Women are advised to join this column on the back nine. In fact, any female caught even taking a peek before paragraph 10 will be jailed on sight and forced to read Phyllis Schlafly speeches for 30 years.
Are they gone? Good. Men, this next part is painful. Gather round with your low handicaps and bring some salve - for your egos. There is a 21-year-old named Nancy Lopez on the loose who can whip most of you on your best day. And she'll do it from your distances - the white tees.
Let's take a 545-yard par 5. Two woods and a flip wedge, right? That's for you good players, of course. Lopez is right there - 10 feet away from a bird.
We move on to a 185-yard par 3. Four iron, if you really crunch it. Same club for Lopez - and if you're 20 feet from the stick you putt first.
What do you hit from 156 yards? Six-iron?
Lopez hits a seven.
Time will tell if Lopez belongs in the same breadth with Mickey Wright, Kathy Whitworth, Patty Berg and some others who could smack a golf ball long and straight - and get it up and down from route 38 those rare times a gust of wind or spectator's sneeze interrupted her backswing.
For all we know, however, she may pass them all somewhere near Wheeling, W. Va., about September of '86. At the moment, this rookie is on a streak nobody but Byron Nelson - male or female - ever exceded and few, including the Hogans and Hagans, the Manns, Carners and Suggses even allowed into their dreams.
To be brutally frank, Lopez is two clubs longer than nearly every woman on the tour - and consistantly straighter than anyone who can match her distance. Also, she is at least a decade from the yips - a veritable Ben Crenshaw in skirts.
Okay, marshal, you may lower the ropes and allow the women back in. Ladies, we have been discussing the wonderful Nancy Lopez - and the first thing you ought to know is that she is not X-rated.
Lopez is not at all like, say, Laura Baugh, who got everybody to notice the women's pro tour a few years ago but never finished higher than second in anything but dreadful toothpaste commercials.
Nor does she in any shape - and this can be taken literally - resemble Jan Stephenson, who was seen here just the other day wearing a pullover that on the front said: "My body belongs to me." On the back it said: "But sometimes I share."
Wholesome would be as apt an any description of Lopez, though another 20 pounds shed here and there would put her near the top of every positive list imaginable. It also might take 20 yards off her drives - and at the moment she has a competitive fire as fierce an any. She can do a Nicklaus-like body rehaul later, after a place in the hall of fame is answered.
In terms of women's golf, Lopez is part Palmer and part Nicklaus, charismatic enough to draw three-deep galaries half the length of short par-fours and talented enough to give the tour needed stature, to lift it to more money and better courses.
With the tour at its mid-point this year, Lopez is about $30,000 shy of earning more money in slightly more than one season than Berg did in slightly more than 20. And her full impact on the tour will not be felt for another year.
Even before Lopez began that five-tournaments-in-a-row winning streak it was known that the tour would be worth nearly $900.000 more in 1979 than it was in 1978 - or about $4.5 million in all.
And while the Hershey Country Club course is as long and lush and evil as nearly every stop on the current tour, it is not Lopez Length. The course measures 6,398 yards, with easy pin placements. There are six par-4s 375 yards or less. Lopez hit six greens with a wedge the first round.
She also showed a rare touch of mortality that first round. She missed two putts inside two feet and was over par - by a stroke - for just the second time in her last 18 rounds.
But there should be an asterisk after that 73, or something to note that it was accomplished under the most difficult conditions, with photographers interrupting her concentration on several holes, people often a club-length away - even in the fairway - and one male pro, from Wildwood, N. J., seeming to pop out of every sprinkler head to ask advice.
That last detail also is delightfully ironic - a male club pro begging for tips from a still-bashful woman who never had a formal lesson in her life, who became immensely successful without going the country-club route. So the swing hardly is classic. It is one of ours, honed on the public courses. And it works.
"The reason I'm playing so much," she said, "is that my rookie year is about over and I want to set a big money record." Indeed, by that July 30 deadline she could break the previous rookie mark, Debbie Massey's $46,962, by an astonishing $140,000.
But her chances of winning six tournaments in a row seem dim, with both Jane Blalock and Pat Bradley eight shots ahead of her going into today's final round. Still, she relishes the challenge.
"When you're taking a chance, going for the stick on every hole, like I'll be doing, you're going to either do a whole lot better or a whole lot worse," she said. "And I do love to play golf.
"It's so great to hit a good shot. I have a descriptions for it, but I can't say what it is. That's why I look forward to the next day."