WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?

mastersThis is 2015 and not 1915, correct? Just checking because if this is really 2015 we should not even be having a debate over whether or not there should be a ladies’ Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club.

I understand that Augusta National’s social progress moves at a glacial pace. I know it took forever before the membership allowed its first non-Caucasian male member and then longer than forever to have its first female member, but it just makes too much sense not to invite the ladies to the party for their own Masters (I don’t think it’d sit too well to call it the Mistress).

Now, my noted colleague, who you will recognize by the bandages that adorn his hairy knuckles (from their constant dragging on the ground), is opposed to this.

Not surprising, considering that Tom Gorman is someone who believes that the only females who should ever be on a golf course be limited to driving beverage carts.

If you look up “Neanderthal” in the dictionary you will see Mr. Gorman’s visage staring back at you.

A ladies Masters would be good for everyone involved; the game of golf, the LPGA Tour, some television network that gained the rights and the Augusta National Golf Club. Especially the National.

What better way to show that the old, stuffy, elitist traditions have been replaced or at least modified. No more threats from Martha Burke. More prestige, more exposure in a positive light.

Heck, the place in hardly ever open for play anyway. It’s closed all summer because of the heat. It’s closed in the dead of winter because there is cold weather in Georgia in January, February and the first half of March.

And a ladies Masters would knock out one of those phony LPGA majors, like the Nabisco or the Dinah Shore. Better for golf as a whole.

And while viewership for women’s professional golf is not a ratings bonanza on television a female tournament at The National would be. The golf course itself attracts viewership.

I would suggest that the tournament be held in early May, a couple of weeks after the men’s Masters. It might seem more prudent to have it in the fall, but then you are going up against football and the baseball playoffs.

Naturally the ladies would not play the lengthy course that we see in April, but more the normal member’s course. It would be great theatre, great golf and everyone would benefit.

There’s a United States Women’s Open. There’s a Women’s British Open. There’s the LPGA Championship. The only thing missing is a Women’s Masters.

The thing that the LPGA needs is more meaningful tournaments. This would be just the shot in the arm that ladies golf needs. Virginia Slims without the nicotine.

Golf, as an industry, is fading. There are numerous reasons, from the expense to the length of rounds. Getting more women interested in the game only helps the sport and those who make their living from golf.

There is no tournament in this country that garners as much attention as the Masters. Its a combination of factors, first major of the year, a sign that winter is ending and the golf course itself. Doubling up on that just seems to make sense… and its time.

There is no earthly reason why we cannot have a ladies Masters tournament, other than 18th century thinking. Again, just what year is this?

WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?