From The Inbox

Lights! Camera! Action! What’s not to love?

Alex Miceli takes more hits for unenlightened criticism of playoff in Turkey

I agree with Alex Miceli 99 percent of the time. However, Sunday’s finish at the Turkish Airlines Open was spectacular (“Finish casts shadow over Turkish Airlines Open,” Nov. 10).

I loved the multimillion-dollar tension under the lights. The pressure was so obvious on all of the players. The strong survived. This playoff was one I'll never forget.

Jim Kane
Palatine, Ill.

Turkish Airlines Open ended fairly for all
I disagree with Alex Miceli regarding his “fairness” article (“Finish casts shadow over Turkish Airlines Open,” Nov. 10).

As someone said many moons ago, golf wasn’t meant to be fair.

Is it fair if you are on the wrong side of the draw, especially at the British Open? Is it fair if a perfect drive ends in a divot?

Miceli’s article reeks of today’s feeling of a participation trophy for everyone. Nothing can be fairer than having players go out in the same conditions for a playoff. It was great foresight for the resort course to install lights.

As a viewer, I would like the tournament to end on Sunday and move on. To sit there for four days and see everything but a winner is not on my wish list.

Bob Malone
Long Beach, N.Y.

A vote for Nixon
I'm pleased to see that Mike Nixon has added a more authoritative voice to my perception about the modern golf ball (“Former touring pro offers timely playing lesson,” Nov. 11).

Limiting the excessive extra performance that a fast swing gives – up to 50-percent distance gain for an extra 20 percent of clubhead speed seems to contradict physics – would solve the problems of course obsolescence and return the game to a proper balance between power and precision.

Nixon talks sense about speed of play, too. A few shots do demand extra thought, so it would be unfair to call a player out if he or she is usually quick. The major problem is speed of walking: 5 miles at 2.5 mph is two hours; at 2 mph, it's an extra 30 minutes. I defy all but the slowest golfers to waste anything like that preparing to take their strokes. If players saw the professionals walking briskly, and the referees made sure that the early groups played fast, then amateurs – young golfers, particularly – would imitate them. On your side of the pond, how about changing to one-man buggies? It probably would save an hour per round.

Nixon is right about broom-handle putters, too. When the rules forbidding anchoring were adopted beginning in 2016, they were, as always, made too comprehensive. "Golf clubs, hands and wrists as a unit must not touch any other part of the body" would have sufficed. The only thing to fix was to eliminate the fixed fulcrum caused by bracing the putter or hand. Any other way of using a long putter is fine by me, as long as both wrists can flex. After all, only bad putters ever use them.

Terry Wall
Winchester, England

Nixon’s impeachable logic
Sorry, Mike Nixon, but with the paucity of common sense around today, your three main suggestions to combat slow play (range finders, green books, and lines on golf balls) never will be adapted (“Former touring pro offers timely playing lesson,” Nov. 11).

Amen to all three.

To go further, in casual play (generally any non-tournament play), I don’t see benefit to marking the ball at all. If you wish to use the line on your golf ball, don’t mark it, but rather pull it back a half-inch, aligned as desired. No closer. No fumbling for markers. Much faster.

If your ball is in another player’s putting line, rake it aside and then pull it back to the approximate spot, a few inches farther from the hole. A 10-footer becomes a 10.3-footer. Big deal. Flame away.

Most greens have enough personality (ball marks, minute colorations) to make this quite easy and accurate. This is a game of honor, after all. Fudgers will be duly noted and pilloried. Once.

In tournament play, pin sheets should show enough to make your decision, whether the pin is cut on a mound, or short of a swale, or tight behind a bunker.

The last PGA Tour pin sheet I saw showed only the number of paces from front, and from left or right. Range finders supply the precise yardage.

I’d love to see green books disallowed once on the green. Consult it on your walk to the green, if you allow them at all. Do we want green-reading decisions to go the way of analytics?

Gary Stauffenberg
(Stauffenberg is the president and chief executive officer of Aussie Chiller Headwear.)

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