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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

 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!