When Augusta National decided to include women as part of the club’s membership in 2012, the news reverberated beyond golf.
For years, the club, which hosts the annual Masters Tournament, had undergone scrutiny from many media members and the public about why women weren’t welcome as members. Augusta National, by its actions, effectively shrugged its shoulders and gave the impression that it would act when it thought the time was appropriate.
Of course, what officials really were saying is that if critics simply would shut up and not make it to be such a big deal, then the club could get it done. Augusta National did not want any decision to appear to have been made because of outside pressure.
Martha Burk, the leader of the National Council of Women’s Organizations, planned a protest in 2003 to try to convince Hootie Johnson, the chairman of Augusta National, and his members that women should be part of the club. The protest fizzled. No more than 50 activists showed up, according to news reports.
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