The ultra-exclusive Georgia golf club that's home to the annual Masters Golf tournament and which for decades has only offered memberships to men has finally changed its tune. Augusta National Chairman Billy Payne — who some of y'all might remember for organizing the 1996 Atlanta Olympics — today said that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and business executive Darla Moore would become the club's first female members. Via USA Today:
"This is a joyous occasion as we enthusiastically welcome Secretary Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore as members of Augusta National Golf Club," Payne said in a statement. "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. It will be a proud moment when we present Condoleezza and Darla their Green Jackets when the Club opens this fall.
To say it's about time is an understatement. It has been well past time for Augusta to end its stubborn, sexist ways and acknowledge women are not only a vital part of the golf industry, but are important participants in the corridors of power in America - and we can certainly say that Augusta National is one of the biggest, boldest and most iconic corridors of power.
Today, one of the last bastions of male supremacy is no more. Today, Augusta National has made a crucial statement to every girl and woman who has thought about picking up a golf club. The message is simple: You are welcome.
That same message is being sent to every girl and woman who has even thought about trying to enter a sport or a field of study or a job that boys and men have dominated. If Augusta National can bring in women, then anyone can.
That's how big of a deal this is.
(teaser image credit: mbrooks/Wikipedia)
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