Augusta National Admits First 2 Female Members
Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina investment banker Darla Moore both accepted invitations to join golf’s most prominent club, which annually plays host to The Masters, the first major tournament on the PGA Tour’s calendar. Augusta National has been under pressure from corporations, women’s organizations and recently President Barack Obama to allow membership to women.
Club president Billy Payne did not comment on reasons for the policy change, but called it “a significant and positive time in our club’s history.”
"It will be a proud moment when we present Condoleezza and Darla their Green Jackets when the club opens this fall," he said.
Criticism of the men-only policy made national headlines in 2002 when the National Council of Women’s Organizations and its then-president Martha Burk led a protest against the club, which led to the 2003 and 2004 Masters tournaments airing without advertisements.
"It's a long time coming, but it's a wonderful day," said Susan Scanlan, chair of NCWO, a non-partisan group. "I think [Augusta National] finally realized what we had been saying was right."