From The Inbox

Miceli’s hyperbole merely adds to panic

Irrespective of whether Cactus Tour is right or wrong to play during coronavirus pandemic, let’s keep calm and be rational

Really, Alex Miceli? (“Ban golf during a pandemic? Not on Cactus Tour,” March 18). “... potential effect on humanity ...”?

Not to minimize the gravity of the current situation, but doesn't this type of over-the-top hyperbole tend to fuel panic at a time when we need to be calm and rational? Look at the run on toilet paper as an example of this panic. I'm not saying that Miceli’s opposition to the Cactus Tour playing its tournament is wrong. I'm just saying that his rhetoric diminishes his position.

If the Masters were still being played and televised, I could see Miceli saying that this is “the wrong message that they are sending to the world.”

While I'm sure that the Cactus Tour would be flattered by Miceli’s assessment of the satellite tour’s importance, I hardly think the Moon Valley tournament has this kind of pull, considering that no one outside of Phoenix likely even knows or cares about it. In all reality, it is probably not a whole lot different than a typical golf outing.

Mark Liquorman
Land O’ Lakes, Fla.

Keep being the voice of reason, Miceli
I understand both positions in Alex Miceli’s commentary (“Ban golf during a pandemic? Not on Cactus Tour,” March 18). That is why the federal government must step in.

This country was born out of freedom, and yet it may be the death of us, too. A wise person once said “desperate times call for desperate measures.” If a mandatory two-week quarantine were enforced and found to have worked, there would be many who would say, “See. It was no big deal. They overreacted.”

That is the problem with disasters. You don’t know for sure if your action avoided one if none occurs. The flip side is that if one does occur, everyone looks for someone to blame.

Keep on being the voice of reason.

Boyd Welsch
Gainesville, Fla.

The only crisis is with Miceli’s writing
I agree with the Cactus Tour and disagree wholeheartedly with Alex Miceli ("Ban golf during a pandemic? Not on Cactus Tour," March 18).

The PGA Tour and other professional tours should not have canceled tournaments.

Miceli gets to work by continuing to write his articles, but he doesn’t think these women need or should work. They should sacrifice for the good of the country. What drivel.

This country – and for that matter, the rest of the world – is doing exactly what China wanted to happen: shut down all economies while the Chinese ramp back up the small portion of their economy that supposedly stopped. We in the West turned in to an authoritarian society overnight based on, what? A virus that isn’t as bad as the common flu.

After three months of coronavirus, there have been 217,000 infections and about 8,900 deaths worldwide. Those numbers are dwarfed by a typical flu season in the U.S.

So, why does Miceli propose that we continue to panic and shut down life in general? No reason, I suspect, other than he bought into the media narrative.

If innuendo and false reporting can do this to us, we have no hope when a real crisis hits.

Jeff Nettesheim
Sun City, Ariz.

Cactus Tour event is so small as to be no public threat
It’s easy for Alex Miceli to criticize the Cactus Tour while he writes from home and collects a paycheck (“Ban golf during a pandemic? Not on Cactus Tour,” March 18). Most of us have lost our way to make a living.

I'm not being cavalier about the coronavirus; I know it's serious. But this event is tiny and non-televised, with no galleries.

I played golf Tuesday in a foursome and never came within 6 feet of anyone. We booked tee times and paid online. We checked in and posted scores on our phones. We used pull carts, with no caddies. Nobody has to tend a flag anymore. At the end, we waved and walked to our cars.

These women could do the same and make a few bucks. I was a caddie for 10 years. It can be done safely. Not on the PGA Tour or LPGA levels, but easily on this small satellite level.

Ted Emerson
Kensington, Md.

A walk-off hit for the game
Another suggestion for public and country-club golf: Why not allow golfers to walk as opposed to taking the mandatory cart? (“Course operator sees a way forward with golf,” March 18). The many reasons are obvious.

If I were operating a golf course – I have worked at two – I'd rather have the revenue for the rounds than none at all, because people don't want to touch the golf cart, then touch their face, mouth, etc., while eating the box/bag lunch picked up from the club’s food-and-beverage takeout service.

There also are health benefits to walking. Isn't the USGA trying to get us all to do more of that?

Jane Hixson
Pinehurst, N.C.

A solution that’s over and above
A suggestion for mini-tours and others that plan to play golf: have the superintendent place cups 1 inch above ground, to avoid placing hands into cups that would increase the risk of getting coronavirus. Balls that hit the cup are considered holed.

George Haufler
Southport, N.C.

A plea for courses to remain open
No one appreciates playing golf more than I do, because 14 years ago, playing golf was taken away from me due to an illness. I was on the sidelines for 18 months, and it was awful. I was not sure whether I ever would get back.

So, when I say that golf loves me, I really know it and mean it.

Now, because there is no golf to watch or discuss, playing is our salvation. I ask every golf course to try to stay open and take even better precautions moving forward (“Course operator sees a way forward with golf,” March 18). But stay open, because taking it away would be, well, awful.

Bob Geismar
Boca Raton, Fla.

Enjoy golf with your friends
Mike Purkey’s piece was especially poignant (“An island of calm amid a pandemic,” March 17). I am a golf professional and live in Switzerland. We are in the heart of a continent that is stricken by the coronavirus pandemic, with all the incumbent restrictions imposed by governments in an effort to reduce the disease’s spread.

Golf is also a victim. All courses in my country and in neighboring France are closed. At my club, Domaine Impérial, a 1987 Pete Dye design, the gates leading to the club are shut. It’s anybody’s guess when they will reopen.

I am quite sure that clubs in most, if not all, countries in Europe will follow suit sooner rather than later. The moral of this short, sad response to Purkey’s excellent article is simple: Go and enjoy your golf with your buddies, and anybody else who shares our passion for the game, and play and practice as much as you are able.

Golfers never have been guilty of taking the joy of golf for granted, but when it is taken away so brusquely, as it has been here in Europe, it reminds us how lucky we are to have the game in our lives.

Graham Kaye
Bougy-Villars, Switzerland
(Kaye, the former national coach for Switzerland, is a teaching professional at Domaine Impérial Golf Club in Gland, Switzerland.)

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