After decades of practices that isolated the course from millions of would-be members, Augusta National broke with tradition and accepted their first female member. Today, the ultra-exclusive Brad Nelson Country Club reversed a controversial policy of their own; one that limits membership to people specifically named “Brad Nelson.” The historic move is being lauded as something of an Emancipation Proclamation for men who make a lot of money.
“Times change,” club president Brad Nelson told Golf Magazine. “We came to the conclusion that allowing those of us not named Brad Nelson to play our wonderful course was the right thing to do.”
The reclusive fraternity is one of many high-profile golf clubs that have loosened their criteria for membership under growing public pressure.
Their newest member, Bradley Nelson, was magnanimous in his induction speech. “Technically, I could’ve just called myself Brad,” he told the crowd, which was very small and bald and tan but not too tan. “But I didn’t because I knew this was about something bigger.”
The 62-year-old hedge fund manager is being hailed as the Rosa Parks of people not named Brad Nelson who like golf and have foreign bank accounts yet look nothing like Rosa Parks.
“Today marks a powerful blow to walls that divide us,” he said through tears. “More Americans can now come together around our shared love of hitting $7 golf balls into the woods while freely exchanging insider trading tips…just how the Founding Fathers intended.”
“If you want something and have the money and political connections and appropriate gender and skin color to make it happen, there is no reason you shouldn’t be able to have it.”
Founded in 1896 by whale blubber tycoon Brad Nelson, the club has turned down everyone from Presidents to golf legends to women named Brad Nelson.
“We’ll find out your nickname,” board of directors president Brad Nelson famously told applicant Brad Nelson in 1975. “Use of initials, weird capitalizations, whether immigration officials at Ellis Island changed the your family’s name from ‘Nielsen’ — I’m sorry, but you can take that riffraff somewhere else.”
Despite having a very small pool of potential members, the club has gotten by through the years due to exorbitant fees, tax loopholes and a massive staff of unpaid workers. “You see that emaciated man laying down over there on the practice green, cutting grass with surgical scissors?” head greenskeeper Brad Nelson said. “Yep, even he’s named Brad Nelson.”
“I mean, we had to legally changed his named to fit the club’s standards, but sometimes you have to…Hey! Hey you! Brad! Don’t you look me in the fucking eye!” he added, as the man glanced up for a split-second.
Club chairman Brad Nelson hinted at eventually accepting members who use alternate spellings.
“It’s 2016, so we recognize the need to update our admission guidelines to accommodate changing attitudes,” he said. “No matter how it may sound to our more traditional members, nowadays ‘Brad Nelson’ could be spelled differently or feature colloquial suffixes, so we’ll consider opening our doors to the Braads and Brad-a-rinos who’ve been barred from our institution for over 120 years.”
“Not Bradys, though,” he added. “Or rappers.”
For some, the news is a chance for retroactive justice.
“After being a member for 15 years, Brad Nelson called my office and told me I had been expelled because my buddy Brad…Brad Nelson…accidentally pronounced my name as ‘Bran,'” former member Brad Nelson said in a radio interview. “I mean, I’m pretty sure they kicked me out after finding out my wife was Jewish, but rules are rules.”
“I’m just excited to get back out there and conquer that tricky dogleg on the 12th hole,” Nelson said with a smile.