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Women at Augusta National Gives Hope to Mid-South Golfers

There are an estimated 300 members at Augusta National Golf Club, home of The Masters. Until Monday, August 20, no ladies numbered among that 300. Now, that’s all changed after a history making decision in Georgia.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - There are an estimated 300 members at Augusta National Golf Club, home of The Masters. Until Monday, August 20, no ladies numbered among that 300. Now, that’s all changed after a history making decision in Georgia.

Augusta National is private and enjoys a certain mystique; opening up only once week a year for the famed Masters Golf Tournament.

Identities of Augusta’s members are unknown. What was known was this: no women allowed, until now.

That news is resonating among young female golfers in the Mid-South.

“It feels like an accomplishment for us girls, like we have a chance to be like some men,” said 18-year-old golfer, Morgan Kahle.

She hit it solid. Admitting female members to Augusta National was not just about playing. Just ask Martha Burk, who led the protest against Augusta’s “no female” policy ten years ago.

“I always said it’s not about golf,” said Burk, “it’s not about playing golf. It is about making deals in corporate America.”

Still, to the young ladies playing in a tournament that day at Wyndyke Country Club in southeast Memphis, that golf thing was pretty big.

“It’s great that they’re finally recognizing that women can actually play really well,” said Holly Hughes, “and that we’ll be able to start playing on that course, too.”

Hughes is a 17-year-old golfer for Collierville High School.

“Hopefully people might pay more attention to women,” said Brooke Alford, “and know we’re pretty good, too.”

Alford is 16 and plays golf for Marion.

To be fair, women could play Augusta as guests, just not as members.

“I think it’s great,” said PGA Tour player Tim Clark, “it’s just a sign of the times. Augusta is a club that wants to progress. I think it is obviously about time.”

South Carolina financier Darla Moore is one of Augusta’s new female members, along with former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice; who said in a statement: “I have long admired the important role Augusta National has played in the traditions and history of golf.”

Both ladies have accepted their invitations to join.

“The more women we have, even if it’s just a couple to begin with,” said Burk, “that cracks open that glass ceiling a little bit further.”

And you never know who might walk through those cracks.

“It’s amazing.” Alford said.

“I think it’s fantastic.” Hughes told abc24.com.

“It’ll be very interesting,” said Kahle, “and gives us something to look forward to.”

August National chairman Billy Payne called the admission or rice and Moore “a joyous occasion.”

The Mid-South’s lady golfers agree.

Rice and Moore get their famous green jackets in October.


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