Augusta golf course joins the 21st century

Though his position on some women’s rights issues can be questionable, even Mitt Romney knows progress when he sees it.

On Monday, Romney tweeted his congratulations to Augusta National Golf Club, best known for hosting the annual Masters tournament, for welcoming the first female club members.

It’s only taken eight decades, but the golf club has finally revoked its male-only member stance, admitting former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina business executive Darla Moore as members of the prestigious club.

The men-only rule has long been a talking point, and talk of an overhaul gained traction in April, when IBM, one of three principal sponsors of the Masters, appointed Virgina Rometty as CEO. The four previous (male) CEOs of the company were granted club memberships. Rometty was not.

In a statement released by the club, Billy Payne, the Augusta National chairman, called the announcement “joyous” and a “significant and positive” time in the club’s history.

“These accomplished women share our passion for the game of golf, and both are well known and respected by our membership,” Payne said. “It will be a proud moment when we present Condoleezza and Darla their green jackets when the club opens this fall.”

The male-only member rule is not the first time the club has been slow to embrace modern values. The first black member was not permitted to the club until 1990.

This article first appeared at Women’s Agenda.

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