From The Inbox

On-course snarly to on-air smiley? Not so fast

Reader has his doubts about some of TV’s most recognizable golf analysts, whose behavior inside the ropes contrasts with their on-camera demeanor

Why do the TV networks hire golfers with zero personality to provide analysis? Two prime examples: David Duval and Justin Leonard.

I would travel to Memphis and Texas to PGA Tour tournaments and learned quickly that I would not be following Duval or Leonard. They were snarly, rude to spectators and gave me the impression that they wished I weren’t there.

I remember that now that they wish for TV viewers. No, thanks.

Another is Christina Kim, who I suspect will be a commentator soon. She comes across as funny and friendly on TV, but her demeanor on the course depends on how well she is playing. When her play is bad, she is really bad.

Give me the likes of Brittany Lincicome, Jordan Spieth, Lee Trevino and Ken Duke.

Danny Adams
Hot Springs, Ark.

Turn it down, Golf Channel
I don’t know whether other readers have noticed, but the volume on Golf Channel tournament telecasts goes up significantly when commercials are played. It’s annoying and more importantly causes me to use the mute button on my remote, negating the advertiser’s message.

Please, Golf Channel, turn down the volume, and I would be more inclined to listen to the advertiser’s message.

Bill Boutwell
Jacksonville, Fla.

Golf’s 2 big woes: Birdies in bunches and broomsticks
Two things about televised golf: nothing is more boring than watching the pros go 20 below on a course that has nothing to do with the game that I play, and I couldn't care less. I want to watch them struggle like the rest of us. That's why I watch every round of the U.S. Open and even enjoyed the last round of this year's Honda Classic. A challenging par is much more fun to watch than an automatic birdie.

Also, those broomstick putters should be immediately outlawed for no other reason than they look ridiculous and detract from the game.

Geez, I feel better. Thanks for letting me rant.

Steven Jones
Lone Tree, Colo.

‘On the money’
Gary Van Sickle’s commentary about Rory McIlroy was so on the money, no pun intended, and so well-written (“Rory McIlroy would use big eraser to fix golf,” March 5).

I really enjoyed the article.

Brady Hendren
Hilton Head, S.C.

A suggestion to balance the competition at ‘elite events’
I agree with Gary Van Sickle that small-field, elite events are great for golf and TV (“Rory McIlroy would use big eraser to fix golf,” March 5).

It also makes it harder for lesser players to climb the rankings when elite players are feeding off these tournament points.

I would suggest a system in which maybe the top five finishers in opposite events automatically get into the next elite event at the expense of the bottom five finishers in the last elite event. This would constantly give new players the chance to move up in the rankings so the elite events don’t become a closed group due to their constant ranking-points reward.

Tim Bateman
Phoenix

Affordability in golf really can be kids’ stuff
I'd like to respectfully respond to reader Blaine Walker’s comments (“From the Morning Read inbox,” March 5):

Regarding Walker's point No. 9, “Neither the governing bodies nor individual courses do enough to provide truly inexpensive opportunities for kids": That's where Youth on Course comes in.

Youth on Course members ages 6-18 can play more than 1,300 public courses for $5 or less in 38 states (including Walker’s home state, Minnesota) and Canada.

In 2019 alone, YOC families saved more than $1.4 million. The nonprofit has subsidized more than $6.5 million in youth rounds at public courses since 2006. Youth on Course also awards more than $250,000 in college scholarships each year and provides youth with valuable employment opportunities through caddie and internship programs.

Learn more or get involved here.

Adam Schafer
Monterey, Calif.
(Schafer is the development manager for Youth on Course, a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Pebble Beach, Calif. Youth on Course also is represented for its public relations by Buffalo Groupe, which owns Morning Read.)

A salute to golf’s new ironman
Congratulations to Sungjae Im on his “Im-pressive” win at the Honda Classic.

If the top 30 participated in American golf as much as he does, the PGA Tour would not be in the decline it is in.

Im is the Cal Ripken Jr. of the PGA Tour.

Bobby Phillips
Rock Hill, S.C.

These guys are good
Morning Read and the articles that are published for the edification and enjoyment of subscribers are great. The podcasts of John Hawkins, Mike Purkey and Alex Miceli are an added bonus to the quality of the information passed along to us golf nuts.
In this age of superlatives and overly sensitive political correctness, Miceli agreed with Paul Azinger's statement that the PGA Tour is a step above the European Tour. Just stating the obvious.

Hawk and Purk hosted Gary McCord in this week's podcast. It was interesting to hear a little of the inside scoop on his "retirement" as well as his thoughts on what might be needed to energize golf tournament telecasts. And his perspective on the distance debate was, again, just stating the obvious.

Dave Richner
St. Johns, Fla.

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