A Tee of Their Own


One man. Two boys. Twelve kids.

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65 Responses

  1. Mike Schilling says:

    In other news, former Secretary of State Condaleeza “Twofer” Rice …Report

    • Tod Kelly in reply to Tod Kelly says:

      Oh wait! Damn it! Now I have to think of something to replace the Augusta National Rule with!

      For one thing, there’s the Augusta National rule, which postulates that people are OK with discrimination as it occurs today even if they are paradoxically against similar discrimination from our past.

      For those not familiar with the Augusta National rule, you can test it out yourself the next time you are having a casual conversation with someone that is against anti-discrimination laws by posing this two part question: Was it right that Augusta National Country Club was forced into allowing blacks to be members in 1990? Should they be forced to admit women now? Over the past 10 years I have asked the Augusta National question to maybe 200 people. All but one have answered a variation of the following answers: Regarding blacks in the past, “It was right that they should have been forced to admit blacks, and I was (if they are older)/would have been (if they are younger) on the front lines myself fighting for the blacks’ right to get in back then.” Regarding women today, “Well, it’s complicated, they’re a private club, and why would women want to belong if they aren’t wanted anyway, and it’s really not other people’s business to say who you should let in anywhere, and besides wouldn’t they have to install a set of women’s tees which would be a real pain, and etc.”

      (BTW: You can make your own version of the Augusta National rule, and it can be about any kind of restrictions on protected classes, such as “Was it OK for the citizens of King County to block the building of synagogues in1955/Is it OK for Rutherford County citizens to block the building of mosques now?” But I prefer the Augusta National question, because for most of us the question of what membership privileges the rich and snooty should be allowed is not an emotionally charged, baggage-carrying issue.)


      • Kazzy in reply to Tod Kelly says:

        While I like the idea of the Augusta National rule and what it attempts to expose, I’m not quite so sure it is as effective as proffered.

        For instance, how do you feel about single-sex private schools? How do you feel about single-race private schools?

        Race and gender are not analogous. Which is not to say that gender discrimination is any more or less acceptable than racial discrimination. Only that one COULD support single-gender institutions and oppose single-race institutions without being ideologically inconsistent. Of course, if their logic is as offered here, it would be hard for them to make that claim.Report

  2. Scott says:

    Are you really that naive to believe this will be the end of it? The gender bullies got their way to force a private club to change its membership policy and now will want to know why there are only two females and not the number they think is “correct.”Report

    • mark boggs in reply to Scott says:

      I’m pretty damned certain, given the previous reticence on the part of the powers at Augusta to admit or even acknowledge there was anything wrong with excluding females as members, you would not get these same powers at Augusta to agree that they changed their membership policy. They just finally admitted their first two female members.

      NO ONE tells the powers at Augusta what they will do and when they will do it.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to mark boggs says:

        FWIW, it is my understanding that there was no formal policy barring women from being members. They simply had never accepted any as members. Until now.Report

        • mark boggs in reply to Kazzy says:

          Yeah, that’s what I mean. The powers would decide when they had female members, not that it was codified in some actual by-law someplace.Report

      • Shannon's Mouse in reply to mark boggs says:

        I think the fact that the CEO of Masters sponsor IBM is an Ovarian American made things a bit… awkward for the Green Jackets.

        Does ANGC recognize the jurisdiction of the folks in The Hague? Condi’s kinda curious.Report

        • mark boggs in reply to Shannon's Mouse says:

          But to be honest, and I am in no way defending Augusta going so long as they have sans females, if you don’t think there wouldn’t be 4-5 companies waiting in line to sponsor the Masters, I think you’re crazy.

          It almost seemed a point of pride for Augusta Nat’l to quietly defy all the clamor for them to do what people thought they should do when they thought they should do it.Report

          • Shannon's Mouse in reply to mark boggs says:

            Just to clarify… I don’t think Virginia Rometty issued any ultimatums to Billy Payne about taking her business elsewhere. But with Rometty becoming CEO, ANGC was faced with an awkward choice regarding which of their “traditions” they wished to keep: 1. No girls allowed. 2. CEOs of Masters sponsors are given membership to the club.

            I’m going to guess that Virginia will be quietly offered a membership in the near future.Report

    • Tom Van Dyke in reply to Scott says:

      Oh no, Scott. You just triggered another pussy riot! Well done.Report

    • James Hanley in reply to Scott says:

      gender bullies

      Are conservatives who boycott companies that don’t discriminate against gays “sexual identity bullies?”

