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Tiger Woods Plays at Golf Clubs That Exclude Women

July 28, 2002

I was greatly confused as I read "Tiger Shoots a Bogey in Social Consciousness," Michael D'Antonio's July 23 commentary regarding Tiger Woods and the crusade for social consciousness. It seems to me that D'Antonio is comparing the rules of men-only, private golf clubs with apartheid.

First of all, it needs to be noted that Woods is not a member of the Augusta National Golf Club. He is merely a participant in the yearly event held there, called the Masters. Woods is also not a member of Scotland's Muirfield. How can a man who is not a member of a private club say something about how it should change its rules? Comparing apartheid to golf is just ludicrous. There is no "apartheid" in golf. Women play golf all over the United States, and many golf clubs in America allow women members. To say that "women

Woods is a golfer, an entertainer. The reason he makes money is because fans of the sport watch him on television, whose stations are paid big money by corporate advertisers. He is no different from movie stars. Yes, he is popular. Does this mean every popular entertainer should pick up some political cause and try to satisfy his or her own political agenda? He should not be criticized for respecting the rules of a private club.

Hector Reyes

Burbank

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Woods' lack of "social consciousness" exists only in D'Antonio's lack of consciousness. D'Antonio takes Woods' quotes out of context, never really answers the question, "Why Woods?" (and not, say, Justice Clarence Thomas) and never explains what Woods' rare score of 81 (not to mention the 65 the next day) has to do with social issues.

D'Antonio blithely skirts the heart of the matter--that if Woods acted as the critics demand he would then be lambasted for that. To paraphrase something Joni Mitchell said in an interview, you'll get crucified for whatever you do, so do what your conscience dictates. Authenticity is the only tool we possess to effect positive change.

Lorraine Carpinelli

Huntington Beach

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Woods didn't betray women golfers when he said that male-only golf clubs have a right to do what they want. Women have been betrayed by the hundreds of men--who were birthed by women, are married to women and have daughters--who play day after day and year after year on those exclusive courses. It's ridiculous for reporters and the rest of us to expect Woods to register an opinion and take a stance just because of his skin color. The question should be put to every single man on that golf course, regardless of his color, why they support such exclusion. Put the responsibility where it belongs.

Kim McNabb

Evanston, Ill.

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