After 80-years, Augusta National has announced it will admit Condoleezza Rice as one of its first two female members. Before today having U.S. Secretary of State on your resume couldn’t get you into one of the world’s most exclusive clubs if it meant you were a woman.
Augusta National chairman Billy Payne said,“This is a joyous occasion.” Payne’s comments are in contrast to that of prior chairman Hootie Johnson, who lost Masters television sponsorships in 2003 and 2004 for the club’s female membership refusal.
Along with Rice, South Carolina financier Darla Moore will wear the club’s famous green jackets when Augusta opens in October. Rice an avid golfer, was appointed to the U.S. Golf Association’s nominating committee in November 2010. The nominating committee is responsible for determining the 15-member Executive Committee in charge of all USGA decisions.
“I have visited Augusta National on several occasions and look forward to playing golf, renewing friendships and forming new ones through this very special opportunity,” Rice said. “I have long admired the important role Augusta National has played in the traditions and history of golf. I also have an immense respect for the Masters Tournament and its commitment to grow the game of golf, particularly with youth, here in the United States and throughout the world.”
Rice and Moore join Augusta notable members, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Tiger Woods.