Guest post: Kathleen Madigan on the Masters golf tournament’s policy of no women

By | April 13, 2012 at 12:57 pm | One comment | feature slider, Features, Opinion | Tags: , ,

For people who don’t golf, the Masters is a tournament played in Augusta, Georgia every April. It’s one of the four “major” tournaments and the only one always played at the same course. It is so revered that many times when the announcers speak, there’s soft guitar music being played in the background– for a reason never explained. I think if that was done in real life, it would greatly reduce violence. It’s hard to get angry while falling asleep to soft guitar chords echoing in your ear.

There’s been a lot of arguing lately about their “no women allowed as members” policy. The last time I’d heard of such a thing was on the Little Rascals. But I’ve known about their policy for quite awhile because I like to watch and play golf. However, this policy did not stop me last week from running right in that gate as if my ass was on fire with a free practice round ticket and a credit card to buy shirts for everyone in my life that has been on good behavior. I even bought beach towels. Yes, they have Masters beach towels. Pink was sold out so I bought green. So, I can’t really speak of taking the high road or being morally sound because I’m clearly a souvenir/ free ticket whore. But I can speak on what I just don’t understand.

One guy online actually wrote this regarding the “no women allowed as members” policy: “CURVES is all women and you don’t see men throwing a fit.”

Ok, first of all, sir: how do you know that? Weird, sir. Weird. Secondly, are you really going to compare CURVES to the Masters? CURVES, for those of you who don’t know, is an exercise facility usually found in strip malls and it’s for women and usually women my mom’s age who don’t want to be seen in shorts EVER again if they can help it. They’ve also been hiding their weight for 70 years from everyone, including themselves, and would like to continue to do so. There are no souvenirs, no televised event, definitely no snacks and no corporate sponsors. Reading that online comment is why I have to tell myself to stop reading “comments” online. The level of arguing is even below my level– and my level is not that high. My level usually concludes with, “Yeah, well, whatever, fuckface.” Not very adult, but at least I’m not reaching for ridiculous comparisons.

People argue, “Well it’s a private club. They can be as sexist and racist as they want.”

This was true for many years, but as the Masters grew in popularity, more people became shocked and outraged about the fact they also didn’t let African American men become members AND — here’s the big AND — shocked and outraged that major corporations were sponsoring it. They finally let African American men become members in 1990. Yes, 1990.

Very few became outraged that they still won’t let women become members. I didn’t. And that’s why I’m lame. I didn’t because I’ve never wanted to be a member of somewhere I’m not wanted. I’m not a fighter. I’m a walk away-er. I’m not saying this is a good thing. It’s why I would have been a terrible Women’s Rights lady.

“Well if they don’t want us to vote, then whatever. I’ll be at the bar. Let them pick whatever jackass they want. I’m too tired to fight these morons. I was going to have a glass of wine but while you’ve all been arguing about voting, I just made up a new cocktail in my head.”

That’s usually my attitude. Thank god other women have more zip, and care more than me. If I were in charge, we’d still all be sitting around in those weird dresses sipping tea, playing Chinese checkers and adjusting our uncomfortable hats.

But I really don’t want to go where I’m not wanted. I was told two months ago by a major television network I couldn’t play in a televised golf tournament because there are no women playing right now. They PUT THAT IN WRITING AND HIT SEND. What does that even mean? Well, clearly there are none playing because you said so. I had already been invited by someone associated with the event and then uninvited by the network airing the event. I didn’t ask to be in it to begin with. That’s what makes it extra bizarre. I’m sitting here minding my own business and all of this went on in e-mails.

They’re lucky they sent that answer back to a lazy woman who just went, “Well that blows. Assholes. I’m never watching that channel again. Unless they move Dexter to that channel and then I’ll have to revert to my whorish behavior.” My friends said, “Well you should fight that.” I just don’t have the energy and then if I win the fight, I get there and I’m “that lady.” No thanks. I’ll go play with my normal guy friends who like women and value my straight drives in a scramble.

I just don’t understand why men wouldn’t want women around. I don’t know men like that. Or maybe I do but they just don’t tell me, which is fine because then I don’t know. What exactly is the perk of no women? Are strippers being brought in? Hookers? What is the secret? I seriously don’t understand. Sometimes we hear them say “it’s tradition.” Ok, we know that. But again, why? Traditions usually mean a comfortable fun repetitive thing. Are these guys not comfortable around women? WTF is going on in there that no black people or women should see? I don’t care if you have strippers or hookers. I mean, unless I’m your wife. That would be weird and probably a cause for a talk– but otherwise, whatever. I’ve seen tons of hookers at the video poker bars in Las Vegas and regardless of what they’re up to, they always add a little extra pizzazz to a bar and always have an interesting background if you just ask them. Here’s what I know for sure, hookers are NEVER boring conversationalists.

For non golf fans, the topic is extra on-fire because normally the Masters’ top secret membership group allows the CEO of IBM – one of its major sponsors – to become an honorary member. Well, whammo, this year IBM hired a woman. Now what? I think they’ll let her in but not until no one is paying attention and then there will be some weird small press release saying they did. They can save face and act like it wasn’t “at the point of a bayonet.” That’s the phrase the last president of Augusta used regarding when they would let women become members. A bayonet? Wow. Who still has Civil War weaponry references in their day-to-day vocabulary? Oh, right, they do. And if I was this female CEO of IBM and they let me in, I’d run my ass right down there and play. Well, in my mind I would, but if they told me I couldn’t take a cart, I’d probably just play #16 because it’s the nicest hole. Then, I’d go to the bar and get stared at for an uncomfortable amount of time and then, of course, hit the souvenir shop on my out.

P.S. My favorite golfer is Miguel Jiminez. He drinks, smokes, has an extra five pounds of belly and he laughs. And he’s nice to the fans. Clearly, he knows golf isn’t everything. Having fun is supposed to be part of all of it, too. He’s also only two years older than me but looks 10 years older, which makes me feel good about myself.

This was originally posted on KathleenMadigan.com. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author

Kathleen Madigan

Duh. Kathleen Madigan is a comedian. Her latest stand-up special MADIGAN AGAIN is available now. Get it here!

  • http://twitter.com/GinaBainesH Gina Holder

    I fucking love everything about Kathleen Madigan.