From The Inbox

Next big step for golf: Welcome more Blacks, women

To PGA professional, his organization's dismissal of Donald Trump signals the way forward to attracting a new generation of golfers

I became a PGA professional at age 67. I am an author, lawyer, professor and someone who, like Morning Read's Alex Miceli, has written to the PGA of America to cut ties with President Donald Trump (“Golf needs to take a stand against Donald Trump,” Jan. 8). Even before the PGA took this stand to move the 2022 PGA Championship, Morning Read and many others also called on the PGA to move the tournament from Trump National Golf Club Bedminster.

Miceli is to be thanked and congratulated for his stand and influence in the field of golf.

Now is not the time to gloat or take it easy. We now can get on with the most important next thing for the game: earnestly inviting Blacks and women to play golf.

Golf needs everyone and, to some extent, everyone needs golf. No war ever started on a golf course. The Rules of Golf promote peace, civility and integrity, as Miceli noted. But rules don't matter if they aren't being enforced.  

We need to end the discrimination against women and minorities in golf and everywhere. We need to help turn Trump golf properties such as Trump Ferry Point in New York, which is having its contract canceled by the city, and other courses into women-owned and minority-owned properties. There are very few “Class A” African-American PGA members in the country. Increasing the number of African-American and female PGA members and assisting them to become course owners must be a key goal for golf.

Where we go from here in golf depends on Miceli and Morning Read, and how we get younger people, women and minorities to say, Golf is my game, my business. It is time to bring the outside in to take golf into the future.

Herb Rubenstein
Brooklyn, N.Y.
(Rubenstein is the director of instruction at the Brooklyn Golf Alliance and the vice president and general counsel of Golf Pro Delivered.)

A transatlantic plea for civil behavior
Like reader Ken Chojnacki, here in the U.K. most of us are hoping for a healthy dialog that leads to compromise and understanding (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Jan. 13). Unfortunately, looking back at the letters published in recent days in Morning Read, the comments were almost all monologues holding immovable positions on one side of the political spectrum or the other (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Jan. 11; Jan. 12).

Just as the whole Brexit saga enters a new and less divisive period over here, let's hope that your new president reaches out to the great majority of citizens who did not vote for him and finds many of the compromises that Chojnacki, I and many others are seeking.

And let's make the Ryder Cup a lesson in how to behave when you devoutly want a specific result, but it doesn't come to pass.

Terry Wall
Winchester, England

Stick around and maybe learn something
I knew that life had changed when after the 2016 election, I wished someone at my country club “Happy holidays,” and the person responded with, “We don’t have to say that anymore.” I hadn’t realized how deeply the resentment was to a more inclusive, politically correct lifestyle.

Today, politics influences everything. Golf is not immune. We can’t even battle a national health crisis without interjecting politics.

After the 2016 presidential election, people shocked over the result were called “snowflakes.” After the 2020 election, many of the people who coined that term are reacting exactly the same way, with the equivalent of, I am going to take my ball and go home.

During the time I have read Morning Read, I have read several letters that I thought were downright ignorant. Some have prompted me to reply. Now, I try to see things from that different perspective. I will concede that most times, it’s a bridge too far, but quitting never solves anything.

I suggest that rather than getting upset and threatening to quit newsletters, newspapers, blogs or conversations that disagree with your personal viewpoint, try hanging in there to engage in the conversation. At the very least, you might gain a better understanding of an issue. At best, you just might learn something.

Terry M. Fraser
Brooksville, Fla.

Shut your pie hole, Miceli
Stick to golf, Alex Miceli, you ignorant moron (“Golf needs to take a stand against Donald Trump,” Jan. 8).

If you haven’t any verifiable knowledge of exactly what happened on Jan. 6, keep your pie hole shut.

Randall Gosh
South Milwaukee, Wis.

Fair-weather readers
While reading the bulk of responses to Alex Miceli’s opinion on President Donald Trump and his place in the game, I had to laugh at the common phrase, “I didn’t sign up to Morning Read to read about politics” (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Jan. 11; Jan. 12; Jan. 13).

I have to believe that if the article or opinion piece had been complimentary to our president, these “ex-readers” would have no problem at all.  

Chuck Harrison
The Colony, Texas

Just hold your nose and move on
I have read with interest the comments by readers for and against President Donald Trump, plus the comments about Alex Miceli's articles (“Golf needs to take a stand against Donald Trump,” Jan. 8; “It’s beginning of end for Donald Trump’s golf empire,” Jan. 12).

Those of you who are going to quit reading Morning Read because of political comment by Miceli should just stop reading those articles. That way, you won't be offended and can enjoy the rest of Morning Read

Michael Merrill
McKinney, Texas

Not so fast on those returns
If reader Roger Clark thinks Annika Sorenstam and Gary Player should return their Presidential Medals of Freedom, I guess he thinks Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods should return theirs, too (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Jan. 13).

And while he’s praising Bill Belichick for doing the right thing by refusing his medal, does Clark think the New England Patriots coach, whose teams were caught in “Spygate,” “Deflategate” and other questioned activities, should continue his acts of honor and return his Super Bowl rings?

Charlie Jurgonis
Fairfax, Va.

Delayed applause for a timeless concern
I just read Alex Miceli’s article from the June 29, 2020 issue of Morning Read and really enjoyed it (“Should Masters change its name?” June 29).  Being a Black American, I can tell you that I agree with Miceli. It is indeed time to take a closer look at the use of the word Masters as it pertains to this golf event. 

To some Black people, the use of that word doesn’t bother them. They understand the use of Masters the way the general population views it: as masters of golf. However, a great many of us see it through the lens of the Blacks who worked the grounds, and others who worked the various subservient positions and carried the bags for the White male golfers. Augusta was antebellum and a retreat to yesteryear, a time when Blacks stayed in their place, and that place was to serve the masters. 

If club chairman Clifford Roberts still were alive, I presume that things at Augusta National would be the same.

Russell L. Walton
Los Angeles

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