by Chrysa Smith

Tiger Woods with a pink golf bag? Bubba Watson in a skirt? Hold the phone! Actually who you are seeing is Darla Moore and Condeleeza Rice. Because believe it or not, these are the first two women who have been granted membership at the all-boys club: Augusta National.

The 80 year old club has been home to the Masters: a pinnacle of golf performance. And up until about 10 years ago, there was not much serious discussion about the addition of the female golfer. But pressure was on from various groups including the National Council of Female Organizations. And voila!—a South Carolina financier and the former Secretary of State can now grace the links in their skirts and pink hats.

What do you think? Quite honestly, I’ve got mixed feelings. Of course, as a woman, the indignant side of me comes out and says ‘Well it’s about time.’ Is it a throw-back to the era when women couldn’t vote? Smoke? Work outside the home? I can just see the guys at the club talking about the ‘little woman’ at home—while they’re throwing back some 15 year old McCallum and lighting up some Cubanos.

The other side of me says ‘Well a private club—a business–has a right to make it’s own rules; decide it’s own membership. After all, they’re the ones taking the risks—putting out the money–forging their own desires.’ Certainly not every private business is required to make it’s business accessible to everyone. Men will argue that ‘ladies nights’ in your local bar/restaurant are discriminatory–offering specials to women just for being women. I decide who and where I want to go and see with my children’s book business. Some neighborhoods I won’t go to. On the religion front (not a private business), non-Catholics are asked not to receive communion in certain churches; Mormon temples are out of reach for non-Mormons. So why do we assume that everyone should be allowed everywhere and to do everything as others?

I don’t know what the right answer is. All I know is that I’ll be glad to see the ladies out there. But first, they better get the tailors ready to take in those ugly green jackets and offer up something more fitted, fashionable and flattering.