From The Inbox

Bryson DeChambeau needs to stay the course

If the only variable that he changes is his body size, then DeChambeau should be good for the long haul, reader contends

I enjoyed John Hawkins’ article on the impact to a player when he changes his physique (“Through thick and thin, they don’t always win,” July 15). I agree that it can create problems, but I think there are other considerations.

David Duval's real problem was that after winning the 2001 British Open, he did what many first-time major winners do: signed a big club-endorsement deal. He switched to Nike, a totally inferior club, and then when he couldn't hit them, he tried to muscle up. This, in turn, screwed up his back.

Tiger Woods also constantly struggled with the irons and changed his swing several times, plus his physique. Had Woods stayed with Titleist, he would have won a ton more.

Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka hurt their knees, and time will tell whether they can overcome those injuries.

So far, Bryson DeChambeau is a different story. He changed only his physique. He has perfected his swing and therefore introduced only one new variable in his golf game, but his diet might do him in.

James "Mike" Sickels
Yuba City, Calif.

Food for thought
It’s always a treat to read John Hawkins, especially his take on the bulked-up version of Bryson DeChambeau (“Through thick and thin, they don’t always win,” July 15).

I’m old enough to remember Nicklaus’ transformation from “Fat Jack” to “Golden Bear,” and Hawkins’ musings reminded me of an ill-fated attempt by “The Walrus,” Craig Stadler, to streamline his body.
Alas, The Walrus became a fish out of water. His thinned-out version couldn’t hit a fairway in regulation. Even his mustache seemed to suffer from this extreme makeover.

I’m sure the famished Stadler realized the evil of his ways and thoroughly enjoyed the crusade to get back to his lumpy self. I can picture his quest to double-plate it at his favorite all-you-can-eat.

Then, of course, there was Gary Player, the diminutive Jack LaLanne of the PGA Tour who reinvented himself through a punishing workout regimen that turned his tiny body into a tuning fork. This proved to be the advantage he needed to become a member of The Big Three.

Hawkins takes a light-hearted look at DeChambeau but includes a killer point, made clear in a commercial that made the rounds in the late 1970s: “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.”

Rick Drennan

That just about pegs it
Last week, reader Jay Horton of Port St. Lucie, Fla., had a suggestion that was absolutely brilliant. Eliminate tees from the tee box for professionals and elite amateurs (“From the Morning Read inbox,” July 10).

I am surprised that there have been no comments on his point. It appears to solve most, if not all, of the attendant issues that are being discussed.

Ron Whitmore
Gilford, N.H.

A game that Darwin could have loved
Golf traditionalists agree that this evolution thing is getting out of hand (“Through thick and thin, they don’t always win,” July 15). Who would have imagined the golf ball going too far? Driving the golf ball 350 yards. Damn Bryson DeChambeau, and those golf-ball manufacturers for making a better product.

And custom-fitted club shafts. What was wrong when you had the choice of stiff, regular, senior and ladies? What about drivers that make hitting the ball easier? They just take the fun out of being a masochist.

Let's slow down these advancements in technology, and maybe even reverse a few. Go back to the good old days. Maybe not back to the era of plus fours and neckties, but how about going back to two-lane roads and a 60-mph speed limit? While we’re at it, this whole computer era and emails to the editor should be scrapped. Let's go back to letter writing, sending them in the snail mail, licking stamps and paper cuts. But only selective reversals; cellphones are sacred.

Remember when it was fun to iron a golf shirt? Blading and cutting a new balata ball always elicited a curse word or two.

The traditionalists and ruling bodies are waxing poetically about preserving the integrity of the iconic golf courses. So, their answer: roll back the ball and ignore the evolution in course maintenance, equipment and bigger, stronger, faster athletes. The suits and ties are now having a knee-jerk reaction to their inertia on equipment specifications over the years.

There’s no logic in closing the barn doors after the horses have escaped.

Dave Richner
St. Johns, Fla.

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