Judy Rankin is a 2000 World Golf Hall of Fame inductee and a Golf Channel Analyst. When asked about the announcement of two female members at Augusta National, Rankin thinks that this news is bigger than the game of golf and as a result this news will reflect well on the game of golf. When it comes to men and women in the worlds of global issues and business, the Augusta National could not have chosen two better representatives than Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore.
We all know that Augusta National does things on their own timeline and this announcement is no different. This is certainly great news for everyone involved and the Augusta National Golf Club has handled this well. It was time for this to happen and it is likely that Chairman Billy Payne and others at Augusta National felt that it was time as well. While she would never want to take away the right of a group of people to have an all-male or an all-female club, she does feel that the public profile of the Augusta National Golf Club made it important for them to invite their first female members.
It is certainly possible that the door is now open for more female members and she could see a woman with strong professional golf credentials be invited to become a member in the future. The Augusta National Golf Club has made the core of its membership more interesting with the invitations of Rice and Moore alone.
People who do not know about the history of the Augusta National Golf Club should know that the Club has welcomed women along with men as guests ever since the Augusta National opened in the 1930’s. The idea that women have not been allowed or welcome at Augusta National at any time in its history is absolutely incorrect. A lot of LPGA players that she knows have played at Augusta National on numerous occasions and while she does not know how this announcement will impact women’s golf, she does know that it will improve the image and the standing of women in the game of golf.
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