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The All Male Augusta National Golf Club

Tara Sullivan, reporter for The Bergen Record was prevented from entering the locker room at the Augusta National Golf Club last month during the crème de la crème Masters Golf Tourney by a security guard acting under the erroneous belief that the Augusta’s policy of not allowing women to hold club membership – likewise prevents female reporters from entering the locker room. Whew!

The security guard was female. Other female reporters were allowed admittance. It was a mistake for which the club has apologized. And last I checked . . . the world has – in fact - kept on spinnin’.

For the club’s policy of strictly male only membership: Hootie Johnson, previous Chairman of the Augusta National never apologized and refreshingly, remained exceedingly defiant on the issue in 2002 when confronted by the National Organization of Women’s Groups demanding the club’s “archaic” policy be withdrawn. As a private club, the organization has a constitutional right to foster exclusivity as do other private groups. This issue has been litigated to the hilt – the protection of the policy is firm. Do members choose to discriminate or simply choose their environment as they have a right to do? So far, it does not appear that current Chairman Billy Payne (lawyer and alleged Gridiron Secret Society inductee) has any plans to change the “no girls allowed” policy any time soon. Tiger Woods has been quoted, “In democratic societies, private clubs have the right to determine for themselves who should be eligible for membership.” The Augusta National did not accept its first African American member until 1991.

THE QUESTION IS: at the end of the day, how does the exclusivity policy of the Augusta National Golf Club and other private clubs truly affect significant women’s issues? The policy will never be the demise of modern constitutional law as we know it. The government will never run the Augusta, neither is it an institution which will ever accept public funds. It is a private club consisting of roughly three hundred men beating their drums, doing whatever it is men do when they congregate and no girls are around – smoking cigars, scratching, hell if I know – making their world domination plan. Ever seen a pack of women together during girls’ night out at the end of the week? Women are certainly allowed to attend the Masters and presumably if a gal golfer qualifies she will receive an invite to play.

When women in the position to influence public opinion but most importantly in the position to affect the thought process of a singular young girl - choose to concentrate heavy effort on trite and erroneous “equality” battles – harm ensues and the sexes are even further divided and youth confused. Instead of encouraging women to break into a private men’s club steeped in tradition, encourage their ability to start their own exclusive club with their own Amen Corner. There are certainly enough female American powerhouses around to do it.

Allow the gentlemen to keep their modern Haim. I daresay women should keep their own lodge, ladies – and if you don’t know that, you’re more of a danger to modern thinking than any all male club on the planet.

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