Keeping Score

From the Morning Read inbox

The end is nigh
After watching the Augusta National Women’s Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt events from Augusta National Golf Club over the weekend, I can only assume that future pace of play – and golf in general – is doomed.

Never have I seen such deliberation, dillydallying and over-analyzing in my life over each shot. If this is what is being taught, condoned and accepted by the golfing world as normal pace of play, there will not be enough daylight in a day to finish 18 holes.

And this is just for trophies. Imagine when they start playing for millions of dollars.

Mike Sprouts
Wallburg, N.C.

Fit to be tied
There is a saying that “no good deed goes unpunished.” However, there are times that a "punishment" is warranted, and I must mete one out to Augusta National Golf Club regarding its newly-inaugurated Augusta National Women's Amateur.

Eleven women were tied for 21st place after two rounds at Champions Retreat Golf Club, which resulted in a playoff for 10 spots at Augusta National for the final round, as the format calls for the top 30 players to advance (“Keeping score,” April 5). Not the top 30 and ties, mind you, but only the top 30. As a result, Alessia Nobilio was knocked out of the opportunity to play the final round at Augusta National, despite the fact she scored the same as 10 other competitors who got to tee it up.

Really? It can't be the top 30 and ties? I realize this is competition and at its core there is cut-throat action involved, but really? What's the harm if 31, or even 41, players tied for 30th place and all got to play at Augusta National? I hope this error is corrected for next year's event.

And while I'm at it, boos also go to the PGA of America for a similar policy, in which the top 20 club pros in the PGA Professional Championship advance to the PGA Championship. Come on. Who cares if five or 10 players ranked outside the top 100 can't play in the PGA Championship if 25 or 30 club pros tie for 20th?

Governing bodies, be more inclusive when it comes to participation. Quit holding these types of playoffs that knock out deserving players.

Mark Harman
Ridgeland, S.C.
(Harman is the national course director for the U.S. Golf Teachers Federation.)

Humor columns out to contain some humor
Just a short note concerning Gary Van Sickle's piece (“Just play along and talk the talk,” April 5). To be effective, humor columns should be funny. Please try and keep this in mind in the future.

Blaine Walker
St. Paul, Minn.

Van Sickle dispenses good dose of laughs
If laughter is the best medicine, Gary Van Sickle should be a doctor, with the stuff he prescribes (“Just play along and talk the talk,” April 5).

Bruce Wyrwitzke
Astoria, Ore.

New jargon offends just like old jargon
If I were a woman, I’d find Gary Van Sickle’s attempt at updating golf jargon pretty offensive and no better than the old jargon (“Just play along and talk the talk,” April 5).

I don’t mind so much the attempts at political-based comedy, because we can all use a cathartic chuckle at fake news, take a knee, Fox News, The New York Times, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, etc. But the tongue-in-cheek attempt to reflect in the new jargon today’s #MeToo movement and evaluation of women on their looks (beverage-cart girls, Megyn Kelly, Kate Upton, Angela Merkel, et al.) serves only to embolden the sexist and continue the rejection of women. I realize Van Sickle is attempting some comedy here, but I was hoping for a better laugh.

My 13-year-old daughter loved playing golf until the age of 11. Now that she’s getting a real understanding of how the world works, and despite my attempts to keep her interested, she’s been finding other activities a bit more welcoming. And that’s a shame. Culture includes jargon. If golf jargon remains offensive to women, so will the culture.

Golf is an amazing game and business, and we still have a long way to go before golf “looks like America,” as fellow industry leaders like to say. Any of us with a voice in golf should use it to open and advance this game and industry. It’s not only time to retire some old jargon, Gary. It’s time to retire old attitudes.

Jay Karen
Charleston, S.C.
(Karen is the chief executive officer of the National Golf Course Owners Association.)

Epidemic of spring golf fever sweeps north Texas
One thing that caught my attention in Morning Read and made me a dedicated reader was the “Inbox.”

Some of the best and most informative and accurate commentaries on any sport are provided by the fan base and those who play the sport. With excellent articles written for Morning Read by talented golf writers to get things going, the Inbox is always fun to read.

Additionally, the comments submitted by readers are always well written and civil, unlike those you read in traditional Internet golf forums, which often are confrontational. While this may be due to excellent editing and selection, it is a very nice feature of the newsletter.

Having played a beautiful round Thursday in beautiful weather here in north Texas, along with the fact that the Masters is only a pitching wedge away, my golf fever is running high.

Ron Yujuico
Euless, Texas

Good riddance from Goodwin
I have decided to unsubscribe from Morning Read. To me, it has become a waste of a read.

I don’t enjoy and/or agree with many of your main contributors. I especially don’t like Alex Miceli, Gary Van Sickle and Dan O’Neill.

Also, some of the readers who write to Morning Read’s “Inbox” don’t have any idea what they’re talking about, especially those who knock Augusta National Golf Club. There also are some subjects that continue to be a subject over and over and continue to get beaten into the ground: slow play and the new rules, to name two.

Carl Goodwin
Charlotte, N.C.

Morning Read invites reader comment. Write to editor Steve Harmon at Please provide your name and city of residence. If your comment is selected for publication, Morning Read will contact you to verify the authenticity of the email and confirm your identity. We will not publish your email address. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and brevity.

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