want to do - or don't want to do.  But as one unidentified member told Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune...
""We're in a death spiral."
As reported by Greenstein, a seventy-five vote was required to change the policy.  Because the move failed, members within Butler National say that the club's annual dues will increase, in part because of the loss of members who do not wish to endure any embarrassment of being associated with a club that discriminates against women.

This situation is not a direct analog of Augusta National Golf Club, where women have played the course as guests for decades.  Indeed, Augusta National's administration and members have donated millions of dollars over the last few decades to the LPGA, The First Tee, and other organizations that serve women and girls in golf.

The result of this vote guarantees that Butler National will not be considered for any major championships, nor any professional tour events - something that would be a badly-needed financial boost to the club.  Butler National hosted the PGA Tour's Western Open from 1974 until 1990, when the Tour yanked the event from Butler National following the 1990 PGA Championship scandal.  Most observers and some tour players say the course is still well-suited to hosting a tour event or a major; Greenstein quoted Phil Mickelson on the topic:
"What I loved about Butler were the subtleties: where the balls break, the risk-reward, the ability to get to certain pins, the challenge of making pars on the hard holes, the challenge of making birdies on the easy holes."
Luke Donald, a resident of one of Chicago's northern suburbs, reportedly has also wished aloud for a major event at Butler.

For now, anyway, that will not happen.  If and when women are finally allowed at Butler National, it will likely come only after the deepening recession and further member defections squeeze the remaining members beyond their financial abilities.

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Image via TribLocal

[ comments ]
bducharm says:
We live in such a politically correct environment today that it really gets to me sometimes. Butler National is a PRIVATE club! They get NO public monies, so they should get to do whatever they want to! Just like Augusta National or any other PRIVATE club! The members know what they are voting for and the consequences of such. Why does EVERYONE HAVE to belong to EVERYTHING??? Would I like to belong to Augusta National>? Absolutely!!! However, I don't have the financial ability to belong so I belong to a club here in Austin that I CAN afford. There are plenty of clubs where women can play! Take your money there and yes, maybe the financial stress will make the members at Butler crumble. However, until that happens, it is THEIR club, not ours!!!
metnorm says:
I agree with bducharm. If this was the other way around as in females only golf course you'd never hear all the things you hear about the men only clubs. Of course thats only my honest opinion.
bkuehn1952 says:
Private clubs that want to exclude certain segments of society certainly may continue to do so as far as I am concerned. You won't find me picketing or advocating a change in their policy. It is their club, leave them alone.

I find people that like exclusionary policies to be a bit pedantic and generally avoid associating with them, as I am sure they seek to avoid associating with riff raff like me.
bducharm says:
Well said bkuehn1952!!!
legitimatebeef says:
What the hell is going on at these clubs? Why such a big deal about keeping women out? Are there really women who are banging on the doors of Butler National trying to get in? Isn't a stodgy old "men's only" golf club one of the last places any self-respecting woman would want to be anyways? I got questions.
Kurt the Knife says:
Dang. This is ridiculous. Private Club. Private policies. Seems pretty simple.
Next thing you know I'm gonna get hassled about the exclusion policies of my
"He-man Women Haters Club".
bducharm says:
LOL @Kurt - "No Girlz Allowed"!!!
Kurt the Knife says:
Alfalfa said it best.
Duke of Hazards says:
@beef - its like a giant man-cave with a golf course around it where they occasionally deliver hookers and drugs through the back gate.
snuffyword says:
G-O-L-F = Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden. Kurt, if you remember the episode, Alfalfa sold out because he was weak and smitten by Darla. I used to belong to that club.
Wes11point5 says:
I wanna play in the NBA. I just need a lawyer.
falcon50driver says:
I want to visit the Cowboys Cheerleader locker room but it's women only. Discrimination I say.
Matt McGee says:
I barely even get a "no girls allowed" policy when I'm in my own bathroom.
joe jones says:
Real discrimination in sports. Women reporters are allowed in mens locker rooms. Male reporters in womens locker rooms. Verbotten! As an old voyeur I don't think thats fair.
coojofresh says:
i'm down for doing what you want, but i think the little no girls allowed thing is kinda lame these days.
C-4 says:
Girls are allowed...they just have to be hookers....i bet the on staff masseuse is a man....hmmmmmmm
AbsoluteZero says:
Let's be clear here - Butler is not in any financial trouble, and is unlikely to change any of their policies due to an inability to pay the bills any time soon. It's one of the most exclusive clubs in Chicago and they could triple the membership tomorrow if they wanted to. It's nonsense to suggest that a recession would affect this club in any significant way.
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