Pure golf talk, minus any varnish
I start every day with Morning Read. The content and the writing are excellent. Thank you.
I just began listening to Hawk & Rude on my way to work and now have something new to look forward to. John Hawkins tells it like it is. He strips away the varnish and the hype.
So, if you can stand the truth about what’s going on in golf these days, their podcast is worth the time.
Golf draws a crowd in New England
I read with interest in Morning Read about the uptick in golf rounds in May (“Keeping score,” June 28). I wasn’t surprised that New England was up 17.7 percent from the same month last year. That was attributed to warmer weather here. It must have been in southern New England, as the northern reaches were unseasonably cold in May. However, the courses we generally play were quite busy.
When I hear that the golf participation rate is down, and that courses are closing, I always wonder where those places might be. In my experience here and in other places, the courses are usually packed, and 4½-hour rounds are common. It must be mainly private venues.
‘The future of our game’
Being a proud granddad, I find it terribly 1960s for men to think that women can't play at a pace that is acceptable (“From the Morning Read inbox,” June 27).
Like many golfers, I don't like being paired with men who really think they are significantly better than their skill proves. I enjoy being paired with women who like the game, are a pleasure to play with and have the same rights as any other.
Many men think they're professional quality and aren't even decent bogey players, while yelling, swearing and making others nearby miserable.
I always have played golf with women and find it to be quite a nice experience. They are the future of our game.
Ready golfers meet their match
Several years ago, a buddy and I were in Orlando for the PGA Merchandise Show and squeezed in a round of golf. We are "ready golfers," and the starter paired us with two women who weren't beginners but were not headed to the LPGA, either. They were a pleasure to play with. They kept up, picked up occasionally (as we did) and bought a round from the beverage cart.
It has been my experience that female golfers play as fast or faster than some of the men at my course. Generally, if our female members are in front of our group, we barely can keep up with them. If they are behind us, well, it is disheartening to see them waiting for some of our directionally-challenged men.
If anyone has a chance to play golf with women, take advantage of the opportunity. They don't wait to try to reach par 5s in two, they don't cuss at bad shots and maybe even will buy you a cold drink.
St. Johns, Fla.
Watch and learn
Some years ago, I went to one of my favorite courses in the Rogue Valley or Oregon as a single. As we golfers all know, singles have no course rights (such as playing through a slow foursome). As a single, we get put with the next less-than-four group. On this day, the pro (whom I had known for many years) said I could tee it up now if I wanted to join two women, who were not within earshot of our conversation. I love golf, hate waiting and said yes.
We three all played from the member tees (not the forward tees). I outdrove both on most long holes, but they posted lower scores on most holes, and took no time doing it. I learned more that day about short-game finesse than I have learned from all the magazines and online lessons.
Watch the LPGA, guys. Learn a lot about how to shoot low.
The end of preconceived golf notions
When my son and I were playing many years ago, we were paired with two women. We suppressed dual groans at what we thought would be a very slow round. The reality was anything but.
Although the women could not hit as far as Tom and me, they were deadly accurate: 160-175 yards off the tee, but straight down the middle and always playing on the short grass. I was pushing it out to near 200, but I was left-right all day long.
In the end, I'm sure that their scores were better than mine. Plus, they frequently were waiting on the green for us to arrive.
I never made the mistake of preconceiving the abilities of other golfers again.
Pompton Lakes, N.J.
A little space brings them together
I am glad that my wife doesn’t play golf. We do a lot of things together, and she understands that golf is my outlet. I see many couples on the course arguing, because most of the time the husband thinks he’s an instructor, and it actually slows play.
To those who like to play golf with their spouses, by all means, but I’m glad my wife understands and agrees that I need my time.
Gender-neutral golf fan
We who love golf really don't care, as long as what we're given is good golf. And, wow, the women sure can do that (“LPGA evolves on global sports stage,” June 28).
I hope the sponsors appreciate what they do.
Then, there's the PGA Tour. Are the sponsors getting what they bargained for when the best players often skip many tournaments? No wonder some longtime sponsors have decided to go elsewhere with their money.
Unraveling mystery of rocket 7-iron
Gary Van Sickle says that he's hitting the G700 7-iron past his old 7-iron (“Embrace golf’s new tradition while it lasts,” June 27). I don't know what he's been hitting, but because he's a very good player, he's probably playing something like Titleist's AP2s. The G700 7-iron has 29.5 degrees of loft compared with 34 degrees for the AP2 7-iron. No wonder he's hitting it farther. He's comparing a 7-iron to a 6-iron.
But he's right about how technology has improved ball flight, spin and other short-iron characteristics so that lofts can be lowered.
I test drove the G700 7-iron on Wednesday, and it is pretty impressive. So much so that I'm taking my 6-iron out of the bag and adding a G700 7-iron. (I’ll carry two 7-irons.)
Why try to hit a 6-iron when I can get the same distance and better flight characteristics with an easier-to-hit 7-iron?
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