Keeping Score

From the Morning Read inbox

A vote for change at World Golf Hall of Fame
Like Gary Van Sickle in his commentary Monday (“It’s time for Golf Hall of Fame to evolve,” Jan. 28), I believe that the induction ceremony for the World Golf Hall of Fame always should be in St. Augustine, Fla., and organizers need to find a golf-appropriate time to announce the inductees. Also, as Van Sickle mentions, the hall needs to have more elaborate displays of the greats of the game, past and present.

I have been to other sports halls of fame. After the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., I find the World Golf Hall of Fame to be my favorite, but it could have more. I love the history of golf, but many golfers don’t really seem to care. That’s sad, considering that golf has been around longer than other sports.

Maybe Golf Channel needs to do more to promote the game’s history. The network did great mini-series on Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, but it can do more. Tell the story about how professional golfers were not always considered superstars, and that they could not even get dressed in the clubhouse where they played tournaments.

Van Sickle raised so many good points that could bring more significance to the World Golf Hall of Fame. I hope that somebody reacts.

Jim Tulloch
Paramus, N.J.

Psst! Hey, Monahan, are you paying attention?
Maybe the PGA Tour’s new administration will be receptive to Gary Van Sickle’s ideas regarding the World Golf Hall of Fame (“It’s time for Golf Hall of Fame to evolve,” Jan. 28). The old administration certainly wasn't.

I've been beating on them for 30-plus years, and it's been the same old, same old.

The World Golf Hall of Fame is not dysfunctional; it's non-functional. There are three major elements – the hall, the golf courses and the hotel – and they operate separately. A friend of mine booked a convention and had to sign a contract with each of the three. Never again, he said.

Van Sickle’s ideas are all worth considering. The new leadership team at the Tour already has shaken things up there, but it will take more than rearranging the deck chairs.

I hope that Van Sickle’s column is sitting on the desk of Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and that he gives it more than a passing thought.

Fred Seely
Jacksonville, Fla.

Saudi debate isn’t only cause for indignation
While we are taking stands (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Jan. 28), how about we take a stand against the state of New York? Last Tuesday, the New York governor signed a law allowing late-term abortions – up until the baby’s due date, in many cases. Late-term abortions are barbaric, cruel and extremely painful for the unborn child. How great would it be if the PGA Tour – or better yet, Tiger Woods – took a stand against this insanity and didn’t play in New York because of the law?

Two years ago, the sports world went into protest mode against North Carolina for introducing a bill that said a man has to pee in the men’s bathroom and a woman has to pee in the women’s bathroom.

My guess is we won’t hear a peep out of anyone on this New York legislation. Come on, Tiger. Bring this madness to light.

Or, we can just continue to complain about slow play, the new drop rule or how expensive new clubs are.

Mike Villarrubia
Metairie, La.

Like it or not, European Tour drags politics into golf
Reader Gregory Tatoian advises, “Keep politics out of golf” (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Jan. 28). He asks, “Why do some people think American ideas should be everywhere …?”

My messages are simple: How can you ignore the callous, arrogant and evil murdering of another human being? Is standing up to a totalitarian regime political or merely being human and doing the right thing?

Indeed, many countries and individuals are not perfect. However, that is not a reason for not doing what’s right.

Finally, it is a golf story when a major golf tour chooses to do business with a regime such as Saudi Arabia’s. The European Tour cannot deny that its decision to play the inaugural Saudi International sends a message to others that the actions of this country are not such that they do not motivate the tour to cease doing business with that country.

What does a nation have to do not to have the European Tour do business with it? Kill someone?

Michael Kukelko
Oak Bluff, Manitoba

Saudi critics should save some ire for China
I wonder about all of the complaints regarding the European Tour going to Saudi Arabia and the screaming about participating due to human-rights violations (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Jan. 28). But I really wonder why there was nothing said when the various tours held events in China.

While it may seem as if China is an open and free country, nothing could be further from the truth. China continues to censor news, and it continues to suppress free speech.

So, if you're going to complain, at least be consistent.

Bill Tignanelli
Perry Hall, Md.

Wake up, golf czars, and let us place the ball
It seems as if the USGA and R&A just can’t catch up to the modern, real world. They make feeble attempts to simplify the ancient rules of golf and always fall short.

Flag stick in or out: I wonder how long it took to debate that nonsense. Fixing spike marks on the green: Who wears steel spikes anymore, except some idiot pros? (Every course I play prohibits steel spikes.) Ball drop from the knee: Whose knee height is legal, and how does that fix anything? Make a real change: Place the ball.

Here's one situation ignored by the stodgy rules mavens: relief from divots. Declare them to be GUR (ground under repair), with 6-inch relief, with the ball to be placed, no closer to the hole. I say this knowing that this change won't happen in my lifetime, but hey, the suggestion is out there.

Wake up, USGA and R&A. Do some real research and see how actual humans play our beloved game. Make rules that actually will grow the number of enthusiasts with clubs in their hands.

Carl Nilsson
Jacksonville, Ore.

Don’t let Reimers pull a fast one on us
I’m calling BS on Sun Mountain’s Rick Reimers, who told Gary Van Sickle that he played 18 holes in one hour on the FinnCycle (“A faster, more fun round of golf? Hop on,” Jan. 25).

A single can play golf just as fast in a standard cart as on a motorcycle. The time savings on the cycle comes from not dealing with multiple players in the same vehicle driving back and forth between their shots, which often are not near each other.

However, let’s assume it takes one minute from pulling the ball from the cup to knocking it off the next tee. (I’m sure that it’s more like two minutes, even if a player is hurrying, but for the sake of argument …) That’s 17 minutes spent between holes, meaning 18 holes were played in 43 minutes, or 2.4 minutes per hole, from tee off to hole out.

Playing nine holes in an hour requires an average time of less than seven minutes per hole (less than six, if you factor in the between-holes time). That’s a lightning-fast pace, but possible. Twice that fast? Not likely.

Another way to look at it: Let’s say the guy is a really good golfer, and shot a 75. He would have to average one stroke every 48 seconds. That’s absurd! Add in the time between holes, the occasional bunker shot and raking afterwards, maybe one drop following an erroneous shot, perhaps the odd three-putt, plus other players on the course, and it becomes quite obvious that even with the motorcycle, you’re not going to play a round of golf in an hour.

There is no way that happened, unless he was not concerned about his score, and therefore spent no time checking yardage/wind nor pulling the right club ... or perhaps he was trying to set a Guinness record. I think it’s more likely that the story of his round of golf in an hour was embellished following a few rounds of Guinness in an hour.

Gregg Cook
Mechanicsburg, Pa.

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