Historic day in the fight against sports snobbery, two women were allowed membership in the most prestigious country club in the country – the Augusta National. I am sure Bobby Jones is spinning in his grave and “Hootie” Johnson quits to go sing with the Blowfish.
It took two exceptional women to blast down the doors – Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore – one, who’ll be the smartest person on the green and the other, who could probably buy and sell 95 % of the men in the club.
But, what about Martha Burk, does she get any credit for her ten year fight? We can’t say for sure but just for grinnies we can dredge up an old column I wrote in January of 2003 after Martha made one of her many calls to Hootie, pleading her feminist heart out. Let’s listen in:
Hootie Johnson: Augusta National. Hootie, heah, can I help you?
Martha Burk: Hootie, you old coot, how have you been? Hootie, you know that room with big leather chairs and the cuspidors? It could use some color. Have you tried putting in any Queen Ann furniture like I suggested?
Hootie: Queen Ann? Who is this?
Martha: Why you old crow, you know it’s me, Martha. And your locker room with all that oak, you could spruce it up with a little Donna Karan. Anyway, I’m calling with good news.
Hootie: Good news?
Martha: Yes, good news. I’ve got a couple of ladies dying to get into your club… and your membership will love them.
Hootie: Oh, it’s you again. Didn’t I tell you?
Martha: Julia Roberts and Oprah Winfrey. Can’t you see it, Hootie? Can you say Oprah? Do your members know what books they should read? They’re good people.
Hootie: We’re a private club, Mrs. Bird. Why don’t you just go fly away? You’re not telling us who…
Martha: No, no, you owl. Not telling you, Hootie. Just suggesting a way to save face.
Hootie: Save space? We’re a big place. Got enough room. Plenty of room, Mrs. Jerk.
Martha: That’s Ms. Jerk to you. Listen to me. Listen to reason.
Hootie: You’re the reason we got trouble, Marsha. You’re the stirrer.
Martha: No, your policies are the source…
Hootie: Oh sure, lady, we got the best golf course.
Martha: Hootie! I said Oprah and Julia. Can you hear me? Julia Roberts is a Georgia gal.
Hootie: George’s pal? Just being a friend of the president doesn’t get you in our club.
Martha: I thought we were friends by now, you old dog. Turn up your hearing aid.
Hootie: Burn up my beers and eggs? Why would want to do that?
Martha: Hootie, we need to settle this thing. Not only do you need to alternate the colors on your golf greens, you need to put a woman in Augusta. We need to mitigate with little harm and no hassle.
Hootie: So you think you can beat me?
Martha: Beat you? What are…
Hootie: Just cause I’m old, ma’am doesn’t mean I won’t arm wrestle you.
Martha: I said no harm, no hassle.
Hootie: I can whip you, Marsha. Then you promise to leave me alone?
Hootie: I’ll arm wrestle you on the fifth green. You game for that, Marsha?
Martha: Hootie, you dog. You know it. I’ll be there and you better be bringing it. Cause I’m putting you down.
Hootie: Once and for all.
Martha: And if I win, you welcome Oprah and change all the even number holes to pink greens. Deal?