LPGA Tour event at Augusta National?
When I heard that LPGA commissioner Michael Whan reaches out every year to Augusta National about hosting a women's tournament, I gave him credit for initiative and belief in his product. We'd all like to see another event at Augusta, but a women's tournament at the National seems like a pipe dream.
Are the members really going to give up their course -- and open the doors to the public -- for a second week? It's already a short season for National members (the club is open only from October through May). Losing a second week of golf for an event that would make chump change compared to April's big event doesn't sound very appealing.
The date would be problematic, too. They're not letting the LPGA out there before the Masters, when the course is being prepped. Playing a week or two later in April might diminish the Masters itself. Plus, there are all kinds of gallery-traffic and wear-and-tear course issues that could prove disastrous.
That leaves October as the next best option -- during the baseball playoffs and football season. Never mind.
Then there's the course itself. If LPGA players could survive a U.S. Women's Open at Oakmont, they could survive the equally severe National and its greens. Any LPGA event played there had better be a major, though, because it would immediately dwarf the tour's current five designated majors.
The real question about hosting the women remains, Why? Augusta National has two female members, so the club probably feels the pressure is off as far as diversity. I'm not holding my breath.