From The Inbox

KO’d by a memorable handshake moment

Chance encounter with former heavyweight champion tops a glad-handing moment with another big puncher

That was a fun article about the handshake by Dan O’Neill (“Coming to grips with an outdated golf tradition,” April 21). I really enjoyed it and plan to pass it around to my buddies – golfers and non-golfers.

It might be a good follow-up to invite readers to share their stories of memorable handshake moments. Though you might think that I would rank as No. 1 an impromptu meet-and-greet with the yet-to-be President Donald Trump, I actually can top that moment.

In the musty back room of a roadside tavern on Route 9 in upstate New York, our small party was seated near Floyd Patterson, the former world heavyweight boxing champion. On pins and needles, just before closing, I built up my nerve and approached his table. He literally stood up and reached out his hand. The outsized, rough-hewn meat hook of that hand (as well as his graciousness) is seared into my very being to this day.

Thanks for the memory.

Mike Dyas
Edgewood, Ky.

Let’s keep our heads and use our hands
I am 75 years old. For 43 of those years, I was an insurance salesman, and for 70 of those years, I have played the great game of golf. In both endeavors, I always have followed the time-honored tradition, modeled to me by my father, of shaking hands (“Coming to grips with an outdated golf tradition,” April 21).

I have shaken hands when meeting a business associate or when finishing a round of golf with my competitors. During these 70 years, I never have had more than a common cold, and I plan on continuing that warm, wonderful tradition.

Coronavirus, or COVID-19, is indeed a reason to be cautious, but when this issue is dealt with, I will return to the time-honored tradition of shaking hands. I hope that all whom I meet will do the same thing.

Bill Boutwell
Jacksonville, Fla.

A civil 1-finger salute
I would supplement writer Dan O’Neill’s comments on the handshake with another practical alternative (“Coming to grips with an outdated golf tradition,” April 21).

I suggest just raising the index finger with a little snap toward the recipient as a gesture of “thanks for the game” or “enjoyed the round.”

Whiz Williams
Ellsworth, Ohio

With Michelle Wie, a case of what might have been
Sunday evening, my wife and I watched a rerun of the final round of the 2014 LPGA Lotte Championship in Hawaii, won by Michelle Wie.

I guess we all have forgotten how good she was and what an impact she could have had on the LPGA if her career had not been derailed by injuries. No one in that event played the same game she played. She hit shots that no one else on that tour could hit. And very few men or women interacted with the crowd as genuinely as she did during that last round.

If Wie had enjoyed an injury-free career, she just might have been to the LPGA what Tiger Woods has been to the PGA Tour.

She was that good.

Charlie Jurgonis
Fairfax, Va.

Addition by subtraction
Living in the Pacific Northwest as I do and watching the PGA Tour in person is difficult. So, I turn to the TV. Between Golf Channel and the networks, I can get my fill. No spectators? No problem (“The show goes on: Why the PGA Tour will be just fine, with or without fans,” April 20).

I don't watch for the roars, watch the crowds or the azaleas, for that matter. Quite frankly, watching a golf ball fly through the air on the tube doesn't really show just how great the PGA Tour pros really are.

What TV gives you is a complete view of the competition. To appreciate a Rory McIlroy drive, you have to be there. To watch the competition unfold, nothing beats TV. With no crowds, there will be no “get in the hole” or whatever inane phrase can be shouted. No 100-decibel roar as a drive is hooked deep into the trees. One would think that these people never saw a golf ball get airborne.

When golf can be responsibly played again, let's do it. If that means no gallery, quite frankly, it will be an improvement.

George Delaney
Olympia, Wash.

Maybe he should grab a 6-pack and go fishing
I couldn’t help but have a déjà vu moment while reading the hilarious email from reader Tom Gorman (“From the Morning Read inbox,” April 21).

I qualify as one of the “super-duper, uber-avid golfers” to whom he was referring.

Our governor in Pennsylvania is the most-hated person in my life right now. He won’t even think about allowing people 50 feet apart from one another on a golf course, but fishing is OK (think license revenue), and I can walk around the local beer store with dozens of others.

It looks as if it will be at least until May 8 before our dictator eases any restrictions. Whatever am I going to do?

Help me!

Frank Blauch
Lebanon, Pa.

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