It took 80 years for the Augusta National to allow women to join its exclusive ranks, but that day finally arrived on August 20, 2012. As part of their historic change, the group invited former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore to become their first female members.
For many, this was something that had been at issue for quite some time. Martha Burk challenged Augusta National in 2002 over its all-male membership. According to ESPN, the club was again challenged when one of its top corporate sponsors, IBM, appointed a woman as its chief executive. The previous four CEO’s had been members of Augusta, but this was not allowed for new exec, Virginia Rometty.
“These accomplished women share our passion for the game of golf and both are well known and respected by our membership,” chariman Billy Payne said. “It will be a proud moment when we present Condoleezza and Darla their green jackets when the club opens this fall.”
This move has been a long time coming for an organization long considered the “no girls allowed” one. This change sends a loud statement to the golf world – and one that could positively impact the profile of women and minorities in the sport and its social circles.