From The Inbox

Condensed Tour schedule is too tight of a squeeze

From the Morning Read Inbox readers respond to recent articles surrounding the PGA Tour schedule and slow play

Condensed Tour schedule is too tight of a squeeze
Now, one year in with the PGA Tour’s wraparound schedule combined with the condensed major-championship season, it is making no sense whatsoever. The condensed spring/summer season bunched the main events – four major championships plus the Players and Fedex Cup playoffs – into 3½ months, to clear the schedule before September football.

And which September events would those be, this year or any year? A Ryder Cup every other year? A Ryder Cup that draws great interest already? A Ryder Cup that is played in our mornings every four years when Europe hosts? The Olympics will make it worse next year and into the future.

Were September events televised on CBS or NBC? Almost never. The two weeks between golf seasons had no football competition, nor any other competition for attention, and felt like a dead zone. How I would have welcomed a PGA Championship in late August, or the Firestone event, or the FedEx finals.

The golf buzz is now here and gone before you know it. I prefer a March-to-September run, rather than this condensed version. I’m hearing many current and former players agree, including Jack Nicklaus.

Gary Stauffenberg
Phoenix


Take action, fans, and prod pros into faster pace
What if fans took matters into their own hands and organized to start booing slow players? This not only would embarrass and distract them but also affect their endorsement contracts (“Golf’s big riddle, wrapped in a mystery,” Sept. 2).

My guess is that Bryson DeChambeau already has speeded up some, due to the negative publicity he has received. J.B. Holmes probably would be the biggest resistor, but perhaps over time, even he could be shamed into better politeness to fellow competitors.

Slow play is a real problem that is hurting the average player much more than the PGA Tour. However, touring pros do set the example, and it has not been a good one concerning speed of play.

I’m tired of talk, talk, talk. It’s time for action.

Bob Day
Sun City, Ariz.
(Day, a life member with the PGA of America’s Southwest Section, still teaches part time at eight courses in the Sun City area.)


TV golf expands to fit allotted time
Whatever happened to “ready golf”? Or, limit play to threesomes for the whole tournament.

That would help pace of play, but when there is a set number of commercials that have to be aired, it will not solve the problem either. Unless the commercials would be shown in the last hour, when there are fewer shots to watch.

TV is designed to encourage slow play when there is a time slot to fill.

Cindy Weaver
Florence, Ala.


A peek at coming change of seasons in England
Thanks to Mike Purkey for extolling the virtues of European Tour golf in the fall – or autumn, as we call it (“Europe picks up where PGA Tour lets off,” Sept. 5).

Morning Read’s readers might like this photo:

802d42b3-20fa-4e80-8b46-06e043214565_600x338.jpg

The view looks down the ninth hole at Hindhead (England) Golf Club, Peter Alliss' home club, on Sept. 4.

Terry Wall
Winchester, England


Ironing out Spieth’s deeper issue
Gary Van Sickle wrote of Jordan Spieth that “his errant driving is still a problem” and he needs to drive it “only slightly better” (“For ‘The Disappointed,’ a season to forget,” Sept. 4).

I agree that Spieth once in a while hits foul balls, but the numbers at the Northern Trust at Liberty National tell a different story. Consider ...

  • Spieth hit 57 percent of his fairways, or 32 of 56;
  • There are 16 par 3s;
  • Let’s assume that one of the fairways he missed each day was a par 5 and he put his second shot into the fairway;
  • He hit 44 percent of his greens, or 32 of 72.

That means he had 52 shots to the green either from the fairway or off a tee (32 fairways hit off the tee, 16 par 3s, four missed par-5 fairways, with second shots into the fairway). Of those 52 opportunities, he missed the green 20 times.
Sorry, Van Sickle, but that’s not a driver issue; that’s pathetic iron play.

Charlie Jurgonis
Fairfax, Va.


We’re just following the TV herd
All golf fans should follow the money for this schedule and why it is being done in U.S. (“Europe picks up where PGA Tour lets off,” Sept. 5). When the schedule was proposed long ago, it was driven by the players. Maybe...

By having the PGA Tour's season end before college and professional football, the TV networks do not have conflicting event schedules and can maximize their audiences and the advertising prices that they charge sponsors.

The huge contracts that the networks signed with the college and golf organizations must provide a return on investment for the networks. So, the sponsors must determine that the advertising rates charged also will produce a positive return on investment. One way to achieve it is to herd as many eyeballs as possible to watch a game or match. Reducing the viewing options helps reach that goal.

Bill Martin
Quitman, Texas


Morning Read invites reader comment. Write to editor Steve Harmon at steve@morningread.com. Please provide your name and city of residence. If your comment is selected for publication, Morning Read will contact you to verify the authenticity of the email and confirm your identity. We will not publish your email address. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and brevity.