Augusta National Admits Condoleezza Rice And Darla Moore — First Women In Its History
For the first time in its history, Augusta National Golf Club will admit two female members this fall – former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, 57, and business executive Darla Moore, 58.
“These accomplished women share our passion for the game of golf and both are well known and respected by our membership,” Augusta National and Masters Chairman Billy Payne said in a statement. “This is a significant and positive time in our club’s history and, on behalf of our membership, I wanted to take this opportunity to welcome them and all of our new members into the Augusta National family.”
Historically, the club has faced criticism for issues regarding membership of women and African-Americans. Though the club was founded in 1932, it was not until 1990 that the first African-American member was accepted. Club founder Clifford Roberts was once quoted as saying, “As long as I’m alive, all the golfers will be white, and all the caddies will be black.”
Women have also been targeted. Payne’s predecessor William “Hootie” Johnson said he wouldn’t be pressured to admit female members “at the point of a bayonet.” Payne also received tough questions from the media before this year’s Masters tournament because of the club’s restrictive policy toward women, highlighted by a refusal of membership toward Virginia Rometty, the President and CEO of IBM, the chief sponsor of the Masters, which is held annually at Augusta. Her four previous predecessors, all men, were granted membership. –Chris Camacho
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