From The Inbox

Nice guys don’t have to finish last

Davis Love III is the genuine article, which prompts reader to pull for him, despite Love’s obvious shortcomings with CBS

I totally agree with John Hawkins’ take on the “new” CBS golf tournament coverage, in particular, Davis Love III as one of the replacements (“If you like vanilla, you’ll love CBS’ new lineup,” Feb. 10).

I had the occasion to thank Love for signing a photo that I took of him at the Houston Open a couple of years ago. When I said, “Thank you” as we were walking to the next hole, he stopped walking. He looked at me and said, “No, thank you. None of this could happen without you. I really appreciate your support.”

Every once in a while, you run across a totally genuine and nice guy who gets it.

To Hawkins’ point that Love is the nicest guy in golf, I believe it. He’s just a very nice gentleman who isn’t going to be critical or dampen anyone’s spirit for the sake of a game. I’m sure that he has a genuine like and high regard for all of his colleagues, players, and even fans.

Like Hawkins, I question whether Love’s personality is suited to calling out weaknesses and errors, as journalists are required to do. However, I am rooting for Love to be successful, because if anyone can pull off being totally positive in the vitriolic environment that we all seem to live in now, it’s Davis Love III.

Daryl Lott
Houston

CBS serves golf fans a bowl of cold porridge
I was going to write this before John Hawkins’ column appeared Monday morning – as were millions of others, most likely – concerning CBS’ golf coverage (“If you like vanilla, you’ll love CBS’ new lineup,” Feb. 10).

Think of it this way: It is a cold Monday morning, early, and you go into the kitchen for breakfast and you have a bowl of cold porridge waiting for you.

Welcome to the new CBS golf coverage. Take Dottie Pepper out of there, and the porridge might be frozen.

CBS insisted that its golf coverage was "stale" and that it wanted change. It is not stale any longer. It is moldy.

I learned to play golf watching CBS and Kenny Venturi’s stroke savers. The only thing I’ve learned watching CBS this year is how to be boring.

They say golf is in a better place. Could have fooled me.

Ken Drake
Albany, Ore.

Earth to Davis …
Thank you, John Hawkins, for stating the obvious. In fact, you were being very kind (“If you like vanilla, you’ll love CBS’ new lineup,” Feb. 10).

We all respected Greg Norman as a player, but his work as a golf co-commentator on Fox was a disaster. The same can be said for Davis Love III.

Love is well respected, and deservedly so. Although Love is not one of the lead commentators, his on-course commentary is the complete opposite of what I would call riveting. Furthermore, he usually has to be prompted to say anything.

Hello, hello? Earth to Davis. … Earth to Davis. … Wasn’t that a spectacular shot?

Or …

He has put himself in a really difficult spot. Would you care to comment?

Stephen Joost
Jacksonville, Fla.

Why not Paige Mackenzie?
I could not agree more with John Hawkins (“If you like vanilla, you’ll love CBS’ new lineup,” Feb. 10).

I actually asked a buddy of mine whether CBS had fired Davis Love III, because I didn’t hear him at all for an hour-plus on the broadcast.

Great guy but totally out of his element. He has no idea how to jump in and disagree with another member of the team about, well, anything.

We got spoiled with Johnny Miller, Paul Azinger and Brandel Chamblee, even though we might disagree with what they said or the harshness with how they said it.

If CBS’ broadcast was getting “stale,” then why not get a younger voice or another female voice? A Paige Mackenzie-type comes to mind.

Davis Love has got to go.

Bob Malone
Long Beach, N.Y.

The wrong sort of change
Let's get to the crux of the matter (“If you like vanilla, you’ll love CBS’ new lineup,” Feb. 10). Nick Faldo has been coddled by Jim Nantz for a long time in the booth. It's not working. I respect Faldo’s golf accomplishments, but he is never going to be a compelling analyst, commentator or announcer for golf.

He talks about the “youngsters” on the PGA Tour. The definition of a youngster is a child or young person. When he says “youngsters” on live TV, it is not correct. Sure, a few PGA Tour players may be 18-19 years old. This is degrading and has to stop. Why has Faldo been allowed to continue? Faldo's best quip is "he bobbled it,” which he says often. In this case, CBS Sports is the one that bobbed it.

Nantz does not have to prod and coddle Tony Romo on a football telecast. They work well together.

Change always is going to happen, but when the wrong changes are made, it lessens your end product.

