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August 04, 2007

The LPGA's Evolving Set Of Principles [AndrewsDad]

The Ladies Professional Golf Association is playing the Women's British Open this week at the home of golf, St. Andrews. This is the first time a women's professional golf event has been played at the Old Course. In honor of this historic event, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, the ruling body for golf the world over, except for the USA and Mexico, has taken the "No Dogs or Women" sign down from the clubhouse, well just for this week.


OK... they took the sign down a few years ago but that is still the rule. Seriously. Except for this week, women, and dogs, are not allowed in the clubhouse of St. Andrews, a public golf course.

So what does this have to do with the LPGA's evolving set of principles? Well as the only heterosexual male that follows women’s professional golf, let me tell you the history. As I am sure none of you remember, a few years ago, Martha Burk, the former Chair of the National Council of Women's Organizations led a protest at the 2003 Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia to bring attention to the male-only membership rules of the Augusta National Golf Club, a private club, which hosts the tournament. As a result, Augusta National, in an effort to protect its longtime sponsors, televised the event commercial free. Thank you Martha!

Well during this kerfluffle, the LPGA made a statement supporting the Burk protest against Augusta National's (a private club) male only membership. But here is the problem for the LPGA, the L stands for Ladies. In fact they have a rule in the LPGA bylaws that states you must be born female to be a member. But it gets worse. The LPGA is not a private club, unlike, oh let me think if I can come up with an example, how about Augusta National Golf Club. You see the LPGA is a business.

Lets go back to 2001... a golfer named Casey Martin, whom my father in law personally knows, sued the PGA tour for the right to use a golf cart. Casey Martin was born with a birth defect that makes walking long distances almost impossible. So in 2001, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the PGA tour was in fact a business and therefore had to follow the Americans With Disabilities Act and allow Casey Martin to use a cart. Now correct me if I am wrong since I am not a lawyer, but if the PGA tour is a business then isn't the LPGA a business? Sure seems to me that they are.

So anywho, back to 2003... the statement from the LPGA says they think it is bad that Augusta National does not have any female members and to prove how principled they were, they announced they had scheduled a vote of the current LPGA members to decide if they should allow males to join the LPGA... not to play on the tour of course, don't be silly, but to become a "certified LPGA teaching professional". Now there is something every male golf pro strives for, to be a certified Ladies Professional Golf Association teaching professional.

So when I first read this, I took a few minutes off of posting comments to AofSHQ, put down the vodka and emailed the LPGA and asked why is it a problem that Augusta National, a private club, does not have any female members but the LPGA can have a bylaw about having to be born female. I got a reply. They would need to look into that and get back to me. I will let you know when I get that 2nd response.

So back to today... seems the LPGA is fine with using gender discriminating facilities when it is to their benefit, and while I realize that absolutely none of you could give a rats ass about any of this, having the Women's British Open at St. Andrews is a big deal to the LPGA. Just make sure that none of you ever associate with any group that is not all inclusive or the LPGA will fire off a press release telling you how bad you are. Now I do need to give props to one player, Laura Davies. She is a long, long time LPGA player who is not afraid to speak her mind and who is from England to boot and she publicly stated that she would not use the clubhouse. She was going to change her shoes "in the carpark", wherever the hell that is. As my old boss use to say, "a common people separated by a common language". Way to go Laura. I normally root for Annika Sorenstam but would have loved to hear what Laura Davies had to say if she had won. Too bad she missed the cut.

So I know what you are all thinking, "Hey AndrewsDad, you live in the Soviet Republic of Seattle, you must be in favor of letting transgendered cross dressing alternative lifestyle types into Augusta National" Well to be honest I think it is a little silly that Augusta National does not have any women members and as soon as my membership card arrives in my mailbox, I have the perfect solution. I, AndrewsDad, will officially submit for membership, former Senator from North Carolina, John Edwards.

Problem solved.

Finally I would like to thank Ace for this opportunity to post here and just say what I know the rest of the readers are saying, what the hell were you thinking.

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posted by xgenghisx at 01:35 AM

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