From The Inbox

From the Morning Read inbox

One game, one ball

Is it not about time for the professional golf tours to adopt a policy requiring all competitors to play the same ball? (“For aspiring pro, there’s no turning back,” April 18).

Other than bowling, golf is the only professional sport I'm aware of that allows game participants to use their own private ball.

Part of the problem of older golf courses becoming obsolete because of players’ increased distance could be solved if everyone competed with a ball from one source issued by the tournament. That way, the tours would avoid the problem of players using balls designed for their particular swing, or with differing behavior patterns because of dimple design or ball construction.

It would be a good first step.

Rufus W. McKinney
Bethesda, Md.


There’s no place in golf for a rollback

The “no turning back” comments by Mike Van Sickle have merit (“For aspiring pro, there’s no turning back,” April 18).

I'm old enough and cranky enough to adopt change slowly. An early adopter, I'm not. But putting myself in their shoes, I understand and agree with his points.

Let's forge ahead. Don’t roll back things to which several generations have become accustomed. Should we bring back the land lines versus the cellphone? 

The USGA and R&A's snail's-pace review and study of the changes they allowed and now want to limit may define reactionary. They should buck up and deal with the results of their inaction.

Yep, the kids are bigger, stronger, faster and are able to take advantage of technology. Us old guys, not so much. Even playing it forward, we’re still trying to squeeze another 10 yards longer off the tee. Any manufacturers out there with some new equipment to help us?

Dave Richner
St. Johns, Fla.


It’s all relative

There are plenty of news sources from whom facts are available. I like to read others’ opinions, especially those that are somewhat controversial.

As for Tim Finchem’s salary, I didn't find that particularly offensive (“PGA Tour chief merits his millions,” April 19). Sure, it's a lot of money to us, and the PGA Tour has its problems. But relative to other salaries within the sports world and value received for these salaries, it's probably in line. And any time we take a position, we cherry-pick examples that support our stance. And those of us who disagree, we cherry-pick examples to prove our point. 

The Morning Read writers should keep up the good work. The more controversial, the better.

Charlie Jurgonis 
Fairfax, Va.


Finchem deserved his millions

Tim Finchem's compensation was minuscule relative to the revenue streams he created and managed.  And let's not forget that professional golf is played by mostly rich guys who grew up in country clubs. They had access to the best equipment, coaches and venues available. Just go check out the bags at any AJGA event if you doubt me. Will the reader also unsubscribe from watching golf on television? (“From the Morning Read inbox,” April 20).

Regarding fitness and clubhead speed, a proper fitness routine will help golfers of any age or sex achieve better results. Nobody has “the same equipment” because the shaft, grip, weight, loft and lie influences how well we strike the ball and how far it might travel.

Many LPGA pros have their personal trainers and spend hours in the gym. Not all of them are more concerned with their nail color than their putting prowess.  

When I reach the point that I reduce my equipment to nine clubs, I won't be carrying the bag. Somebody will be carrying me. By the way, why do you need six balls to play nine holes?

Jim Kavanagh
St. Augustine, Fla.


Commissioner could help change game

There are few topics that, for me, will stir the ashes in the fire quicker than mentioning the amount of money that Tim Finchem carted away from the coffers of the PGA Tour.

In my view, this man was nothing short of a carpetbagger who found himself in the right place at the right time. I won't, however, allow that to make me want to unsubscribe from Morning Read (“From the Morning Read inbox,” April 20).

It was my belief that one of the top priorities for any commissioner of any professional sport was to grow the game. Finchem was too busy lining his pockets to worry about working on that.

When you read the Morning Read inbox, you will notice there is very little, if any, feedback from any young people commenting on their enjoyment and/or participation in golf. All of the very good and interesting comments come from the older generations. By devoting the required amount of time and attention required for growing the game, a competent commissioner would ensure that all who are doing well in their sport would continue to do so and more importantly, do even better in the future.

Sadly, golf is still viewed by young people as a game for the wealthy and, accordingly, they show very little interest. They hear of $10 million compensation packages for a Tour executive, exorbitant winning shares, private jets, mansions, free cars, free clothes, free watches, free equipment for players. Then, after paying for a very expensive ticket and being kicked out of a tournament at the request of one of these prima donna players for showing a bit of youthful exuberance, it serves only to widen the gap between the haves and the have-nots.

We really don't see this attitude in other professional sports. A genuine commissioner, in my view, would devote a lot of time looking into this. 

Ron Yujuico
Euless, Texas


PGA Tour needs to pay taxes

Alex Miceli, you do not need me to defend your column (“PGA Tour chief merits his millions,” April 19), but I have a keen understanding of the PGA Tour's nonprofit status, and it simply is a scam. There is nothing nonprofit about it, so when you choose to compare it with for-profit companies, you are totally correct.

The system allows this travesty to continue. They give relatively little to the charities and own TPC courses making millions of dollars and other properties that would define profit-making companies.

The PGA Tour needs to start paying taxes instead of lying to us about its intentions.

Bob Geismar
Boca Raton, Fla.


Loss of distance but not of love for golf

Unfortunately, my golfing days have about come to an end. I haven't been able to play since I was forced to pick up in September, and I am not sure when I will get back – even for only nine holes. 

I moved to the forward tees when I was in my 60s because I found that I no longer could reach the greens in regulation. 

Now in my 80s, I am in trying to move forward when I can. One of our local city courses, Pinecrest, has a new set of tees. The last time I was able to play them, I found I could reach some of the greens in regulation. I no longer had to use my driver on every hole.

I have not lost my love of the game, just the legs to play it.

Bob Jones
Idaho Falls, Idaho


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