Normally, New York Times‘ editorials are like telemarketers, easily dismissed and hardly ever heard out. But Monday’s, “No Hush for the Masters,” bears a little read, like a 17-foot downhill putt. It is a call for disruption.
Starts out bucolically: “golf should offer relief from the troubles of the daily world,” the editorial begins, and quickly plunges into reasons why this must not obtain at this week’s Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. We know. We know. The private club does not admit women members and the club’s chieftain, William “Hootie” Johnson, has met a woman’s demand for a change in policy with the subtlety of a five-iron across the shins.
The Times, of course, is on the side of the woman demanding change and encourages a protest thusly: “The traditional hush of the Masters may well disappear beneath the noise of women protesting, some reportedly planning to wear Afghan-like burkas in Augusta’s bright green color.” So enchanted with that image, the editorial goes on to hope, “Perhaps some golfer will flub his backswing after he’s disturbed by hearing the chants of angry protesters.” (You can ‘flub’ a shot; not sure you can flub a backswing, but play on).
The editorial goes on to inflate the tournament as “the centerpiece of American golfing” (hear that out in Pebble Beach?), a tournament “televised around the world. CBS Sports,” it warns, “should cover this issue [not the tournament, the women in burkas] and women should make it clear to the network how they feel about this all-male club.”
The Times goes on to adjure big name guys like Tiger Woods and Davis Love III and Nicklaus and Palmer to add their voices to the burkas “asking for women to join this important society.” (Truth to tell, Nicklaus and Palmer are shooting such high scores these days, they were lucky just to be invited to play. And “important society”? Can you name three members?)
Ah, but the Times is nothing but realistic in its abaya way. “It may be too late to add a female member by Thursday’s tee time,” it says. “But it should not be too hard to announce plans to open the doors to qualified women this season.”
Now a little fatuous finish: “Also, a reminder to Mr. Hootie Johnson. Golf is a game that is played best without disturbances. This one should not have been necessary.” In other words, Mr. Hootie, you brought all this trouble we hope you are going to have on yourself and if you don’t buy a little protection by Thursday, or at least indicate a down payment, you are cruisin’ for a bruisin’.
Or at least a Raines delay.
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