From the Morning Read Inbox readers respond to recent articles surrounding random questions in golf and laser rangefinders
Truman would veto DeChambeau’s buck passing
A few random thoughts for Morning Read from the “Hickory Curmudgeon”:
Why are caddies called “loopers”? I never could understand this.
Why can LPGA players wear shorts in competition, but PGA Tour players cannot? Is this discrimination against the guys, or exploitation of the women?
Why are golf courses called “tracks”? I thought a track was something on which things travel fast.
Speaking of playing quickly: Do you remember the USGA commercial featuring Arnold Palmer in which he implores a golfer with, “While we’re young”? Where is this commercial when we need it?
Dan O’Neill’s recent comment about Bryson DeChambeau blaming his caddie for DeChambeau’s slow play reminds me of other leaders of business, industry and government blaming underlings whom they hired for their own shortcomings (“Seeing red over use of green books,” Aug. 27). Didn’t the late President Harry Truman famously popularize the saying, “The buck stops here”?
Laser rangefinder would reduce variables
I’d love to see a tournament in which the pro’s caddie had a laser rangefinder (no slope). On every shot, he could pop the pin once, no bunker or tree, then put it up. With the certainty of distance, the rest of the variables to be discussed wouldn’t take nearly the amount of time.
Also, one reason why driving distance peaked this year is that the shaft-performance increases have somewhat peaked. The pros have used the shaft-technology gains and perfectly fit them to their swings. That’s now a given.
Don’t confuse Tour season with our golf season
Gary Van Sickle poses the question: How would you rate the 2018-19 golf season? (“TigerMania elevates season in major way,” Aug. 29, 2019).
Well, it's not over yet, but overall it has been pretty good. It got off to a cold start and was very wet in May, which certainly put a damper on play. June, July and August were great, especially these past few weeks. Of course, fall golf in Minnesota is the best, with usually great weather and spectacular fall scenery. With a little luck, we'll play until Thanksgiving. Assuming normal temperatures and precipitation this fall, I'll give it an 8 on a scale of 10.
Oh, he meant the PGA Tour? Well, there were some good tournaments and a few not worth watching. Thankfully, there were a few really exciting and entertaining ones. Though I generally agree with Van Sickle’s assessment, I'm probably not as excited as someone whose livelihood revolves around professional golf. I still think that no one cares about the FedEx Cup or the “playoffs,” except as providing another event. Pros’ teeing off with a stroke advantage is ridiculous. But the cash from FedEx certainly financed some tournaments guaranteed to attract the game's big boys, and so we’ve got that going for us.
My point is that when you refer to the “golf season,” the PGA Tour is not what springs to my mind. With the exception of very few events, I miss most of them because I actually am playing golf. Winter is coming, and I prefer to strike the ball while the temperatures are hot. So, play golf and rate your season, if you wish, and if the PGA Tour is still on when you reach the 19th hole, enjoy it.
I hope that Morning Read’s subscribers are having a great season and aren't spending too much energy obsessing over the millionaires on the PGA Tour and whether they hit the ball too far, play too slowly or anything else that might be bugging them. The tee is open, so let's play.
St. Paul, Minn.
Tapping brakes for Tour’s getaway from Rubber City
As always, an enjoyable and insightful read from Gary Van Sickle, but with one major exception (“TigerMania elevates season in major way,” Aug. 29, 2019).
Those of us in northeast Ohio did miss having the World Golf Championships event at wonderful Firestone Country Club in Akron. This championship venue is, in a word, iconic, and the tradition of watching the best players in the world on one of the most challenging courses in the world was and will be missed until it returns.
The guys on the Champions Tour are great, but they’re no substitute for the read deal, as evident by the sparse crowds that showed up.
Hopefully, the PGA Tour will figure it out, that Memphis is no substitute for where the rubber meets the road in Akron.
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