One ‘curmudgeon,’ many opinions
I am an avid reader of Morning Read. I greatly enjoy the writers’ commentaries on various topics. One of my favorite sections is the “Inbox.” With this in mind, and given that I fancy myself a card-carrying curmudgeon, I have decided to weigh in briefly on a number of topics myself.
Anchored putters: It doesn’t matter a hoot whether or not they’re legal. If “Joe Six-Pack” wants to use one during a round with friends, or even while golfing solo (which many of us real folks do), he will continue to do so. Harping on the legality/fairness of such implements and their use is like telling “Joe” to stop taking mulligans, or stop improving his lie by nudging the ball with the clubhead onto a tuft of grass. Rules to the contrary, people will continue to do what they do and enjoy themselves.
Main-stream golf magazines: I used to subscribe to a couple such publications but no longer find them relevant. E.g., articles and ads for the “latest and greatest” equipment, implying the need to avoid obsolescence in order to remain “competitive”; ads for $10,000 wrist watches, $80,000 automobiles and high-end golf courses. Does anybody really purchase a $150 pair of golf shorts?
Handicap indices: I know no-one who actually pays for, let alone uses, an official USGA Handicap Index. There are plenty of free handicap calculators on the Internet, if a person is really interested in such.
Other USGA/PGA suggestions: Two programs touted in recent years by these organizations are “Tee It Forward” and “Play Nine.” These are meant to grow the game by, respectively, encouraging folks to play from more forward tees (to allow for a more realistic chance for amateurs to reach the green in regulation, and to increase speed of play) and to play only nine holes (to allow for more golf when time is a factor). The real world: most golfers I know have been playing from forward tees for years, especially older golfers. And few people I know play a full 18-hole round. This is probably also true of many others who play at nine-hole municipal courses.
An idea with guaranteed resistance
The game can be improved by increasing the ball size. We did it once before when the international ball was smaller than the American ball, with good results.
A larger golf ball would have many benefits: courses would not have to be lengthened; equipment manufacturers would benefit from new sales of balls and newly optimized clubs; the ball would sit up more, to help novice players; increased wind resistance would reduce pros’ drives much more than the average player; and some classic courses could once again host PGA Tour events.
Shorter courses also would speed up play a bit. Dialing back distance by 10-20 percent would use physics to balance the issues that have been exacerbated by improved technology.
Easy location, same result
You could cut the holes in the middle of the green and these guys would still play slow (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Dec. 21, http://bit.ly/2kzKn3p; Dec. 22, http://bit.ly/2CuySV0). Nature of the beast.
Schodack Landing, N.Y.
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