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Augusta National adds its first 2 women members

Published: Mon, August 20, 2012 @ 3:00 p.m.

NEW YORK (AP) — For the first time in its 80-year history, Augusta National Golf Club has female members.

The home of the Masters, under increasing criticism the last decade because of its all-male membership, invited former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore to become the first women in green jackets when the club opens for a new season in October.

Both women accepted.

"This is a joyous occasion," Augusta National chairman Billy Payne said today.

The move likely ends a debate that intensified in 2002 when Martha Burk of the National Council of Women's Organizations urged the club to include women among its members. Former club chairman Hootie Johnson stood his ground, even at the cost of losing Masters television sponsors for two years, when he famously said Augusta National might one day have a woman in a green jacket, "but not at the point of a bayonet."

The comment took on a life of its own, becoming either a slogan of the club's resolve not to give in to public pressure or a sign of its sexism, depending on which side of the debate was interpreting it.

"Oh my God. We won," Burk said. "It's about 10 years too late for the boys to come into the 20th century, never mind the 21st century. But it's a milestone for women in business."


1block50(128 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Only about 100 years late! Why does the press laud an organization that had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, all these years to make even a token gesture? Augusta National shouln't be proud, they should be ashamed of themselves. The golfing community should be ashamed for turning a blind eye and treating Augusta with such reverence.

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2Woody(492 comments)posted 3 years, 11 months ago

Martha Burk had you not made a fuss, they probably would have gotten memberships 4-5 years ago. Now she will probably complain because they are both Republicans. The only good Burk did was give us 2 years of commercial free Master's coverage.

And Block, nobody forced them. Trust me, if they didn't want to admit women members, they wouldn't have.

Now what, are we going to complain because they won't admit any poor people.

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