Augusta National remembers the Ladies


I am exactly as excited by this news story as I am by this planting. (DAVID J. PHILLIP/AP)

It’s been a long time coming.

But somehow I am unable to get immensely excited about it. This is the sort of thing one feels should have happened in the 1980s. Besides, I have never been particularly gung-ho about golf. Try as I might, I cannot get excited about watching paunchy men in loose shirts stroll around a greensward whacking balls with clubs. Perhaps it is because I am incapable of hitting a golf ball myself. The most I can do is verbally insult it.

Besides, “But look, it’s possible! Condoleezza Rice can do it” is one of the most discouraging statements you can make to a young woman. Rice is the exception to every rule. She plays classical piano with one hand while overcoming racism and sexism and fending off advances from Moammar Gaddafi with the other and executing feats of smooth diplomacy with a third hand she just happens to have handy for the occasion. She is unstoppable.

I’m not sure how excited I am by this in the long run. Frankly, golf is a bad walk spoiled. I am on the record calling it the Least Dangerous Game and suggesting that it is the rare sport where officials actively discourage fans from becoming too excited. I compared it unfavorably to the Hunger Games. (You can at least get out of the Hunger Games by dying, whereas in golf you merely slow down the progress of the group playing behind you.)

And I stand by all this.

It’s a minorly nice, possibly symbolic moment for women, certainly, on a day when much of the news has been made by men making idiotic statements about women and their bodies. But how nice, exactly?

The best and worst thing that can be said of this is that it is the sort of thing you can picture Mitt Romney getting very excited about. And sure enough, his Twitter was ON IT. “Congrats to my friend @ CondoleezzaRice for joining Augusta National &congrats to Augusta National for admitting its first female members,” he tweeted, within moments.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences".

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