MCCOLLOUGH: What Augusta wants isn’t any of our business

Published 12:09 am Wednesday, August 22, 2012

For years Augusta National Golf Club was perceived as a “men only” place. Augusta National, home of The Masters, had never extended a membership off to a female until earlier this week.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina banker Darla Moore became the first to female members of one of sport’s most prestigious fraternities.

I want to make it plain and clear that I do not support or oppose the decision of August Nationals advisors and members. Augusta National is a privately funded, privately ran course, which gives them the right to accept or deny members of however they see fit.

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I have a problem with the sponsors and other members of the media pressuring organizations in to situations that result in “changes for the better.”

Augusta National can say that they made the decision to allow the female members on their own, but common sense tells otherwise.

Every year since 2002, the hot kettle year of the issue, pressure has mounted on the club to allow members. The pressure became even greater this season when the club did not extend a invitation to IBM executive Virginia Rometty. Augusta National had given membership to the previous four CEOs, all of which were men.

Are the views and actions expressed by the Augusta National Golf Club wrong? Maybe, but some disagree. Many folks believe the golf club is in the right to keep the club they it sees fit.

I have no problem with females booming drives down the fairways, lofting shots through the azaleas or trying to navigate “Amen Corner” to get up-an-down. I have a problem with other members of the media berating the club board members for being “archaic” or “sexist.”

They have a private club. They have private money. They have the right to be private people.

The sponsors had a choice to make: pull out of the tournament and lose lots of money or pressure the club in to changing the status quo. Once again, money talks and everything else walks. Just like with the BCS in college football, it all boils down to the bottom dollar, and how much money can be made.

If the “power that be” at IBM, Exxon and AT&T truly care about women’s rights and equality, I better never see their companies associated with the film series “The Little Rascals.”

Remember that Spanky, Alfalfa, Buckwheat and the rest of the gang were proud members of the “He-Man-Woman-Hater’s Club.”