Who are the female members of Augusta National?
Augusta National rarely talks publicly about its membership, but we do know that there are at least seven female members of Augusta National Golf Club.
Augusta National is a private club which likes to keep things jolly private. In fact actually Augusta National is a private company. When it comes to club matters, only the chairman is authorised to speak publicly on behalf of the club. The membership list is a secret – who the members are and even how many of them there are. But some things we do know. One thing is that no-one can apply for membership. Membership is by invitation.
Augusta National had an all-male membership from it founding up until 2012. But in 2012 it announced it had admitted it first two women members, saying it was “a proud moment in our club’s history.” These new members were former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and financier Darla Moore.
Last month the chairman, Fred Ridley, again spoke publicly about the membership saying: “We have a number of women members and we have for quite a few years. I think it made us a better club, and they are an integral part of our culture.”
He was speaking about the news that now Annika Sorenstam is a member of Augusta National. The ten-time Major champion is the first professional woman golfer to become a member. Male professional golfers had already been admitted to the membership. Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus have both worn the Green Jacket as members, not just as Masters Champions.
Augusta National work with IBM on producing the data for the Masters tournament and the CEO of IBM is typically offered membership. Virginia “Ginni” Rometty, a 35-handicapper, became the first female CEO of IBM, in 2012 and, in 2014, she was invited to join the club.
The president of the United States Golf Association typically also receives an invitation to join Augusta. Thus it was that Diana Murphy joined the club in 2018 after her two years as USGA President. Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley is himself a past president of the USGA.
Ana Botin, executive chairman of Banco Santander and named the eighth most powerful women in the world by Forbes in 2019 – Ginni Rometty was ninth on this list – is another member. She is an eight handicapper and the sister in law of two-time Masters champion Seve Ballesteros.
There are believed to be around 300 members and Heidi Ueberroth is the seventh female member of Augusta National that we know of. Her father, Peter, was part of a consortium that included Clint Eastwood and Arnold Palmer that purchased the Pebble Beach Company, owner of Pebble Beach Golf Links. She has worked for decades in sports marketing and has served as director of Pebble Beach Co, and since, 2020, has been its co-chairman.