Augusta National no longer just a 'boys club'
The prestigious Augusta National Golf Club finally decided to admit women as members. Gary Player was the honorary starter at this year’s Master’s tournament.
August 21st, 2012
06:00 AM ET

Augusta National no longer just a 'boys club'

By Edgar Treiguts, CNN

(CNN) – After 80 years, major change has come to the golf club that hosts the famed Masters Tournament. This fall, the Augusta National Golf Club will welcome the first women to its male membership ranks: former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina businesswoman Darla Moore.

For Martha Burk, it's vindication and long overdue:

[:26] "My first reaction was we won...and we did."

Burk calls it a win for women, particularly in the business world.

Burk 10 years ago chaired the National Council of Women's Organizations, and led the push to crack the club's longstanding policy against female membership. That effort included a letter-writing campaign and high-profile protests during the 2003 Masters. Burk says her fight has always been about getting women access to the business elite.

And she says continued pressure from women's groups over the last decade has made a difference, as well as an issue this past spring that may have broken the camel's back:

[1:27] "We gave them a pretty big black eye in April when they dissed Ginny Rometti and did not allow her in the club as they had all of the males preceding her."

Rometti is the first female chief executive of IBM, a major sponsor of the Masters.

Burk says the club did the "right thing" in tapping Rice and Moore as the club's first female members, calling them "leaders and groundbreakers."

In a statement, Augusta National Chairman Billy Payne says it's a "significant and positive time" for his golf club.

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