From The Inbox

American Indian course honors tribe’s cultural concerns

Reader comes to defense of Circling Raven, a sovereign nation with its own views on land use and conservation

Reader George Fletcher of Edinburgh, Scotland, may not have a full understanding of the Native American Indian cultures and the deep respect and reverence that they hold for their tribal lands (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Jan. 17).

Perhaps he has a lack of understanding that the various Indian Tribes are sovereign nations and as such have a different philosophy and follow a different set of principles on land use and conservation.

From writer Ken Klavon's article (“In concert with Mother Earth,” Jan. 14, Where To Golf Next), it was clear that architect Gene Bates was given marching orders on design: Respect our land, our heritage and beliefs.

The Circling Raven nation and other Native American nations may be ahead of the curve in using casinos as a main revenue source to fund their nation's activities, including golf course maintenance.

Does the recent agreement by the PGA Tour and commissioner Jay Monahan with a gambling platform for golf add further evidence that the Native American nations are prescient?

Dave Richner
St. Johns, Fla.

Just move along, everybody, and stop staring
You have got to be kidding me! The PGA Tour never has disciplined anyone (“Reed, not Chamblee, needs to ‘cease and desist’,” Jan. 13)..

They have, you say? Maybe you could show me the proof; except, of course, you can't. The Tour operates under an oath of omerta. Oh, Dustin Johnson took a "vacation" from golf back in 2014, but other than that I can't remember any other "vacations.” Matt Every self-reported and clearly was not pleased with the decision. While most of the golf world thinks Patrick Reed is a cheater, the PGA Tour disagrees. It disagrees so strongly that the Tour has threatened Cameron Smith because he spoke up.

Any more from you, young man, and it's double secret probation.

So this is what Tour discipline has come to: cover-ups and ineffectual fines for offenders, suspension for legally prescribed drugs and public scolding for anyone who points out the emperor's new clothes. If secret fines are going to work, they need to start at six figures and rapidly escalate to seven. Or, the Tour could name names.

Public humiliation is a great corrector, unless you're Patrick Reed. Cameron Smith, on the other hand, is labelled and shamed as a truth teller.

Tour mantra: Move along; there's nothing to see here.

Blaine Walker
St. Paul, Minn.

Turned off by daily verbal volleys at Patrick Reed
I’m getting a tad tired of Golf Channel’s daily diatribe on Patrick Reed’s experience in the Bahamas.

The most egregious (experience) I have witnessed in 60 years of watching and playing golf was Phil Mickelson’s stick-handling on the 13th green at Shinnecock Hills during the third round of the 2018 U.S. Open.

I don’t see a Golf Channel diatribe on that offense. We only see Golf Channel’s commentators giggling over Mickelson’s silly videos, or championing Mickelson’s other endeavors. Ridiculous.

I guess his golf glove don’t fit.

So, when Golf Channel’s Robert Damron and Damon Hack are driving Reed out of town, make sure there’s room for Mickelson and a couple of others in the car, as well.

Ken Drake
Albany, Ore.

Patrick Reed, are you paying attention?
Very well-written article by Dan O’Neill, and right on (“Reed, not Chamblee, needs to ‘cease and desist’,” Jan. 13).

I’m almost feeling sorry for Patrick Reed, not because I believe he’s being smeared but rather because he doesn’t seem to know how really good people of character act.

O’Neill’s summary could be useful to him, if he would only listen and learn. I’m sure he won’t.

Good job, and done with clarity and courage.

Larry Armatage
Burlington, Ontario

A father’s perspective on golf and life
I’m 70 years old and have been playing golf since I was 6 years old. My daddy’s tobacco farm bordered the little nine-hole course outside of Roxboro, N.C. Jim Thorpe’s daddy was the greens superintendent there, and Jim and I were childhood playmates and close friends. I was in the first grade before I played with any white kids. Family, friends and golf were everything to me.

My son, Kris, has won twice on the Web.com and Nationwide tours and lost his PGA Tour card last year. I cannot imagine him not talking to me. He’s my best friend! My wife of 43 years passed away in April 2014, and I could not have dealt with her loss without Kris, his wife and my two grandsons. Family and friends are what matters in life.

Patrick Reed has no idea what he’s missing in life (“Reed, not Chamblee, needs to ‘cease and desist’,” Jan. 13).

Donnie Blanks
Jupiter, Fla.

Van Sickle is wrong … but reader likes his work anyway
I am a fan of Gary Van Sickle’s articles but totally disagree with his pick of the Waste Management Phoenix Open as the “Best of the West (“Best of the West? It’s Phoenix, by a longneck,” Jan. 17).

To me, it is and has been the worst event on the PGA Tour. It is everything that golf normally isn’t. It is a bunch of people who just want to drink and yell, and God knows that most are not even golfers.

I watch golf every weekend religiously but must admit that I watch very little of this tournament. This event makes people who are not true golfers think they can go out and play and drink and carry on, thus creating 5-6-hour rounds. People might think I am a golf snob; I don’t care. Golf always has been a gentle(person’s) game, and the Phoenix Open destroys that image. I have no problem with people cheering and enjoying a tour event, but to me and many of my golf buddies this goes way too far.

Keep up the good work. I don’t always have to agree with Van Sickle to enjoy his articles.

Jim Tulloch
Paramus, N.J.

Applause for The Riv
I agree with Gary Van Sickle about Riviera Country Club. It is the most underrated golf course on the PGA Tour, and perhaps in the country (“Best of the West? It’s Phoenix, by a longneck,” Jan. 16).

Riviera has held up to the test of time for more than 90 years. It could host virtually any event, at any level. It’s a great spectator course, with an amazing clubhouse and a natural theater to view the 18th hole. Short and long hitters on Tour have won there, from Corey Pavin to Fred Couples.

Yes, the great designer George Thomas created a gem for the ages.

Bob Geismar
Boca Raton, Fla.

Cart rules that will keep us on course
I agree with reader Terry Wall’s comments about time between shots (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Jan. 17). Whether walking or riding, just get to your ball and be prepared to hit. It saves tons of time each round.

Too many times while riding, the passenger will sit in the cart and wait for the driver to hit before driving to his ball. Drop the first player off and get to your ball, hit it and then go pick him up.

Jim Faletti
Crete, Ill.

Morning Read invites reader comment. Write to editor Steve Harmon at steve@morningread.com. Please provide your name and city of residence. If your comment is selected for publication, Morning Read will contact you to verify the authenticity of the email and confirm your identity. We will not publish your email address. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and brevity.