From The Inbox

From the Morning Read inbox

$786 for a custom driver? No, thanks
Gary Van Sickle is spot-on regarding club pricing (“Soaring club prices ignore golf’s reality,” Jan. 8).

About a month ago, I was invited to have a fitting and evaluation at Club Champion. It was a freebie, so no harm there. But by the time I left, the pro fitting me had fitted me to my very own custom driver. When I looked at the slip, it was $786.

Once I stopped all facial contortions, I politely thanked him and left the building.

That's just short of the value of all the clubs in my bag, sans my putter (a Cameron).

The average weekend warrior is not going to spend that kind of money for a new set of sticks. Not all of us really need to gain 20 yards or 20 feet for that kind of scratch to enjoy our game. I think you're better off taking that money and getting a few lessons at the range or a playing lesson.

Jeff Tracy
Portland, Ore.

The demise of golf etiquette
Whatever happened to the game where hitting out of a divot separated the “A” golfers from the hacker? (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Jan. 7).

Divot repair (or lack thereof) is an encroachment of etiquette. True players understand this and care for the course appropriately. It’s the same thing with repairing a ball or spike mark on a green. Failure to do so is a breach of one of the most important qualities of this beautiful game: etiquette.

The focus on equipment as the solution to making progress in “getting better” has deceived the beginner into thinking that with better equipment, he will not have to work at his game on the range or understand what it takes to become a true golfer.

Golf is about tradition and etiquette first, then an understanding of the rules interpreted in the spirit of sportsmanship and honor. Equipment is important, but it’s way down the line. Being a good golfer is more than the score.

The USGA has reinforced this deception rather than talking about good teachers. Until changes are made at USGA headquarters in Far Hills, N.J., the game’s wonderful traditions such as the importance of etiquette will die a slow and painful death.

Daniel Cahill
Santa Ana, Calif.

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