With MacKinzie Kline, LPGA learns from PGA's mistakes
Back in 1999, when golfer Casey Martin qualified for the PGA Tour, he faced a dilemma. He was a fine golfer, yes. But he had a disability - the Klippel Trenaunay Weber syndrome that had damaged his right leg and precluded him from walking 18 holes of golf. He needed a cart.
The PGA Tour wasn’t too happy with this. Their rules clearly state that golfers must walk the course. No carts. No exceptions.
So Martin sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act?and won. And the PGA Tour took a PR bath.
Well it looks like the LPGA isn’t making that mistake.
They just approved a sponsor’s exemption to the upcoming Ginn Tribute for 14-year-old MacKinzie Kline, a junior golfer who must?guess what?ride a cart. Kline has a congenital heart defect that prevents her from walking long distances?but does not prevent her from being one of the country’s best juniors.
She qualified for the US Women’s Amateur but was initially refused since she couldn?t walk the course. The USGA has since reversed that decision and will let her play.
The LPGA, on the other hand, needed no prodding. “We are confident that the use of a cart and oxygen will not provide MacKinzie with an unfair competitive advantage,” said commissioner Carolyn Bivens in a statement.
I’m one of those people who thought the whole Casey Martin debacle was a little goofy. I can see the PGA Tour’s point?rules are rules, slippery slope, blah blah blah?but whatever advantage he might have gotten from the cart was more than erased by his condition. Same goes for MacKinzie.
MacKinzie might have the right to use a cart, but she still doesn’t have the right to drive one?she?s only 14 after all, and doesn’t have a driver’s license. For now, at least, her caddy will do the driving.
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Isn't 14 a little young to be getting sponsor's exemptions? She can't wait to graduate high school? Is she a freshman? What is the LPGA's obsession with little girls? This isn't Star Search. It'll be the same feel good story when she turns 18.
Rules exist for a reason, and that is to ensure fairness for all. If these individuals should receive a special dispensation, why not others who say that walking exacerbates a condition and impacts upon their play? If I claim that I have lower back pain that is aggravated by having to walk, who are you to tell me I'm wrong?
It's a shame that so many people have no grasp of the principles of freedom and so little common sense.
Most of you are sheeple.
You are absolutely correct that private organizations have the right to uphold their own rules. Take Augusta National, for instance. I think they're within their rights not to allow women members. They own it, they pay for it, they get to decide who to play with.
The mistake I was referring to was of the PR variety. Good PR is critical to a business like professional golf--without it, you lose fans. Fewer fans = smaller profits = mistake.
Casey Martin a cart was THE public
relations disaster, not the phony one
created by the media and lapped up by
I'm 5'11" and can't slam dunk a basketball.
Should the NBA lower the hoops so I have
a chance to play for millions? Why not?
I am handicapped.
Life is hard. A man has to know his
Annika is one sweet woman to offer the exemption.
I can not believe I agree with you. I do not think Casey Martin should have been given special exemption either.
However, I would like to see the PGA Tour to extend their so called rules to the Senior Tour if the rationale for the Casey Martin decision was 'walking is part of golf'.
PGA was right in upholding their own rules, but they unfortunately bowed to the 'elder statesmen' that played on the Senior Tour.
Nice to see you back. So, do you have a deal for a book on MacKinzie Kline yet?
Judge, you bring up the point of what is "implied" in our Constitution, which brings to mind the idea of the spirit of a law. Or rule. I don't see what's wrong with interpretation as long as the spirit of the rule is followed. If the rule is intended to eliminate unfair advantages, shouldn't it be considered whether or not the exception would violate that rather than the rule itself?
The problem here is that this is the result of a dangerous precedent that was set by an activist High Court (I never did figure out what they're high on, but I know it's something) a long time ago when they called private establishments "public accomodations." That quite stupid and unlawful (as it is contrary to the Constitution) ruling has led to the situation we're now in, where private institutions are regularly sued based on the often fanciful notion that they're engaging in "invidious discrimination."
A good example of this is the Boy Scouts. They've had to spend millions of dollars defending themselves against utter scum (who deserve Mussolini's fate) who have tried to sue them into oblivion. They were sued by that vicious witch, Gloria Alred, who acted on behalf of a GIRL who wanted to be a boy scout. Then they were sued by atheists and homosexuals who, respectively, didn't like the fact that they had God in their pledge and that they have a policy excluding homosexual scout masters. Of course, in the Scouts' case they have prevailed thus far, but their coffers have been drained, which is one of the goals of these legalistic scum. The end result is that millions of dollars that could have provided great experiences for thousands of poor boys are now in the pockets of lawyers. Yes, great civilization we have.
