Augusta’s for Golfers…unless you’re a woman

Dear Chairman Payne,

Chairman Payne, Bill, if I can be so frank, I am writing you today to express my vocal concerns for the topic of our membership practices, and to applaud your tight-lipped handling of the matter in your press conference before the Masters this year.

Bill, I am concerned with the increased attention and potentially bad press this brings to the club and its members. I wouldn’t dream of speaking for any of the other members, but I would go as far as to say that there are ‘rumblings’ amongst the more elite members that something will need to be done.

I am not one to think we need explain the practices we hold to in a private club. You and I know full well that we break no law by prohibiting female membership. It would just be uncouth to break from the ideals and traditions of our founding members like the storied Clifford Roberts and the legendary Bobby Jones. Who are we, captains of industry, to think that we can just change what men back in 1933 felt strongly enough about to write in our charter. The ideals of the thirties are just as viable today as they were then, and are without reproach as far as I am concerned.

My family has been part of this club since 1938, playing golf through wars, recessions, and through all that civil rights nonsense, like gentlemen; and to begin allowing women, the very thing we come here to escape, in to the club would cheapen all those rounds of golf that my grandfather played during World War 2.

I have seen the comments and the headlines out there from the dastardly liberal media, and it infuriates me. My son tells me that his friend found blogs that have accused us of being elitist southern bigots, sexists that only wish we could be Kentucky Colonels. We have been dragged through the mud, blood, and the beer with accusations and mud-slinging calling us grown up Little Rascals with a penchant for homoerotic buggery. Not to get too in-depth, but one man accused us of lewd sexual conduct in the steam rooms and locker rooms; accusing Augusta of being some kind of clandestine destination for the one-percent’s 100% chauvinist activities. I just want to play golf and get a good steam in the majesty of the south’s most beautiful golfing grounds. So what if it might resemble the classic plantation architecture that evokes memories of slavery or that until 1983 all of our caddies were black? That’s just a coincidence, and a fine one at that.

This is a gentleman’s golf club, not some sort of secret society filled with the richest men in the world like my threesome partners Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. So what if James Robinson III still owes me $75,000 from that skins game we played some weeks ago? We are all gentlemen, with an emphasis on the men.

I say we stick by our guns as you so gloriously did during the press conference when that liberal lout–probably Harvard material–asked you about the charter policy on no female membership. I applaud your intractable and unapologetic response. Why should you give some NYU Liberal Arts grad the satisfaction for tawdry headlines and pull quotes devoid of context? Kudos.

Think of the construction costs alone of including women. New locker rooms for women will result in adding another building to the immaculately grown grass cut daily to within a blade of it’s life, or God forbid we would have to renovate one of the current clubhouses. What, are we to put the new locker rooms for these bra-burners in the Oak Room where we take our Brandy and cigars after a fine round of 18? Hardly, I would as soon install a hose with a hand painted sign: If you menstruate, you shower in this hole. Ha, we’d even have to install tampon dispensaries at every tee along with those unsightly ladies tees. Despicable. Leave tampons to public courses, I say.

So bravo, Chairman Payne, for keeping both your feet planted in the deep past of the deep south. After women they will want gay members and then rattle their cages for letting in the poor, too. When will people be satisfied? We are just a club filled with the most powerful members of society, associated with every form of media from ESPN, the PGA tour, network television, golf sponsorship, commercial ad-time, to everything else that goes along with a major sporting event like the Masters. It’s not as if by being associated with this “sexist” club via television broadcasting and holding the year’s first Major Championship at majestic Augusta that society, television stations, and commercial advertisers, not to mention the PGA, are simply accepting and even approving of sexist acts by elite clubs that sidestep the laws of this land by calling themselves ‘private.’ What is so wrong with that? We allowed people “like” Tiger Woods to win the Masters already, what more do they want from us?

I digress, Chairman Payne. Bill, I thank you for your time, your astute message you delivered to that room full of Northwestern University dropouts, and your seemingly obtuse and almost comically dedicated level of resolve for sticking with the membership rules. After all, I like my rules like I like my scotch: Wickedly old and hard to swallow. HA! Picken, Jr., told me that one on the 13th hole the other day. HA!

See you around the clubhouse, Bill.

Sincerely your most dedicated member,

Reginald Buckwalter III

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