Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia has announced that it will finally allow female members. On Monday, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina businesswoman Darla Moore were admitted in what Augusta chairman Billy Payne called “a joyous occasion.”
The decision comes four months after a public relations crisis for the club
When IBM, a major sponsor at the Masters, hired its first CEO in Ginni Rometty, it presented an awkward situation considering that the last four IBM heads were members. The story gained prominence at the time, because national media attention was focused on the “war on women.” (Coincidentally, thanks to Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), the media’s attention has returned to this topic.)
At the time, Augusta issued a statement that amounted to a no comment.
Payne and Augusta have a longstanding tradition of keeping the press at a distance regarding its membership and policies. On Tuesday, Payne issued a sober statement referring to the “joyous occasion” in which they “enthusiastically welcome” Rice and Moore.
You can read the full statement here
, but the only bit that would suggest that this is a big deal comes at the end: “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.”