Pull the plug on shot clock
I really don't care how long a professional takes to play his stroke, as long as: 1) I don't have to watch it on TV because they cut away to someone who is playing a shot, and 2) it doesn't affect a fellow competitor, as apparently happened when J.B. Holmes kept Alex Noren waiting for five minutes earlier this year (“It’s about time: Shot clock debuts in Europe,” June 6).
That's the way tennis champion John McEnroe gained an edge, by arguing with the umpire while his opponent cooled off. There's a word for that, and it's not very nice, so it's good that they are trying to enforce some rules to prevent it.
However, as Geoff Ogilvy implies, a blanket 40 seconds per shot is dumb. A player might usually take 15 seconds but have an awkward situation in which he takes 60 and gets penalized; a player who takes 39 seconds every time doesn't. Keeping the other guy waiting is the big no-no. Apply the penalty when the other player has had to delay his preparation or stroke.
The amateur game suffers because players study putts from all angles, despite having very little idea what they are actually looking for. It's either a bit left, a bit right or straight; now, get the pace right (far more critical) and hit it. You're never more than 2 feet wide but can be 10 feet short or long.
PGA Tour and roller derby
Professional golf is about one thing and one thing only: money. When one stroke is worth so many thousands of dollars, you can understand why a PGA Tour player takes so much time to hit a shot. That doesn't make it right, but at least it is easier to understand why it happens. These Tour players know that the pace-of-play rules are not enforced, so they continue to violate them. This does not happen in other professional sports in which there are time limits.
The current and previous PGA Tour commissioners have been useless and incompetent in finding a solution to the problem. Their only concern is and was raking in their share of the take. The only way we will ever see a real remedy to the problem will be when it gets to the point that attendance and TV viewing drop so low that tournaments have to be dropped and canceled because sponsors can no longer turn the profit needed to make them viable.
For amateur golfers around the globe who simply love to play the game for recreation, health benefits and camaraderie with their fellow players, golf will continue to be played and enjoyed. Tour golf has little impact on these people. In today's world, many amateurs don't waste their time going to professional tournaments or watching them on TV. They use that time to go out and play themselves.
Tour golf in the U.S. soon will go the route of roller derby of the 1950s. If you think that could never happen, you're living in denial. The PGA Tour certainly has had more than enough time to remedy this problem, but it has been steadfast in its desire to put money above the good of the game.
I admire the Europeans for at least trying to save the game at the professional level.
A twist on golf’s shot clock
Let’s turn this totally around. Reward players for fast play.
For every round in which a player hits every shot or putt within 40 seconds, that player is rewarded 10,000 bonus FedEx Cup points. Subtract 1,000 for each time he misses the mark.
Something like that. You can work out the details. I’m trying to finish this email within 40 seconds.
(Williams is the associate editor of Triad Golf Today.)
Cantlay personifies golf’s slow-play issue
In the piece about the shot clock, Phil Mickelson says that Patrick Cantlay might deserve a spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team. If Cantlay makes the team, I probably won't watch the matches.
While he was playing the Memorial, I turned it off because it was way too painful to see his ridiculous motions go on and on.
The game is far too great to be portrayed by young men who are terribly slow, and it really points to the need to penalize the tardiness. After these guys have hit millions of shots and rolled trillions of putts, it hardly seems necessary that they take so much time to study what they want to do.
Step up and hit it, for goodness sakes.
Tour needs to penalize for slow play
The PGA Tour should start penalizing players for slow play. Give one warning, then a one-stroke penalty per instance.
Fining a rich golfer means nothing, whereas strokes can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. That will get their attention.
That’s just Tiger being Tiger, kids
With regards to the gentleman who was disappointed in Tiger Woods’ actions on No. 18 at the Memorial Tournament (“From the Morning Read inbox,” June 6): Why would you be surprised when that has been the way he has acted for the past 20 years? He has never been very fan friendly until a glimmer of hope appeared recently, but old habits kick back under stress.
Woods, other pros give back in unseen ways
Wow, can Tiger Woods do nothing right these days? The haters are watching like one-eyed hawks for him to act like the old Tiger whom they could really dislike. I wish he would go back to his old ways and win some tournaments. I don't need to see him slapping palms with fans like the guys who finish in the top 50 every week.
When I finish one of my many disappointing rounds, I shake hands with my fellow competitors (fist bump the nose picker) and go to the scoring table or the parking lot. I never acknowledge my fans unless one has a cold beer waiting for me.
I don't know why some people expect professional athletes to be "nice" all the time. Most of them give plenty back to society that we will never hear about, and outside of their unique talent and work ethic, they are just people like anyone else.
St. Augustine, Fla.
The focus on Ted Ray
Ditto everything that reader Betsy Larey said about Judy Rankin (“From the Morning Read inbox,” June 6), but the piece was about Ted Ray (“It’s time for Memorial to honor Ted Ray,” June 5). Alex Miceli was just being nice to even include her as his lead-in.
Sounding off about CBS
Following up on the reader comments concerning the coverage of the Memorial by CBS, I once again was totally frustrated by the sound during their coverage (“From the Morning Read inbox,” June 4).
Why would the network pay all that money for commentators and then cover up their comments with music and noise from crowds and airplanes? I felt as if I were sitting in a gymnasium filled with screaming fans rather than watching a golf tournament.
CBS is by no means the only guilty network, just the most recent. When it gets to the point that I have to mute the TV or, heaven forbid, choose mowing the lawn over watching a tournament, things are bad.
Cary M. Pardue
Lake Charles, La.
A Korean interpretation
The Koreans have an old saying: To Americans, golf is a leisure; to Japanese, golf is a serious sport; but to Koreans, golf is a religion (“Asian invasion leaves Americans in dust,” June 4).
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