From The Inbox

From the Morning Read inbox

Now playing … comedian John Hawkins
While John Hawkins makes some valid points regarding benefits of the move of the PGA Championship dates to May, it was a total laugh-out-loud moment when I read this line: “Start with the better weather, which should produce firmer and healthier course conditions.” (“Golf’s other major seeks summer send-off,” Aug. 7).

Really? Mid-May dates can produce very inconsistent, if not dire, weather conditions if the tournament is played in northern locations. None other than Jack Nicklaus, who had quite a bit of experience with May dates with the Memorial Tournament, noted that May dates and northern course selections may not be the greatest pairing.

And, let's see, where is the PGA next year? Bethpage, which just happens to be farther north (latitude-wise) than Muirfield Village.

John, don't let the facts get in the way of your argument. Of the first 39 Memorial Tournaments, 64 percent of them were stopped at least once due to weather problems.

You even note in your article that the 2002 and ’09 Opens played at Bethpage were plagued by rain, and that was in June. How do you surmise May is going to produce firm conditions then?

A major championship should be given the best chance to have good weather. Having spent the majority of my life in Kentucky and Ohio, I know that mid-May can be very dicey north of the Ohio River, and finding a solid week of good weather there is very unlikely that time of year. Mid-May will deliver many of the benefits you mention, but it would be a more solid choice if locations are chosen that have a better chance of good weather.

Oh, well, it was a good laugh to start my morning.

Andy Jackson
Fort Worth, Texas

Ban green-reading materials, not long ball
The debate about green-reading materials is interesting (“Proposed green-reading limits miss mark,” Aug. 1).  

I come down on the side that the materials are against the spirit of the game. It adds too much science to a skill that should be more art. If a pro wants to study the book overnight, do it. Just don't pull it out on the green itself.  

The real fear is seeing those we play with (or behind) start carrying a smartphone on the greens. Wait for them to first scan and then study, all before a putting routine ... ugh. Good move nipping this trend immediately.

As to Gary Van Sickle’s allusion to what he thinks is the real “problem,” I must ask: What exactly is wrong with 350-yard drives? I don't see one.  

Hans Mahler
Leesburg, Va.

Balance beyond the arena

I agree with John T. Doyle’s comment about Dustin Johnson (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Aug. 7).

Life is about balance, and even Tiger Woods is striving for that in his relationship with his children. Jack Nicklaus, arguably the greatest golfer of all time, was a family man as well as a great golfer. Roger Federer travels with his family, and his wife is very recognizable to tennis fans.

Hopefully more athletes realize that a playing career is far shorter and less fulfilling than life outside of the arena.

Michael Kukelko
Oak Bluff, Manitoba

Cheers for Molinari and Reed, but jeers for Mickelson
Player of the year? Simple. In Europe, it is Francesco Molinari. And in the U.S., it is Patrick Reed (“Player of Year race could end under Arch,” Aug. 7).

The proposed Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson match is about 15 years late (“In the news,” Aug. 3).

After Mickelson’s totally arrogant display of his disrespect for the rules and etiquette of the game, which he showed in June, it will be a cold day you know where before I tune in to watch Mickelson play golf of any kind (“Mickelson, USGA disgrace U.S. Open,” June 17).

Why anyone would care about watching this match is beyond me.

Kenny Drake
Albany, Ore.

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