Keeping Score

From the Morning Read inbox

Tour must act against slow play

I sincerely hope that my opinion on slow play might influence the powers that be to make a long-overdue change.

The latest glaring example involves J.B. Holmes in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines (“Keeping score,” Jan. 29). Unbelievably, he took more than four minutes to play a shot. No penalty? Why? PGA Tour officials have no desire or intention to speed up play. They don't even have to change the rules. Just enforce the ones in place.

It's not easy as a fan to put a shot clock on each player's shot, due to the fact you cannot possibly be everywhere at once. It is absolutely possible for the Tour to have an official time every player, every shot, every round and enforce the rules.

Slow play is a huge problem at all levels of golf. The PGA Tour players are a prime example.

I hope that you guys at Morning Read will use your resources to put a clock on as many players as possible, as often as possible, and publish the findings. Maybe you can make a difference. I urge you to help. 

The time that it takes Tour players to play is ludicrous. I do not believe the “situation” ever merits more than 40 seconds to hit a shot. If the Tour starts enforcing the rules on slow play in all events, at all times, across the board, it will “out” the habitual offenders. At that point, I would not put the group on the clock but rather the culprit. Don't blame playing competitors for the offenses of any one individual. But, please, get the problem fixed.

Five- and six-hour rounds are not uncommon on Tour. If you penalize slow play, and thus cost the offenders money, the situation will improve. It needs to, for the good of the game.

Mike McFerron
Prescott, Ariz.


Holmes’ shtick wouldn’t fly in Streamwood

If I were to take a four-minute pre-shot routine on my local course, the ranger would ask me to move to the next hole. On a second time asking me to pick up the pace, he would tell me to leave the course.

These guys are professionals. If they don't know their club yardages by now, it’s really a shame.

Figure your yardage, look at the trees for wind, pick a club based on your lie, and let’s move on.

Again, the governing body doesn't, or won't, do its job. The sponsors of these tournaments could have a lot to say about pace of play and remind the players to keep moving. Slow play could be rewarded with less prize money at the end. That may get the players’ attention.

It costs more to broadcast longer, so the longer they take, the lower the payout. That might be a good motivator.

Dennis Beach
Streamwood, Ill.


An inexcusable delay

Can J.B. Holmes really be shocked about the uproar over his slow play? I thought the players were given a primer every year about slow play. It must go in one ear and out the other.

I find it unbelievable that he was shocked at the uproar over his inordinate amount of time to play a shot. Pro or not, to approach five minutes to pull the trigger on a shot is ludicrous, no matter what’s on the line.

Paul Freker
Tucson, Ariz.


USGA should take cue from AJGA kids

I liked the email from Paul Rust of Warren, N.J., headlined “AJGA emphasis on pace works (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Jan. 31,

He said, “The first golfer to putt out hustles to the next tee, tees up and hits as soon as possible, then waits for the next two golfers.” This is a great idea to speed pace of play, but we need to get the USGA on board. In the Rules of Golf’s Etiquette section, under the heading “Consideration for Other Players” on the putting green, the USGA says: “Players should remain on or close to the putting green until all players in the group have holed out.”  

If the USGA is really interested in pace of play, it needs to revise its etiquette guidelines to something more in line with what Paul Rust and the AJGA are doing in Warren, N.J.

George Zelznak
Portland, Ore.


Clock would sharpen decision-making

Other sports have an increasing factor of difficulty as you move along in the ranks from amateur to professional. The use of the pitch shot clock (baseball), distance of the three-point line (basketball) and number of feet needed to be down in play to be a legal catch (football) are a few examples. Golf could use a dose of this.

What does golf have, other than distance, to distinguish level of play? Why not add a clock at each level as well? Tax the distance between the ears. Decision-making is a skill to be developed, too.

Eric MacKinnon
Palmyra, Va.


Woods stands out as legend

I watched most of the Farmers Insurance Open live and recorded the rest because Tiger Woods was in the field. Other than the majors, I have watched very little golf over the past couple of years.  

The Babe Ruth analogy put forth by your reader was well done (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Jan. 31, Why would a fan not want to see such a dominant player in his sport?

I hope that Woods stays healthy and wins again soon.

Jim Kavanagh
St. Augustine, Fla.


Add Morning Read to the syllabus

I know that Morning Read is primarily about golf, but many articles provide readers with information and facts in other areas of which they might have had little previous knowledge. Adam Schupak's article on Waste Management's sponsorship of the Phoenix Open was one such article (“All thrills, no landfills: Phoenix cleans up,” Jan. 31,

I was very impressed by what I learned from that article, and Waste Management should be congratulated for its environmental initiatives. The company certainly is the appropriate sponsor for this tournament, considering the size of the crowds.

In a perfect world, this would be required reading for all U.S. high school students.

Well done, Waste Management, and Morning Read, thank you.

Ron Yujuico
Euless, Texas


Morning Read invites reader comment. Write to editor Steve Harmon at Please provide your name and city of residence. If your comment is selected for publication, Morning Read will contact you to verify the authenticity of the email and confirm your identity. We will not publish your email address. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and brevity.

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