Friday night topic: No girls allowed?

— 5:29 PM on September 27, 2002

The Augusta National Golf Club is catching a lot of flak, and attention, over club rules that don't allow membership for women. Augusta is, of course, a private club, but it's one that hosts the Master's golf tournament, a huge event for the sport and the media. Naturally, women's groups are up in arms, and have asked sponsors to pull out, media not to air the tournament, and are now even putting pressure directly on members of the club itself.

I'm not really a fan of golf myself, and I can't understand why anyone would actually want to watch it on TV, but the controversy does pose an interesting question. In a society that seems to have no problem with women's-only gyms and fitness centers, does Augusta have any obligation to change its tune with regards to women's membership? Should Augusta have the right to discriminate, even if it holds what some consider a public tournament? Should private clubs have the right to discriminate at all? Discuss.

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