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Butler National Members Vote To Keep Women Out

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 

Teddy Greenstein on the membership at Butler National voting overwhelmingly to keep it a male only club.  The vote eliminates the Chicago layout from any consideration to host events such as the U.S. Open, BMW Championship and Ryder Cup.

 

This might be a surprising decision given the club's is in need of some cash after their 2004 Tom Fazio redo and membership decline.

 

Quote:
Sources said the decision puts the club in a precarious financial state. A membership decline, in part due to business executives resigning because of the all-male stigma, means the club will have to increase annual dues and perhaps lower initiation fees for national members.
 
"We're in a death spiral," said one member of the club's future.
 
 
A U.S. Open could generate more than $4 million for the club, industry analysts say, and Monday corporate outing would bring in a consistent flow of cash.

But those voting against adding women apparently like the all-male feel of the 20,000-foot clubhouse, which was not designed to accommodate women.

 

And politics are at play. Club President Ed Gustafson is a disciple of Don Kelly, a former club president and key figure in the club's growth who was adamant about an all-male membership.

 

The course dropped from 37th to 54th in Golf Digest's most recent list of the top 100 American courses.

post #2 of 56
If they are a private group and aren't receiving any kind of federal, state or local aid... then they can do what they want. It may not be to soundest of financial methods to stay afloat, but... that's their choice. No different than a private company like "Curves" or Lucille Roberts from allowing males to join their gyms.
post #3 of 56

Butler is just one of many men's only clubs in the Windy City.

post #4 of 56

Idiots.

 

Not because they want to be male-only - I'm on board with the whole private club can admit who they want kind of thing - but because it sounds like they are cutting off their noses to spite their faces.  If you'd rather have a male only club than a club with females, fine, whatever, your prerogative.  But when your choice is a club that includes the fairer sex or no club at all, and you choose no club at all ... then you are an idiot.

post #5 of 56

I would never be a member of a club that excluded anyone on the basis of sex, race,or religon, but if a private club wants to discriminate, that's up to them.

post #6 of 56

Sausage fest. LOL. I say let the ladies in!

post #7 of 56

If jackwads want to congregate and associate together, the First Amendment allows it but the rest of us should do nothing to make the existence of their association any easier.  I support the ban on tournaments from that sort of club.  I have no idea what sort of entity a private country club is for tax purposes, but one that practices discrimination against others based on membership in a class that is protected under federal law should receive exactly no tax breaks regardless of whether they genuinely generate no more profits than an orphanage or free clinic and should be subject to all taxes at the highest rates.

post #8 of 56

that's pretty sad.  most women don't even like golf, but when they do i definitely encourage it.  bad form.
 

post #9 of 56

I wonder how the members explain it to their wives and daughters?

post #10 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffluck View Post

that's pretty sad.  most women don't even like golf, but when they do i definitely encourage it.  bad form.
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cooke119 View Post

I wonder how the members explain it to their wives and daughters?

 

 

I don't understand comments like this. So what? It's a men's club. They're not breaking any laws. They're not even being jerks IMO. They explain it by saying to their wives and daughters "if you want to join a women's club, I understand."

 

It may be their mistake in the end. Or perhaps they'll rebound. We'll see. But it's their club, and they can run it how they see fit.

post #11 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by cooke119 View Post

I wonder how the members explain it to their wives and daughters?


Do you tag along when your wife (assuming you have one) attends the neighborhood Pampered Chef party? If not, how does she explain that to you?

 

Not really being serious above, but it amazes me how many people feel the need to regulate what other people do with their time and their money.

post #12 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisguy View Post

If jackwads want to congregate and associate together, the First Amendment allows it but the rest of us should do nothing to make the existence of their association any easier.  I support the ban on tournaments from that sort of club.  I have no idea what sort of entity a private country club is for tax purposes, but one that practices discrimination against others based on membership in a class that is protected under federal law should receive exactly no tax breaks regardless of whether they genuinely generate no more profits than an orphanage or free clinic and should be subject to all taxes at the highest rates.


I suppose your ideas about taxing other people is quite popular nowadays. By God, if other people don't do what I like, them let's tax them at the highest rates!!!! Just amazing....g1_wacko.gif

post #13 of 56

I walked two rounds of the Western Open at Butler National back in 1974. Even back then, it was a nearly impossible course for the average golfer.

 

It has lots of forced carries across water, a factor which women's golf advocates say make courses too difficult for the average female. If they did admit women, would enough show up to cover the cost of building another set of tee boxes?

 

I've seen famous courses where the average woman has a sporting chance from the front tees. Butler National is not one of them.

post #14 of 56

There are women only golf clubs too, some in Chicago.  I agree with Erik, there are plenty of courses to play, if the members prefer to keep it men only what's the big deal? 

 

As for how to explain it to my wife, it's simple, "Honey, the golf club I joined is men only, they don't allow wives or girlfriends at the golf club."  Not that tough is it?

 

The politically correct police are getting a little carried away here. 

post #15 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by WUTiger View Post

I walked two rounds of the Western Open at Butler National back in 1974. Even back then, it was a nearly impossible course for the average golfer.

