From The Inbox

Reader sees some ‘froth’ in instructor fees

Golfers shouldn’t let high prices discourage them from improving their games

Mike Purkey’s article on instructor fees was terrific (“Golf’s kings of swing command princely sums,” Jan. 5).

I have studied and witnessed economic and investment market cycles for more than 40 years, and elements of “froth” appear in many areas unrelated to the price of Tesla or Apple stock. Instruction prices are pretty close to “froth” levels.

For my short money, two instructors and their books usually help my aging swing: Mike Adams “The Laws of the Golf Swing” for full-swing shape and Dave Stockton’s “Putt to Win.”

Alibris is an online used-book competitor to Amazon and has lots of low-priced offerings.

An iPad for videotaping your swing helps at the range. Then find an instructor locally who can relate to you, probably for $100 an hour, maximum. Figure three hours of practice to one hour of instruction and one good beer as a reward per session. Drink beer before watching your video.

For advanced folks, buy a device called The Secret by Greg Norman, available on eBay. It’s a short-game and wedge-magic machine.

If your back is problem-free, the Orange Whip is a great backswing extender and helps with tempo.

Any video from Lee Trevino adds value.

Buy 4-year-old equipment to finance the above. If ball speed is of interest, TaylorMade’s TP5x is a godsend – last year’s, of course.

Rich Gula
Weston, Mass.

Going beyond the reader survey
I received and submitted your reader survey but have a few additional comments.

As a former advertising-agency owner, I understand the need to verify demographics for advertisers. However, I think there were too many questions concerning income levels and not enough about the publication. I’m certain that sponsors need both. Morning Read and its affiliated publications are superior to what I see on It’s informative and invites interactive dialogue from your readers.

Golf is a great sport that transcends being just a game. It teaches many lessons. The game needs to be passed on and introduced to younger generations everywhere to continue to flourish. I learned from my dad, he learned from his, and I taught my son. Among other things, it’s a tremendous way to bond.

Golf is obligated to reach out beyond the country-club set to remain vibrant. There isn't nearly enough outreach. I’d like to see more recognition given to those who work to expand the reach of the game. They provide an invaluable service to the sport, and the game is indebted to them.

For instance, my old friend Chris Otis has been doing this for years. After a short stint pursuing the PGA Tour, and a slightly longer one with the former Northwestern Golf, he and his colleagues at the Chicago Park District’s Diversey Driving Range have introduced the game to countless kids who otherwise wouldn’t have had the exposure.

I’m sure there are many Chris Otises in every city. Their dedication and love for the game deserves our thanks and recognition.

Mitchell Sklare

Guys with the gold make golden rule
I have one problem with the recent PGA Tour telecast.

Paul Azinger did not win the 1990 Sentry Tournament of Champions. He won the MONY Tournament of Champions.

How does the PGA Tour mandate these types of messages?

Jeff Evagues
Chandler, Ariz.

‘CBS blew it’ by dumping McCord, Kostis
The removal of Gary McCord and Peter Kostis from the CBS broadcasting team was unconscionable.

McCord's wit and impertinence and Kostis' swing analysis segments were a welcome relief from the trite commentary of the new wave of "past major winners" who are springing up in the broadcast booth with no unique qualifications for the position.

Best of luck to Gary and Peter in their next endeavors. CBS blew it.

Tom Apple
Edwards, Colo.
(Apple is a PGA master professional and teaching pro at Country Club of the Rockies in Edwards.)

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