Augusta National Admits 2 Women Members
Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore have been admitted as members at Augusta National Golf Club, the private club announced this morning.
It’s the first time in the 80-year history of the club that women have been admitted.
“This is a joyous occasion as we enthusiastically welcome Secretary Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore as members of Augusta National Golf Club,” Augusta National and Masters Tournament chairman Billy Payne said in a prepared 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.
“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.”
Rice, 57, is a former U.S. Secretary of State under the George W. Bush administration. She currently resides in Stanford, Calif.
“I am delighted and honored to be a member of Augusta National Golf Club. I have visited Augusta National on several occasions and look forward to playing golf, renewing friendships and forming new ones through this very special opportunity,” Rice said in a statement.
“I have long admired the important role Augusta National has played in the traditions and history of golf. I also have an immense respect for the Masters Tournament and its commitment to grow the game of golf, particularly with youth, here in the United States and throughout the world.
“Golf is a wonderful source of enjoyment for me, and I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity to grow my love for this great game.”
Moore, 58, is a businesswoman from Lake City, S.C. She is the vice president of Rainwater Inc. and the University of South Carolina’s business school is named in her honor.
“I am honored to have accepted an invitation to join Augusta National Golf Club. Augusta National has always captured my imagination, and is one of the most magically beautiful places anywhere in the world, as everyone gets to see during the Masters each April,” Moore said in a statement. “I am fortunate to have many friends who are members at Augusta National, so to be asked to join them as a member represents a very happy and important occasion in my life. Above all, Augusta National and the Masters Tournament have always stood for excellence, and that is what is so important to me. I am extremely grateful for this privilege.”
Augusta National was founded by amateur golf star Bobby Jones and investment banker Clifford Roberts. The club has always maintained its right to privacy on membership issues, but the issue boiled over a decade ago when a women’s advocacy group led by Martha Burk challenged the club.
Augusta National’s chairman at the time, Hootie Johnson, refused to budge on the issue. Planned protests fizzled out, and the club conducted the tournament without sponsors for a short period.
This past spring, Payne was questioned over whether IBM chief executive officer Ginni Rometty would be invited to join.