Condoleezza Rice Among First Female Members Of Augusta National Golf Club

Ending a controversy that has come up every time The Masters has been played in recent years, Augusta National Golf Club has admitted its first female members:

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 Monday.

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.”

Well, at least there won’t be any protests next April.

FILED UNDER: Gender Issues, Sports, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. michael reynolds says:

    I’d have been much more impressed if Condoleeza had told them to go f*ck themselves.

  2. OldSouth says:

    ‘Well, at least there won’t be any protests next April.’

    I suspect the WimmenzRights groups will find something to protest, since in the end Hootie did not respond affirmatively enough, or quickly enough, to their bayonets.

    The WimmenzRights groups will also not celebrate the election of two women to Augusta by offering to help underwrite the renovations to the facilities that women members will necessitate.

    ‘It’s a private facility! They can pay for their own renovations, by golly!’

    Exactly: It’s a private facility, owned by the members. They get to determine who shares it with them.

    It’s a free country, if we are willing to keep it that way. Kudos to Hootie for not caving.

  3. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Our long national nightmare finally is over. Then again, there’s no guarantee that this will “end” the “controversy.” Even money odds that this merely shifts the controversy. Where are the Latina members? Where are the LGBT members? What about the disabled? Why no American Indian members? Oh, wait, my bad, “Native American.” What’s up with no Muslim members? So on, so forth. That’s the inherent problem with political identity groups and their agendas of perpetual victimization for political gains. It never ends.

  4. PJ says:

    The issue of female membership never went away, however, and it resurfaced again this year after Virginia Rometty was appointed chief executive of IBM, one of the Masters’ corporate sponsors. The previous four CEOs of Big Blue had all been Augusta National members, leading to speculation that the club would break at least one tradition – membership for the top executive of IBM or a men-only club.

    Rometty was seen at the Masters on the final day wearing a pink jacket, not a green one. She was not announced as one of the newest members.

    I guess they are still hoping that she’ll be leaving soon.

  5. MarkedMan says:

    I lived in Atlanta from 92-95 and remember that there was an initial movement to have golf as an exhibition sport (or whatever it was called). But it was quickly realized that there simply were not enough world class golf courses anywhere (maybe none, I can’t remember the specifics) in the south that allowed blacks, jews, hispanics, heck, even catholics as members. To tell Olympians, who are of course often black, jewish, hispanic and even (shudder) catholic, that they would have to play at clubs that considered them so inferior as human beings they couldn’t even be members, well, as they say in the South, “Bless your heart”. That would have become what the Olympics were all about. And that would have been Atlanta’s, and the American South’s, legacy. Needless to say, no golf.

  6. bill says:

    now when will they build a ladies locker room……and cafe….and putting green? more on this intriguing story as it develops…..