From The Inbox

From the Morning Read inbox

‘Spoiled millionaires’ sour volunteer experience
Recent commentaries about the volunteer experience at PGA Tour events are spot on (“Volunteers lend a hand in labor of love,” March 15); (“From the Morning Read inbox,” March 19).

When I volunteered to be a marshal at Tiger Woods’ AT&T National (later the Quicken Loans National), I didn’t object to the $75 fee to cover the cost of a shirt, cap and water bottle for the opportunity to see the best golfers in the world up close and personal. (The tournament also offered free tickets for the tournament, but you couldn’t give them away, so they had zero value.) But over the course of five years, I soured on the experience, not because of the fee but because of the attitude of the players themselves.

Even during practice rounds, the pros most often would barely acknowledge my presence, much less say “thank you.” Oh, sure, a few, such as Justin Rose, Fred Funk and Erik Compton, might say more than “hello” or “thanks for helping,” but the vast majority looked right past me as if I and my fellow marshals were invisible.

I decided that my time was better spent playing golf than volunteering to help an entitled class of spoiled millionaires compete for $6 million-$12 million in prize money.

Mark Nelson
Vienna, Va.

Singapore and Hawaii know how to treat volunteers
I recently returned home from volunteering at the LPGA’s HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore. The tournament, like the LPGA’s Lotte Championship and the PGA Tour’s Sony Open in Hawaii, does not charge to be a volunteer (“Volunteers lend a hand in labor of love,” March 15).

In Singapore, volunteers are treated royally, with a free buffet breakfast every morning and free “thank you” 18-hole round (for 288 volunteers) on the same course where the pros played, followed by use of the private locker room and “thank you” dinner.

People in both Singapore and Hawaii are surprised when they hear that it costs to be a “volunteer.”

Frank Mauz

Miceli judges Mickelson to be guilty by association
So, just exactly how many people does Alex Miceli associate with? (“Mickelson tiptoes around trouble again,” March 15) Any of them ever do anything suspect? Drinking and driving? Cheating on taxes? Stealing time from their employer?

The path that Miceli walks has been walked by many before him. The trouble is that path is more typically associated with the ideals born out of a beer hall in Munich in 1923 or in McCarthyism in the 1950s. Is that really who Miceli is? Is that how he wants others to view his writing?

Suggestion on innuendo or some other method of specious reasoning is not helpful to anyone, especially oneself. That can't be real journalism, but it is definitely rude.

John Herndobler

Colleges should adopt Indiana’s double-par proposal
Indiana’s proposal to implement double-par scores for boys and girls also should be adopted in college golf (“Indiana seeks to set pace for youth golf,” March 19).

I coached both, and the pace of play was horrible on both. Blame the coaches, also. They are on the course all of the time, discussing strategy and lining up their players.

I couldn’t take it anymore, so I quit. I now run a girls golf academy in St. Paul, Minn. When we play, we enforce pace of play. No questions asked.

Thanks for the great article. I hope the coaches and state officials are reading this.

Betsy Larey
St. Paul, Minn.
(Larey is an LPGA teaching professional.)

Pace of play is about to quicken in Napa Valley
Awesome work, Ted Bishop (“Indiana seeks to set pace for youth golf,” March 19). Lots of logistics and time went into this, and I will share Indiana’s video with my students and my college teams that I coach in Napa Valley.

Please share my thanks with those involved who put this together. It is concise, clear and helpful.

David Knox
Sacramento, Calif.
(Knox, a PGA of America member, is the director of instruction at Napa Golf Course and the assistant golf coach for the men’s and women’s teams at Napa Valley College.)

Simpson compounds gaffe with rules misstep
I was pleased to read Lawn Yawn’s letter regarding Webb Simpson and his gaffes in a post-round interview Sunday (“From the Morning Read inbox,” March 19). He claimed that the new Rules of Golf are ruining the game by penalizing a player for accidentally moving his ball in play when the ball is not on the putting green. This is just plain wrong. There always has been a penalty for what he did.

Simpson compounded his mistake by claiming that under the new rules, a player is penalized for accidentally moving his ball during a search. This also is wrong. He got it backward. Under Rule 7.4 of the new Rules of Golf, there is no penalty for accidentally moving a ball “while trying to find or identify it.”

Simpson should publicly apologize for his misstatements.

What is “ruining the game” is that some of the best players in the world are criticizing the rules without knowing how the rules read. Many folks assume that players who compete at the highest level are also knowledgeable on the Rules of Golf. As we have seen, this is not the case for some PGA Tour players. Expert players (and their caddies) should take the time to learn the rules. After all, it is their livelihood.

Brent Rector
East Grand Rapids, Mich.

Assess penalty infractions … in fractions?
When the difference between winning and placing second or third is becoming more acute, in all professional sports, is it time to calculate the scores in golf differently?

Don’t get me wrong: a stroke in golf always should be counted as a stroke, but maybe penalties could be assessed as half strokes. Time infractions likewise.

Of course, this topic revisits the contention of pro golf abiding by a different set of rules.

Maybe this might alleviate the griping about penalties. Of course, it also would affect the prize money and how it is appropriated.

Ken Chojnacki
Delran, N.J.

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