From The Inbox

Timely solutions for a timeless problem

Don’t give up fight against slow play, Purkey

I got the distinct impression that Mike Purkey's dissertation on slow play was written with a little bit of tongue in cheek ... at least, I hope so (“It’s a dark day for golf as gridlock prevails,” Oct. 9).

Giving up the fight against slow play would be allowing a small, but increasing, percentage of players to determine the pace of play, whether on tour or not. We are living in an age in which the majority tend to be shouted down by a very vocal minority. Is that what we want?

I still remember with fondness my Sunday morning game in Scotland 40 years ago. After breakfast at a reasonable hour, 18 holes of competitive golf (everything was holed) was followed by a beer, and I would be home in plenty of time for lunch. I don't understand the I've paid to play, so I'm here all day attitude. It is extremely selfish.

Have we become so inured to the minority beating us up that we have no energy left to fight? Come on, golfers! If enough of us continue to complain, perhaps someone finally will listen.

Paul Sunderland
Los Angeles

Welcome to golf’s new normal: Slow play
Mike Purkey tells it like it is (“It’s a dark day for golf as gridlock prevails,” Oct. 9). Slow play is here to stay.
Yes, there are numerous "remedies" for slow play at all levels. But as many remedies as there are, there are as many hindrances to implementing them.

Unfortunately, slow play is the new norm.

So, hope for the best (a 3½-hour round) and prepare for the worst (4½ hours or more). Ugh!

Dave Richner
St. Johns, Fla.

Bay Area bromide
When we lived in California’s Bay Area, we would play various courses. We gave each golf course two rounds to determine whether we would add it to our normal rotation. Any course that had five-plus hours a round, we avoided. It just was not worth being on the course 5-7 hours, mostly waiting for others to move (“It’s a dark day for golf as gridlock prevails,” Oct. 9).

One course typically would have 4-6 groups of foursomes waiting at a given tee for their turn. They could have ordered a different meal at each hole. I will let others put up with that poor course management and slow play. I am unsure how this course has done over the decades, but I never would recommend it to anyone.

Given time, these courses will realize how slow play affects their bottom line, and hopefully it is sooner than later.

Another course that we played in the Bay Area was a short 18, par 65, walking only, or with pull cart. The club professional said he realized the impact to slow play on the bottom line and his paycheck. They would monitor the entire course throughout the day and tell people when they were behind. In some circumstances, it was an ultimatum: within the next two holes, catch up or you will skip the next hole to catch up.

It was quite effective, and the course maximized how many rounds could be completed. We never had a super-slow round there because they would get the offenders and remove the slack.

Bill Martin
Quitman, Texas

Who’re you calling ‘slow’?
Until the networks demand that their broadcasts end within the time frame allocated, nothing will be done about pace of play (“It’s a dark day for golf as gridlock prevails,” Oct. 9).

As far as public golf is concerned, you can call a person or his wife and mother any name in the book, but when you tell someone that he is slow, well, that is personal.

Gary Cohen
Great Neck, N.Y

It’s a domino effect
I’m not too worried about watching pros who take a little extra time, working to “get it right” with beaucoup dollars at stake. But Mike Purkey hits the nail on the head when he cites the number of juniors who are taught to play slowly, and consider every aspect – as they learn the game, and into high school and local tournaments (“It’s a dark day for golf as gridlock prevails,” Oct. 9).

Seniors and duffers do create a problem, because it’s slow play for all behind them, and worse when it’s really hot out there. Let’s rally for marshals (diplomatically) policing slow play, and your rightly cited encouragement from fellow players.

Thanks for staying with the issue, and airing the responses.

Tom Ochal
West Dundee, Ill.

Don’t tee it up, Tiger
If Tiger Woods picks himself for the Presidents Cup team, we will be sure that competition is no longer a true competition, but just a made-for-TV (money) outing.

Why even have a points list at all?

Doug Baker
Austin, Texas

Tee it up again, Morning Read
I must say that I'm not loving this change yet at Morning Read.

I am not a guy who is into multimedia, cellphones or social media. I like the original format that gave me a nice tight, succinct look at the articles, readers’ thoughts and news about the game.

Maybe all that is still there, but if I have to search for it, I am unlikely to do so.

Baird Heide
Bradford, Ontario

Let’s make PGA Tour officials the fall guys
We are creatures of habit, and the new layout of Morning Read is a little more cluttered and requires some navigation. The “Inbox” used to be right there. Now, it’s sort of buried.

It looks to me that what I think is the most interesting part of Morning Read has been de-emphasized. The Inbox provides commentary by the average golfer who is not worried about offending anyone. Alex Miceli, Mike Purkey, Gary Van Sickle and others have “skin in the game” and can’t be pointed in their opinions, for fear of losing their access.

Or is the Inbox just another victim of the PGA Tour’s autumn season?

Charlie Jurgonis
Fairfax, Va.

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