Opinions have been coming from all directions since Augusta National Golf Club, after 80 years of existence, admitted its first two female members.
Former Secretary of State Condeleeza Rice and Darla Moore each accepted the offer to join the exclusive club on Monday.
Some feel that a private club has a right to control its members. The club’s former President Hootie Johnson, for years took a George Wallace-like stand, claiming that women and minorities would never set foot in the clubhouse other than cleaning it. I know some women that will only workout at an all women’s gym like Lucille Roberts verses a coed facility like NYSC, just because they feel more comfortable working out among just women.
Then on the other side of the fence, some feel that current President Billy Payne finally caved into the pressure from the National Council of Women’s Organizations, led by Martha Burk, and some the Master’s corporate sponsors, to include women. I’m among this group.
I do not feel that Payne did this of his own free will. If that was the case, he would have did it six years ago, when he took over for Johnson. Keep in mind, it has been only 10 years since they admitted African-American males.
I applaud Augusta National on their move. However, I still feel that private institutions do reserve the right to set their own bylaws. As a graduate of an all-male college, I know the benefits of working amongst your peers. As long as the sun continues to rise, we will have debates on this issue.