The Battle for Augusta National by Alan Shipnuck
Hootie, Martha, and the Masters of the Universe

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The controversy began with a seemingly innocuous private letter, and spiraled into the biggest media event in golf history. The Augusta National membership dispute dominated headlines and watercooler conversation for nearly a year, propelled by twenty-first-century hot-button issues and a pair of perfectly drawn foils in Hootie Johnson and Martha Burk. But a year after Burk's messy Masters week protest, the meaning of the membership controversy remains elusive. In The Battle for Augusta National, Alan Shipnuck -- who reinvented the PGA Tour narrative with the rollicking Bud, Sweat, & Tees -- provides the definitive account of what really happened and why.

In this lively, irreverent, ambitious book, Shipnuck chases the story from the chairman's office at Augusta National to the living room of the One Man Klan, along the way bringing to life a vivid cast of characters and revealing subplots aplenty. With meticulous reporting and penetrating insights, Shipnuck provides a nuanced look into the complex and contradictory worlds of Hootie and Martha, who were drawn together like moths to a flame; reveals Augusta National's secret plots to undermine the press and the accompanying turmoil at The New York Times, including an exclusive interview with the Times's disgraced executive editor, Howell Raines; and explores the Southern politics that led to Burk's Masters week banishment, drawing on Senate confirmation hearings and campaign contribution documents to link local politicians and a federal judge to Augusta National.

From Tiger Woods to Jack Welch, Sandra Day O'Connor to Bryant Gumbel, Treasury Secretary Snow to Jesse Jackson, the gang's all here in this withering look at a story that never stopped churning.

Along the way, many of the membership controversy's mysteries are revealed. How did Augusta National's top-secret membership roll become public? Who was the shadowy protester identified by hoodwinked reporters as Heywood Jablome? Did Burk lie about a vast right-wing conspiracy to undermine her demonstration? All of this and much more can be found in The Battle for Augusta National, a book that captures the passion and absurdity of a great national debate that continues to simmer.

About Alan Shipnuck

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Christina Kim has been one of the LPGA's most popular players since 2003, when she was a nineteen-year-old rookie. A two-time winner on tour, she was also a key member of the victorious U.S. Solheim Cup teams in 2005 and 2009. Born and raised in San Jose, California, she now lives in Orlando. Alan Shipnuck has been covering professional golf for Sports Illustrated since 1994. He is the author of the national bestseller Bud, Sweat, & Tees: Rich Beem's Walk on the Wild Side of the PGA Tour. He lives in northern California with his wife and children.
Published June 17, 2008 by Simon & Schuster. 368 pages
Genres: Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

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In June 2002, Martha Burk, chair of the National Council of Women's Organizations, sent a nine-sentence letter to the Augusta National Golf Club—host of the prestigious Masters tournament—asking it to review its policy of barring women from club membership.

Mar 29 2004 | Read Full Review of The Battle for Augusta Nation...

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