From The Inbox

‘Pinch the inch’ isn’t such a cinch

Maybe Martin Hall should have considered a 2nd take on chipping in his recent 'Quick Reads' instructional video, reader suggests

I usually don't watch many instructional videos on Morning Read or elsewhere, but I find Martin Hall to be a really good communicator, and his teaching is solid and straightforward. So, I watched his recent video clip on chipping with the concept of “pinch the inch” of turf in front of the ball (“Quick Reads with Martin Hall: A chipping tip to change your game,” Oct. 19).

That's a great concept, although it might make for a lot of skulled chips over the green for many of us. However, I got a pretty good chuckle from the video. Hall’s practice swings left a little divot in front of the ball, to demonstrate the concept of pinching the inch of turf in front of the ball. OK, makes sense. However, when he demonstrated by actually striking the chip shot, the divot he left in the turf actually was slightly behind the ball. Oops!

Oh, well. We all need do-overs, but I thought an editor somewhere might have said, “You might want to take a look at the difference in location of the divots.” 

Amidst all the craziness, it was nice to have a pleasant little chuckle, though.

Andy Jackson
Fort Worth, Texas

Fewer TV viewers might result from diminished product
Part of the problem of declining TV viewership, in my opinion, is the broadcast itself (“One Take: ‘A wakeup call’ for pro tours,” Oct. 20).

I watch every weekend on a recorded delay, to blow through commercials but also to find my “horse in the race.” Even though I’m an old dog, I’m a big fan of the young guns, especially Rory McIlroy, but also Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Matthew Wolff, Bryson DeChambeau and others.

Here’s something that bugs me to no end and is one easy fix: The telecast almost exclusively always follows just the leaders and players within maybe five or six shots of the lead. So, if McIlroy is playing poorly, you never get to see him, except for the odd hole-out or flubbed 2-foot putt. If the camera is never on McIlroy, I say to myself, Well, Rory’s out of it.

Now, I get it that you have to follow the leaders, but not exclusively. Let the viewers see what’s going on with the popular players, regardless of their position. One week when McIlroy was No. 1 in the world ranking, he was playing poorly on a Friday and the telecast didn’t show one shot that he hit. Not one, and he’s the No. 1-ranked golfer at the time. Huh?

It’d be like Major League Baseball deciding that it would not televise any teams until they get past 130 games played in the season. So, what if your team isn’t in the hunt? You don’t get to watch them play; they can’t make the playoffs. Huh?

And when going to break, how about showing more than just the first page of the leaderboard? I’ve got to go to my phone to see where my horse is unless he’s playing well. Every commercial, and then it’s just the first page. Would it take that long to show a few pages?

Here’s another pet peeve that just surfaced for me this past weekend. The commentators couldn’t stop talking and even talked over putts tracking to the hole. Talk about a distraction. Let me watch a little bit of the action. Silence can create drama and tension. I like Karen Stupples’ insights and the accent, but give it a rest occasionally, or make the point and then let the drama build.

She was talking so much, I thought my ex-wife had just walked into the room.

John Cullen
La Quinta, Calif.

A bad move at Golf Channel
I’m very sorry to see how this is working out at Golf Channel (“Changes at Golf Channel could get a fuzzy reception,” Oct. 20).

Moving from a premier golfing location in Orlando to a backwater nothing place in Stamford, Conn., in the name of "consolidation," is somewhat hard to understand. Slashing people and costs, in the total numbers, is probably meaningless. I notice they didn't do this when Arnold Palmer, a co-founder of Golf Channel in 1995, was alive. I only hope these people can find good employment elsewhere.

I worked for a corporation for 35 years and had little respect for the people at the top. They care nothing about people, no matter what they say. Only one thing matters, and that's how to make themselves look good. They always cut people at the bottom, never from the top down. They forget that where the rubber meets the road is where things get done.

At least we have Morning Read.

Michael Merrill
McKinney, Texas

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