From the Morning Read Inbox readers respond to recent articles surrounding the Walker Cup and Amateur status
Golfers endeavor to raise competitive bar
I admire the group of accomplished players who are keeping their amateur status to play in the Walker Cup (“Watch but be wary of these wunderkinds,” Aug. 1).
There is much to be gained by staying in college and not only playing the senior year but graduating with friends. Matthew Wolff is an exceptional talent, no doubt. But I think a greater accomplishment (over time) would have been to defend the NCAA title with his teammates.
Just as Bobby Jones advised Jack Nicklaus upon learning about his decision to turn pro – “In order to test your skills at the highest level, you owe it to yourself to turn pro” – even though Jones was no doubt saddened to see such a wonderful talent leave the amateur ranks.
That's what the struggle for excellence is all about: the never-ending raising of the competitive bar.
Santa Ana, Calif.
Enjoy U.S. Amateur, even though it’s no longer a major
The U.S. Amateur is coming in less than two weeks, and I miss when it really was a major championship and not just another college event.
I know that the Bill Campbell, Buddy Marucci and Jay Sigel types are gone forever, but the U.S. Amateur no longer carries the golfing world's prestige as it once did. Yes, the winner gets invitations to the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open, provided that he remains an amateur (and the runner-up gets into the Masters and U.S. Open, as well), but the honor of winning a major is just not there. In fact, because so few men intend to stay amateur, they usually turn professional right after those majors are completed. I can't blame them. The money and career are calling loudly. But I still can think of how much winning the U.S. Amateur meant to Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Steve Melnyk, Deane Beman … that list goes on and on.
This year, the U.S. Amateur will be played Aug. 12-18 at Pinehurst Nos. 2 and 4, so let’s pay attention more than we usually do, just for the good ol’ times.
Boca Raton, Fla.
A 21st-century forum for a 20th-century problem
Here we are in 2019, discussing the same subject in the same way as we have for 30-plus years: slow play on the PGA Tour, and off it, too (“From the Morning Read inbox,” July 30, July 31, Aug. 1).
The same solutions have been suggested by various people who want the game to flourish, but all continue to be ignored by PGA Tour management. Fear of upsetting Tour players has stopped anything from being implemented that would speed up play.
Until golf leadership, the pro tours, USGA and R&A get serious about tackling slow play, nothing will change. All to the detriment of golf everywhere.
The USGA is well-equipped to enforce pace-of-play guidelines, but it is obviously reluctant to do so at the professional level. As a participant (caddie) in many USGA amateur events, I have witnessed the sense of urgency created by getting a warning from a USGA official. Regardless of the fairness, players and caddies start running. You may appeal any penalties after the round is over, but, in real time, it is very stressful for all involved.
As a rules official myself, we are always aware of and communicating about groups that are out of position. At the end of the day, it is not that hard. We have the way. We just need the will.
East Longmeadow, Mass.
(Chiampa is a rules official with Mass Golf.)
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