From The Inbox

From the Morning Read inbox

A spot of tarnish on golf’s ‘golden boy’
It’s a bit unfair for Mike Purkey to single out J.B. Holmes for slow play and ignore the PGA Tour’s golden boy, Jordan Spieth (“Holmes’ dawdling brings pace to slow boil,” Feb. 20).

Granted, Spieth is enormously likable, affable, articulate, etc., but he’s also insufferable to watch. The cameras have learned to go away from him until he’s actually ready to hit the dang ball. Nobody takes as many practice swings, talks to his caddie and then takes more practice swings than Spieth. He’s on the clock frequently, but it doesn’t really change his routine.

Everybody likes him – I like him – but he’s one of the worst when it comes time for him to hit the ball. Rory McIlroy is a fast player who clearly doesn’t like a pairing with Spieth. McIlroy can be seen constantly with arms folded, looking heavenward and clearly perturbed at all the gyrations Spieth has to go through before finally pulling the trigger.

If you’re going to try to go after slow play, it’s not really fair to single out one guy and give others a pass because they’re so nice and likable.

Bill McClintock
Greenville, S.C.

Holmes and his slowpoke brethren ruin game
Once again, some of us were cheated out of getting to watch the finish of a golf tournament played on one of the most exciting and scenic courses. Why? Because pace of play is so bad that network TV has to leave to take care of other commitments (“Holmes’ dawdling brings pace to slow boil,” Feb. 20).

Not all of us have access to Golf Channel, so we have the equivalent of having TV leave the football game in the third quarter for a cooking show, or leaving the baseball game after the sixth inning to show the latest 4H updates from the farm.

For a threesome of professional golfers to take 5½ hours to play 18 holes is ridiculous. J.B. Holmes and the many others who abuse the pace-of-play rules are too full of themselves and their self-importance to become ambassadors of the game.

In the future, when the slowpokes are in contention, I won’t make the investment of sitting and watching, because I’m not likely going to see the end of the tournament. You guys are ruining the game.

Tim Pittman
West End, N.C.

Give Holmes a break
In an anonymous survey of PGA Tour players taken two years ago for, Jordan Spieth is on the slowest-players list, and J.B. Holmes is not. But because of his non-superstar status, Holmes is the low-hanging fruit.

The guy has had doctors fiddling around in his brain, and he’s on Tour winning tournaments. Give him a break.

Charlie Jurgonis
Fairfax, Va.

PGA Tour officials need to do their jobs
If PGA Tour officials Mark Russell and Slugger White are too timid to call the pace-of-play penalty, maybe it is time to replace them with officials who actually will enforce the Tour’s rules.

Also, could they be not enforcing other rules?

Ron Estok
Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Consider monetary incentives for faster play
When the talk of slow play comes up, money always seems to factor into the discussion. It doesn't matter whether we are talking about the touring pros with the enormous amounts of prize money or public courses that might sacrifice revenue if they force groups to speed up.

Rather than fighting these monetary inhibitors to addressing slow play, can the game reverse this premise? I haven't thought through all of the issues, but what if there were a financial incentive to play faster? For example, on a public course, you get a rebate on your greens fees if you finish in 3 hours and 45 minutes. Or on the PGA Tour, the prize money goes up by 10 percent if players finish in four hours or less.

Granted there always will be sticks in the mud who will hold up the show for everyone, but peer pressure has a unique way of getting the few odd ducks in line.

Steve Hjortness
Fort Collins, Colo.

Pace of play could revive fashion accessory
If we can time a search for a lost ball, we can time a shot. Tournaments with traveling observers have ready-made timers. For the rest of us, we might want to start wearing wrist watches again.

It won’t take many lost $5 Nassaus to change behavior.

Boyd Welsch
Gainesville, Fla.

Why is Woods on TV so much? 80 reasons
Reader Dennis Picano is certainly entitled to his opinion regarding his dislike for Tiger Woods, but he is ignoring important facts that he probably should consider when passing judgment (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Feb. 20).

Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler and all of the others would have to have an aggregate total of victories to approach what Woods has accomplished. That is why he receives, and deserves, such overwhelming TV coverage. Watching a decided journeyman win the Genesis Open last week was only made tolerable by Woods' presence in the field and on the leaderboard.

I wonder who got all of the coverage in the 1960s, limited though it was. Oh, that's right: Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. And Nicklaus continued into the 1980s because he was such an excellent player who almost always was in contention.

As for life off the golf course, it was not a factor during the Palmer and Nicklaus era, as the media generally ignored such shenanigans. There are numerous anecdotes about the after-hours activities of many notables of the time. How many professional golfers refer to their first wives as “taking a mulligan”? I seem to remember Lee Trevino joking that he didn't have to change the monograms on the his and hers bath robes because his wives shared the same first name. Rather than excoriate him, the fans laughed along.

My, how the times have changed.

Jim Kavanagh
St. Augustine, Fla.

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