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Van Sickle’s view sounds unnatural

I generally enjoy reading Gary Van Sickle’s columns, but this one really struck a nerve (“Trend could be music to golfers’ ears,” May 2).

Comparing rock music to chirping birds?

The sounds of nature are an integral part of my golf experience. Birdsong, running streams, wind in the leaves, even the distant rumble of a passing freight train – all remind me that I am outside, playing the game I love. These sounds center me, not distract me.

Yes, a younger golfer could make the same argument for his or her music. But this is an artificial addition to the landscape – play the ball as it lies, including the sound of the natural environment. The golfer wanting music has a simple solution – headphones or wireless ear buds – and does not have the right to impinge on those players expecting a quieter round of golf.

Tim Schmidt
Cary, Ill.


Music fans should keep tunes to themselves

How about the millennials listen to their music with earbuds or headphones. Why should I and others be subjected to music we don't want?

I seriously doubt that whether you can listen to music on the golf course is the deciding factor for playing. If it is the deciding factor, I doubt that they were going to do much golfing in their lifetime anyway.

Michael Merrill
McKinney, Texas


Tone-deaf blue coats ruin the game

A few years ago, I was listening to my iPod while playing in a local tournament. A fellow competitor informed me that I was in violation of the Rules of Golf. I disagreed and continued to rock on with Dean Martin.

After a couple of holes, the guy just kept making an issue of it, so I let the music die. 

Of course, the stuffed shirts at the USGA put forth a rule the following year prohibiting music during a round of golf (Rules of Golf Decision 14-3/17). They are determined to make golf less fun and inviting, and they are doing a great job.

What are the odds on walk-up music at the U.S. Open?

Jim Kavanagh
St. Augustine, Fla.


Be courteous to others, music fans

I am not in favor of music on the golf course, but I understand that everyone has the right to pick and choose.

My problem is, why do I have to listen and be distracted by your musical choice? If you want to listen to music while you golf, then go ahead, but at least have the courtesy to use a set of ear buds, headphones or whatever so as not to disturb other golfers around you. They do make and sell cordless models, if the cord interferes with your swing. This way you can listen to whatever type of music you want and as loud as you want, and everyone has an enjoyable round of golf.

Chris Koenig
Beecher, Ill.


It’s music to readers’ ears

Gary Van Sickle's column is spot on.

I’ve been a fan of a little melody on the course for years. At my previous club, there were members who just complained if someone else was listening to some sweet sounds. These were the same guys who would curse loudly, stop their swings for an auto driving down the road or come up with any excuse for their mistakes.

This speaker looks like it might have to debut in my bag.

Please pass my acknowledgements to Gary for such a good article.

Garen Eggleston
Galloway, Ohio


A fool and his headphones

I can visualize myself walking after a perfect drive at the ninth with Miles Davis' “Summertime," or maybe thinning a chip and then consoling myself with Buddy Holly's "It doesn't matter anymore." Losing a tight match to a fluky chip at 18? Then perhaps Steely Dan and "The Royal Scam." 

Who cares about the old guy on the next fairway whose backswing is disturbed by the latest Taylor Swift?

Wait a minute, I am the old guy on the next fairway.

Get your music fix in the car on the way to the club, and don't even think of wearing earphones when you're playing with me. Golf is for conversations.

Maybe Van Sickle was late submitting his April Fools' Day article.

Terry Wall
Winchester, England


Not ready to rock

I'm open to music at the golf course, but if it's rock music, I'm taking my green fees someplace else.  

Dan Syme 
Wilmington, Del.


Turn it down and enjoy the view

The problems are, do I like the same kind of music as you want to play, and how loud is enough?

I love golf for its beauty and serenity. Being outdoors in some of the most beautiful places on earth is inspiring and part of why I play the game. I don’t need blaring music blaring to add to my experience.

Doug Baker
Austin, Texas


Rules of Golf limit music in competition

Your recent article on music devices while playing might have included a reference to Rules of Golf Decision 14-3/17, which would prohibit them during competition.

Thomas Franko
Chatham, N.J.


Music lover prefers golf’s sounds of silence

I love music almost as much as the next guy. I have thousands of songs in my music files. In fact, I have a hobby of converting old LP records and cassette tapes to MP3 files so they can go with me everywhere. However, music has its place and doesn’t necessarily belong everywhere all the time. 

One can’t go to any kind of sporting event without high-volume music starting instantly after play stops and continuing until play begins (or sometimes shortly after play begins). At times, it can be annoying for those of us who consider a sporting event to be a social occasion and would prefer to talk and discuss the previous play. Alas, we are prevented because the music is so loud that it is hard to be heard.  

In his article, Gary Van Sickle mentioned that Steph Curry and other NBA players love to wear headphones so they can listen to music while they warm up. That’s exactly how music needs to happen on the golf course. If an individual wants to listen to music (especially his kind of music), then he can wear headphones and listen to his heart’s content. I don’t want to listen while I play. We both can be happy.

One of the reasons I golf is to enjoy the serenity. The Sound Caddy will obliterate any hope of that. Why do the preferences of the one always seem to override the wishes of the many? 

I wonder how the Sound Caddy users will respond when an errant golf ball is heading directly their way, but their love of music overwhelms the distant shout of “fore” from the embarrassed golfer. Maybe a wallop to a tender area will deal a dose of reality.

Garry Tollefson
Regina, Saskatchewan


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