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Condoleezza Rice joins Two Private Clubs in Alabama


Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has joined two private golf clubs in Alabama. The native of Birmingham still has family in the city.

Rice has joined Greystone Golf & Country Club and Shoal Creek Golf Club in an effort to reach out to citizens of her home state.

Shoal Creek generated controversy as it prepared to host the 1990 PGA Championship. The club had no black members, and club founder Hall Thompson said he would not be pressured to accept African-American members, stating "this is our home, and we pick and choose who we want."

The PGA considered moving the tournament away from Shoal Creek, but in the end reached a compromise with the club when local insurance executive Louis Willie was invited to become an honorary member with full membership to come after the waiting-list period of any membership application. The incident forced the PGA and USGA to look at minority access in the sport. The two organizations changed their rules regarding course selection for tournaments, requiring clubs that hosted events to meet inclusive membership requirements.

Rice, an African-American, has visited the Birmingham area twice in the past four months. She was in town last week researching a book about her parents and played golf at Shoal Creek with club president Bobby Luckie.

Rice is currently a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution public policy research group at Stanford University.