Keeping Score

From the Morning Read inbox

Every tournament matters

Every PGA Tour tournament is “meaningful” for all players entered in the event, certainly for the player who emerges as the winner, especially a first-time winner (“Some dates worth circling this golf season,” Jan. 4,

No trophy is “inconsequential” for players, some of whom may spend an entire career without success in quest of just one.

Golf writers and commentators focus too much on the major championships and the superstars of the game, forgetting that golf now is a game played just about everywhere in the world.

I would hate to see the game become primarily a vehicle for promoting certain players, the superstars and most highly skilled players. I play the game because I enjoy doing so, and I watch it on TV because I know every player in a professional tournament is capable of making shots very much like those I make as a 20-handicapper.

Rufus W. McKinney
Bethesda, Md.


Make local event your major

Year in and year out, the golf tournaments worth circling are the ones that bring professional golf to your hometown, a yearly event for golf fans to get up close and personal with the greatest players in the world.

As a young boy, I looked forward every year for the chance to do just that, and now it has become a tradition that I cherish with my son.

So, as we look at the 2018 schedule, I encourage every golf fan to go to the event when it comes near your hometown and make it your major for the year. The PGA Tour needs your support, and it will furnish a lifetime of memories and perhaps even inspire you, your family and friends to get out and play the greatest game ever played.

Ed Smilow
La Quinta, Calif.


Fast fixes for slow play

Why is slow play always the fault of the player? I agree with everything Al Karo says (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Jan. 4,, but he overlooks the responsibility of the pro and/or golf-course management.

Every course should have red, white and blue yardage posts so that players can quickly judge the distance to the green. The “cart path only” rule is abused by many courses, which results in extremely slow play. This is especially disruptive when cart restrictions are enforced for the entire course and not just soft-surface holes.

And finally, for the player: fill out the scorecard on the next tee. When you’re finished putting, get in the cart and move along. Don’t sit and write the score and commiserate about how great you are playing.

Bob Putt
Lodi, N.J. 


The 4-hour maximum

Four hours is long enough for a round. Ready golf! And more importantly, make keeping up with the group in front a high priority.  

David Pope
Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas

Continuous putting is not the answer

A few of your letters mention continuous putting as a way of speeding up the game. I couldn't agree more that the game needs to be sped up. However continuous putting is not the way to do it. It was tried in 1968 (via a change to the Rules of Golf) and quickly abandoned ( It actually slowed the game and forced golfers into contortions trying not to stand on the line of others yet to putt.

The ways to speed up golf are to teach etiquette as well as how to play, to move tee markers forward to prevent people from playing a course which they can't manage, and make match play the de facto game to play, rather than stroke play.

George Fletcher
Edinburgh, Scotland


Take a cue from sandlot games

We seem to agree that we'd like the golf rules to be updated to address faster play, more skills development/testing and reasonable pricing to draw more players out. But just flaunting the rules for convenience doesn't seem to be in the spirit of the game.

Nobody wants to start or end a round – nine or 18 holes – on a sour note, so why not discuss and agree before the first tee on any “allowance” you'd like to see for a “friendly.” It's been done on sandlots and football fields for decades.

Tom Ochal
West Dundee, Ill.


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