Masters Report Monday: This Year’s Masters Tournament Makes “Herstory”

Masters Report Monday: This Year's Masters Tournament Makes "Herstory" (Image 1)

This is Sheila Cline's first visit to Augusta National Golf Club and a Masters practice round, but she's not alone as a lady making history.

“It's about time, I think it's a wonderful change. Our world is changing and this needs to keep up with the changes,” said Cline who lives in nearby Aiken, South Carolina.

Women have played golf at Augusta National before, but as this Masters gets underway, they are in the swing of things as official members.

The club announced last August that Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore would become official members in the fall. So, this is the first Masters the club has hosted in 77 years with women members at Augusta National.

“It's nice to see, there's a lot of lady golfers in the world who've watched this tournament and watch golf as it is. It's equal rights these days, you never know what's going to happen,” says 1991 Masters Champion Ian Woosnam.

“Times change, we've seen the golf course changing, it doesn't surprise me at all,” says Jose Maria Olazabal, a two-time Masters Champion, capturing the Green Jacket in 1994, and again in 1999.

So, with the new women members, are there any notable differences on the golf course? There are no lady tees, but how about potpourri in the locker room.

“I haven't been in the locker room, so I'm not going to answer that,” says Woosnam, who as a past champion uses the champion's locker room. 

Having women members here at Augusta National Golf Club breaks down barriers that have been in place since the 1930's, but what would the next step be? Should one day the scoreboard read Women's Masters? Should there be a ladies tournament to go along with the Masters.

“I don't think I could make that decision, I think I'd have to let other people,” says Steve Cline, but it's something he would be interested in if the club decided to move in that direction.”Yeah, I would like to see it,” he says.

“It's up to them, it's not my call. It's up to them, we'll have to wait and see,” says Olazabal.

Time will tell, but there were those who once thought the club would never embrace having women members and now that step's been taken.

Ironically, this marks the tenth anniversary since Martha Burk's protest outside the gates of the Augusta National Golf Club during Masters week against the clubs then all-male membership policy.

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