As Milton Friedman said, "If you place equality before freedom, you'll end up with neither. If you place freedom before equality, you'll end up with a good measure of both."
Oh, and you godless leftist scum: You should get down on your hands and knees and thank the one you worship (Satan) that I and my set are not runnings things. You would definitely receive your comeuppance.
point out to Kristen that the decline
in American civilization can be traced
to many things. A good argument can be
made for the election of Lincoln. Some
say it was the creation of the Federal
Reserve system. Booger says it was giving
women the right to vote. Now we can never
turn back the clock and must wait for the
total destruction of our civilization. I
just hope that when things do go Road
Warrior here, you equality freaks should
not even think about darkening the doorstep
of the civilized areas controlled by the
hated white man. You will ride it out
with your rainbow coalition of freaks and
savage degenerates and lie in the bed
that you helped to make. You go girl!
Oh yeah, up yours Trevor! And I agree,
make the old fools walk too. It's good
for the heart.
Booger: I'm heavily armed and can handle myself if things go "road warrior" so I won't have any use for your mighty mighty doorstep. Feel free to come to mine.
Although you might have been kidding, I'll point out that my last comment wasn't directed at anyone in particular. And you shouldn't take it personally unless you are in fact a leftist.
You are absolutely correct, the toothpaste can't be put back in the tube, thus, all we can do is wait for the walls to come tumbling down.
Hey, Kristen thinks she's a tough broad. Well, I know she can't be as well armed as I am. And, lastly, that'll be the day, when I need a woman to protect me. The Muslims have ONE thing right . . . . Get it?
And I guess you misunderstood. That wasn't an offer of protection.
Right On. I too am vertically challenged. But profesional sports are supposed to be played by the "best of the best". If a person cannot perform, without the use of artificial aids, then they cannot be "one of the best". All the artificial crap to help someone else ends up costing you & me in the end. Somebody has to pay for it. I have to pay when I want to "do" or "use" anything, so why shouldn't other "challenged" folks pay their own way.
Booger: I'm heavily armed and can handle myself if things go "road warrior" so I won't have any use for your mighty mighty doorstep. Feel free to come to mine.
You've obviously watched too many episodes of Dark Angel. You go girl!
The truth about what America will be like in the future is a lot gloomier than any picture a movie would paint.
There's Booger arguing that "giving women the right to vote" has led to the "decline in American civilization."
And then there's the judge: "That'll be the day, when I need a woman to protect me.... The Muslims have ONE thing right... Get it?"
What is this--a parody of conservatives designed to make conservatives appear foolish? Because if you're seriously trying to champion the conservative cause, you might want to consider a tack that doesn't alienate half the population. You sound like misogynistic louts--or is that just what you want people to think conservatives are?
Maybe I'm not a conservative. Did you ever think of that?
But do tell, gentlemen: Which cause do you represent? Near as I can tell, here are a couple of the platforms that really stand out:
* despise anyone on the "left" and assume they are godless and/or that they worship Satan.
* deny women the right to vote and advocate the adoption of sharia law.
Wow, that sounds like a great cause that will have everyone jumping on, if you could just name it. Are you libertarians, as One-Putt suggests? Booger, without consulting a dictionary, can you tell us what libertarianism entails?
And Booger, while you're at it, please enlighten us about the argument you can make that the election of Lincoln has led to the decline in American civilization. Let's hear it--I'm sure it'll be very interesting.
But, back to the original topic of this blog, my questions are:
Does riding in a cart fundamentally change the game of golf to the extent that it should be disallowed under all circumstances? (That extreme seems somewhat foolish, given that golf uses a handicapping system to allow anyone to play against anyone else, whether in the liberal tradition of egalitarianism, or in the equally time-honored of providing something on which to wager.)
Or should carts be disallowed only at the professional level?
Is walking the course a necessary component of the game, and if so, is it necessary to prove that the winner possesses the highest physical endurance? Or is it purely traditional? Tradition is, to a traditionalist like myself, a valid reason for requiring a player to walk. But allowing a player who otherwise is quite capable of competing at the level of the others to ride, seems equally sensible, especially when potentially negative public relations effects are considered. And pragmatic, which to a pragmatic person like myself, is an equally valid reason for allowing a player to ride.
