Augusta breaks all-male membership custom- 21 Aug 2012 00:00:00
The Augusta National Golf Club, home of The Masters, has broken years of tradition by admitting its first female members into the club.
The Georgia-based club announced that former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and financier Darla Moore will become the first two women granted membership of Augusta, which has been all-male since it opened in 1932.
Billy Payne, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and The Masters, said: ‘This is a joyous occasion as we enthusiastically welcome Secretary Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore as members of Augusta National Golf Club.’
‘We are fortunate to consider many qualified candidates for membership at Augusta National. Consideration with regard to any candidate is deliberate, held in strict confidence and always takes place over an extended period of time. The process for Condoleezza and Darla was no different. These accomplished women share our passion for the game of golf and both are well known and respected by our membership.’
Augusta’s status as an all-male club has drawn criticism for years and the debate intensified in January after Ginni Rometty was appointed as IBM’s new CEO.
The technology giant has been a long-time sponsor of The Masters, the first of the year’s majors, and membership of Augusta has been granted to each of its past four CEOs.
Payne added: ‘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.’