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That’s not the Bryson DeChambeau whom I met

In contrast to John Hawkins' article, reader recalls encounter with DeChambeau, whose rapport with kids helps make a new fan

It appears as if John Hawkins isn't all that fond of certain elements of Bryson DeChambeau's personality, but I had a personal experience with DeChambeau that makes me a definite fan (“Bryson DeChambeau makes strong pitch to defy convention,” Sept. 28).

At the RBC Heritage tournament at Harbour Town two years ago, my two young sons and I were there late Friday, observing DeChambeau and a couple of other players hitting on the range. When DeChambeau was done, he came our way, and a group of students from the local junior golf academy stopped him and asked a question about his swing. He gladly spent the next several minutes talking with them about technique.

After he was finished, I asked him if he would take a picture with my two boys. He said, "Sure," and proceeded to good-naturedly make fun of the flip phone that I had at the time (hey, I like to keep things simple). He then thanked us for coming out to the tournament.

We all have our faults, sure, and sometimes I think sportswriters too often emphasize them when writing about their subjects. I'm not suggesting going back to the Pollyanna days of the 1950s, when every athlete was swell, but these days, we all could use a little less emphasis on the negative.

Mark Harman
Ridgeland, S.C.
(Harman is the national course director for the U.S. Golf Teachers Federation.)

Penalty strokes might get DeChambeau moving
It’s OK for Bryson DeChambeau to slow up things, including my dinner, with his analysis of everything, but three minutes is plenty of time to search for a lost ball? (“With Bryson DeChambeau, it’s paralysis by analysis,” Sept. 29).

DeChambeau gets virtually unlimited time to putt from 10 feet, but I get three minutes to search for my ball. It seems illogical, at best.

Maybe he needs a few penalty strokes to get him with the flow.

Allan Feldman
Mount Gretna, Pa.

Throw the book at the slowpokes
Dan O'Neill is correct (“With Bryson DeChambeau, it’s paralysis by analysis,” Sept. 29). Pace of play might be getting worse.

One would think that yardage books would speed up play by removing the need to pace off yardages and second-guessing which club to hit. One would be wrong.

Now, the pro and caddie both have to consult their own yardage book, as if one book might be more accurate. Then, they debate whether to hit a hard 9 or an easy 8. And then, they end up in a greenside bunker, or short-sided. It reminds me of guys I play with.

It will only continue to get worse, until we all stop watching flies procreate. My suggestion for punishment is disqualification if a twosome can't play 18 holes in at least 4½ hours. If four hours, add two strokes to their final score. Add one stroke if a twosome takes 3½ hours.

I’ll bet the pros in the good old days played faster without yardage books. I wonder whether the pros today could survive without a yardage book.

Ken Horn
San Antonio

A story that fails to keep pace with the headline
Dan O’Neill’s premise begins that Bryson DeChambeau is so slow, middles with the game has become more analytical and all players are slower, and ends with more cheap shots against the most interesting person in golf (“With Bryson DeChambeau, it’s paralysis by analysis,” Sept. 29).

I thought maybe O’Neill would compare time between shots or number of times the DeChambeau's group was put on the clock by the referees, but was treated to another opinion piece backed up (without even) a number or two. In other words, just more drivel from a guy filling up his column.

Thank O’Neill’s headline writer. He spiked my interest, but O’Neill couldn’t hold it.

Steve Saunders
San Diego

PGA Tour should throw the book at this trend
Dan O’Neill nailed it with his article regarding Bryson DeChambeau (“With Bryson DeChambeau, it’s paralysis by analysis,” Sept. 29).

The PGA Tour must bring the usage of books and maps under control. The Tour could increase the pace of play by requiring players to use their ability to read a green or select a shot.

Gordon Williams
Ellsworth, Ohio

Pace-of-play primer: Look, aim, fire
Reader Layne Yawn is right when he says three minutes is the wrong length of time to allow a player to search for a ball (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Sept. 29).

The authorities thought it might speed up play. The Law of Unintended Consequences took over, as it usually does. When it was five minutes – minimum, whoever timed that? – there was a chance the next group on the tee might be called through. Now it's three, so no way; that group probably is not ready to play yet. Also, it's more likely that you've played a provisional ball, taking another minute, so you won't have to walk back even in a stroke-play competition. The problem is that with calling a group through, it speeds them up a couple of minutes but slows the rest of the field down by 10.

Tapping down spike marks shouldn't be an issue for club members. How often do you see a spike mark these days? The reverse problem is more relevant: modern soft spikes leave significant indentations. Are you going to treat those as you do pitch marks and repair every one?

Come on, guys. If the PGA Tour pros miss the hole from 8 feet on billiard-table greens, then you can be sure that any blemishes between your ball and the hole are just as likely to help you as hinder.

Have an “LAF”: Look, aim, fire. Your innate ability is the best putter that you ever will have. Just try it.

Terry Wall
Winchester, England

Lop 2 inches off the maximum driver length
I have been strongly opposed to any new rules concerning equipment for some time, especially messing with the ball. But I do believe that making the driver length a maximum of 46 inches would keep some sanity in this race for distance (“Bryson DeChambeau solves a new equation in golf,” Sept. 22).

There is no good reason for 48 inches to be the legal length, and now is the time for common-sense solutions in this distance debate.

I know it seems too easy, but there is nothing to be gained by thinking a long time about this one. Doing it now clearly is a step in the right direction.

Al Fiscus
Searcy, Ark.

Trump doesn’t invest in golf properties to lose money
I suspect that Donald Trump has some idea what he’s doing investing in golf properties. Why else would he dump $213 million into Doral? Just to lose money? Be serious (“Report: Donald Trump tax returns reveal massive losses at golf courses,” Sept. 29).

What if a person bought a large house on a busy corner and then put $2 million into the place for it to become a bed-and-breakfast? At the end of that year’s taxes, the owner probably wouldn’t have anything to pay if he called what he was doing on the house a business expense, which it clearly would be. What is so different about that than what Trump is doing, except he’s doing it on a much larger scale?

The problem today is that The New York Times and maybe even the Morning Read staff want us to look at this like a snapshot of evil and not a photo album of good.

Lou Body IV
Jacksonville, Fla.

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