US PGA should boycott Augusta National Golf Zoo. Discriminate against women! Keep it up lads. Great to see you’re pathetic.

The Masters 2012: Augusta National membership ruckus reaches boiling
point as chairman Billy Payne stonewalls
The row over Augusta National’s lack of female members escalated on
Wednesday night as chairman Billy Payne repeatedly refused to answer
questions on whether the club would invite Virginia Rometty, chief
executive of long-time Masters sponsor IBM, to join its ranks.
The Masters 2012: Augusta National membership ruckus reaches boiling point

By Oliver Brown, at Augusta

11:45PM BST 04 Apr 2012

In a heated press conference on the eve of The Masters, Payne swatted
away all mentions of the subject by arguing, “All issues of membership
are now, and have been historically, subject to the private
deliberations of the members. That statement remains accurate”.

The issue of female exclusion is always a vexed one here at Augusta
but it has acquired added sensitivity this year after IBM appointed
Rometty, 53 and an infrequent golfer, as its first female chief
executive last October.

The previous four IBM CEOs, all male, have been admitted as members.

Under intense pressure, Payne gave no indication that Augusta would
keep the precedent in light of Rometty’s elevation.

“We don’t talk about our private deliberations,” he said. “We
especially don’t talk about it when a named candidate is a part of the

Augusta National has no stated policy against female members but it
has still neglected to admit a single one in its 79 years of

In tense exchanges Payne, who did not identify Rometty as “the named
candidate”, was accused of hypocrisy when his promises on Wednesday to
grow the game were set against his club’s continued all-male

Payne’s predecessor as chairman, Hootie Johnson, once famously
asserted that the club would determine female admittance on its own
timetable and “not at the point of a bayonet”.

In this latest inquisition Payne, formerly in charge of the 1996
Atlanta Olympics, received the full bayonet treatment and yet would
not yield an inch.

Four reporters approached the issue from different angles and each
time Payne stonewalled in response.

“Mr chairman,” one asked, “I note your concerns about the growth of
golf around the world, and that Augusta National is a very famous golf
club. Do you not think it would send a wonderful message to young
girls if they knew that one day they could join this club?”

Payne replied: “Once again, that deals with a membership issue, and
I’m not going to answer it.”

Another journalist followed up: “It seems like a mixed message, Billy.
You’re throwing a lot of money into growing the game and yet there’s
still a perception that certain people are excluded.”

Again, Payne struck back, before cutting the questioner off in
midstream. “That is a membership issue that I’m not going to… Thank
you for your… ”

“It sends ”

“Thank you.”

The interrogation went on. “It sends a wonderful message to girls
around the world that they could join this emblematic golf club — it’s
not a membership issue.”

Payne, by now visibly irritated, said: “Thank you for your question, sir.”

An alternative tack was tried to rouse Payne, who preferred to stay on
such innocuous topics as the Tuesday night storm that deposited 1.4
inches of rain on the Augusta course, into a fuller answer.

“Mr chairman, as a grandfather, what would you say to your
granddaughters? How would you explain leading a club that does not
include female membership?”

The 64 year-old said: “Once again, though expressed quite artfully, I
think that’s a question that deals with membership.”

“It’s a kitchen-table, personal question.”

“Well, my conversations with my granddaughters are also personal.”

What, the reporter inquired, did Payne suggest to him that he should
tell his daughter? “I don’t know your daughters. I have no advice for
you there, sir.”

Payne insisted he held no opinion on whether the controversy over the
Rommetty situation threatened to overshadow this year’s Masters, but
there were signs on Wednesday that it had become a significant

Martha Burk, who as head of the National Council of Women’s
Organisations staged a protest outside the gates here in 2003, said:
“It’s astounding that one of the largest corporations in the world is
having its strings pulled by a bunch of old guys in Augusta.”

She confirmed on Wednesday that she would not be calling another
demonstration, saying, “We saw that didn’t work.”

Neither, Burk insisted, would she be leaning on the club to adjust its
policy. “That’s IBM’s job,” she said.