From The Inbox

World-ranking system makes sense

Reader awards common-sense points to the Official World Golf Ranking for its fairness. Not buying it? Then read the explanation

Arguments about the Official World Golf Ranking system have raged for years, and the authorities now and again have made some serious attempts to devise a method of ranking golfers based on achievement. However, there always are dissenters (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Oct. 26). Many believe the golfer who is hot in the current season should be world No. 1, but history shows that the success can be just the proverbial “flash in the pan.”

Having read the official explanation as to how the position of world No. 1 is decided, I note it does take quite a few factors into account and, thankfully, it does include tournaments from the various tours worldwide. I was pleased to read that points are awarded not only for a win, majors, top-10 finishes and the quality of the field; in other words, consistency and success. I also was pleased to note the absence of prize money in the calculation, as the prize value more often than not does not reflect the difficulty of the course or the quality of the field. 

The current points system seems to be fair and does try to recognize the best golfer in the world. Perhaps we should acknowledge that the holder of the title world No. 1 changes more often today because the standard of the top golfers is more equal.

I would recommend that anyone who doubts the accuracy of the current system should read the OWGR’s “How the ranking system works” explanation.

Mike Wilson
Innerleithen, Scotland

You’re better than that, Hawkins
John Hawkins has lost his mind (“It’s too soon for fans on PGA Tour,” Oct. 26). It is not too early for fans nor too early to live our lives. The mortality rate from COVID-19 continues to plummet while increased testing continues. It is going to be just like the flu and stay with us continually. There will be a vaccine with a way to lessen the effects, but it’s time to get back to living.

In lieu of finding something meaningful to write about, Hawk just spewed silliness. It was a very disappointing piece from someone who should be better.

Garen Eggleston
The Villages, Fla.

Freedom of choice
The beauty of a free country is that we all have a personal choice. John Hawkins' idea that “It’s too soon for fans on PGA Tour” is his opinion. But it's just an opinion (“It’s too soon for fans on PGA Tour,” Oct. 26).

If PGA Tour players and fans together want to enjoy professional golf tournaments in Bermuda and Houston, that's their choice. If John Hawkins or any pro golfer is fearful of such a situation, he can skip those events. It’s their choice.

Based on a number of scientific studies, many people are ready to go back to living life. The Chicken Little ideas from those in the government and media do not live up to reality.

In a free country, the fearful should not be making unilateral decisions for those who are not.

Allen Freeman
Brecksville, Ohio

Find your own ROI with golf
Time and money. An article with little data in Morning Read identifies the chief reasons for the low level of golf participation (“Study: What’s holding people back from playing more golf?” Oct. 23). It cites poor return on investment, or ROI, a business term that is a little odd as applied to a sporting or leisure activity. I assume it means, Did you enjoy it enough to do it again? 

Golf is a funny game. It is more often frustrating than not, with more disappointment than elation at our performance. If you need your leisure activities to be ones that always result in success and high fives all around, golf probably is not for you.

Part of the problem here is how we play the game. Too much emphasis is placed on score vs. par, a meaningless number. Comparing your score to par is bound to be a downer. Even if you prefer stroke play, par means nothing; it's just your total vs. your opponents’ total. Match play is a lot more fun, and your overall score no longer matters. Of course, as Sam Snead said, matches are won and lost on the first tee. Be sure that you have negotiated the strokes appropriately. Perhaps this more enjoyable game will increase your ROI. 

It takes being an admirer of Sisyphus to understand why one plays golf. Yes, that rock is going to roll back down, but Sisy keeps on plugging.

To be a golfer, one must accept that you never will conquer the game. Perfection is not attainable. It is the pursuit of a better performance, the journey, not the unattainable destination that matters, whether you are Tiger Woods or a hack like the rest of us. Woods understands this reality but still pushes that rock up the hill.

If you can understand this, that the reason to play is not so much to succeed but to pursue success and enjoy the time with your friends, your ROI will improve. 

Blaine Walker
St. Paul, Minn.

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