From The Inbox

PGA Tour needs tougher, firmer, faster tests

World’s best golfers should be able to adjust to demanding conditions such as those found last week at Bay Hill for the Arnold Palmer Invitational

Aside from the wind (or rain), which may or may not be present for any given round on any course, Bay Hill, the site of last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, was an excellent example of placing more of a premium on accuracy than distance.

I'm not a fan of 15-20 under par winning a golf tournament. To me, that means the course was too easy. These are the top guys in the world playing for a ton of money, so struggling a bit (read: working for it) to win with a score near par or maybe a few under for four rounds is much more enjoyable to watch and relate to, and a better test of not just ball-striking and control, but course management and decision making.

I do think the greens may have been firmer and faster (U.S. Open, anyone?) than necessary, but again, these guys are the best in the world. They should be able to compensate for it.

Narrower fairways, longer, more penal rough on all professional tournaments should be the norm, not the exception.

Ron Friedland
Broomfield, Colo.

That’s not the way Arnie would have done it
Ironically, Tyrrell Hatton displayed a not-so-Arnold Palmer performance on the golf course Sunday in winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

TV cameras caught Hatton and his caddie swearing, and Hatton also gave a vulgar hand sign on a hole that he bogeyed in the final round.

Golf is a frustrating game, but there is no need to act like a spoiled brat on the course, especially when the event is being televised nationally.

Sunday was a tough day at Bay Hill for many golfers, but no one else displayed the lack of maturity that Hatton did. It turned me right off, and I rooted against him.

Arthur Buonopane
Winchester, Mass.

‘Sandy’ sounds off on sandbaggers
Wow. Someone else finally agrees with my thought process when it comes to mid-to-high-handicappers, and tournaments. The comments from reader Donnie Blanks are spot-on.

As Blanks stated, low-handicap guys have no chance of winning much of anything when you have a 10-15-handicap guy who is capable of shooting 78-80 when playing well.

This is a major issue when you have guys who do not post their good rounds. It happens all the time.

We play the game to improve our handicaps and try to get them as low as we can. Obviously, some people play to a different drum. It is a shame that there are guys whose only reason to play is to win a bet.

Post all of your scores and get real.

A.P. “Sandy” Smith
Belle Isle, Fla.

Turn down volume and enjoy telecast
First, reader Jack Snow said he has to turn the volume down. Why would you even have the sound on?

I watched the Bay Hill tournament off and on, and always with the sound off. It was delightful not to have to listen to all the sidebars and inane statements that the announcers make.

One other thing that I do is always record the tournament so I can fast-forward through commercials and those annoying split-screen things they do. You can't really tell what the players are doing, so what is the point?

I know that putting is an integral and important part of the game, but it is also boring to see them make 2- and 3-foot putts.

Less putting, more shots. They have it videoed, so show putts that really matter and bag a lot of the others.

Michael Merrill
McKinney, Texas

That deal didn’t get Morning Read’s OK
It was a logical decision, given that when Golf Channel was organized, it would be headquartered in Florida. What other geographic location has the potential for year-round golf stories?

So, NBC’s announcement that it will be moving Golf Channel has me perplexed. Yes, the financial and economics of it all make corporate sense. But, Stamford, Conn., while a great city and an ad hoc suburb of New York City, does not quite equate as a golfing mecca.

Orlando offers a fairly easy access for the multitude of past and present golf pros and instructors to make guest appearances on the telecasts. Will we see less of guests such as Annika Sorenstam, Bill Kratzert and Martin Hall?

And NBC obviously did not take into consideration Morning Read's influence emanating from Orlando.

Dave Richner
St. Johns, Fla.

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