"He is certainly not a racist, as an individual,"

Steve Elling reports that the R&A's Graham Brown was determined to put a stop to the Euro's-winless-in-majors stories and the various Paul Lawrie-Jean Van De Velde recaps by telling several off-color jokes at a writer's banquet!

Our governing bodies are in such fine shape! 

Proving that the elitist golf establishment in America hardly owns a monopoly on bad taste, pious attitudes and overtly racist behavior, a member of the storied Royal & Ancient Golf Club on Tuesday night told a series of off-color jokes at a journalists' banquet in Carnoustie that left those in attendance shaking their heads in disgust.

Graham Brown, a member of the R&A rules of golf committee, was invited to speak at the annual banquet of the Association of Golf Writers, an organization with 70 years of history. Those who attended said Brown started his remarks with a well-received impression of Spanish golf legend Seve Ballesteros, then reeled off a series of mostly failed jokes that included derogatory characterizations of Southern blacks and Asians.

One punchline about Asian golfers included the pejorative term "nip," which caused a large groan from the audience, attendees reported.

But thankfully, the R&A's crack spin control team chimed in to...make matters worse.

Adding fuel to the fire, after learning of the remarks the following day, the R&A declined to demand Brown’s resignation. As for its considerable constituency, the R&A is golf’s governing body everywhere outside North America, including Asia. The organization annually stages the British Open, which begins Thursday at Carnoustie Golf Links.
“The situation is, we’ve got two things here,” said Martin Kippax, chairman of the R&A’s championship committee, when asked why Brown had not been forced out. “Graeme Brown is a good golfer and he’s a very knowledgeable individual with regards to the rules of golf. And he’s a very useful member of our rules committee.
“What happened last night is something that is quite independent.”

Would that be Martin "Let's play those holes over again" Kippax chiming in? Yes he's a good golfer and knows the rules, so he can do as he pleases!  Ahh...somewhere Walter Driver is trying to smile, even though he's physically incapable.

Well, except that he's a member of the R&A brass, a group that apparently make the folks at historically exclusionary American clubs look like social progressives. Speaking of which, one of Brown's jokes included a mocking imitation of a black caddie at Augusta National, guests said.

The R&A has approximately 1,800 members around the world, but no women. Though the journalists' group was in no way responsible for Brown's incendiary remarks, the U.K.-based writers' association on Wednesday issued a written statement in which its members apologized "unreservedly" for the content of the commentary.

Peter Dawson, the executive director of the R&A, did little to improve the situation Thursday when he failed spectacularly to distance the organization from the remarks. Dawson said that because Brown was a guest invited "in a private capacity" by the writers, he was not representing the R&A, per se.

"We all know Graham Brown very well and I can say absolutely that he is certainly not a racist, as an individual," Dawson said.

Now, as for his other personalities, that's another story.

No, he just comes across as a member of a xenophobic fraternity -– as a group. His address also included sexually related comments that many judged to be inappropriate. One attendee said that Brown offended everybody but homosexuals, who somehow escaped his attention.

Well, you can't use all of your best material on lowly golf writers.

Dawson and Kippax said they had spoken with Brown on Thursday and that he was "horrified at learning the effects or the impact of some of his remarks," as Dawson put it.

Pointedly asked why he had refused to denounce or censure Brown, Dawson said evenly, "I didn't realize I was refusing to condemn it. But the R&A would not with [SP] to be associated with that kind of thing."

Other than having the offending party as an influential member. Because, after all, he's a good player and he knows the rules of golf, and that might come in handy come tournament time.

Wonder why golf's governance has a reputation for being whiter than the ball itself, and just as inflexible?

The banquet audience included dozens of golf writers from around the world, plus a smattering of broadcasters, agents and notable Ryder Cup players such as Ian Poulter, Darren Clarke, Lee Westwood, Padraig Harrington and Henrik Stenson.