From The Inbox

Clinging to hope amid golf's doomsday scenarios

Why doesn’t Alex Miceli spread a few rays of sunshine while golf seeks to find its way to the other end of the coronavirus pandemic?

Alex “Mr. Sunshine” Miceli is back with his glass three-quarters empty (“Donald Trump’s push for sports will put golf to the test,” April 6).

President Donald Trump said "as soon as we can" and "whenever we’re ready … As soon as we can, obviously." Can we just have a sliver of optimism, a breath of fresh air, any hope that we might return to some portion of our past sporting lives?

Mr. Gloom-and-Doom apparently thinks not, and that's fine, but don't spread it around, especially from people who “spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because no discussion of the call was to be revealed publicly," as the Associated Press reported.

We get enough of the alarming facts of this horrible coronavirus on an hourly basis. Most people have resigned to do better to fight their way out of this situation, so why throw a wet blanket on hope? We are all in this together, doing what we can to get past this horrific time, but a lot of people in this country and around the world want to hang on to the possibility of better days to come.

Whenever we’re ready. Simple words to which we can look forward that might let in a ray of sunshine in a terrible time for so many people. Hope is contagious, too. And I'm not speaking on condition of anonymity.

Mike Nixon
Nashville, Tenn.
(Nixon, who played the PGA Tour in the late 1970s and early 1980s, is the director of golf operations for the Tennessee Golf Trail.)

We shall survive if golf is not played in 2020
June is a pie-in-the-sky target to resume the PGA Tour (“PGA Tour restarts schedule too soon,” April 7).

The season won't start again until next year. Vaccines against coronavirus won't be tested and ready much before that time. Their availability will be severely limited as so many doses will be required.

I agree with reader Tom Gorman, who points out the problem with volunteers not being available (“From the Morning Read inbox,” April 8). Many are older residents, and it would be foolish of them to participate as they are the ones most at risk for infection.

I used to live in a climate where golf was available for only 5-6 months of the year. We will all survive not having professional golf and our being able to play for the rest of the year.

Michael Merrill
McKinney, Texas

… and that pencil comes with a big eraser
I’d like to add one more take on Alex Miceli’s article (“PGA Tour restarts schedule too soon,” April 7).

Perhaps the author didn’t really believe that the PGA Tour would resume play in mid-June. If you note in his final two paragraphs, Miceli points out that the “schedule has been written in pencil.”

Gordon Williams
Canfield, Ohio

Quit giving volunteers the shaft
Letter writers in Wednesday’s Morning Read spurred some instant thoughts (“From the Morning Read inbox,” April 8).

Point well taken regarding reader Tom Gorman’s comments about the essential need for the unsung heroes of golf events: the volunteers. To which I would add, in every golf event I’ve ever worked, these people are paying for the opportunity to “volunteer” at the tournament.

Example: $100 for a couple of shirts to constitute the “uniform,” plus guidelines on what color of shorts and hat to wear each day. Amazingly, there never seems to be a shortage of people who will gladly do this. People want to give back, which is nice, and it’s great for the event.

But, maybe there is indeed a day coming when volunteers might be paid a stipend, or at least not required to pay for their own uniforms.

To reader Mark Anderson, who brought up dogwoods and azaleas at the Masters in November: In this part of the country and maybe everywhere, there is such a thing as encore azaleas. These special types will bloom in the spring and also in the fall, thus the name encore. So, while the original comment probably was made half in jest, it’s quite possible that Augusta National will have blooming azaleas at the Masters in November.

I’ve never heard of an encore dogwood tree, though.

Jon Lucas
Little Rock, Ark.

The Villages has got it all wrong
In his commentary regarding The Villages’ keeping its golf courses open, Steve Trivett states that courses remaining open "seems to be fine with just about everyone” in the community. He also concludes, “And the Villagers, perhaps more than at any other place in the country, will do their part to keep the game going” (“At The Villages, music stops but not the golf,” April 8).

In a time when we are asked to stay home, engage in physical distancing, and do our part to keep one another safe, these comments are shocking. Whether it is Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, advocating universal stay-in-place provisions for all U.S. residents, most states mandating the closure of golf courses and a highly unscientific sample of Morning Read letter writers, this clearly is not fine with “just about everyone.”

Finally, it appears that Villagers indeed are doing their part to keep their golf games going but not doing their part to flatten the curve and minimize risk to others. Shame to the Villagers and to Trivett for positing that this is a noble undertaking, and shame to Morning Read for such an unbalanced commentary.

Mike Kukelko
Oak Bluff, Manitoba

A forward spin from ‘Masters Rewind’
As I watch ESPN’s “Masters Rewind” of the final round of the 1986 Masters, I’m reminded how much better golf telecasts were then.

Today’s producers and broadcasters alike should go back and watch how golf was telecast in those days. The announcers were better, and the coverage was better.

If golf were broadcast today as well as it was then, I would watch much more.

Bruce Allen
Forest Ranch, Calif.

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