From The Inbox

PGA Tour players earn their pay

Performance and incentives drive compensation for entertainment-industry golfers who are in ‘high demand’

The PGA Tour has the best golfers in the world. They are in the entertainment industry and are in high demand. Everyone in that category makes a ton of money (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Feb. 27).

The difference is that the Tour funds countless charities (St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., for example) on a massive scale. Another difference is that players win money based on performance, not contracts, as with players in the NFL, NBA, etc.

OK, we know that endorsements add a lot, but those have a performance-based component, as well.

What makes golf so different is that a large part of its audience that drives everything actually plays the game. I haven’t thrown a football in years, and don’t plan to do so.

This is also the component that makes ball/equipment issues involving distance so sticky. Golfers have skin in the game. We love to play more than watch, and we like watching a lot. That’s why golf is exploding.

Al Fiscus
Searcy, Ark.

What’s not to like about PGA Tour?
I have a difficult time understanding reader Betsy Larey’s criticism of the success the PGA Tour has achieved (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Feb. 27).

Like Larey, I also live just a few miles from the PGA Tour’s headquarters and over the years have witnessed what a great community neighbor and asset the Tour has been.

The Tour is a wonderful example of what is special about this country. Develop a great product, have an effective management team and include a lot of hard work, and success, like the Tour has earned, is possible.

Oh, by the way, let’s not forget the $3 billion that the Tour has generated for various charities.

I just do not understand what’s to criticize.

Bill Boutwell
Jacksonville, Fla.

Cut Reed some slack
I have been around this game for many years. One thing I know for sure is that if a person gets labeled as a “cheater,” then he never can get rid of that reputation. If he never has another incident, at the end of his career he still would be known as a cheater. Is this fair or unfair? That’s not the question but just the reality of the sport.

Patrick Reed got this label very early in his golf career and seemingly will carry it from now on, no matter his conduct (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Feb. 25, Feb. 26). If he had played on the PGA Tour and never won an event, there would be no controversy. Success brings scrutiny. That scrutiny can enhance a person’s image or hurt a person’s brand.

The incident in the Bahamas was labeled as cheating. Why? Because of that label he had from his youth. The fact was that it was a rules violation, and he was assessed a two-stroke penalty. To my knowledge, a player is not assessed two strokes for cheating but would be disqualified from the event and have his playing privileges reviewed. Many great Tour players have been assessed penalties for rules violations that were not labeled as cheating.

Reed is a unique talent. If he or others violate a rule, then assess the appropriate penalty. Others who violate rules are not automatically labeled as cheaters. If Reed is cheating, then suspend his playing privileges.

If or until that happens, cut the man some slack. He’s the man whom you love to hate. He is good copy, and what a talent.

Jerry Adams
The Woodlands, Texas

Morning Read invites reader comment. Write to editor Steve Harmon at 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.

Sign up to receive the Morning Read newsletter, along with Where To Golf Next and The Equipment Insider.