      I think private orgs have a right to restrict their own membership on whatever basis they want. But people also have a right to boycott and pressure them to change. And I find pressuring organizations to become less discriminatory somewhat more respectable than pressuring organizations to become more discriminatory.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to James Hanley says:


        How do we differentiate between what makes something a private versus a public org? Looking at the recent post on how much public money ends up in the RCC, it seems that line is getting blurrier.Report

        • James Hanley in reply to Kazzy says:

          Yes, that is a tricky question. I won’t pretend to have a ready answer, or even suggest that there’s a simply metric we can use. Where the line is drawn is inevitably arguable, not just because of politics but because the neat categories don’t satisfactorily map onto the messy reality of the actual world. But, for example, I don’t have any problem with Title IX–when educational institutions accept the public monies they accept the strings attached.Report

          • Kazzy in reply to James Hanley says:

            Tricky question indeed. With regards to Title IX, you also had the inverse, where I believe some universities lost some federal funding for not allowing the military to recruit on campus when they were still enforcing DADT. You’d probably no more on this than I do, but I remember my sister talking about it when she was in law school.

            From what I understand, Augusta itself avoids such entanglements. I don’t see anything to indicate it is a non-profit, which would seem to be the only blurring of a line. Would you be okay with the government restricting non-profit status to organizations that did not discriminate, including religious organizations?Report

            • James Hanley in reply to Kazzy says:

              ome universities lost some federal funding for not allowing the military to recruit on campus when they were still enforcing DADT.

              If I remember correctly, that was an additional Congressional action, separate from Title IX. I didn’t pay lots of attention to it, though. I’m not very pro-military, but neither am I anti-military service, so I had a sort of pox-on-both-their-houses attitude toward that issue and didn’t invest in paying much attention.

              Would you be okay with the government restricting non-profit status to organizations that did not discriminate, including religious organizations?

              Off the top of my head, no, because I think religious orgs ought to just be treated as any other non-profit, and I wouldn’t be comfortable applying that kind of rule to them. But that doesn’t mean I’d be closed to arguments about it. I would just say that I don’t find the argument of effective subsidization via tax deductions to have sufficient bite to make an entity non-private.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to James Hanley says:

                W/R/T Title IX and the military what I meant was that Title IX said that universities could risk their federal funding if they didn’t provide equal opportunities for women; the military stance (as I understood it) was that universities could risk their federal funding if they didn’t allow a discriminatory business to recruit on their campus, something many of them had explicit policies about for non-governmental recruiters.

                I think the public/private line will remain a squishy one, at least for some time. Fortunately, it seems as if there are fewer and fewer Augusta Nationals with each passing year.Report

        • Will Truman in reply to Kazzy says:

          Meh. As I pointed out in the previous post, public money going into someone’s or something’s pockets does not make them a public entity. A public-sector employee or welfare recipient are as much private citizens as an entrepreneur – or close to it.

          (Tying certain strings to certain things is okay, provided that the thing you are tying strings to and the strings are pretty closely related. But looking at total sums of money does not tell us much of anything.)Report

          • Kazzy in reply to Will Truman says:

            That seems fair. Again, ANGC itself seems to have no conflicts, so we’re dealing in hypotheticals.

            I think if there is direct public funding for an organization to fulfill its mission and purpose, then discriminatory practices that can’t be documented to serve that end seem reasonable. I should point out that there are some discriminatory practices which do help fulfill a group’s mission (i.e., an Abused Women’s Shelter opting to hire only women if it is proven that it creates a safer and healthier environment for those they seek to help; however, this shelter could not refuse to support Asian women because they don’t like Asian women). And if a group wants to engage in discriminatory practices that do not serve their mission or their mission is one that requires destructive discriminatory practices (such as a White Power group)… well, ideally we wouldn’t be funding those with public money.Report

      • NewDealer in reply to James Hanley says:

        People seem not to get the boycott and change part about free speech and association.Report

  3. Tod Kelly says:

    “gender bullies”

    I will say this for you my friend, you never disappoint.Report

  4. Kazzy says:

    The more I read about Augusta National, the more I am appalled that the PGA maintained such a prestigious relationship with them for so long.

    Leaving aside the unease of playing a premier golf tournament on the site of a former plantation, this particular former plantation/golf club:
    A) refused to allow black members until 1990
    B) did not accept their first female member until 2012
    C) formerly required all caddies to be black, with one founder remarking that, “As long as I’m alive, all the golfers will be white and all the caddies will be black.”

    The PGA had no obligation to host one of the four majors there. They easily could have come out and said, “We will only host golf tournaments at clubs that meet certain criteria.”* But they didn’t. They continued to play at Augusta, bringing it hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars in revenue despite these ugly practices. And they stood idly by when the Club President chastised Tiger Woods in 2010 for his admittedly egregious infidelities because he “disappointed all of us, and more importantly, our kids and our grandkids.” So, just to set the record straight, in 2010, the President of the Club considered lying and cheating an embarrassment that spanned generations but the club’s history of segregation and discrimination was… what exactly?

