Martha Burk (Getty Images file photo, 2003)
Outspoken activist Martha Burk used a recent op-ed to question the role LPGA players may play in the debate over where to stage the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open.
The tournament was awarded to Trump National in Bedminster, N.J., in 2012, and that remains the scheduled venue. But the course’s owner, businessman and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, has recently come under fire for a series of vulgar comments made about women.
While the USGA was one of several governing bodies to distance itself from Trump last year over separate remarks about immigrants, the organization has made no public comment amidst the growing cry for them to relocate next year’s event.
It’s a movement supported by Burk, who runs the Corporate Accountability Project for the National Council of Women’s Organizations and who notably battled Augusta National Golf Club over its all-male membership policy in the early 2000s.
While the venue decision is up to the USGA, not the LPGA, Burk wrote in the Huffington Post that LPGA players make an impact on the situation – even by saying nothing.
“The USGA refuses to budge. One reason may be the players themselves,” Burk wrote. “Most if not all of them are members of the Ladies’ Professional Golf Association, and they’re acting like good little girls and remaining mute, or saying they don’t see a problem with their most important tournament at a course owned by the country’s leading misogynist.”
Burk went even further by suggesting that, if the tournament remains at Trump’s course, players should consider boycotting one of the five major championships played annually.
“Without the players there would be no tournament. So while the women can’t make the decision about location, they can make a decision individually – or better, collectively – not to participate,” she wrote. “It’s clear the USGA is at the core a boys’ club willing to exploit the women for monetary gain.”