From The Inbox

Shedding light on pace of play

In the U.K., nightfall this time of year comes even earlier than in much of the U.S., so slow play can leave golfers in the dark

I read with interest your U.S.-based readers debating the aesthetics of a round of golf, and concluding that slow play is not very much of a penalty to pay for being in a nice environment for several hours (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Dec. 1, Dec. 2).

In the U.K., there's a rather more pressing imperative to keep things moving. At this time of the year, it doesn't get light before 8 a.m., and it's dark by 4 p.m. English golfers emerged today from a four-week COVID lockdown, so there will be plenty of them trying to manage 18 holes on (for the time of year) quite a pleasant day.

With some clubs reporting at least a couple of hundred members wanting to play today, and limited hours of daylight, it's easy to see that there will be some problems. Golfers who play slowly are going to try everybody's patience, and are as welcome as divot holes on the fairway. At this time of year, the weather dictates that you play when you can, so the “try tomorrow” argument isn't helpful. 

Most golfers in Scotland have not been subjected to the same COVID lockdown, but with daylight at a premium at this time of year, the issue of slow play is still limiting the numbers that can get right round before dark.

Please have some consideration for people who don't want to take all day to play a round of golf.

George Fletcher
Edinburgh, Scotland

Slow play breaks rhythm of game
Reader Mark Harman wants to play six-hour rounds? (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Dec. 2). Let him. Behind me!

The players I know who hate slow play do not do so because they are in a rush to finish. They hate it because it disrupts the rhythm of their round.

Why do we warm up before the round if we are going to have to sit for 10 or 15 minutes, waiting to hit a shot? How do we carry the momentum of a birdie to the next hole when the group in front of us is still on the tee box? Or the feel of a sweet swing with a driver when we have to wait in the fairway to hit the next shot?

When you’re walking, it’s tough just to stand there for even five minutes, much less 10 or 15. Imagine if a basketball team had to wait five minutes after scoring to take its next shot – oh, wait, we had that with the four-corners offense, and it was killing interest in the game, leading to the shot clock.

Topgolf and other driving range/bars are going to replace golf courses because the next generation, unlike Harman, is not going to be grateful that it takes them five hours to play a round. 

Mike McQueen
El Paso, Texas

Weiskopf mistakenly presumes to know
Shame on Tom Weiskopf for his huge mistake and cardinal sin of assessing outward behavior (“Rory McIlroy fires back at Tom Weiskopf,” Dec. 2). Never, ever assume that you know another person’s conviction and/or heart.

I have covered many sports in my life and interviewed many athletes, and one takeaway is that personality traits and outward appearances are not necessarily what you think they are deep inside that person. No one knows the heart that beats within.

Rory McIlroy has no reason in reality to even respond. No one has the right to judgment. I never saw a better ball-striker in my life than Tom Weiskopf, but here he struck the wrong chord.

Bob Geismar
Boca Raton, Fla.
(Geismar has worked in radio and TV sports since 1974.)

Weiskopf loses in comparison with McIlroy
I'm sorry to read such a pathetic midweek, no-news golf article in Morning Read (“Rory McIlroy fires back at Tom Weiskopf,” Dec. 2).

I would be surprised to see anyone caring what Tom Weiskopf has to say about anyone. This is the same man who berated the U.S. Senior Amateur champion in the 1996 U.S. Senior Open for marking his ball with a quarter.

Within the article is the key as to why we should ignore this drivel. Weiskopf: 16 PGA Tour victories, including one major championship. McIlroy: 18 PGA Tour victories, including four majors.

Weiskopf loses this comparison.

Dave Curley
Sacramento, Calif.

Keep ’em coming
This was an awesome article by John Fischer (“As good as Bobby Jones? Yes, she was, and then some,” Nov. 25).

I would love to see many more historical articles like it, as I love learning more about the history of the game.

I will pass this along to my two daughters who also play the game. This will give them a great history lesson on one of the relatively unknown female pioneers of the game.

Anthony Witte
Excelsior, Minn.

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