Wednesday, March 28, 2012

In the nearly 80 years since Augusta National opened for business, the golf course and the Masters tournament, which began in the second year of the club's existence, have undergone many changes. But throughout its storied history one thing has remained the same at Augusta National: no woman has ever been admitted as a member.
Most golf fans probably remember the hubbub in 2002 when Martha Burk, who was at the time the chairperson of the National Council of Women's Organizations, claimed that excluding women was sexist and challenged the club and its chairman, Hootie Johnson, to change the policy.
Though the Masters tournament was telecast with no commercials in '03 and '04 due to the controversy, things eventually went back to normal at Augusta National, and to this day there has never been a female member of the club. But will that soon change?
As Bloomberg News reported today, the club faces a dicey situation because IBM, one of the tournament's three main sponsors, now has a female CEO. 

Will International Business Machines Corp. (IBM)’s Ginni Rometty be able to wear a green jacket at the Masters Tournament?As Augusta National Golf Club prepares to host the competition next week, it faces a quandary: The club hasn’t admitted a woman as a member since its founding eight decades ago, yet it has historically invited the chief executive officer of IBM, one of three Masters sponsors. Since the company named Rometty to the post this year, Augusta will have to break tradition either way.
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