And, just for fun, and to get back into the political part of the thread, let's talk about Islam, particularly shari'a, which "Judge Smails" seems to admire, in terms of both tradition and pragmatism.
Huh, Islam fails on both counts. Traditionally, it's younger than any of the Hebrew, Greek or Roman foundations of what we know as civilization, so Western civilization wins the tradition point. And pragmatically, how sensible is it to completely refuse 50% of the population to contribute in any meaningful manner? No point for Islam there either.
Anyway, "Smails", I'm starting to get somewhat offended by your defense of a belief system that a whole lot of fine American men and women, including my husband, are risking their lives in order to prevent its believers from risking yours. You are unworthy of their
Secondly, you completely missed the point about the Casey Martin case. It concerns FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION; it has nothing to do with whether or not a given rule is a "good idea." If we reach a point where the government can disallow every rule in the private sector that it doesn't think is a "good idea," we won't have much freedom OR true diversity at all.
I'll also point out that it is the liberals who are much like the Islamists, as they seek to control people's lives at least as thoroughly. The only difference is that instead of getting Sharia Law, you end up with Statist Law.
Now let's see if the stupid system will allow these comments to be posted.
As a ?Gentleman? I feel the need to rise in your defense from the onslaught of cretins who post on your blog. You may find them entertaining much in the style of chimpanzees performing in a circus, but that might to a disservice to the apes that have evolved further than some so called men who post their boorish prose here.
This started out as a posting by you Ms. Mario of an exemption being given to a handicapped young lady who is an exceptional golfer. Unfortunately her condition dictates she rides in a golf cart during matches and she will be using one during a professional event.
Rather than accept this ?fact? the cretins decided to take issue with Annika and the invitation she extended to her event. Miss Kline will play and her golf cart will not be the factor that determines the outcome of the tournament, just as it was not in the case of Casey Martin. Tournaments are decided by who puts a golf ball in a four and a quarter inch hole with the fewest swings of a club, pure and simple. Whether or not the player walks or rides to the ball really is insignificant in how the match is played.
Golf is an evolving sport and after a decade when a PGA course is an average of 12,000 yards long, the tour itself may insist on golf carts to speed up play. Well if not golf carts; at least they will have to lay tracks and run a train around the course.
For the Cretins posting comments on this topic, I quote from a famous American golfer who has a message for all of you, ?Get Over It? (M. Wie).
"that might to a disservice"
"that might be a disservice"
Respectful debate is welcome here, but off-topic comments with foul language, personal attacks, or hate speech will be removed.
I don't know who you're referring to, Jenny, but the response that the system wouldn't let me post contained no foul language (I don't use it). God only knows why it couldn't be posted.
If you want to talk golf, you're welcome to post here. But if you just want to be a bully, you'll have to find another playground.
But you asked a serious question, something to the effect of am I embarrassed about writing a book about Michelle Wie. An interesting question, coming from someone who uses an anonymous pseudonym for their own writings. But a serious question deserves a serious answer.
Am I embarrassed about writing a book about an interesting figure in women's golf? Short answer: of course not. I'm a golf writer. Writing about interesting golfers is what we do.
If you want to keep commenting here, refrain from hurling insults, please. I treated your question with respect, now do the same for me or expect to have your comments deleted.
When I think on it, when I walk 18, I'm well on the way to an excellent score, until about the last 4, when everything just goes all to crap. When I ride 18, it can still all go to crap, but that randomly happens at any point, not always in the last 4. Fatigue must play some part, even though I'm a marathoner so walking 18 shouldn't be all that tiring.
Your point is that walking is a significant aspect of the physical part of the game, and that in a nonhandicapped game (not trying to make a pun about disabilities, but referring to the pros), everyone should either walk or ride.
And to preserve tradition, walking should be the preference.
I do suspect that most of the Supreme Court justices get out to the course more often than you or I do, and they may or may not see it as a game or as a sport. But the comment about golf's perception as game vs sport is interesting. I walk more than I cart, but I consider golf to be a game.
What is the criteria for the difference between a game and a sport?
I agree, walking should be the preference.
I happen to think carts should not be allowed in competition, PERIOD. Not even the "Champions Tour". It set a horrible precedent.
I do see golf as a sport. Why? Because
it requires skill, agility and stamina. Although it is not as rigorous as marathonin
or cycling, there is still some level of
endurance necessary to be successful,
particularly in competition.