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Augusta Golf Club Still Totally Sexist

Augusta Golf Club Still Totally Sexist

In the 80 years since it first opened its doors, the world famous Augusta National Golf Club has yet to allow a single woman to become a member. Now they may not have a choice.

That’s because for the first time since Augusta started hosting the Masters Tournament one of the CEO’s from the tournament’s three major sponsors is a woman.

Every year the CEOs from IBM, AT&T and ExxonMobile are given memberships in exchange for sponsoring the tournament. And as it turns out, Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM, is  a woman.

The tournament begins this week and there’s no indication that Rometty will be offered a membership. The club has faced pressure to admit women and has always declined. But this is different. IBM is a major sponsor and there’s no denying the importance of Rometty in the organization. So the question is will Rometty be seen wearing one of the coveted green blazers–the only evidence of membership in the ultra-private and very exclusive club.

Rometty has not spoken publicly about the issue and neither IBM nor Augusta is speaking publicly either. And there’s plenty of reason why they would all want to keep this story from getting out of control. Rometty only recently took the helm at IBM and the company is hosting all of the tech-related duties for the Masters.

As a private club Augusta has the ability to select terms of its membership, nor matter how offensive. But Rometty’s presence at the head of IBM takes away one of the easiest outs the hyper-conservative club by simply being a female CEO, and how the club and the Masters Tournament handles Rometty will say quite a bit about the value the professional golf community places on women.

Furthermore, the way IBM decides to handle this situation will speak volumes about the value it places in female leadership.

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Photo from gomattolson via flickr.

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56 comments

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1:46PM PDT on Jul 15, 2012

Do any of you knwo what GOLF stands for? When it was invented it was decided to be an acronym for: Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden = GOLF. So, the club only follows the inventors centuries old despise of women. Can't see why IBM or anyone else wants to sponsor a club that hasn't yet arrived in the 21st Century.

6:36AM PDT on Apr 6, 2012

No more IBM products for me.

9:34PM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

let the women in heard of the LPGA?

2:01PM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

Democracy????

2:12PM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

Come on this is the South...no surprise here.

5:55AM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

The Masters tourny sould not have chosen a sexist course. No excuse for this. What would happen if a woman were competing?? Ya, I know, she might beat the men at their "own" game.

5:33AM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

Thanks for the article.

1:58AM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

9:13PM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

In the sexist South- no surprise.

8:55PM PDT on Apr 2, 2012

I think it is a total slap in the face for women to be excluded from a major golf course.

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