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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Before . . . and After, Who's Having More Fun?

Madame Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice is 59 years old.  She's a political scientist, has served as America's top diplomat, and moved easily and skillfully through the stratosphere of international power from 2005-2009.  And she's a golfer!



When W went to his ranch, Condoleezza Rice went back to Stanford, but Rice is a Renaissance women who isn't easily confined in the Ivory Tower.  She's an accomplished classical musician, an ardent sports fan, and a very competitive golfer as well as a political scientist.

When she stepped away from that world of jet-set diplomacy, negotiated compromise, and uneasy treacherous global petro-alliances in 2009, at a time of life when many -- men as well as women -- begin to consider "slowing down," and refurbishing the extra bedroom to accommodate grandchildren, Condoleezza Rice put on the speed.  Making up for lost time, perhaps?

After . . .

In August 2012, Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore, "The Toughest Babe in Business," became the first women invited to join the fabled, hallowed up to that point men-only Augusta National Golf Club.  Rice, a former competitive ice skater and by reputation an aggressive competitor on the tennis court, came late to golf.  Her stepmother explained what happened in language I completely understand: The bug bit her.

A firestorm erupted when she was named to the Post-Season Selection Committee of the College Football Playoff in October 2013.  ESPN's College GameDay host, Chris Fowler, asked David Pollack, "So no woman belongs on the committee, then?"  Pollack responsed: "I'll say it, yeah, yeah." Former Auburn coach Pat Dye got in the Outraged Boys Club when he declared that "all [Rice] know about football is what somebody told her . . . To understand football you've got to play with your hand in the dirt."  There was more, but you get the drift.

Rice, the daughter of a football coach and Stanford provost for six years before joining the GW Bush administration, responded in her typically measured and reasoned style in an interview with SI.com:

 At Stanford, athletics actually reports for it operations to the provost -- so athletic facilities, athletic budgets, issues of compliance.  I actually hired Ty Willingham to be Stanford's football coach.  Back in 1988, I sat on a committee . . . that hired Denny Green . . . So I've been at this for a long time from the inside administration of the game, but I'm also someone who is a student of the game and loves the game . . .

Condi at Pebble Beach
And Now . . .

Rice was paired with D.A. Points at the 2014 Pebble Beach Pro-Am. They're playing in typical Pebble Beach winter weather, all bundled up against the wind off the ocean, clearly having a perfectly lovely time.

Rice got her first Ace in 2011 and plays with a 17 handicap.  I'd love to play a round with Condoleezza Rice!