From The Inbox

PGA of America takes selective stance on change

PGA moves to distance its association with the late Horton Smith but ignores other parts of its history, notably a relationship with Augusta National and the Masters

The PGA of America’s selective move at an attempt for needed change raises some additional questions and points of interest (“PGA of America renames Horton Smith Award in diversity move,” July 3).

Is Horton Smith still in the PGA Hall of Fame? Is he prominently honored in the PGA of America Museum? What about other past leaders who did nothing when in position to do so? For example, the PGA board members who in November 1960 opted to uphold the “Caucasian only” clause? How about all leaders in the 27 years that the clause was in effect? What about those who selected events to be hosted at facilities that had racially exclusive membership and employment policies (Shoal Creek in 1990)?

Why be selective and address one part of history and not all?

A more effective and meaningful approach by the PGA of America would be transparency about its past and present relationship and involvement with Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament. Many people in and out of golf are not aware of who Horton Smith was, but many are familiar with Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters and their history with discrimination (the statement by the late club co-founder Clifford Roberts, who was a longtime Masters chairman, “As long as I’m alive, all the golfers will be white and all the caddies will be black”) and Fuzzy Zoeller’s racially insensitive comments at the tournament in 1997.

The PGA America should take a stance to influence change with a recognized golf entity that is globally known to many and certainly would be a significant move in the right direction for inclusion. This is inclusion on race, but what about inclusion of women? Diversity in the PGA’s membership?

The PGA has made many bogeys over the years regarding doing the right thing and has had many mulligans to make a meaningful difference, with inclusion specifically with race and gender within the golf business, governance of the association and in the makeup of its membership. Now is the time to leverage its relationships, influence and financial resources to make a meaningful difference.

Also, the PGA of America continues a pattern of being selective with how it deals with issues. Consider the PGA’s handling of Horton Smith to how it handled past presidents Paul Levy and Ted Bishop (“PGA applies double standard in Levy case,” June 17, 2018).

Patrick Casey
Santa Monica, Calif.
(Casey is the director of golf at Brentwood Country Club in Los Angeles and a past president of the Southern California PGA Section.)

The devil made Purkey do it
I'm not the biggest fan of Bryson DeChambeau, but Mike Purkey’s article about him in Morning Read, while grammatically unimpeachable, reads as if it were written by someone eaten up with schadenfreude or by someone who either is misguided or delusional (“Bryson DeChambeau’s winning formula doesn’t add up,” July 6).

The only thing that is revealed in the article is the author’s hypocritical character. Purkey uses a minor moment (and that is all it was: a minor moment) in an otherwise stellar tournament of professional golf as the basis for maliciously attacking DeChambeau's character. The article promotes unhappiness and is proof positive that the devil uses Purkey as a tool for him to influence others and to do his dirty work.

What happened to Purkey’s message about people appealing to God's higher court to have the verdict against them reversed so they can walk away, free and clear of Satan's prior judgment? Does that begin with a biased piece of hackneyed journalism?

It appears as though Purkey and Satan are now in a partnership, with Purkey sitting on some self-anointed throne of judgment. Purkey should be ashamed of himself. Does he think the power of the press comes without the price of receiving its own criticism?

Purkey probably doesn’t like this type of feedback, but it is the cost of doing business as a so-called journalist. If he can’t accept it or at least become more sensitive to the hypocritical tone and human consequences of his own words, maybe he should find another way to make a living, perhaps as a proofreader for Hallmark greeting cards. It’s certain that he wouldn’t receive critical feedback such as this while doing that type of job. No one outside of Hallmark would even care.

Aaron Tong
Seabrook, Texas

Olesen deserves chance to play pending court verdict
I hate a bad drunk, especially in a confined space, as much or more than anyone, especially if he might have assaulted a woman. But does Alex Miceli believe that Thorbjorn Olesen might continue to be a menace to society? (“European Tour errs in allowing Thorbjorn Olesen to play,” July 8).

The fact that his case got pushed backed a year was not his fault, and that time might be more of a punishment than he will get if found guilty.

He's not running away from this, so let him play and then he can get his punishment next year, if found guilty.

Bob Seidman
Oceanside, N.Y.

Belief in presumption of innocence
I’ve got to disagree with Alex Miceli (“European Tour errs in allowing Thorbjorn Olesen to play,” July 8).

I believe in innocent until proven guilty. The Europeans should have held their own hearing with Thorbjorn Olesen. If they found at that time that he violated their policy, then he should have been suspended. If they agreed on a suspension until the litigation is complete, at that time he should still be suspended.

But if being drunk on a plane is enough to get you suspended, the Europeans would have no Ryder Cup team.

Boyd Welsch
Gainesville, Fla.

Memories of Minerva Lake
I couldn't believe it when I saw Minerva Lake in Gary Van Sickle’s article about closed courses (“Whistling past the golf graveyards,” July 7).

I played the course many times as a teenager while learning to play golf. I always played by myself. On Minerva, I broke 40 for nine holes for the first time (1972), and I broke par there for the first time (1973). I used to get to that last hole and was convinced that I was going to make a hole-in-one, and missed it by the barest of margins several times.

It is a shame that Minerva had to go, but based upon where it was, I am surprised it lasted that long. That's valuable real estate on the north side of Columbus, Ohio.

Casey Alexander
Harrisburg, N.C.

It’s a good thing that Sam Snead wasn’t around to see it
Gary Van Sickle’s article reminded me that when the Lower Cascades course at the Homestead Resort in Virginia closed in 2013, J.C. Snead said he was grateful that his uncle Sam already was gone because it would have broken his heart (“Whistling past the golf graveyards,” July 7).

Sam Snead apparently loved that course, particularly in his later years. It was not as well known as the other two Homestead courses (Cascades and Old Course), but I loved it, too.

Patrick Hand
Rapidan, Va.

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