From the Morning Read inbox
March 13, 2018

Use modern tools to enjoy the game

I find all the hullabaloo over how far the ball goes among readers to be ridiculous (“From the Morning Read inbox,” March 12).

It's making old courses obsolete. Really? Has your course become obsolete because of technology? Are you hitting the ball too far? Of course not.

Now, some old-line country clubs that have hosted major events no longer may be able to host these events, but I never will play there, and neither will 99.9 percent of golfers. I would include such "public" venues as Pebble Beach, because costs are prohibitive.

The U.S. Open over the years has had to drop some courses from consideration, and it will continue to change as necessary as time goes by. All this may bum out the members at Winged Foot, but who cares?

Bombing drives was not how the game was intended and is not in the spirit of the game. Really? Did you receive a psychic message from a Scottish shepherd as to what he intended? I’ll bet old Hamish loved hitting a grand clout. I suspect this theory comes from short hitters. 


We aren't hitting leather balls stuffed with feathers or with clubs carved from branches. We hit the ball in the air, not bouncing along the ground. There always will be old courses dropped from major-event play and new ones added. The implements may change, but the game remains essentially the same.

If you find that the game is too easy and you're hitting it too far, pick up a persimmon driver at a garage sale and swipe a few old range balls to use. That should fix the problem. But for the rest of us, our muni is plenty long, and we're just glad that our clubs and balls make the game a little more fun. 

Blaine Walker
St. Paul, Minn.


Don’t limit golf’s potential

I got my start by watching professionals like Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino and Arnold Palmer battle it out every week on a PGA Tour that is nothing like today’s Tour. I was 10 years old and wanted to be like them. That is why I became a PGA golf professional and have loved to play and be associated with the game for more than 40 years.

The LPGA, PGA, and Champions tours are the “fashion week” for amateur golf. We see what we want or may never have, and then we go to our local course and pretend that we are these professionals. 

To limit the natural ability of the modern player may have an unintended consequence on the sport that we are trying to grow for generations to come.  We need to use every element available to us to ensure that golf will grow, especially in segments such as millennials and women.

Nicklaus made an interesting observation on a recent episode of “Feherty.” He said that golf has become too expensive, too complicated and too time-consuming. We need to focus our attention on those three elements, so that we can grow the game. Limiting the free marketing of the tours by limiting their ability does not help us achieve these objectives.

Mark Anderson
Alexandria, Va.

(Anderson is a PGA of America member.)


There’s an easy answer to this debate

All this talk about pro rules/amateur rules is tiresome.

I agree with Ron Yujuico (“From the Morning Read inbox,” March 12) that most golfers don’t care. It’s a topic of manufactured importance (to amateurs) that people can argue about simply for the sake of having an opinion.

Want to improve the game? Go play. Unhappy about the length of the course? Move up a tee box or two. The game is still difficult from the white or even red tees. While you’re at it, quit the tee-box debates. Maybe then no one will want to hit into you.

Barry Lipson


It’s a game to be enjoyed

Just a reminder to the old guys with low handicaps who dislike the concept of bifurcation: If you really want to see how your game compares to the professionals, play from the back tees at your course. See what that does to your 3 or 4 or 5 handicap.

Playing from forward tees is an accommodation, maybe even bifurcation, to allow people to enjoy playing. Not all of us think golf should be hard to play.

Jim Kavanagh
St. Augustine, Fla.


Sticking his neck out for collarless shirt

I noticed that Tiger Woods and Nike appeared to be encouraging a change in the dress code for golfers.

I'm referring to the shirt that Woods was wearing in the last round at the Valspar Championship on Sunday.

The shirt was collarless. Is this style now acceptable to the PGA Tour? If so, when will this message be passed on to the courses that still insist that golfers must wear collared shirts?

Pete Robertson
Mason, Ohio


Golfers other than Woods? Yep

The apology to Paul Casey by Mike Sprouts was dead on and made my day (“From the Morning Read inbox,” March 12).

I’m tired of listening and reading about Tiger Woods. There are other golfers in the universe who have interesting stories and accomplishments.

Lary Larson
Dagsboro, Del.


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