From The Inbox

From the Morning Read inbox

Another waste of technology
Gary Van Sickle sums it up pretty well with his commentary on green-reading technology (“Proposed green-reading limits miss mark,” Aug. 1). He makes a couple of references, though, that deserve further exploration. 

Van Sickle concedes that non-tournament players (he calls them “choppers”) often ignore the black and white of the rulebook. What a dastardly deed! And he is correct in this assessment. Who cares if we eliminate stroke-and-distance penalties from our game? We all are playing the same game. 

Just what is a “chopper” or, my preference, a “hack”? The hack swings and hopes. Some hacks have a good idea about where the ball will end up, and these players are the low-handicap guys who win club championships and some state titles. Others know where the ball should go, and they actually get it in the vicinity maybe half the time. These players have medium handicaps, and they lose net competitions to the next group. The higher-handicap players usually are surprised when the ball finishes near their target. Their currency is net birdies.

The green-reading technology probably never would be of any use to 99 percent of these players. As Van Sickle alludes, the player still has to putt the ball. You could mark a line of putt on the green from 10 feet away, and most hacks still would make only two or three of 10 tries.   

I saw a great waste of technology recently. A player was using a range finder that measured to the half yard.

Jim Kavanagh
St. Augustine, Fla.

Ban the book, quit yapping and play
I found your article to be quite interesting, but I think you, the USGA and the R&A have missed the mark.

I can’t believe the length of time it takes for the best players in the world to play a round of golf. These pampered prima donnas have a debate over virtually every shot. Then they must look at every 2- to 3-foot putt from every angle before standing over each putt while they ponder their navel.  

And now, while you don’t want to let them have a book with every twitch on every green, you suggest it would be too demanding to “police” green-reading capabilities? It should be quite easy: ban any such tools. Also, limit discussion between the caddie and player to 15 seconds, then hit the bloody ball.

Michael McGinness
Greenville, S.C.

A glove tough enough for Houston
I am driven by something not mentioned in John Gordon’s story about golf gloves: sun (“Golfers get a grip: Use glove or go bare?” Aug. 1). Even the toughest sunblocks no longer are adequate for my fair-skin hands. Also, applying sunblock leaves some of the product on the palms, which is grip-negative even if you try to wash it off.

Another problem during Houston’s humidity festival (June through September) is that gloves get wet quickly, and many brands of gloves get stiff when dried.

The Fit39 brand of gloves on both hands is our answer: washable, good grip wet or dry and total sun protection.  

Continuing to play without cancer is the most important goal for me and my wife.

Jim Jewitt

But you’ve still got to wear a shirt
A couple of years ago, I ended up in a place for a week with no sticks, no golf shoes and no gloves. I rented clubs, but I wasn't going to buy shoes or gloves. Surprisingly, I played no worse without them.

When we got back home, I fell right back into the trap. Hey, when you have 17 of something, you’ve got to use it, right?

I believe John Gordon might have just saved me some money.

Bruce Wyrwitzke 
Astoria, Ore.

Morning Read invites reader comment. Write to editor Steve Harmon at Please provide your name and city of residence. If your comment is selected for publication, Morning Read will contact you to verify the authenticity of the email and confirm your identity. We will not publish your email address. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and brevity.