From The Inbox

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Setting the record straight on the rules

Sorry to say, but too many of your writers simply don't understand the Rules of Golf.

First was Gary Van Sickle saying Phil Mickelson “should” have been disqualified from the U.S. Open, never mind that the USGA rules committee, made up of the foremost rules experts in the world, made the correct call (“Mickelson’s legacy: ‘Slappy Philmore’,” June 22).

Now we have Mike Purkey claiming that Jimmy Walker not marking his ball before another player chips up to the hole is against the rules (“To many pros mock golf’s rules,” July 4). Purkey cites Rule 22-1, which states, "In stroke play, if the Committee determines that competitors have agreed not to lift a ball that might assist any competitor, they are disqualified.”

Walker said he leaves the ball there on his own volition, so this does not constitute an “agreement.” Now, if Walker were to ask the other player if he should leave the ball there and the other player said “yes,” then this would constitute an agreement and therefore a violation of the rule.

As far as the gist of Purkey's article, that too many PGA Tour players are playing fast and loose with the rules, that may or may not be true. The only people who would know this for sure would be the players and caddies.

Mark Harman
Ridgeland, S.C.
(Harman is the national course director for the U.S. Golf Teachers Federation.)


What’s so difficult about taking a drop?

The touring pros cannot even take a drop without supervision.

What was really a joke was the time that Jordan Spieth was given in the 2017 British Open to take his drop at the 13th hole during the final round.

The PGA Tour and the USGA are cowed when it comes to enforcing the rules.

Gary Cohen
Great Neck, N.Y.


A kid at heart

I have never met Bubba Watson. I don’t need to. I saw him one afternoon several years ago at a local public course, out on the range with a horde of adoring juniors. He was the Pied Piper. He was doing it for free.

Later, they (presumably the older ones!) loaded up on carts and went off in a gangsome to play a few holes, with Watson leading the way. This is all I needed to know about him.

Bubba Watson plays golf with kids on his off time. He is a good guy.

Tom Fagerli
Yadkinville, N.C.


Watch and learn, guys

After watching the LPGA tournament on Thursday evening, I think all of the PGA Tour men should be required to watch the women’s tour and learn from it.

Not once did I see a female golfer take an extra amount of time to analyze a shot and then hit the shot. I don't remember seeing a female golfer make three trips around the green to analyze the break, walk halfway to the hole and practice a putting stroke, nor did they make sure the lines/marks on the ball were aligned with the hole. Most analyzed the break from behind the ball, then stroked it. Best of all, most of them made the putt.

The men could learn and speed up the game. I don't understand why they need chart booklets for fairways and greens. It's not like they haven't played the hole before in practice.

Bobby Goforth
Bristol, Tenn.


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