Ten years of controversy apparently was enough for Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters Tournament.
The club announced on Monday that it had extended invitations to women for the first time in its 80-year history. The banker Darla Moore, a South Carolina native, and former Secretary of State and Defense Condoleezza Rice were invited to join for the season which begins in October. Both women accepted the invitation, according to the AP.
The club had been under fire since at least 2002, when activist Martha Burk attempted to organize a boycott of the club. While the boycott was unsuccessful, Burk did succeed in shining a light on the 80-year-old club's membership practices.
Moore is a native of the Pee Dee area and has been active in South Carolina for most of her life. She donated $25 million to the University of South Carolina in 1998 and USC's School of Business is named in her honor.
Rice has been a trailblazer in several respects. She's the first African-American woman to be Secretary of State and the first female provost in the history of Stanford University
One of South Carolina's leading women Karen Floyd, told Patch, "I don't golf, but the news makes we want to start," Floyd said. "Two better women could not have been selected and the fact that one of them is Darla Moore is a great coup for South Carolina."
At a bill-signing today in Lexington, the state's most prominent female, Gov. Nikki Haley, said she does not play golf but, "It's great news and I applaud Augusta National for the announcement."
NOTE - Karen Floyd and Gov. Haley comments added after original publication.