Stop the Cart!

We interrupt our regularly scheduled yoga blog, for an interlude on golf...and business...and women.

Tomorrow, Augusta National may announce that it is going to admit its first female member.

Or, it may not.

Photo courtesy of Masters.com

And what is most sad to me is that the issue really isn't even about Ginny Rometty, the newest CEO of IBM. It isn't about her qualifications as an executive - or as a golfer. And although she will be at the center of this firestorm, the issue is about a different kind of green: the dollars that IBM pays as a sponsor of the Masters, and what might be at stake for their relationship. The last four CEOs of IBM have been admitted as members. And they didn't share great handicaps - they shared a gender and a company.

If the new CEO of IBM was a man...we would not be having this conversation.

But let's have the conversation. 

I could blog for hours about how it fires me up when I go to buy golf clubs and find the selection is 1/20th of the mens section. I guess I can chock that up to supply and demand. I am a little less forgiving when you take a bag, make it pink, and charge $30 more. When did I ever say I wanted a pink bag?

I have a navy blue bag and my clubs are black. I am a woman and I golf. Not well, but I can swing a club and hold my own. I love the sport. It is challenging and physical. It takes more mindfulness than yoga sometimes.

I have been out on the course more for business than for fun - but certainly far less than my male colleagues. The business world still views golf as a largely male sport, and women are often simply forgotten.

I have had colleagues drive right past the women's tees.

Wait, wait. Stop the cart! Don't forget me. 

Don't forget us. 

Some individuals make the argument that Augusta really isn't discriminatory - that women can play the course there, just like men. And this is true, women can play golf at Augusta - as invited guests of members.

Women have earned a right to invite their own guests.

In my opinion - the fight for Augusta isn't about women's rights to golf. Please. We don't need Augusta to do that. This is about women's rights at the business table.

One thing unites the members of Augusta - the business they do. Truly - it's not the golf they play. 

Ginny - if they offer you a membership - please take it. Not because you are female. Take it because you EARNED it as a savvy business person. You are running one of America's biggest companies.

Wear the jacket (in green not pink), grab a caddie, and bring some colleagues out and play.


I will be at the crowds at Augusta this weekend. Watching. Cheering.

Waiting.

Photo courtesy, mikefiechtner.com