Bill Westerlund
Encinitas, Calif.
(Westerlund is a PGA teaching professional at Del Mar Golf Center in Del Mar, Calif.)

He won’t make that mistake again
John Hawkins is spot-on regarding the absence of Peter Kostis and Gary McCord at CBS (“If you like vanilla, you’ll love CBS’ new lineup,” Feb. 10).

Not only is CBS golf commentary boring with Jim Nantz and his music, but there are far too many commercials.

I forgot to record the final round Sunday from Pebble Beach and paid the price.

Steve Giordano
Lincoln, Calif.

Going downhill, with little to stop the runaway
I just read John Hawkins’ piece about CBS and the rotten egg that the network laid with the new hires for its golf telecasts (“If you like vanilla, you’ll love CBS’ new lineup,” Feb. 10).

CBS’ first big mistake was letting David Feherty get away. They are just like golfers and golf balls: once they start going downhill, they have a hard time stopping.

I am an ardent golf fan and watch almost all televised tournaments, but when CBS takes over now, it is a struggle to stay tuned in to the telecasts.

Don Craig
Spotsylvania, Va.

An ‘A’ for Amanda
Amanda Balionis is the only reason to watch CBS (“If you like vanilla, you’ll love CBS’ new lineup,” Feb. 10). The players like her, and she is energetic, at least.

Jim Nantz is damn near asleep, and Nick Faldo is a gas bag.

Thomas A. Fagerli
Yadkinville, N.C.

Enough apparently is not enough
John Hawkins’ comments about the CBS’ golf telecast are right on (“If you like vanilla, you’ll love CBS’ new lineup,” Feb. 10).

Ian Baker-Finch is brutal, just blabbering on and on about nonsense.

Why does CBS have an on-course commentator (Dottie Pepper, who is very good), IBF in some tower, along with Nick Faldo and Jim Nantz, all commenting on the same player’s shots?

Enough is enough. It was so bad Sunday that I had to turn off the audio on my TV.

Does anyone at CBS ever watch these over-commentated broadcasts?

Davis Love III adds nothing to the telecast compared with Jim “Bones” Mackay, who delivers some insightful information on NBC. Mark Immelman sounds like a keeper, but this new crew is really a setback.

Bring back Gary McCord and Ben Wright.

Dave Gish
McHenry, Ill.

Necessary wisdom
John Hawkins’ article not only was well said but needed to be said (“If you like vanilla, you’ll love CBS’ new lineup,” Feb. 10).

I doubt that the big shots at CBS will pay any attention, but I will be watching their golf telecasts with the mute button engaged.

Thanks for all of your wisdom, and keep up the fine work.

Richard Jensen
Terrebonne, Ore.

A sure cure for insomniacs
Thanks, John Hawkins, for capturing this story (“If you like vanilla, you’ll love CBS’ new lineup,” Feb. 10).

I totally agree. The coverage is sleep-inducing.

Gary Kirkner
Kiawah Island, S.C.

Spot-on
As Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee would say, John Hawkins is spot-on regarding Peter Kostis and Gary McCord (“If you like vanilla, you’ll love CBS’ new lineup,” Feb. 10).

How many times did McCord comment on activities we not only were watching as viewers but making the same comment in our living room?

It was a giant mistake by CBS, but of course the network will stick with it rather than concede that it was, in fact, a bad decision.

I look forward to the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am each year for its mix of incredible views, challenging holes and the irreverence of the celebrity aspect.

Thank God that I taped this year’s coverage. If it weren’t for Phil Mickelson’s Saturday charge, I would not have tuned in Sunday, even on the recording.

Alberto Forcella
Palm City, Fla.

Quiet weekend in Shalimar
Nail on the head, John Hawkins (“If you like vanilla, you’ll love CBS’ new lineup,” Feb. 10).

The mute button never has gotten as much action.

Doug Ferreri
Shalimar, Fla.

‘A real ho-hum afternoon’
I couldn’t agree more with John Hawkins’ assessment of the “new and improved” telecast team at CBS (“If you like vanilla, you’ll love CBS’ new lineup,” Feb. 10).

I really missed Peter Kostis’ interaction with the amateurs at Pebble Beach, and without Gary McCord, there is zero humor. Without David Feherty, Kostis and McCord, it is a real ho-hum afternoon, and I won’t look forward to Sunday afternoons when the “Eye” has the call.

Blair Plyler
Charlotte, N.C.

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