From The Inbox

WGC Match Play highlights need for shot clock

Even his trusty DVR can’t save reader from PGA Tour's ‘disease’ of slow play amid an onslaught of commercial interruptions

I watched segments of and most of the final round of this past weekend's WGC Match Play. If there is a visual epitome of why professional golf needs a shot clock, the DVR'd last few holes of the final match, with eventual winner Billy Horschel against Scottie Scheffler, are poignant and clear, even in playback via DVR.

Having followed the hundreds of enforcement comments and articles regarding speed and shot clocks, here and on other golf-site threads, all having little to no impact on the governing geniuses, it is painfully apparent that professional golf needs an enforced shot clock and less rules officials’ intervention. I could re-list the obvious points that cause delays/slow play, but I will not repeat them.

Regardless of the money and desire to win a tournament, there is no money sum or a cure for a disease that should allow for 3-5-plus minutes of study for a shot.

The COVID-19 season pause and the ensuing restructured re-start last year would have been the perfect time for the PGA Tour to institute a strictly enforced and revised shot clock, but nothing has changed. 

I get that the TV networks, having bid huge money sums to broadcast the events, want more commercial and promo time, but PGA Tour golf on TV has eroded to bare minutes of shots during the usual 4-5 hours of televised “coverage.”

The players know it is a tortoise race, and almost all often succumb to taking a long time on many shot occasions. The chance of a serious penalty is similar to a car with a diplomat’s license plate being pulled over by a traffic cop.

David Pheatt 
Waynesville, N.C.

And now, more than a few words from our sponsors …
I agree with reader Paul Sunderland about the overload of  commercials on NBC’s WGC Match Play telecast (“From the Morning Read inbox,” March 29). They seemed to be 5 minutes apart.

The worst part is the redundancy of ads in a comedy format, or Justin Rose and his Morgan Stanley ad. Once was enough.

After the first time, who bothers to watch the dumbest ads? Do these companies really think people are going to buy their product because the public enjoys the message?

Gregory Tatoian
Port St. Lucie, Fla.

WGC Match Play could use some help
Is it me, or has the WGC Match Play lost its luster? (“Billy Horschel hooks a ’Horn at WGC Match Play,” March 29).

I’d move it from Austin (Texas) Country Club to another course and play it in the fall. End it on a Saturday, too. More of the knockout round and less of the pool play would be awesome.

David Coleman 
Middleburg Heights, Ohio
(Coleman is a member of the PGA of America.)

That’s a Texas-size slight, podner
Austin might be weird, but “industrial”?

I take issue with reader Ron Ariana from Chicago complaining that Austin Country Club, the late instructor Harvey Penick's home club, looks like a municipal course in an industrial area (“From the Morning Read inbox,” March 29).

Puhleeeze!

The river, bridge, outcroppings from the hills, the lakes, sunsets – well, we don't call this area “God's country” for nuttin’, podner!

Kitty Russell
Houston

Female CEOs need to support LPGA
That was an interesting read on the speculation about the new head of the LPGA (“It’s time for a woman to run LPGA,” March 23).

The LPGA has a good product, but the tour is faced with an interesting decision. If you give the job to a woman, what if she fails like former commissioner Carolyn Bivens?

What is needed is for female CEOs to get together and support the LPGA. You go to a men’s event, and there are corporate villages and fun interactive things to do. Most LPGA events don’t even have stands at most holes.

Can the LPGA get on TV with pro-ams and skins games, or a “Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf”-type show? Be creative. Shame the female CEOs into backing other women. Be big-time!

Bob Malone
Long Beach, N.Y.

Major title should not hinge on TPC Sawgrass’ ‘quirky’ 17th
The furor that has been suggested about eliminating the PGA Championship as a major and replacing it with the Players forces me to weigh in (“From the Morning Read inbox,” March 24; March 25; March 29).

As a golf lover and watcher of the sport for more years than I can recall, I do not like the idea of a major championship possibly being decided on a quirky hole such as the 17th at TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course. To have a major decided there would denigrate a player’s full effort over the previous 70 holes.

I also favor only one major being challenged on the same course, that being the Masters at Augusta National.

The PGA Tour can’t get Sawgrass with high rough and rarely firm and fast during March. But that’s why you have a readers’ “forum,” so we may weigh in our thoughts.

Garen Eggleston
The Villages, Fla.

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