From The Inbox

From the Morning Read inbox

Allow yardage devices and pick up pace
The ongoing slog that we are witnessing on various tours is getting out of hand (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Feb. 19). In large part, this results from players and caddies doing remedial study on each and every shot. The Cliff’s Notes they keep are getting ridiculous.

In an effort to speed things up, I propose letting all caddies/players use yardage devices, which, by the way, can be used in all but elite events currently.

The USGA and R&A miscued on this one and should allow these devices in all events. They could then ban the use of yardage books.

Giving players a daily pin sheet in addition to allowing use of yardage devices would eliminate the summit meetings that now take place on every shot on the tours we golf fans now watch and suffer through.

John Douglas
Vero Beach, Fla.

Slowpoke penalizes entire group
A slow player penalizes everyone, especially the poor suckers having to play with him (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Feb. 19). You can't get into any sort of rhythm, always having to wait until the slowpoke goes through all of his garbage to finally hit a shot. By the time you finish, your nerves are shot and you want to never get near that person again. Any hopes you had for a good round are squashed by the time you finish the first hole (“Tiger, tortoise star in West Coast drama,” Feb. 19).

All of golf needs to speed up a bit – everyone everywhere – especially the PGA Tour. That's where younger players get their habits: watching pros. Seeing slow play rewarded gives them the idea that it's OK for them, also.

It's time for professional golf to step up and understand its place in leadership and put a halt to the flight of slow play.

The CBS commentators at the Genesis Open were constantly saying of eventual champion J.B. Holmes that "he could have done all this while the others were playing their shot; he could have been ready to hit by now, not just starting to think about things."

The Tour has to stop rewarding dawdling or all of golf will suffer from it. People say they don't watch golf because it's so slow. Just like baseball and football have done, golf needs to cut out the delaying tactics and get going.

Bill Peterson
Provo, Utah

Simple slow-play solution
The only pace of play that concerns me is the pace of the groups in front of me. Am I waiting? Too slow. Am I behind? Too fast.

Oh, you mean the pros! Well I really don't care, because I can just record and fast-forward through those pesky commercials and Peter Kostis droning on and on while chanting swing path. That thing about skipping the commercials might be a concern for the PGA Tour, though (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Feb. 19).

Here's a free suggestion that will end slow play forever, in one swell swoop: The next time the Tour has a final-holes showdown with a one-stroke margin and the boys are taking forever – I’m talking about you, J.B. Holmes – just slap a two-stroke penalty on the offender, costing him the victory. They'll be running to get to their ball and hit it instead of using it as a contemplative object for meditation.

If there is any bonus for solving this vexing problem for the Tour, well, Morning Read knows where to find me.

Blaine Walker
St. Paul, Minn.

Grassroots initiative would send message to Tour
J.B. Holmes said upon winning the recent Genesis Open that he plays slowly because of all the money at stake on the PGA Tour.

Simple: Reduce the money. How? Start a movement in which all TV viewers say they will not watch Tour events live but only after taping, thereby skipping commercials.

Once sponsors see that their ads are not being seen, they will not pay to advertise, and prize money would dwindle. Trickle down: less money to play for. Play faster or play for less.

Larry Guli
Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

Report facts and let us decide
Kudos to Matt Kuchar for doing the right thing and paying caddie David Ortiz what he requested after Kuchar’s victory in the Mayakoba Golf Classic (“Kuchar feels heat, pledges caddie bonus,” Feb. 18). As well, I respect Kuchar’s apology and ownership of responsibility.

Now, if only the golf media (I mean you, Jaime Diaz of Golf Channel) could permit this to go away. When people with a forum jump to Kuchar’s defense, a debate is invited. Here I go: Can Diaz really infer what is in Kuchar’s heart? If so, what was in his heart when he indicated that he didn’t lose sleep over his initial treatment of the caddie? Would Diaz’s intuition be impaired when Kuchar reached out to Ortiz through Kuchar’s representative?

I tire of supposed golf journalists kowtowing or bootlicking those whose favor and access they seek. A true journalist or chronicler reports news and information, not personal opinions. We can decide for ourselves.

Michael Kukelko
Oak Bluff, Manitoba

Analysis goes up in smoke
After reader Patrick Scott's round at Mayakoba, his "David Ortiz" lit up a Cohiba Behike cigar with one of the ill-gotten $100 bills and drove away laughing in his silver Rolls-Royce, right? I don't think so (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Feb. 18).

Life can be tough south of the border, and it's too bad that a club caddie took advantage of Scott's party, but it's not quite the same thing.

The real David Ortiz bore the responsibility of carrying a bag at the Mayakoba Golf Classic, a PGA Tour tournament that multimillionaire Matt Kuchar won, for another $1.296 million. Kuchar needed to give Ortiz a fair percentage of the prize. It is the customary thing to do; it is the gentlemanly thing to do; it was the right thing to do.

Shirley Stuart
Berkeley, Calif.

Woods gets too much TV time
I’m not a Tiger Woods fan, and I am appalled at the TV coverage he gets in every tournament in which he plays.

No other player on the PGA Tour is televised like Woods. The networks show him a number of seconds before, during and after every shot he takes, no matter whether he is in first place or last place. I agree there are many Woods fans, but there also are many other fans of Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and others who don’t get nearly the same coverage.

When Woods first came on the Tour and would make a long putt for a tie or a win, he would make an extremely angry face and pump his fist, as though he were saying, Up yours, to all other players. His expression was angry, not happy, as he should have been.

He seemed to be bringing a culture of behavior seen only on the football field. After a while, a few other golfers started the same sort of behavior, but after Woods’ absence from the game, that became rare. Most golfers age 55 or older whom I have been watching would behave with dignity and poise when making great putts to win or tie – a nice smile and perhaps raise their arms in victory.

His character, the way he cheated on his wife with so many women, is beyond what I believe is a decent human being, and Woods does not deserve the coverage he gets on TV. It’s gotten so bad that I now turn it off if they continue to televise his every movement when he’s not even in contention.

Dennis Picano
Virginia Beach, Va.

Don’t encourage ‘Mexican bandits’
Beating up on Matt Kuchar to overpay his caddie only re-enforces the Mexican bandits (“Kuchar misses gimme on doing right thing,” Jan. 15); (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Jan. 15).

After playing golf several times in Mexico, I’ve learned the hard way not to pay caddies, cabbies, hotel clerks, restaurant staff, tour guides, etc., anything but the agreed-upon price after the proper goods/services have been delivered.

Rod Clemmons
Lebanon, Tenn.

It’s all a work in progress until that last nail
To start off, I enjoy reading Morning Read. It gives me laughter, disgust and imagination.

Wouldn't it be great to follow all the individuals who offer statements about how, what and who should have done what, to see how they act, react and perform during the day (including close-ups on camera)?

I am no better than anyone else who posts remarks, but isn't it so easy to bash individuals who make mistakes or who don't perform the way readers think they should? Matt Kuchar corrected a shortcoming. J.B. Holmes does take too long (as do many other players). When it all is said and done, they miss the shot or putt, just so many other golfers.

Perfection comes when the last nail is placed in our coffin.

Pete Scarpitti
Middletown, Del.

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