Golf Writers Who Don’t Have A Clue

I missed this exchange earlier in the week between Jay Busbee, the Yahoo golf writer and Maggie Hendricks, Yahoo’s “Cage Fighting” writer (seriously?). The discussion was over Augusta National’s male only membership. From the discussion, both seem to be horribly confused about the relationship between the PGA, the PGA Tour and Augusta National.

Setting aside the question of why a “cage writer” is being asked to comment on golf (are there no female golf writers available to Yahoo?), here are a couple of lines from Hendricks, which Busbee doesn’t correct (was he not paying attention, or does he not know?):

The PGA values a pretty piece of land more than half of the world’s population, and that ridiculous stance is coming to bite them in the tush now that IBM has named a woman as its CEO. Virginia Rometty has earned the right to membership, like every other CEO before her, and her anatomy shouldn’t stop that.


I am on-board with private club, private rules. If they want to be stuck in 1952 likes Roger Sterling, I am not going to stop them. But then the PGA Tour should not set an event there.

So let us set this straight for Hendricks and remind Busbee to pay attention:

1. “The PGA values a pretty piece of land more than half of the world’s population”

The PGA has nothing to do with Augusta National or The Masters. That, in a way, slanders the PGA, which is an organization open to both men and women. I take lessons from a female PGA professional.

The Masters is owned by and run by Augusta National. The PGA could totally repudiate the Masters and it still would go on. The statement that the PGA “values a pretty piece of land more than half the world’s population” makes no sense in that context.

2. “But then the PGA Tour should not set an event there.”

This statement also makes no sense. The PGA Tour does not set the event there. Augusta National sets the event. The Masters predates the PGA Tour by 34 years.

Indeed, the PGA Tour once held events opposite the Masters. The Magnolia State Classic / Deposit Guaranty Golf Classic / True South Classic was held the same week as the Masters until 1994.

The PGA Tour does count the Masters as “official money.” But so does every other Tour on the planet. Not counting it would make no difference to the players whatsoever.  No player of any stature will say “Wow. The PGA Tour doesn’t count the Masters as an official event. Guess I won’t go.”

Further, the PGA Tour does not run any of the Majors: The Masters is the sole property of Augusta National; the US Open belongs to the USGA; the Open Championship belongs to the R&A and; the PGA Championship belongs to the PGA of America (not the PGA Tour, as I will explain below).

Finally, PGA and PGA Tour can’t be used interchangably.

There is the PGA and the PGA Tour. The PGA represents the teaching and club pros, while the PGA Tour represents the playing pros. The two split in 1968.

Assuming Busbee knows these things, he missed a “teachable moment.”

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5 thoughts on “Golf Writers Who Don’t Have A Clue”

  1. Why in the world is this ‘no women’ thing still an issue? Let’s see, Annika Sorenstam isn’t a member. Boy did that hurt her career and life (not). It’s ridiculous. We’re talking about a golf course and country club that probably sees more money wasted on memberships and perks than any of us could imagine. How many mouths could be fed, lives saved, children housed, and pets not killed in animal shelters with the money Augusta National sees every year. It’s sad that some people are so shallow that they would devote the rare opportunity they have for a national, or in fact worldwide, voice and forum to argue that some woman with money should be allowed to spend it on a golf membership to a country club. I can only hope this lady makes better financial decisions for the company she heads than this decision to want membership to Augusta National.

  2. I think the masters is interesting golf, but Augusta is irrelevant.  I play public course golf, so the pro’s are largely irrelevant to me.  They’re game and courses don’t resemble mine at all.  We had 15 people (7 me, 8 women), at an easter dinner. Nobody asked to turn on a TV, let alone the Masters.  Just not very important.

    Would a more inclusive hosting club help, maybe.  I like history, but I won’t pay them money.

  3. I enjoy watching the pro game (obviously) for much the same reason I enjoy watching College Football. I like the drama, competition and tradition. In that sense, though, I feel a closer relation to golf than to football. I’ll never play at Michigan Stadium, but I HAVE played several PGA Tour venues.

    I understand your point about Augusta National, however. If it weren’t for the Masters, I wouldn’t have any interest in them either. They’d be just another exclusive club.

  4. I do think Augusta is a special place, because of the founder.  I think the Masters is special because it is the one Major which is outside of the large golfing organizations.

    It is neat to watch also because there is this paradox of a course most of us know so well, and yet will never be so fortunate to play. 

    I think a couple years ago or maybe more Blogger wrote about the US Open being played in places where most can’t normally play (about half the time)- I actually think that the US Open should be on courses where the public can play.  Even those might be elite because of the competitiveness for tee times, or because of the cost associated – but still it should be on a course that anyone should be able to play.  I don’t know about the British, but for me the Open is St. Andrews, and anyone can play there, and I will at some point play there, and then after I play there, I will have the picnic lunch there.

  5. I wouldn’t assume that anyone at Devil Ball Blog knows this.  None of them know that much about golf, just know how to write lazy stories about Tiger Woods.


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