From The Inbox

Continuous putting didn’t work then, and it wouldn’t work now

A short-lived rule in the late 1960s requiring golfers to keep putting until holing out did more harm than good, reader recalls

Reader Ray Rose mentions continuous putting (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Oct. 5). It was tried in the late 1960s: as a local rule in the 1966 U.S. Open, a rule in 1968 and rescinded in 1970. In reality, it didn't save time at all. In fact, it took longer because players were conscious of standing on a competitor’s line. It would be a retrograde step to try it again.

Regarding Rose’s plea for relief from divots on the fairway: great in theory, but not so good in practice. It quickly would become the norm for players to expect relief from anything less than a perfect lie on the fairway. You can have a poor lie on the fairway, just the same as you can have a good lie in the rough. It's just part of the game, but encouraging your playing competitors to replace divots rather than just march off would help.

Why can't we see touring professionals replace divots? I accept that the caddies do it, but it would set a great example to see Bryson DeChambeau, Rory McIlroy, et al., replacing the divots they have just gouged out.

George Fletcher
Edinburgh, Scotland

COVID-19 might have boosted Trump’s golf empire
President Donald Trump has a long history of business failures, including six company filings for bankruptcy protection. Thanks to the huge increase of rounds played due to COVID-19 since April, it’s possible that his underperforming golf properties have done better than expected (“Exclusive: Donald Trump’s son says family golf course business ‘has never been better,’ ” Oct. 5).

That may explain why he has lied constantly to the American public about the pandemic and did nothing to address the single most important challenge of his presidency (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Oct. 6).

Jim Hirsch

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