AUGUSTA NOT AUGUST
Ninety years ago at the formation of the Point Grey Golf and Country Club, 50 places were reserved for women.
According to a former board member at the private club, these full-membership places were not limited to 50; they were secured as at least 50.
Point Grey differs in this way from hundreds of tradition-and patriarch-entrenched North American golf courses, including the famed links at Augusta, Ga. There, this week, Virginia Rometty, CEO of IBM, which is one of three corporate sponsor of The Master's, which itself is one of the greatest events in sport, will be cut out.
Although the CEOs of these companies have always received complimentary membership at Augusta and been crowned, so to speak, by a green jacket, Rometty doesn't get hers. As a woman, she doesn't get membership at the men's-only club. The club's GM argues the private club will keep its business private. But the Master's is anything but private. In 2010, viewership reached almost five million, nearly double the previous year thanks to the presence of Tiger Woods. A similar storyline repeats this year.
I was on CKNW's The Bill Good Show Thursday morning with Mike Smyth to talk about Augusta, where women and girls can play but are excluded from being members. I said some long-winded, ranty things (in radio, it's all about getting to a point, I've learned) and was grateful to share the airwaves with the incredible Laura Robinson. She cited specific clause numbers from constitutional documents, listed off human right cases that established legal precedents and also named the women who pioneered change. I'm happy to be in the company of this fellow "bitter feminist," as one philistine (a caller) tried to dismiss us. Ultimately, I'm grateful that Rometty is the CEO of IBM. Thanks to her, we're talking about the reasons she should be fitted to wear a green jacket. firstname.lastname@example.org