Monday, August 20, 2012

Augusta National does the right thing

  The news Monday that Augusta National Golf Club has its first two female members -- former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Darla Moore of Lake City, S.C. -- was both overdue and inevitable.
   Still, it's good to have the issue resolved.
   Did it take longer than it should have?
   Yes, but Augusta National moves at its own pace. We may never know for sure but my sense is the club might have added female members before now had Martha Burk's public attacks a few years ago not slowed the process. The club wasn't going to be bullied into action.
   However, the issue wasn't going to go away until female members were admitted. For all the progressive initiatives pushed by chairman Billy Payne in its stated quest to 'grow the game,' the message was flattened by the reality that Augusta National hadn't fully opened its doors to women.
   Hundreds of rounds of golf are reportedly played by women each year at Augusta National but until now, there were no female members.
   Payne was pushed in his pre-tournament interview in April on the membership issue and said, as other chairmen have, that club matters would remain private. It became more awkward because Virginia Rometty had become CEO of IBM. Her four male predecessors had been Augusta National members.
   Payne is a smart man who no doubt understood the conundrum of pushing global growth at a club with a restricted membership. With Rice and Moore now having their own green jackets, Payne and the club can push forward rather than play defense against the perpetual questions.
   It was important enough that the club made a public announcement of the new members, Payne calling it "a joyous occasion." 
   Augusta National is a unique place. The club reportedly has about 300 members and they are rich and powerful people. The club has positioned itself to be a powerful force in golf and it has the opportunity to be an example. 
    It became a better one on Monday.


WebAnna said...

Hi - I liked your take, so I quoted you in this article: (Sorry if you got this message a billion times. It keeps making sure I'm not a robot.)

Anonymous said...

Anybody gives a rats behind? Its not like half the club wasnt full of women the past 100 yrs is it? The media makes it sound like they werent allowed on the premises.

Are these the new lib barriers to to be broken now? What a joke.

Lot of guys must be wondering why they could never join the Womens Club on Morehead ... not

Anonymous said...

What really did Augusta National accomplish by admitting these two women to their membership roles? It was typical token lip service to the southern society that mostly keeps their women one step behind and subservient to their husband's wishes. Bless their hearts, they do take good pictures of them. Imagine, they got a twofor. A black and a white woman in one action.