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Rooting for the Home TeamSport, Community, and Identity$
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Daniel A. Nathan

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037610

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037610.001.0001

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Bobby Jones, Southern Identity, and the Preservation of Privilege

Bobby Jones, Southern Identity, and the Preservation of Privilege

(p.54) 3. Bobby Jones, Southern Identity, and the Preservation of Privilege
Rooting for the Home Team

Catherine M. Lewis

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the recent Tiger Woods affair by using 1920s golfing icon Bobby Jones and the sense of southern identity and white privilege that he personified. During the 2010 Masters Tournament, the sporting world witnessed the return of Tiger Woods, who was still reeling from scandals resulting from more than a dozen extramarital affairs. Woods's conduct threatened the game's most cherished traditions at its most beloved tournament. This chapter first provides a background on the 1920s, often described as the “Golden Age of Sports,” a period dominated by Jones and other legendary athletic heroes. It then considers how interest in Jones's legacy is fueled by the Masters Golf Tournament held every April in Augusta, Georgia. It also discusses the marketing of Jones as an antidote to Woods's conduct, raising important issues about class, race, and identity in sport. The chapter argues that the golfing world continues to trade on Jones's legend to promote itself as “the last gentleman's game, with a distinctly southern flavor.”

Keywords:   golf, Bobby Jones, southern identity, white privilege, Masters Golf Tournament, Tiger Woods, scandals, marketing, class, race

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