– Jim Murray
As anybody familiar with golf will tell you, sometimes you get the wrong club.
The Kennebec Journal reported last weekend that an effort to send protest petitions to Augusta National Golf Club over its membership policy got the wrong name, the wrong place and the wrong state.
Protest organizers mistakenly went to the Augusta (Maine) Country Club Web site and retrieved staff e-mail addresses.
“They confused us with Augusta National and started this snowball effect of women starting petitions all over the country,” Randy Bloiuin, the director of membership and marketing, told Gary Hawkins of the Journal. “It was a standard e-mail signed by each individual. I didn’t go through all 5,000 of them.”
Blouin said the Maine country club did not respond to the e-mail, nor did he forward them to Augusta National in Georgia.
He said such confusion between the two Augustas has happened before.
“We probably got 10 calls the last couple of weeks, wondering how to pick up tickets,” Blouin said.
The most publicized incident was in the late 1980s, when a group of Japanese tourists was mistakenly rerouted from LaGuardia Airport in New York and sent to Maine instead of Georgia.
“They sent them up here, and they came into the club,” former pro Pete Hatfield said. “They thought it was Augusta National.”
The group bought a lot of merchandise from the pro shop and asked whether they could take pictures of the ninth hole.
“Finally it dawned on me what was happening,” Hatfield told the Journal.
He said the group was good-natured about the mistake, and club management told them they could play golf and gave them lunch.
Hatfield also said he received a phone call from England one April asking who was leading the tournament.
“I thought it was our weekend tournament, and I said Mark Plummer,” Hatfield said. “The guy said ‘Mark Plummer?’ Who the hell is he?’ ”
FOND FAREWELLS: To former Tax Commissioner Jerry Saul, who died Saturday at age 80. He was a delight to reporters such as me in the 1970s. Polite, smart, funny and always smiling. And he attracted people just like him to work in his office.
TODAY’S JOKE: Johnny Hollins at Whitton Radiators shares this one:
Early Easter morning, a little farm boy sneaked out to the henhouse, gathered six eggs and dyed them different colors. Feeling guilty, he sneaked back out to the henhouse and placed each egg in its hen’s nest.
When the rooster came in and saw the many-colored eggs, he was irate. He ran out in the barnyard and beat up the peacock!