From The Inbox

Charting a course for Black inclusion in golf

Reader points to parallels with golf and sailing, noting that Earnie Ellison Jr.’s essay draws attention to a problem that has a solution

Congratulations on a great opinion piece by Earnie Ellison Jr. (“Why is Black inclusion in the golf business so hard?” Aug. 18). Thanks for Morning Read’s attention to the growth and sustainability of golf through diversity.

Ellison’s commentary on what prompts people to enter an activity previously unknown to them or outside their circle of friends and associates is a pathway for all less-than-diverse sports.

Ellison wrote, Blacks provide more support to a business when they see people who look like them in leadership positions and when they are benefiting personally and within their communities.

As a sailor and a golfer who is middle-aged, white and male, I see parallels in the sailing community. If industry, national governing bodies such as the USGA and US Sailing, local clubs and public-access facilities all made it their business to have leadership in their organizations reflect American demographics, we would see steady improvement in financial health for the organizations and an acceleration of new players from previously under-represented demographics.

That is not the only thing that has to be done, but it certainly is near the first.

Rich Jepsen
Alameda, Calif.

Hawkins should stop cherry picking
I love the cherry-picking nature of John Hawkins’ piece on the PGA Tour’s “cash grab” with the FedEx Cup playoffs, saying it struggles to captivate fans, and then comparing it to tennis, horse racing and NASCAR – three sports that barely make a blip on the sports radar (“PGA Tour’s cash grab defies reality,” Aug. 17).

The Kentucky Derby is a drink-fest, and the race, ratings and relevance are over in two minutes. Daytona annually launches the stock-car season, then quickly is forgotten by the following Sunday. Tennis fans wake up to Wimbledon one Sunday in July most years, only to snooze through the rest of the circuit. Hawkins laughingly lists the meager earnings of a Super Bowl-winning player when the NFL cuts up more than $15 billion among 32 teams, with more than 150 players making more than $10 million a year. That’s cherry-picking and clueless.

I always get a kick out of a person incessantly lobbing shots at a sport that he or she constantly covers, hence, makes a living off of it and tries to bury it at every turn. Add up the charitable dollars given annually in golf and compare it to the giants in sports. Collectively, the others don’t even come close to the financial impact that the PGA Tour has on charities and communities.

The goal of anyone leading any sport is to make the competition compelling, and the challenge was to get eyes on the course when most were casting a gaze toward the gridiron. I give the PGA Tour credit for having a postseason and a big prize for which to compete. And “amid a pandemic” seems to translate back to liberal sportswriters such as Hawkins to mean “stop what you’re doing and give up your dough.” The operative word there is your, not Hawkins’.

Joe Cowart
St. Augustine, Fla.
(Cowart is the host of XL Primetime at noon-3 p.m. ET Monday-Friday on 1010 WJXL AM/92.5 FM Jacksonville sports radio, and he anchors the weekends for the enhanced international feed from PGA Tour Entertainment.)

OK, so what’s the answer?
I read John Hawkins’ article above about the “money-grubbers” on the PGA Tour (“PGA Tour’s cash grab defies reality,” Aug. 17).

The players are performing according to the PGA Tour’s rules. Many give back through their foundations and support local charities that resonate with them. The PGA Tour tournaments also generate significant dollars for charities.

I live in Dallas, and I know that the Byron Nelson tournament supports the Momentous Institute. Hawkins also makes a living off of the PGA Tour by covering it. So many people are supported through the tournaments.

Could Hawkins please also express a solution or opinion about what he thinks the PGA Tour should do differently?

Lee Sandlin

Miceli connects with reader
Alex Miceli touched my heart (“One Take: Stand-up guys in a game of integrity,” Aug. 18).

That is exactly what the game is about, and what makes it so great.

It’s what keeps us coming back (besides the perfect chip-in).

Tilman Schäfer
Tuebingen, Germany

Weekend nap time expands
Watching golf on TV without fans is one thing, but the coverage on CBS is really boring.

Jim Nantz is a nice-enough announcer, but Nick Faldo is truly boring. Both are nice guys with great credentials, but neither does much to keep me from dozing off on the couch.

How about a little excitement or controversy, similar to what Johnny Miller and Gary McCord used to provide? I used to look forward to watching golf on Saturday or Sunday, but not so much anymore.

Rob Lindsey
Huntley, Ill.

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