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Manny Fils: Women at Augusta...what's next

Manny Fils

Manny Fils

When I first read that Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore were made members of the Augusta National I thought, "Good for them" and "Why didn't they offer me a green jacket?"

But the more I thought about it, the more I started thinking, "Why are they ruining another tradition?" I mean, what's wrong with same gender only clubs? I hope that feminist and former chair of the National Council of Women's Organization Martha Burk does not feel that she won, and can now try to intimidate the National membership into allowing one man for every two women until there's a 50-50 split. Remember, Ms. Burk, you had nothing to do with this. If you would have had it your way, this would have happened back when you were protesting in front of the Masters in 2003 or a few years after, but not nine. If you think differently, then remember what then-chairman of the Augusta National Hootie Johnson said: Someday women will be allowed but "not at the point of a bayonet." I know that it was inevitable that women would be allowed some day. But my question is: Why? It's not like women "need" men to do things for them or they require the permission of their men before they can take on a project or task.

Besides Condoleezza, Moore and new IBM CEO Virginia Rometty, there are a lot of women with power and money that, if they so desired, could start their own exclusive women-only club. Even though the Augusta National and the Masters golf tournament are now very prestigious organizations, it wasn't always that way. I remember my wife, Meg telling me stories of how back in the '50s and early '60s, Papa Garrett, her grandfather who was president of the bank in Warrenton -- a city that despite what my wife says is not the happiest place on earth -- would get calls and visits with pleas to buy tickets to the Masters. At the time, he received six tickets and sometimes had a hard time giving them all away. Then, as the tournament became more popular, his tickets were cut down to four.

It took time and hard work to make Augusta National what it has become since it was Bobby Jones' vision way back when. Women today have the financial resources, the business sense, the marketing knowledge and connections to start their own club. I'm sure the LPGA would be thrilled to join their quest of having their own Masters-style tournament someday. Who knows, if women do what I know they can accomplish, then maybe someday men will be banging at their door saying "Let me in."

Manny Fils is a sports writer for The Citizen. Fils can be emailed at manny.fils@newtoncitizen.com.