The Augusta National Golf Club, which had long been an exclusive all-male golf club, has admitted two women to join.
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore, president of Rainwater Inc., a private investment firm, are the newest members of the prestigious golf club, Augusta National announced Monday.
"We are fortunate to consider many qualified candidates for membership at Augusta National," said Billy Payne, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters tournament. "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 Rice and Darla their Green Jackets when the Club opens this fall," Payne said.
The home of The Masters golf tournament had been under fire for its failure to allow women. In 2002, former Augusta National Golf Club chairman William "Hootie" Johnson said Augusta would not be forced to allow women members "at the point of a bayonet."
In 2003, The National Council of Women's Organizations led by Martha Burk started a protest, calling for the inclusion of women members.