AUGUSTA

Here we go again. What, is this a cyclical thing? The Masters can be played for years with no mention at all of the qualifications required for acceptance at Augusta National Golf Club, then, from out of the blue, comes again the controversy. “Should women be accepted as members there?”

Look, I'm not a woman. I'm a man, and I enjoy playing golf. I just did a computer search for an application to join Augusta National. I found none. I did find some information, however. Membership consideration is limited only to those INVITED to join. With all due respect to women and their struggle, I'm a GUY. I can't even join the damned place.

There are only 300 members at Augusta National. I guess at least one of those three hundred would have to at least know who the hell I am, let alone recommend me for membership. The odds of that happening are about the same as the odds of me waking up one morning with breasts and a desire to crochet.

I remember back in the early '70's. I grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, a large and growing city that thrived on high-society events. The debutante ball each year was a huge local deal. But in the early '70's, another big deal was equality of the sexes.

The debutant ball was an annual event where female teens “presented themselves to society.” The ball was their “coming out” party. One of the rituals of the “coming out” was to dance at the ball with one's dad. I remember wanting to become a debutante myself in 1972. You know, just to shake up the cotillion crowd a bit. And I remember my vision of my own coming out party. My desire was to wear farmer's overalls and dance with my dad at mid-court during half-time of a Jacksonville University home basketball game at the Veteran's Memorial Coliseum.

Well, I didn't pursue that too vigorously. Even though my dad agreed to do it with me. When I asked him, he moved his cigar to the right side of his lips, loosened his right wrist just enough, and said, “Oh yeth, big guy. I'd love to danth with you.”

My dad understood just how silly was my question. I did too. And if high-society Jacksonville ever allows a young male to become a debutante, I will never again read the Life section of The Florida Times Union.

If Augusta National ever accepts a woman as a member, especially if they haven't yet even considered ME, I will never watch the Masters on television again!


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