Wednesday Writs: PGA Tour v. Martin

Em Carpenter

Em was one of those argumentative children who was sarcastically encouraged to become a lawyer, so she did. She is a proud life-long West Virginian, and, paradoxically, a liberal. In addition to writing about society, politics and culture, she enjoys cooking, podcasts, reading, and pretending to be a runner. She will correct your grammar. You can find her on Twitter.

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10 Responses

  1. Doctor Jay says:

    [L1] Well, I think that people taking the California Bar Exam pay a fee to do so.So, I’m not bothered that Scalia didn’t address the fee directly.

    And yet, allowing Casey Martin to use a golf card does not really seem like much of a slippery slope, since, as the District pointed out, lots and lots of people use golf carts. There’s no fundamental alteration of the game here. This slippery slope thing where “soon everyone will be equal!” is asserted, seems pretty exaggerated to me.Report

    • Em Carpenter in reply to Doctor Jay says:

      True, they do pay a fee (and Scalia also notes that the bar exam is actually covered by the ADA), but performers don’t normally pay a fee to perform and subcontractors don’t pay the person who contracts with them. I think it makes the competitors more like customers than Scalia wants to admit.Report

    • Oscar Gordon in reply to Doctor Jay says:

      I’m laughing at the ‘fatigue’ bit, like some casual strolling about while your caddy handles the heavy stuff is going to fatigue anyone. Now if the PGA starts demanding 50 push-ups before every stroke…Report

      • Speaking from my experience when I was young and fit, there’s a difference in how your body copes with that last uphill fairway when you’ve walked/stood for four-plus hours and five miles in 90 degrees and 90% humidity, versus when you’ve ridden a cart. Sure, you can train to the point that the difference is small. But try to fit that into all the other constraints of being a new touring pro.

        I have zero problem with people who have disabilities getting a cart, subject to something like the USGA’s restrictions on how the cart can be used. But walking in the heat/humidity has always been part of the game, and if I’m a paying customer, I want to see the “best players in the world” deal with that.Report

    • The PGA Tour is a slippery beast — technically a non-profit corporation, but basically a guild of the best players in the world conducting a series of tournaments for the entertainment of paying customers. None of the players are employees, and they will be kicked out of the guild if their performance is inadequate. While there is no hard limit, the number of members is intentionally kept small.

      The $3,000 fee for the qualifying tournament is, to some extent, a financial test. Tour players are responsible for their own transportation and lodging expenses. Established players may be able to attract sponsors or patrons who pay those; someone trying to get in through Q-school probably can’t (yet). Non-exempt players have to play a qualifying round at each tournament site on Monday before the tournament. Only a few of those playing on Monday will actually get to play in the tournament. To some degree, the fee asks the question, “Can you afford to get to enough Monday qualifiers to even have a chance of earning an exemption?”

      My own concerns about carts are some of the edge cases. For example, if it’s been rainy and the course is a bit “soft”, many courses ban carts entirely because of the damage they can cause. What happens if a cart-rider is doing well after three rounds, but there’s enough rain Saturday night that carts can’t be used on Sunday?Report

  2. He then subtly worked in reference to the disdain for the designated hitter rule in baseball

    Strop trying to make me like Scalia.Report