‘Hootie & The Blowhards’: PC on and off the Augusta National links

By Doug Powers

The recent flap against William “Hootie” Johnson, chairman of the Augusta National Country Club, by the National Council of Women’s Organizations, over whether or not females should be allowed to become members of the club, has caused me to take a closer look at the game itself. Like it or not, golf is a politically correct sport, so even if the NCWO wins their battle, are they really correct in thinking that they’re promoting the cause of equality?

This particular argument aside, the reason women don’t golf as much as men isn’t because they’re excluded from doing so, but rather that they’re too smart to bother to play. Look at it not as a projection of sexism from men, but as a logical rejection by women of a politically correct ball-chasing game originally invented as a way to keep blootered Scotsmen off the streets of Glasgow.

How is golf a politically correct sport? For starters, women get to tee off closer to the hole than men do. Women are told going in that they’re the weaker sex. Annika Sorenstam playing against Stephen Hawking? Doesn’t matter. She tees off in front of him, and gets an extra stroke to boot. It’s straightforward, non-dynamic stereotyping. If these golf people ran a bowling center, every time a woman got up to the lane, they’d remove three pins and let her roll from halfway up the alley. What’s next? Maybe they’ll get it all set up so those of us who are Irish get to tee off from the bar cart.

To throw more wood on the PC fire, when you finally get to the green, how is the player who shot closest to the hole rewarded? By having to wait for those who made lousy shots get their ball back into the correct zip code. Golf is a classroom geared toward the slower students, where those who are ready to conquer calculus are forced to wait up for Johnny to figure out how many of the three apples are left after you eat two of them. All this in the name of making it more “fair” and “even” for the other players. We wouldn’t want to hurt their feelings. Political correctness at it’s finest.

Golf is also one of the few sports where the person with the lowest score wins – a system so politically correct that it’s been adopted by many major universities for their college entrance exams. Having a low score was never a problem the couple of times that I played, but figuring out how to untie a 9-iron from around a sycamore tree after missing a “birdie” shot by a mere 195 feet was. Which brings us to another thing about golf that’s politically correct – it’s vastly overwrought with guilt-induced terms revolving around animals and the environment.

In an attempt to soothe their conscience over what was destroyed to make 350 acres of high-dollar frustration, the inventors of golf tried to remain earth-friendly by naming many parts of the game after nature. There are greens, birdies, eagles, the “beach,” round-robins, cabbage, ponds, woods, albatrosses, the “jungle,” and doglegs. I think they use these terms because these are all things they plowed under when they made the course. The political correctness is then added to, as they allow all of us to admit – wait, force us to admit – that we have a “handicap.”

“What’s your handicap, Bob?” Keeping true to its PC leanings, in golf, we all have a handicap. Bad play is rewarded with the rotten players being allowed to deduct strokes from their game to make them feel at the same level of somebody who can actually play. Given the PC nature of golf, I’m shocked that they still use the term “handicap.” If the NCWO wins their battle with Augusta, they should then work on getting that term changed to “gloriously disadvantaged” or “unremarkably special.”

The political correctness continues. With the controversy gaining steam, Thomas Wyman, former CEO of CBS and a 25-year member of Augusta, quit the club in protest after Johnson’s continued refusal to admit a female member. Wyman was there for 25 years, knew this was the case, and has the audacity to quit now? The club may not allow female members, but they certainly don’t discriminate against the shameless. Congratulations, vacillators: Mr. Wyman has finally broken the glass ceiling!

What will Hootie do now that women are petitioning to get in? He’ll let them in. He has to – political correctness is in golf’s genetic makeup. Feminism will emerge victorious, and the NCWO will flash victory smiles as they enter Augusta National for the first time as equal members, and prepare to tee off – 40 yards closer to the hole than men.