From The Inbox

Marshals could be stymied at pro tours

Reader agrees with red flag raised by Alex Miceli regarding the task that volunteers will face when spectators return to events

Alex Miceli brings up a great point about marshals and other volunteers at pro-tour events (“Major pro tours must face reality when fans return,” Oct. 21).

As a volunteer at many golf events, I know that crowd control is difficult. Marshals’ control is really based on the manners of the crowd. Marshals generally have no direct security contact with any enforcement official. Hole captains might have one or two radios and a cellphone contact, but lone marshals and other ground volunteers are really on their own.

Marshaling a long hole such as a par 5 that can measure 600 yards with 15-30 persons is difficult. Marshals generally are not watching golf but keeping an eye on the spectators’ behavior. Add alcohol to the mix on a warm afternoon, and some spectators can get quite brazen in attitude, language and actions. Adding safety distancing and mask wearing to the mix will be difficult. And how will the various golf bodies enforce these requirements? Professional security along rope lines, limiting entry points, sanitation standards increasing around port-a-potties and food areas? Alcohol will sanitize, but when it is ingested, some people’s inhibitions change. 

Event organizers might consider:

1.  Limit crowds

2.  Serve no food or alcohol 

3.  Increase bus/shuttle vehicles

4.  Increase legal enforcement

5.  Increasing training for volunteers

6.  Move barriers farther from players and people inside the ropes, including a double-barrier system (no-person zones between ropes)

7.  Increase medical aid stations in multiple locations

8.  Better screening of paid help at events coming in via vendors

9.  Better communication systems between volunteers and control agencies instead of the current whisper to whoever is in charge of any given volunteer sector.

Events can be run safely, but certainly not the way they have been run in the past.

In the late 1960s, when the Hong Kong flu was raging in the Far East, I was sent to Vietnam along with more than 2 million others. President Lyndon Johnson did not stop the war or give us protective gear or social-distancing guidelines. One of our R&R locations was Hong Kong itself, and most of us survived. Communicable diseases are terrible events, but our society needs to march forward. COVID-19 or the next flu won't go away easily, but eventually will morph. We need to adjust our behaviors. Human beings are social animals.

Patrick Scott
Lakewood Ranch, Fla.

PGA Tour should check with European Tour for the score
I love to watch Golf Channel when I am babysitting my infant granddaughter (“Changes at Golf Channel could get a fuzzy reception,” Oct. 20)

What I find most interesting is that on the European Tour, the current position in the field for every player is listed, not just the leader or co-leader. It appears as if our European counterparts have more sophisticated technology than the PGA Tour.  When the leaderboard is displayed for PGA Tour events, each player is shown in his position in the field. The data are available, so why not include it on the player information?

Tom Nenos
River Ridge, La.

Show the entire leaderboard
Reader John Cullen made a very good point that tournaments being broadcast should show the entire leaderboard, not just the top 10, and screen it often (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Oct. 21).

That's what European television does, and it's good to know.

Kitty Russell
Houston

Numbers too often fail to measure up
The fairways are much wider on LPGA courses, and the distances that announcers cite for holes are bogus most of the time (“Distance quest comes up short on LPGA, and for good reason,” Oct. 21). They go by scorecard distance when announcing course yardage, but the several LGPA tournaments that I have attended moved the tees forward, especially on the par 5s, with exception of a few holes.

Notice that they never mention the course length on the days when the tees are moved up. Most are shorter than on scorecard. The same can be said about daily length of men's, too.

They should state the course yardage for that day.

Gregory Tatoian
Port St. Lucie, Fla.

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