Augusta National, the most exclusive golf club in the world and host of the sport's most thrilling major, the Masters, has admitted its first two female members.
Typically, the club did what it should've done long ago, on its own timetable, and did it when eyes were looking elsewhere.
I'm, frankly, surprised that a news release was issued Monday touting the news that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore had accepted invitations to join.
I expected to show up one of these springs and suddenly see a woman wandering through those Georgia Pines wearing a green jacket, just as Ron Townsend, the club's first black member, emerged without fanfare in the wake of the Shoal Creek racial controversy in 1990.
That's how they do things at Augusta National.
Predictably, the news that a male-only bastion has opened its doors to women has been greeted with cacophonous roars by those who see it as a giant leap forward.
Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't.
But whatever it means, be sure, it was always going to happen.
When the membership -- which includes Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Lynn Swann -- elected Billy Payne as the club's chairman in 2006, it was a clear signal that the young turks had taken over.
Change was a comin'.
But what wasn't going to happen was that the new regime would not in any way embarrass those who came before them.
That was important, and Payne knew he had to represent all of the membership -- as he did in 2010 when he reluctantly lectured Tiger Woods on morals on behalf of the club -- not just the ones with whom he saw eye to eye.
To allow women in right after the tenure of Hootie Johnson ended would have been a denunciation of the old guard.