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Augusta National admits first two female members


officeglenn

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Per TheScore.com:

Augusta, GA (Sports Network) - Augusta National Golf Club chairman Billy Payne confirmed on Monday that the club has confirmed its first two female members.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore have been admitted to the club.

"This is a joyous occasion as we enthusiastically welcome Secretary Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore as members of Augusta National Golf Club. We are fortunate to consider many qualified candidates for membership at Augusta National," Payne said in a statement. "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."

The club faced protests in 2003 as Martha Burk called for the club to accept female members. The club made no movement at the time, and Burk continued to try to force the issue the following year.

No women were admitted then either, but the 2003 and 2004 Masters tournaments went on without commercial interruption as the tournament faced added pressure from some of its sponsors.

Rice has returned to her alma mater, Stanford, as professor in the Graduate Business School.

Moore is a graduate from the University of South Carolina and was president of Rainwater, Inc., a company owned by her husband. She has donated millions of dollars back to her alma mater and South Carolina named its business school in her honor.

"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," Payne added.

"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."

’Bout damn time. Though I'm a little skeptical of the chairman calling it "a joyous occasion" and their "enthusiastic" welcoming of the female members given how long they've resisted this move. Then again, it's not Hootie Johnson in charge anymore.

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Eh... I really don't think enough of them to be pissed, but I think people are rightfully intrigued (if not disgusted) at how socially backwards a private club must be to take well into the 21st century to do things that mainstream society has been doing for decades.

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In my opinion, they have the right to be a restricted club. Of course, if this was race rather than sex, then Martha Burk (is that her name?) would have been beloved instead of hated and mocked.

Honestly, I don't know that I'd care, but it sort of rubbed me the wrong way that America's second-favorite sporting event was held at a restricted club.

I don't know their current (new?) admission requirements, but if attrition will now have a reasonable number of women as members in the coming years, then good and time to move on.

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Never got why people were pissed at a private club's rules.

It's not the rules that are egregious to me as much as the self-defeating idiocy of inviting negative PR and pushing future paying members away based on something as trivial as gender. Augusta was desperately trying to keep the fantasy of a Mad Men-like atmosphere alive, but it just doesn't work in today's world.

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I don't see what's wrong with an all male or all female club at all...

I'm with you there. So long as it's totally private they can let in or keep out whomever they want. They have women's clubs of all sorts, and I couldn't join if I wanted to. Why is that OK?

By the way, I have zero problem with their decision, and I'm a big fan of women. It's just that I don't get why Augusta should HAVE to allow them if they don't want to.

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I don't see why they wouldn't want to...

Who knows? That's not the issue though. Their club, their rules. They shouldn't HAVE to if they don't want to. And yes, I agree they're stupid for not wanting to previously, but I defend the fact that it's their prerogative. Legally, I just don't see how it would be any different than say, a Curves gym where only women can be members to work out. It just so happens they're a high-profile club that hosts a prestigious golf tournament.

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Never got why people were pissed at a private club's rules.

It's not the rules that are egregious to me as much as the self-defeating idiocy of inviting negative PR and pushing future paying members away based on something as trivial as gender. Augusta was desperately trying to keep the fantasy of a Mad Men-like atmosphere alive, but it just doesn't work in today's world.

It's Augusta National. They're not going to be hurting for paying members anytime soon.

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I don't see why they wouldn't want to...

Who knows? That's not the issue though. Their club, their rules. They shouldn't HAVE to if they don't want to. And yes, I agree they're stupid for not wanting to previously, but I defend the fact that it's their prerogative. Legally, I just don't see how it would be any different than say, a Curves gym where only women can be members to work out. It just so happens they're a high-profile club that hosts a prestigious golf tournament.

So, by your logic, private businesses can just keep out who they want?

Furthermore, Augusta National is more than just a private business. It's the most prestigious course in America, maybe the world. The pantheon of golf should not tell half of society "You're not welcome because of the way you were born". It sets a horrible precedent.

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I don't see what's wrong with an all male or all female club at all...

I'm with you there. So long as it's totally private they can let in or keep out whomever they want. They have women's clubs of all sorts, and I couldn't join if I wanted to. Why is that OK?

By the way, I have zero problem with their decision, and I'm a big fan of women. It's just that I don't get why Augusta should HAVE to allow them if they don't want to.

Augusta National can do what it wants, but the PGA shouldn't allow a discriminating club to host one of its major events.

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I don't see what's wrong with an all male or all female club at all...

I'm with you there. So long as it's totally private they can let in or keep out whomever they want. They have women's clubs of all sorts, and I couldn't join if I wanted to. Why is that OK?

By the way, I have zero problem with their decision, and I'm a big fan of women. It's just that I don't get why Augusta should HAVE to allow them if they don't want to.

Augusta National can do what it wants, but the PGA shouldn't allow a discriminating club to host one of its major events.

Yeah, that's another reason why I don't like the PGA. They tangentially supported a racist (remember, their first black member wasn't admitted until 1990) and misogynistic club and hosted their most prestigious event on their grounds. The PGA should have never tolerated that.

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I don't see what's wrong with an all male or all female club at all...

I'm with you there. So long as it's totally private they can let in or keep out whomever they want. They have women's clubs of all sorts, and I couldn't join if I wanted to. Why is that OK?

By the way, I have zero problem with their decision, and I'm a big fan of women. It's just that I don't get why Augusta should HAVE to allow them if they don't want to.

Augusta National can do what it wants, but the PGA shouldn't allow a discriminating club to host one of its major events.

Exactly.

If Augusta National wants to be more than just a private golf club, it can't hide behind the "private club" excuse.

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How is it discriminating? By that reasoning, i'm being discriminated against when a high-end restaurant refuses me entry because i'm wearing jeans and a hoodie...

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How is it discriminating? By that reasoning, i'm being discriminated against when a high-end restaurant refuses me entry because i'm wearing jeans and a hoodie...

Not at all.

The difference is you have A CHOICE with what you wear. You could have CHOSEN to wear a nice suit to the restaurant.

Women and African-Americans do not have a choice about the way they were born.

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