From The Inbox

From the Morning Read inbox

Some leaks in Hensby’s theory 

I read this quote from Mark Hensby in your newsletter (“What went wrong? Hensby opens up,” Dec. 21, “On the PGA Tour, when you play 5½ hours in an afternoon round and then you get pulled in and then if you can't go to the toilet for a few hours and then you can't drink too much water because then you're too hydrated and they can't get a sample, you could be there for three, four hours.”

Laughable, and he is typically someone who hasn’t got a clue of what happens in the rest of the sporting world. It happens to more people who live in the U.S., whether they are Americans or not.

Every cyclist who competes in, for instance, the Tour de France has the same problem. And think of marathon runners, cross-country skiers, etc. Nobody complains, except pro golfers like Hensby.

Jan Kees van der Velden
Heemstede, Netherlands


A short answer for faster play

In regard to Mark Anderson’s letter “No time to waste” (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Dec. 21, and stating that golfers are getting away from the game because they do not have the time to spend six hours playing a 7,800-yard course, there is a simple solution. Play the 5,800-yard or so tees and play the course in 3½ or four hours.

We have a senior group of golfers in our 55-plus community (some who are 70-plus), and we can even do that. And enjoy it.

Gerald W. Fowler
Cary, N.C.


It’s up to golfers to police their pace

Rather than look for solutions for slow play at the top, it's time to find the solution at the core of golf, which is the course operator, the professional staff and, most importantly, the golfer.

Policies must be implemented requiring rounds to be completed expeditiously, play from appropriate tees, waving up players in certain situations, proper cart management (especially when two players ride together), posting signage for use of provisional balls (especially on blind shots, deep rough or woods), training beverage servers on proper etiquette and adopting a pace-of-play model.

The professional staff need to place the tees and pins in locations that do not unnecessarily slow down play but still keep the game interesting (such as not tucking pins on long holes or on busy days). Enough marshals need to be educated and employed to help the golfers with pace issues, strategically placed to observe for lost balls, proper cart placements at greens, and assisting (when necessary) in raking bunkers, moving carts and "advising" golfers when out of position and how to remedy the situation.

Golfers must take responsibility for their pace, noting when they have lost sight of the group ahead, learning proper golf-cart management by walking a little more, playing provisional balls, watching where the ball is going, reserving "practice" and teaching for the lesson tee and playing expeditiously. There is absolutely no reason why golfers cannot read their putts and prepare to play their shots while their playing companions are playing theirs.

Rules and suggestions from knowledgeable people are great, but it will always be up to the golfers to play the game as it should be played.

Ed Smilow
La Quinta, Calif.


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