From the Morning Read Inbox readers respond to recent articles surrounding options to improve pace of play
A sure-fire cure to resolve fairway cogitating
There have been several simple, common-sense ideas provided in this space lately for improving pace of play (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Aug. 13, Aug. 14, Aug. 15, Aug. 16). “Ready golf” is one that makes the most sense, as it clearly will identify those slowpokes cogitating in the fairway while their playing partners are waiting at the green.
The USGA promotes ready golf for recreational golfers. I've seen it work in high school matches, and it surely can work at the professional levels, too.
One sticky wicket is the occasional rules interpretation that often requires waiting for an official to come from another part of the course. The solution is to have a rules official with each group. There are folks waiting to fill that niche.
The PGA Tour knows years in advance where it will be playing, and it could ask local PGA professionals to become knowledgeable enough through training with the USGA, providing a nice stipend for the training and then the four days of work. The Tour would not need more than 40 of them per event, maybe fewer.
A field of 156 golfers creates 52 threesomes on Thursday and Friday who go off split tees, with 35 or so twosomes on the weekend. If the golfer and the official differ on their interpretation of the ruling, rather than call and wait for Slugger White or one of the other officials to traipse over, have the golfer play a second ball, as Arnold Palmer did on No. 12 in the 1958 Masters, when he won his first green jacket.
Simpler is typically easier and better.
(Cooney is a former math and physics teacher and golf coach at Delaware Valley Friends School in Paoli, Pa., from which he retired in 2018.)
Too much discussion and not enough action
PGA Tour officials should be required to sit and watch the entire tournament with someone like me, and they would get the picture of slow play.
Like the numbskull caddieing for Patrick Reed last week. Not only did Kessler Karain think that he needed to supervise every shot, but he flattened out on his stomach on every putt, looking at the cup. I guess he was looking for pebbles, bugs and blades of grass that could ruin the putt. I would like to tell him how stupid he looked.
Who gets blamed for the errant/bad shots or putts? I think the caddie should precede the golfer to the ball, have his club ready, back up 3 feet and be quiet and let the pro figure out the rest of it. There is way too much discussion about where and how far to hit the ball, and whether the wind is blowing or not.
I need to be supervising the caddies.
Rangefinders would improve pace of play
Speed up play by allowing the use of a rangefinder.
The players get a hole-location sheet, so they already know the exact location of the pin. Currently, when players get to their ball, a lot of time is consumed pacing to find their exact remaining yardage to the already-known pin location. A rangefinder would do that for them.
Rangefinders are allowed in practice rounds and pro-ams on the major professional tours, so carry over the use to competitive rounds. Also, allow the rangefinders’ elevation feature.
Kansas City, Mo.
No time to waste
I am a member of the Northern California Golf Association, and at one time we had on each card the time of start and the time that a golfer was expected to complete each hole. At the end of the nine holes, an official was there to assess the time and give an OK or a warning. Thereafter, strokes were allotted to players behind the clock. It was amazing how a group could look at their cards and determine where they were and get moving.
The onus is on the player to look at the clock and play accordingly.
Alternative to shot clock
A shot clock is not practical and increases human error. Here’s simplicity:
The first-tee starter should announce: “For the 10 a.m. tee time, we have Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and J.B. Holmes. Please arrive at the scoring tent by 2:15 p.m. Tardiness will result in a two-stroke penalty for each. Prior groups over time will add minutes to your 2:15 p.m. arrival.”
Scorecards would be time-clock stamped upon arrival in the scorer’s tent. Done deal.
Crazy unfair if in contention in the latter groups? So what? Life is not fair, and neither is golf.
I would bet that no touring pro, including Holmes, would let others be penalized because of his or her actions.
3 hots and a cot doesn’t fit the crime
I was shocked, saddened, and angry when I heard of and read about the tragic assault and killing of Celia Barquin Arozamena (“In the news, Sept. 19, 2018).
Now, I see that that the murderer, Collin Richards, has offered an apology (“In the news,” Aug. 16). He is sorry only about getting caught and having to spend the rest of his life behind bars.
I do not accept his apology. Life in prison is too good for him.
Why is it that for 3-4 hours of broadcasting, the names of the golfers who are participating are rarely mentioned?
They have many moms, dads, aunts, brothers, sisters and friends. Wouldn’t it be nice for those of us who had a connection with a player to see how he is doing while trying to make the cut.
Lake Forest, Calif.
Too much Tiger
I was wondering whether TV golf commentators get told or paid to mention Tiger Woods in every other sentence. It’s enough to make me root against him. So and so played with Woods, or a player hit his ball where Woods was earlier.
On Saturday, he shot 67, and all was well. On Sunday, he played some poor shots, and it was because he couldn’t practice. Plus, he always has the worst lies and toughest shots. He got two lucky breaks and made birdies on those holes, but nothing was said about that.
Shoving him down our throats doesn't sit well with a lot of people, although it’s not his fault that it’s being done.
We all know what he has done as a golfer, but he is no god. Enough is enough.
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