Augusta National Golf Club, Home of Masters Tournament, Admits First-Ever Women Members

The Augusta National Golf Club has been open since 1932, yet has never allowed women into its ranks, despite many advances in women's rights since it opened its doors. Despite its sexism, the club has been considered an elite spot for male golf fanatics, hosting the Masters Tournament and allowing women to observe from the sidelines. Today, however, the club has allowed two female members for the first time since it opened 80 years ago, and those members are none other than former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Daria Moore, a business executive from Salt Lake City. Apparently, women can enjoy golfing just as much as men can! HOLY CRAP; Bill Payne, chair of the Club and the Masters Tournament, is beside himself with progress:

"This is a joyous occasion as we enthusiastically welcome Secretary Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore as members of Augusta National Golf Club," Billy Payne, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, 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."

In case you are wondering how the man-board of the Club came to this momentuous decision: in April, IBM sponsored the Masters. Augusta guarantees membership for all its sponsors, but got into a bit of a pickle when to their surprise the CEO was Ginni Rometty, a biological woman who is also one of the most powerful business people in the United States. Chairperson Payne was mum on the matter then, saying that membership is totally "subject to the private deliberation of members," despite, you know, the sponsorship-membership guarantee. Perhaps he was still trying to be the dutiful successor after Hootie Johnson, former chair, said in 2002 that women would never be admitted to the club, even "at the sharp end of a bayonet." Shout to Hootie Johnson for rampant sexism and allusions to the "War of Northern Aggression"! Despite this retro freakjam, some of the Golf Club's members feel it's probably okay for women to be admitted. Bubba Watson, the most recent winner of the Masters, who is 33 which means he was born well after the ratification of Title IX, told Piers Morgan, "This day and age, I think that, I don't see any reason why (admitting women) could hurt." Thanks for the alliance, Bubba Watson! Though it wouldn't be proper, it might make you feel better to imagine Condoleezza pissing all over the 18th hole using a plastic women's pee-funnel. Congrats to Rice and Moore, we guess.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at August 20, 2012, 9:34am

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