As the first women to be invited to the exclusive golf club and home of The Masters golf tournament, Darla Moore and Condoleezza Rice are joining at a “significant and positive time” in the club’s history, said the chairman of Augusta National Golf Club.
Published Aug. 21, 2012
After years of rejecting criticism over not having any women as members of Augusta National Golf Club, the chairman confirmed Monday that a prominent South Carolinian and the former secretary of state have accepted invitations to join.
“This is a joyous occasion as we enthusiastically welcome Secretary Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore as members of Augusta National Golf Club,” Payne said in a statement. “We are fortunate to consider many qualified candidates for membership at Augusta National.”
Payne said that consideration of any candidate is confidential and takes place over an extended period of time.
“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 said.
Payne also indirectly acknowledged the years of controversy where Augusta National refused to be pressured into allowing women to wear the signature green jacket that marks membership in the exclusive club.
“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,” Payne said.
The Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina is named in honor of Moore after she was invited to donate $25 million to the university in the late 1990s. Since that time, she has donated millions more to the Moore School, which has become a highly respected institution for international business studies.