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DISCUSSION ON GOLF LEADS TO STARTLING CONCLUSION

CLUBS: I've been writing about golf quite a bit lately. Partly because I feel golf has dimensions to it that make interesting reading, and partly because all I do these days is golf, so I don't have a lot of other experiences to draw on.

Not long ago I was trying to explain to Dave Schneider - one of the editors here - just what we 20 Deseret News golfers see in the sport."Most of us don't belong to the Kiwanis or the Lion's Club," I said. "We don't have gym memberships or hang around with card groups, so golf is kind of a men's association for us. It's a male social club. I mean it's not like the Shriners, but it's what we do."

Dave thought that over for a moment.

"Actually," he said, "golfers are very much like Shriners."

"Well," I said, "the difference, I guess, is we don't have to wear odd looking hats."

Then I remembered all the odd looking head-gear I'd seen on the course the day before. One guy came up the fairway in a straw hat with towel draping from the back of the hat across his neck. For a moment I thought they'd hired Ray Bolger to play Geronimo.

"I guess I'm really talking about the parades," I told Dave. "You know, the Shriners come out and ride around in funny little cars, wear strange shoes and brandish sword-looking things."

The silence told me I wasn't painting myself into a corner, I was painting myself into a box canyon.

Dave eyed me. Then he said: "The truth is the difference between golfers and Shriners is that Shriners do charity work. Whatever comes out of a round of golf?"

I know the answer to that now.

Newspaper columns.

4 AHEAD OF THE GAME: Vicki Varela, the governor's director of public affairs, was watching her son Christopher play a video game the other day. Christopher was a knight out to rescue a winsome young princess. He asked his mom what she thought of the whole thing.

She said the notion of dashing young men rescuing helpless young women seemed a little, you know, old fashioned.

"Oh Mom," said Christopher, "he's not helping her because she's a woman. He's helping her because she's a princess. Princesses have so many people helping them they can't do things for themselves."

A darn good answer.

Until the "princess awareness" movement kicks in and changes a few attitudes anyway.

4 ONE DOWNS-MAN-SHIP: Finally, while discussing trivial pursuits here, I had a conversation with a rather sweet, decent, socially responsible woman about the game of Monopoly not long ago.

"I hate that game," I said. "As a kid I got hood-winked into playing with a bunch of budding young business types who created insurance companies that would give me `free passage' for regular premiums. Then they formed a huge corporation and made a hostile takeover of my property. I was ruined within minutes."

"Not me," she said. "I love Monopoly. When people land on my property and don't have much money, I just let them stay in my hotels for free."

So there you go. Monopoly - not sports - as the mirror of America.

4 QUOTE OF THE DAY: With school back in session this week, here's a nugget about college life from former University of California President Clark Kerr.

Kerr was asked his biggest heachaches:

I find that the three major administrative problems on a campus are sex for the students, athletics for the alumni and parking for the faculty.