To combat slow play, perhaps it would be instructive for today’s golfers to consider how the great Robert T. “Bobby” Jones Jr. approached each shot. Golf writer and Jones confidant Charles Price summarized it best in his book A Golf Story:
“What did the Jones swing look like? Well, if you didn’t position yourself in the gallery soon enough to see him pluck the club from his bag that he was going to use, you might miss the swing altogether, so free was his shot-making of preliminary nonsense. Having thoroughly thought out the shot as he walked to his ball, he chose his club only after one quick look at his target to confirm his thinking. He never asked his caddie for advice, and he may have been the first to say in golf that, ‘if I had to ask a caddie what club to use, I’d carry the bag and let him play.’
“Jones then took his stance with the nonchalance of a man about to lop off the head of a dandelion.... With only one cursory glance at his target, he then went into his backswing with no waggle whatsoever and only a suggestion of a forward press.”
Jones never planned to spend more than nine minutes playing each hole, which translates into a shade under 2¾ hours per round. Many tournaments in Jones’ day were scheduled at 36 holes a day, so contestants had to finish their morning round, allow time for a quick lunch, and be ready to go off for the afternoon round.
Bobby Jones was playing “ready golf” before it had a name.
(Fischer, a retired attorney, is a golf historian who is a past president of the Golf Collectors Society and a longtime member of the USGA’s Museum and Library Committee.)
Purkey misses point in commentary
As a PGA professional who has hosted six PGA Tour Champions events (with a contract to host for another five years), I am responding to Mike Purkey’s article (“It’s a Champions Tour in name only,” Dec. 5). As a PGA section president, I can attest to the impact of the qualifying revenue generated by the PGA Tour Champions event in our section.
I appreciate the time that Purkey spent recapping the history of the PGA Tour Champions and the tour’s origins. However, with the shortsighted longing for the good ol’ days with “Boros, De Vicenzo, Bolt, Wall, Snead, Palmer or Player,” Purkey has missed the current impact this tour is making. Though the PGA Tour Champions may not draw a large TV audience or have the names that could be featured on golf’s Mount Rushmore, the tour has a great impact in the communities that it visits.
Our tournament, the Principal Charity Classic, has had more major champions and World Golf Hall of Famers to mention and has featured exciting finishes nearly every year. The quality of golf that is played continues to impress. The interactions that the PGA Tour Champions players have with their pro-am partners, the fans and especially children create memories for a lifetime. Though our modest tournament is a regular event on the PGA Tour Champions, it does incredible work for children’s charities. Since 2007, the Principal Charity Classic has contributed more than $17.7 million to Iowa children’s charities, including $7.9 million during the past two years. There are 1,200 volunteers, and this event provides the greater Des Moines area nearly $23 million in economic impact. To see children with disabilities be presented with therapeutic bikes by PGA Tour Champions players during the event will make even the hardest hearts shed a tear.
In writing a piece like this, Purkey presumably has taken the time to visit a PGA Tour Champions event (or more) to validate his perspective of this tour. I’m sorry that his heroes of the past aren’t playing the PGA Tour Champions anymore. Maybe he can realize the level of golf played by these former major champions and lesser-known names that Q-School provides (such as Scott Parel, Ken Tanigawa and Gibby Gilbert III). I urge Purkey to look outside of his own entertainment needs and comprehend the true impact that the PGA Tour Champions is making – in the lives of the people in the communities visited by the tour. Instead of writing about undocumented and non-cited financial struggles, he should take another angle and focus on the positives that the PGA Tour Champions provides to the golfing world.
Thank you for restoring my passion for this tour in the middle of December.
(Krueger is the director of golf at Wakonda Club in Des Moines, Iowa, and president of the Iowa PGA Section.)
Even seniors don’t care enough to watch
Mike Purkey is right (“It’s a Champions Tour in name only,” Dec. 5). I'm a senior and have played at every competitive level, short of the PGA Tour. I play with dozens of seniors all over the country. Nobody watches the senior tour.
Listening to Lanny Wadkins is painful, and Dave Marr puts you to sleep, which doesn't help the tour.
It's just not interesting or compelling. Did you notice the lack of attendance at the QQQ?
Its day has passed.
Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
‘A boring exercise that is barely watchable’
The Champions Tour is something that the PGA Tour supports for its own ego (“It’s a Champions Tour in name only,” Dec. 5). It has been a poor watch for years, played on very friendly courses that lead to a short-iron-and-putting contest.
It is a boring exercise that is barely watchable.
The U.S. Senior Open and British Senior Open are entertaining, but the rest of the tour never makes it onto my TV.
Plus, listening to Lanny Wadkins is painful.
Great Neck, N.Y.
Finau would make a good member-guest partner
Regarding Charlie Jurgonis’ take on Tony Finau (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Dec. 5): Should a guy who wins once and misses the next 22 cuts be ahead of the guy who is knocking on the door every week? Which guy do you want as a partner in the member-guest?
Consistency always should be rewarded over once-upon-a-time.
The Villages, Fla.
Limited-field events don’t deserve world-ranking points
Last week at the Hero World Challenge, Justin Rose could have displaced Brooks Koepka as the No. 1-ranked player in the world. Why? Apparently, Koepka was not "invited" to this 18-man event, which is really an exhibition of a select few.
The Hero event and others like it should not award world-ranking points. All it does is separate the chosen few from the rest.
Any event (excluding the PGA Tour playoffs) with fewer than 72 players should exclude ranking points.
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