    I’m gonna go barf.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

      * It is possible that there are other clubs that host events that would likewise fail to meet even the most basic non-discrimination criteria. Golf clubs, in case it is not obvious, are not my natural habitat.Report

      • Shannon's Mouse in reply to Kazzy says:

        AFAIK, Shoal Creek was the last of the discriminatory clubs to host a Major or a PGA Tour event. Protests erupted in 1990 when the PGA Championship (organized by the PGA of America, not to be confused with the PGA Tour which is the body that holds professional golf tournaments) was held at Shoal Creek. Shoal relented and named a local African American as a provisional member. In the aftermath of the ruckus, the PGA Tour made an official policy of not having tournaments at discriminatory clubs.

        The Masters and Augusta is kind of a special case because the tournament is not “run” by the PGA Tour. The Tour recognizes it as a Major, and counts the money awarded during the tourney toward the money list (which is important in determining which players get to stay on Tour) and they certainly like to associate themselves with the rolling hills, the dogwoods, the azaleas of ANGC, and the more gentile traditions of Augusta and Bobby Jones. However, the tournament is run by the pricks that run Augusta National. It’s the only tournament that’s organized and run by a club, AFAIK. All other tournaments are organized by the various governing bodies of golf and golfers – the USGA, R&A, PGA, PGA Tour, European Tour, etc… While many tournaments have traditional homes — AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am being one notable example — the Masters is the only one run by the host club.Report

        • Kazzy in reply to Shannon's Mouse says:

          Thank you for the info! I didn’t realize exactly what the relationship is. Still, the PGA could have chosen not to recognize it, players could have chosen not to play in it, etc. Lots of shame to go around. But it is indeed helpful to better understand the unique dynamics at play.

          I wonder how much of Augusta’s prestige is vested in its very special “traditions”.Report

          • Shannon's Mouse in reply to Kazzy says:

            If the PGA Tour had decided not to recognize the Masters as a major or declined to include winnings on the money list, the organization would have faced a full-fledged mutiny from the players. You’re right, lots of shame to go around. I’d like to say that, on principle, I’d turn down an offer to play there. But the fact of the matter is that I’ll never get such an offer so it’s not a test I’ll ever have to face.

            The Masters and ANGC is a Big Deal if you’re a professional or avid amateur golfer. Leaving aside the history of racism and sexism at the club, its place in GOLF is revered. It’s a uniquely beautiful course and the best players in the history of the game have performed some of their most memorable feats there.Report

            • Kazzy in reply to Shannon's Mouse says:

              I guess my question is… how does a course like Augusta come to be so revered? It is sort of a rhetorical question, I suppose. How do our cultural institutions come to be? Whatever it is… this one is a screwy one (as I’m sure most are).

              Thanks again for weighing in. Are you new to these parts? Not sure I’ve seen you around but your presence is much appreciated.Report

              • Shannon's Mouse in reply to Kazzy says:

                Not new. I lurk most of the time but will sometimes pop my head up to snark. I’ve been playing “Someone Is Wrong On The Internet” on and off since 1991, but it’s really lost its appeal to me during the past several years.

                How did ANGC become so revered? A combination of good land, meticulous groundskeeping, compelling golf, and savvy marketing. 🙂Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Shannon's Mouse says:

                That little jingle they play during the CBS telecasts IS addictive!Report

              • mark boggs in reply to Kazzy says:

                And the fact that the place was started by Bobby Jones, one of the finest golfers to ever wield a set of clubs.Report

              • MikeSchilling in reply to mark boggs says:

                Yeah, it’s like the Yankee Stadium of golf. (The old one, that the Steinbrenners tore down to make more money. Baseball fans worship the game’s rich sense of history. Owners, not so much.)Report

          • NewDealer in reply to Kazzy says:


    • James Hanley in reply to Kazzy says:


  5. mark boggs says:

    As a proud member of the PGA of America, I would like to point you to Shannon’s Mouse’s comment. The PGA Tour and the PGA of America have very little in the way of operational overlap. In fact, I believe it was the Shoal Creek incident that pushed the PGA of America to declare that it would hold none of its championships at clubs that discriminated on the basis of race, religion, or sex. The PGA Tour and the USGA declared the same thing. And the fact that the Masters isn’t run by any of these organiztions makes it a bit harder to force them to do anything.

    Thanks for the heavy lifting, Shannon’s Mouse.Report

  6. NewDealer says:

    This is one issue in the culture wars that always seemed strange to me. I will come off with two biases:

    1. I dislike golf and don’t understand the appeal.

    2. I was brought up by parents who despise country clubs (for being elitist) and this belief rubbed off on me. For anyone who thinks this is sour grapes, I grew up very comfortably in the upper-middle class

    So I don’t see this as a great victory for equality. You still need a lot of dough to gain membership to Augusta, now rich women of the 1 percent can join on their own instead of simply being guests. Let me cheer with a sarcastic Yea!Report

  7. Jaybird says:

    For my part, I will boycott Augusta and never golf there. Never!Report