 

It has lots of forced carries across water, a factor which women's golf advocates say make courses too difficult for the average female. If they did admit women, would enough show up to cover the cost of building another set of tee boxes?

 

I've seen famous courses where the average woman has a sporting chance from the front tees. Butler National is not one of them.

First, lets clear this up... Butler National is in no way shape or form struggling for money.  Nor would they need to ever worry about funds to cover course renovations required, should they ever decide to modify the course to make it easier for female members by putting in new tee boxes.

 

1.) It was already established that by Butler National changing their club policies to accept females would pretty much place the club at the top of the list to host a future US Open - or Fed Ex Cup stop like the BMW Championship.  And by doing so, would generate approximately $4 to 5 million in funds for the course.  

 

2.) You can't forget the fact that members of Butler are some of the financially elite business moguls in Chicagoland area...The club has a prestigious membership... They could more than afford the changes.  

 

The other thing is I don't understand why people care or get worked up over Butler National and their male only policy.

 

They built the club in 1972 purely as a golf course facility only.  The clubhouse was built for males only - there are no facilities for women.  They did this intentionally so that they could use the annual membership funds to sync back into the golf course grounds, rather than spend it on facilities like pools, etc. etc... That females or children (family memberships) often include and are interested in using.  Therefore, they wanted to be a golf only facility - and felt a male only membership would not push to pull funds away from the course (as would a possible female membership) - and push for funding larger facilities for tea parties, weddings, etc. etc.  Taking away from the pure golf focus.

 

Plain and simple... It's a private golf club, and they can do whatever they wish.  And given that many of their members are actually members of multiple country clubs - they don't have to answer to their wives.  Their wives know Butler is a golf club.  End of story.  And lets be honest... These 'dudes' are not answering to their wives. c2_beer.gif

post #16 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachcomber View Post

First, lets clear this up... Butler National is in no way shape or form struggling for money.

That's not what it sounds like based on the quote Mike posted in the original post ...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachcomber View Post

2.) You can't forget the fact that members of Butler are some of the financially elite business moguls in Chicagoland area...The club has a prestigious membership... They could more than afford the changes. 

... And it's apparently because some of these "financially elite business moguls" are resigning "because of the all-male stigma."  Keep in mind, I know nothing of Butler National outside of what Mike's story says ... but it sounds to me like they are struggling for money (or will be soon due to declining membership) and allowing women to become members would go a long way towards alleviating those issues.

 

If it was me, I'd be voting for the women ... then again if it was me, I wouldn't be choosing an all male club to begin with.

post #17 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

That's not what it sounds like based on the quote Mike posted in the original post ...

 

... And it's apparently because some of these "financially elite business moguls" are resigning "because of the all-male stigma."  Keep in mind, I know nothing of Butler National outside of what Mike's story says ... but it sounds to me like they are struggling for money (or will be soon due to declining membership) and allowing women to become members would go a long way towards alleviating those issues.

 

If it was me, I'd be voting for the women ... then again if it was me, I wouldn't be choosing an all male club to begin with.

 

The article is speculation - based off of a few members that decided to talk.  The Club President didn't respond to the medias request for comment.

 

They needed 75% of the members to vote in favor - and received less than 40% approval from the membership.  So that means over 60% of the current members are still for an all men's club.  There was an article on the same subject ~ 5 years ago and at that point in time, Butler's membership only received 20 or 25% approval.  And this isn't a new topic for Butler.  It has been a topic of debate for decades... But yet the club continues on and is still regarded as one of the best courses in the area (for those that are lucky enough to play it).

 

There are several younger members, who are more interested in hosting a Major or Ryder Cup than anything else... Simply hosting such an event brings even more accolades and public interest to the membership and course.  And given that desire, many of the members are slowly moving away from the male only membership stance.  The challenge is as stated before, there are still original members who want to stick to the traditions of focusing on golf - purist - and not worry about sprucing up the grounds to support things like swimming pools, spas, tennis courts, etc. that female membership may require or request - or even worse - demand.  

 

But as I said before, I can assure you members are not going to let the club fail.  The type of folks that are members at Butler have children with trusts worth more than $5M.  They can more than afford the increased dues.  And even if there are those that leave under public scrutiny... Butler National in the Chicago area is known as a prestigious club for men.  Simply being a member brings a certain prestige even to this day.

post #18 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 

 

 

I don't understand comments like this. So what? It's a men's club. They're not breaking any laws. They're not even being jerks IMO. They explain it by saying to their wives and daughters "if you want to join a women's club, I understand."

 

It may be their mistake in the end. Or perhaps they'll rebound. We'll see. But it's their club, and they can run it how they see fit.

my perspective may be totally different, but my lady is my playing partner.  i flat out wouldn't join a club that wouldn't let her play, especially if i had to pay to keep her out.  not a lot of women like golf, so i really doubt that without this rule butler is going to be overrun with estrogen.  it just seems like a bunch of old senile men if you ask me.  they probably don't let homosexuals play there either.

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