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The membership of Augusta National Golf Club is comprised of some of the wealthiest and smartest men in the world. They are CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, chairmen of banks and computer companies.
What they are not is women.
Augusta National is an all-male club, and it was this fact that drew the attention and ire of the National Council of Women's Organizations and their chair-woman at the time, Martha Burk.
The issue began in 2002 when Burk contended that hosting the Masters at Augusta National constituted sexism because of the all-male membership of the club. Burk called for the admission of a female member, the relocation of the tournament or for players to boycott the tournament. The fact that she would ask for any of those things (particularly the ridiculous nature of the latter two) goes to show how little she knew about Augusta National and golf in general.
Obviously, it would not be the Masters if it were played anywhere else, and no player in his right mind would skip it because of the club's membership policies.
And the men of Augusta National were not about to be held hostage by Martha Burk.
In response to her proposed (and ultimately doomed) protest of the 2003 Masters, then-chairman of Augusta, Hootie Johnson, decided to televise the tournament completely free of commercials. The move was intended to take the decision out of sponsors' hands as to whether or not they wanted to continue advertising during the Masters with the controversy looming.
Because the Masters makes money whether they advertise or not through merchandise and ticket sales, as well as their series of lucrative single-year contracts with CBS, they could afford this strategy.
The move was a success. Burk and her minions, who were denied permission to gather outside the main entrance to the club, could not muster any sort of significant following. (Most of the people in that photo are reporters) To this day, the Masters boasts the fewest commercial interruptions of any golf tournament televised in the United States.
The club has maintained its ability to regulate who will or will not be a member (much like a sorority, a fraternity or countless other clubs), and to date, it still does not have a single female member.