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posted: 8/21/2012 8:12 PM

Women being left out was not right

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My right hand refused to pound palms with my left hand, also known as my wrong hand, over Augusta National Golf Club finally permitting two women to become members.

I couldn't help but eavesdrop as they discussed the biggest news in golf since Tiger Woods ran over a fire hydrant.

Left hand: Do you have something against women joining a previously all-male golf club?

Right hand: I'm all for that. The problem is that I was all for it a couple of decades ago.

Left: Too little, too late?

Right: Not too little, just too late.

Left: Don't you understand that the law allows private clubs to be exclusive?

Right: Of course I do. I support that. If men, women, gays, nudists or Martians want to play golf with only their kind, hurrah for them.

Left: So what's the problem?

Right: I just feel that certain American institutions -- the ones like Augusta National that are most visible to the rest of the world -- have a responsibility to reflect the core values of this great country.

Left: Like diversity, you mean. Isn't that what Augusta National is doing with this week's announcement?

Right: No. It seems to me that club members are reflecting that too many of us will resist inclusion until social pressure forces us to buckle.

Left: But you already acknowledged that Augusta National had the right to establish its own membership policies.

Right: Yes, but that doesn't mean those policies are appropriate.

Left: We're Jewish, right? Wouldn't you consider joining an all-Jewish country club if you could afford to?

Right: No. I always defer on these matters to what George Ireland said.

Left: The late Loyola basketball coach who won the 1963 national championship what was his view?

Right: A conference consisting of only Catholic universities was proposed, and Coach Ireland, a Catholic, said, to paraphrase, that he didn't want to be a part of anything all Catholic.

Left: And you don't want to be a part of anything all Jewish.

Right: Or all male, or all white, or all over 50, or all under 6-feet-tall, or all big-bellied, or all receding hair-lined, or all bespectacled, or all journalist.

Left: What do you have against your sports writer colleagues?

Right: Nothing except that every year they go to Augusta to cover the Masters, rave how beautiful the place is and gloss over the club's long history of racism and longer history of sexism.

Left: Still, you have to concede that women joining Augusta National is a good thing, even if it's later than sooner.

Right: Absolutely. Club members joined the 20th century by admitting a black in 1990, 58 years after the club opened, and now they join the 21st century by admitting two women, 80 years after it opened.

Left: OK, then, let's applaud progress.

Right: No. That would be like applauding a baseball player for not taking steroids after 80 years.

Left: Will you at least clasp hands with me in unity over Augusta National finally doing the right thing?

Right: That I'll do, brother, that I'll do.

Left: You ready for a game of handball at the all-manicured fingernails racket club?

Right: Dummy up before I smack you?

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