By Tim Baffoe-
(CBS) For several summers as a teenager, I woke up at the crack of dawn, slathered my exposed pasty, freckled parts with greasy sunscreen, and hoofed it three blocks to Ridge Country Club. I was a caddie, a “looper,” and boy did I hate it.
From a distance, the job was ideal as a kid. Working outdoors amid beautiful nature, not really too much manual labor, good exercise, and pretty solid pay (you’d usually take home about 50 bucks for a round).
But what outweighed all that for me was the whole country club environment and most of the members. It’s seen as pure satire now mostly, but you’d be really surprised how accurate of a portrayal the film Caddyshack really is. There were dozens of Judge Smailses and Dr. Beepers. There were a few Ty Webbs, too, and they were great guys to spend a few hours with, but for the most part it was snooty men with vapid wives and awful children. And they thought they were better than me.
They relished their exclusivity, and that didn’t just pertain to having more money than me and my family. It was racial, too. Not a single black member when I was there, and there certainly wasn’t anyone who’d sponsor one for membership.
Caddying was my first experience in the disparity between the haves and have nots. For the most part my job entailed being called “boy” and fetching things and enduring Mr. and Mrs. Thaddeus Mapleturd IV shooting 160 for five hours in 95 degree heat. Even with the “cool” members who offered you the occasional beer or let you tee off on a hole or two always had a way, intentionally or not, of letting you know there was a social separation between us.
Memories of those summers came rushing back to me Monday after hearing the news that Augusta National—maybe America’s most famous country club and certainly its most exclusive—allowed its first female members. Many celebrated the move and rejoiced in the breaking down of another barrier in gender equality. There was, of course, an equal and opposite reaction by the criminally stupid.
Hooray, I guess. Forgive me for not being excited. Don’t get me wrong—I am not opposed to a country club allowing any minority group. But I guess my feeling toward women being allowed in somewhere in 2012 by an otherwise stuffy group of jerks is apathetic at best.
Screw country clubs. Screw their whole “we’re better than you” aura (if not blatant mantra). If I wielded the clout and had the money to be considered for Augusta membership—and I say this in all honesty—I would decline the invitation. I wouldn’t be a member at Ridge Country Club, even if they let me in for free.
I don’t want to be a part of any group that otherwise wouldn’t have me. I don’t want to be a part of anything that would exclude others because of superficial reasons instead of merit and character.
Know what would thoroughly impress and elate me? If after being granted membership to Augusta, Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore gave the place two giant middle fingers and said “No thanks, suckers.”
It sort of troubles me that we need to be happy about something like this. This decision by Augusta is head-shakingly sad at best. Think about it—people were being excluded from a golf course because they possessed a certain genitalia. Anybody else think that is exceptionally cracked?
And let’s not forget that even with the admittance of the two women, Augusta would still scoff at almost every one of us otherwise if we tried to join. Augusta still believes it’s better than you and me. They haven’t become benevolent all of a sudden.
I would much prefer to just not bother with such institutions. Why would otherwise intelligent women, or any smart person really, want to join the ignorant? Sure, there’s some social significance to it all, but I’m fine letting dumb groups like Augusta just be. Rise above them and laugh at them from afar.
But I’m not really going to be as happy as some are about this. I’ll just stand outside not really looking in and know that I’m better than all the country club folk because I don’t need for validation a sylvan snobbery that looks down on others.
Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa and Governors State University and began blogging at The Score after winning the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He enjoys writing things about stuff, but not so much stuff about things. When not writing for 670TheScore.com, Tim corrupts America’s youth as a high school English teacher and provides a great service to his South Side community delivering pizzas (please tip him and his colleagues well). You can follow Tim’s inappropriate brain droppings on Twitter @Ten_Foot_Midget , but please don’t follow him in real life. He grew up in Chicago’s Beverly To read more of Tim’s blogs click here.