From The Inbox

Love of game transcends generations

Father finds renewed appeal of golf by introducing son to game and, ultimately, a way of life

The current issue of a national golf magazine included articles about pro-athlete golfers and mentioned why a few played. That made me think about why I play.

I made the mistake of being remarkably uncoordinated and not starting golf until I was in my 30s. This has resulted in my being a lousy golfer. I started to play to join friends who were golfers. Sadly, they have all quit the game or, even more sadly, died.

About that time, I started hitting the ball sideways and quit the game. Fast forward a couple of years and my 8-year-old hockey-and-baseball-playing son announced that he wanted to play golf. “But I don't play anymore,” I said. “Sorry.” This comment was quickly overruled by she-who-must-be-obeyed. “You were off playing golf all those years,” she said. “Take him to play.”

And so, I did. I have played with him for more than 25 years now. Within about three years, he easily could beat me, except for the fact that I generally don't keep score, so I could deny there was ever a legitimate contest. What happened next justified getting out there again. For one thing, it has resulted in my son's becoming a scratch golfer and more importantly having a career in golf in the superintendent business.

He plays for the competition, having won multiple club championships, but we still play almost weekly and sometimes more frequently. It never ceases to amaze me that he and his cronies welcome a 70-something hacker into their game. So, I play on.

I’m still hacking, but how many fathers get to spend a day or evening regularly with their adult son or daughter on the course, treated like any other member of their foursome (or fivesome)?

Birdie bumps, anyone?

Why do you play?

Blaine Walker
St. Paul, Minn.

The end of amateurism
The NCAA, USGA or any other organization that wants to say it owns a piece of the kids who represent schools around America must understand that amateurism, as we knew it, is over forever.

The kids are usually at least 18 years old. They can vote and serve in the armed forces, so why should they be prevented from garnering a few bucks? That is all that it would amount to, in reality, in exchange for providing a service to a business that readily sees that as a meaningful enterprise.

What if someone were to get a huge deal? Go for it. This is America. Join the 21st century.

Bob Geismar
Boca Raton, Fla.

Seeing through the maize-and-blue haze
I would like to correct John Hawkins on his statement regarding Ohio State and Michigan being rivals (“Who’s the boss? Koepka, of course, and it’s not just talk,” Oct. 20).

Hawkins apparently hasn’t watched any Michigan football during the past seven years. This isn't a rivalry. Not even close.

Matthew Souchuk
Farmington Hills, Mich.

(Editor’s note: Ohio State has won the past seven football games against Michigan, but Michigan leads the series, 58-50-6, dating to its 1897 inception. The teams will meet Nov. 30 in Ann Arbor.)

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