How long ago was it that Augusta National Golf Club was being cast as a backward, villainous, good-ol’-boys club whose well-polished heels were firmly dug in on the issue of allowing females to become members? What was her name, the lead protestor who had hoped to have a showdown with the then-Augusta National chair William “Hootie” Johnson? Martha Burk?
Ah, yes, that’s the name, and it was right after the turn of the century that Burk bravely led the battle that helped move the needle toward diversity of a more distaff nature at Augusta. It took a decade, but in 2012 Augusta National finally welcomed into membership two females, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore. Burk’s comment at the time: “I knew we could outlast them.”
Once the barrier was broken and the club determined that this wasn’t so bad after all, it only took Augusta National two more years to add its third female to membership, IBM CEO Virginia Rometty (lead photo). According to a report yesterday by GolfDigest.com, Rometty was spotted hitting balls a week ago – perhaps to help lower her 35.4 handicap index -- and accepting congratulations from other members.