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"It was the right thing to do because the Masters is the public face of golf"

Lots to chew on in this provocative Q&A with Marcia Chambers, an expert on antiquated club membership policies who had some surprising things to say about Martha Burk, tokenism, the R&A and Hootie.

This view of hers on the Royal and Ancient surprised me.

Private clubs take direction from clubs like Augusta National. It should set the standard and be a leader. It has not been. Now it has put its house in order, and I expect we will see new efforts at inclusion at other clubs. I don't include the private all-male clubs that host the British Open in this category. As the late, great Peter Dobereiner once said: "The British do not appreciate change, especially from the ladies. They have been soaking in male-chauvinist piggery for 500 years, and so it cannot be eradicated overnight."

And this on IBM's woman-American CEO, Ginni Rometty.

What I want to know is whether IBM told Billy Payne, "She gets in, or it's the highway for us." I do not know how IBM could live with this insult, because no matter how you slice it, that's what it is. She is still not in, while her Augusta sponsor counterparts at AT&T and Exxon-Mobil are members. I suspect a deal was made, a deal that admits Rometty at a mutually agreed-upon date.

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Reader Comments (12)

Good to see and hear from Marcia again! she's disappeared from the pages of Golf Digest for the last decade or so. wonder why?
08.25.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMedia maven
Still, when a whole bunch of wealthy golfing ladies build their own private club ... and make it work financially and in every other way ... and exclude men from the membership as a club rule, then I'll be impressed. Otherwise, it's just smug, phony, entitlement nagging.
08.25.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSclaff & Foozle
I think she's right. You look at the average gallery at a British golf tournament (to say nothing of a crowd at a soccer match) and it's 99% male. Mostly shaven-headed, creepy, scary yob types. Women must feel about as welcome as a Red Sox fan in Yankee Stadium's bleachers.
08.25.2012 | Unregistered CommenterManos
Different cultures and surprising how little we seem to know about the other’s worlds. However I will say this that the R&A again have lost the initiative, they should have opened their doors to women years ago, but it just goes to show how slow witted the Membership have been and still are.

The R&A should be leading by example, not dithering as usual, a very poor shadow of their former selves.
08.25.2012 | Unregistered
<< You look at the average gallery at a British golf tournament (to say nothing of a crowd at a soccer match) and it's 99% male. Mostly shaven-headed, creepy, scary yob types.>>

Ridiculous. Incorrect. Wrong. Erroneous. Pretty stupid, really.

"Mostly?" Give me a break.
08.25.2012 | Unregistered Commenterbenseattle
I have heard that IBM"s CEO doesn't especially like golf and may not have wanted to become a member.
08.25.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrad Ford
Marcia Chambers, expert? On what?

There is absolutely no way Augusta National would ever succumb to any sort of "admit our CEO or we leave" type of rigamarole from IBM. Billy Payne's response would be "don't let the door hit you on the ass and before you get to the end of Magnolia Lane we will have signed up the next company on the list that wants to be a sponsor, a list that we closed when it reached 50 companies long".

I cannot believe any self-respecting golf publication would publish such nonsense, show how little she/they know about the topic.

Just an absurd quote/commentary on Marcia's part.
08.25.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
And in what way is The Masters "the public face of golf?" It's the opposite. For most people in the world it is The Open.

As for British galleries: yes, indeed, there are quite a lot of young men with dyed Mohawk hairdos and tattoos. As well as loads of ordinary middle class people of both sexes and all ages. Those young men are probably golfers, hence the interest. Sorry they don't look like the young of America who are interested in golf -- country club chino-wearers who don't drink, smoke or swear. Charles Howell IIIs who win a beer-sponsored event and can't even face a ceremonial sip of the sponsor's product. In Britain it is not that hard for people from the working classes to get into golf. Some of these alleged "yobs" are just kids whose parents are probably teachers or factory workers or cops, and who introduced them to golf but did not impose their own generations's values and styles on kids who do what the other kids do.

When a Boo Weekley comes along in America it is a major news event. British golf clubs are full of people who don't have cars but just walk along to a local course and learn to play with a parent, friend or relative. You don't have to be rich and suburban and able to drive 45 miles to an enclave -- or live in one. Some of them look odd to the Wednesday night Bible crowd on the PGA Tour and their like-minded and like-raised supporters, but that is not the way of golf around the world. There are the Muirfields and their ilk, but they are not the way of day-to-day golf in Britain.

And characterising people who look different is not very nice anyway. "Creepy, scary yob types?" Ever heard of any trouble on these courses, from these galleries? At least in Britain they are not carrying bloody guns. While since we had a shooting outside one of our highrise working towers in London or Manchester or Glasgow. Maybe - never.
08.25.2012 | Unregistered CommenterGhillie
Well written sentiments which I share Ghillie.

Thank you.
08.26.2012 | Unregistered CommenterGeoffC
Agree wholeheartedly with DTF. No true "expert" would think that any sponsor has a "leverage position" in their relationship with ANGC.
Ghillie it's unfortunate that you try to change the subject to guns and the Bible, but that's how Britain rolls. It's a nation of deflectors. It's the "yeah but what about you" country. Try to stay on topic. The issue at hand is misogyny in Britain, as reflected by the R&A and the embarrassing composition of Britain's golf galleries, by my estimate 99% male. This hardly sounds like a democratic game, despite your pathetic rant.
08.26.2012 | Unregistered CommenterManos
the *PUBLIC* face of golf, indeed.

What iota does ANGC share with Public Golf? With golf?
08.28.2012 | Unregistered CommenterGolfFan

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