For the first time in its 80 years, the Augusta National Golf Club has admitted female members.
The Georgia establishment invited the former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore to become the first two female members at Augusta on Monday. Both women accepted the invitation.
"This is a joyous occasions we enthusiastically welcome secretary Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore as members of Augusta National Golf Club," said Augusta National's chairman Billy Payne in a statement on the club's website, Masters.com, Monday.
"We are fortunate to consider many qualified candidates for membership at Augusta National," he continued. "Consideration with regard to any candidate is deliberate, held in strict confidence and always takes place over an extended period of time. The process for Condoleezza and Darla was no different."
The home of the Masters competition had been under pressure over the past decade to include women amongst their members. Augusta National will welcome Rice and Moore when they open for a new season in October.
"These accomplished women share our passion for the game of golf and both are well known and respected by our membership," added Payne. "It will be a proud moment when we present Condoleezza and Darla their Green Jackets when the Club opens this fall."
Augusta National's decision to include women has resonated well with the public, as the Club became a trending topic on Twitter on Monday. Users praised the Club, while others criticized Augusta National for not having made the changes much earlier.
"Congratulations to Augusta National Golf Club for joining the 20th century," wrote Jake. "Love, people in the 21st Century."
"Welcome to 1920," posted John.
Adrian wrote, "I guess it's good that Augusta Ntl Golf Course now accepts women mbrs [members] - but in 2012 it seems silly that it took so long."