From The Inbox

Golf could use some bad boys to boost its street cred

'Nice' behavior won't grow game in modern world of bad actors

Golf Digest recently ran an article ranking the 30 “nicest” guys on the PGA Tour. That’s nice.

You have to dig deep to find the 30 “nicest” guys in the NHL; you’re more likely to find the 30 best hockey fights. Search the NFL and the ESPN archives and you’re likely to find the 30 best hits on wide receivers. Or baseball for the 30 best base-brawls. Or basketball’s 30 hardest fouls.

Even tennis promotes outbursts against chair umpires and slamming rackets onto the court.

I haven’t searched the Ultimate Fighting Championship website, but I suspect there hasn’t been a 30 “nicest” UFC fighter ranking.

But not golf. We disqualify people for sharing information on club selection, even though they still have to execute the shot (“Don’t blame LPGA’s Kim for playing by rules,” Nov. 4). Our rules penalize a player for taking an illegal drop 180 yards out because the ball rolls 6 inches closer to the hole than allowed. We fine a player for slamming a club into the ground because it damages the course. Hey, the course is grass; it’ll grow back.

We’re going to grow the game by promoting “nice” when the rest of the world is promoting controlled violence and bad behavior? Maybe golf needs to put aside many of its form-over-substance rules and practices. A 30-year-old professional can’t hit a shot because someone clicks a camera during his pre-shot routine; but a 20-year-old college amateur has to shoot a free throw to tie or win a game when 20,000 people are cheering against him?

Golf needs some on-course bad boys and some bad behavior. Privileged and pampered resonates only with privileged and pampered. Golf is stuck in the mud; calling water hazards and out of bounds “penalty areas” is not going to grow the game.

Charlie Jurgonis
Fairfax, Va.

Ahoy, there’s an anchorer on horizon
In the Charles Schwab Cup, I saw Bernhard Langer putting with what appears to be a ship’s mast. He always has claimed to push his anchor hand away moments before striking ball. I offer that no one’s practice swing is done differently than when making the actual stroke.

I don’t know how Scott McCarron has explained his process, but I know one thing: He doesn’t try to hide that he is anchoring his putter.

It’s funny how the new rule changes have stopped the discourse regarding anchor/non-anchor. Not so funny is that both have made the rule unenforceable.

With all the noise regarding Christina Kim’s calling out a rules violation, there is no way any one will call out Langer or McCarron.

What happened to integrity?

Steve Hoffman
Bonita Springs, Fla.

Enforce rules and protect field
I take exception to John Paramor saying "don't call it cheating; it assumes intent” (“The Morning Listen,” Nov. 7).

If the rule had been a very obscure and seldom-used one, then perhaps that would be appropriate. However, the rule – Rule 10.2a (“Advice and Other Help”) – that was breached is one of the most basic and well-known in the game.

Of course there's intent! That's why Christina Kim did the right thing, in the right way.

Once again, this is golf's officialdom being scared to call out infractions, with the excuse that it would somehow be bad for the players (or the viewing public). This is utter rubbish. The rules are there for the protection of the field. Not enforcing them harms everyone.

Paul Sunderland
Los Angeles

Presidents Cup should exhibit strategy, surprise
If the Presidents Cup is an exhibition, then make it one (“Presidents Cup needs an overnight delivery,” Nov. 5).

Each team can have as many Champions Tour and LPGA players, with a minimum of one of each on each team. Make alternative shot among four players on each side that can go in any order, per each four-shot cluster per hole, to be determined by a foursome’s lead player.

Presidents Cup, just do it. Add strategy and surprise. Alternative shot is dead. It would become the most-watched segment, except maybe the last one of singles.

Les Parker
Jacksonville, Fla.

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