From The Inbox

One of life’s great mysteries: Paying to volunteer

PGA Tour and its members should ante up and support struggling clubs, for the good of the game

I'm surprised and amazed that anyone would consider paying money to marshal or administer a PGA Tour event (“This might be the best deal in golf,” May 13; “From the Morning Read inbox,” May 22) .

It's good that people are prepared to do it, but ridiculous to charge them for their benevolence. Clearly, most events could not happen without the contribution made by the volunteers, so wouldn't the players agreeing to lower prize funds be an easy way to cover the cost? The volunteers would feel that their contribution was being valued, and the players might take notice and respect the scorers and marshals a bit more.

On a related note, PGA Tour players need to accept that golf in general, and golf clubs in particular, are facing huge challenges in the coming years. COVID-19, time pressures, money pressures and cost pressures are threatening the golden egg, and it would be nice to see the players recognizing this fact.

If the PGA Tour and the other major professional tours were to contribute 33 percent of their annual purse to help golf clubs for the next five years, many would survive. Otherwise, many will not.

George Fletcher
Edinburgh, Scotland

Pros and amateurs are yards apart
The best illustration I have ever heard of the difference between professional and amateur golfers came many years ago (“From the Morning Read inbox,” May 21; May 22).

Jack Nicklaus was playing an exhibition game at a course he had never played. The chairman of the club was with him, and on one hole, Nicklaus asked his companion, “How far is it to the pin?” The reply was “about 166/167.” Nicklaus then replied seriously, “Well, which one is it?”

Most amateurs are aiming for the green, but the pros aim for a very specific spot.

Paul Sunderland
Los Angeles

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