A great triumvirate of sore spots
Three things that are topics lately:
1. Tiger Woods' Masters victory was historic and great for golf (“Woods pads legend with ‘greatest victory’,” April 15). I'd guess that 95 percent of us were happy to sit back and watch history unfold. But there are 5 percent of people who, no matter how big the moment, just have to flap their gums about an event. It doesn't matter whether a man could land on Mars, but a few folks would feel the need to provide extra commentary.
2. Call it Champions/Legends/Senior Tour, or anything else, but there are some who just don't care for the PGA Champions Tour (“Legends of Golf fails to live up to its name,” April 26). I'd suggest that they don't watch, don't go and don't record their tournaments. Pretty simple. And yes, you might be correct that they supply needed content to Golf Channel. Again, thanks for that factoid, Captain Obvious. Live sports content is about the only thing folks want to watch nowadays.
3. A sore subject is amateurs playing professional events (“Tour events take long view with amateurs,” April 30). We may be getting close to some meltdown point here, totally skewing the line between amateur and professional. Check with some top-line collegians and ask whether they actually pay for much of their equipment, or are they in one of the manufacturers’ “loaner programs.” Cost of supplies, travel, meals, incidentals – it’s great for amateurs to have this at their disposal. And they have numerous events in which they can tee it up in. More than any professional.
Now, let’s look at the No. 1 alternate at a PGA Tour event and what he has invested in his career, only to be told that an amateur has stepped in front of him. A few years of Q-Schools, qualifying through the Web.com Tour, or driving across Canada all season. Cheap hotels, sore backs, paying a caddie a weekly stipend and so on. I've caddied at more Q-Schools than I can remember, from Dayton, Nev., to Palm Springs, Calif., through Lantana and Frisco, Texas, to Pinehurst, N.C., and North Port and Port St. Lucie, Fla. The guys and gals who make it through these events and onto a tour deserve the spot a lot more than any amateur.
The literary daily double
A rare opportunity to cover two items in one letter: I just finished “Pro,” by Frank Beard. I was able to find a slightly used copy on Amazon because my original copy wore out (“Beard leaves mark on golf with write stuff,” April 30).
Reading the book at age 10 got me interested in golf, and I’m still playing decades later. I don’t know how many times I’ve read it over the years. I was able to watch Beard in person a few times on the Senior Tour.
As a walking scorer in several U.S. Opens, I was able to talk to Ron Read at the starter’s booth a few times, so I am looking forward to reading his book (“From the Morning Read inbox,” April 30).
Beard’s Tour exposé is worth the read
I still recall Frank Beard's first book about life on the road as a touring pro (“Beard leaves mark on golf with write stuff,” April 30).
Perhaps his most insightful comments dealt with his contemporaries, from Charlie Coody's red “fourth-round socks” to the unpleasant thwump sound made when Orville Moody hit a putt, and why Jack Nicklaus briefly played a whippy-shafted driver borrowed from Alice Dye.
Beard himself seemed surprised at how his first wife managed to become pregnant so often following his victories.
If anyone can track down a copy of the tome, it's guaranteed to be a good read, and on target about that era of the PGA Tour.
Mount Pleasant, Mich.
Bring Legends event back to its Austin roots
I enjoyed your article about the need to make the Legends of Golf about true “legends” (“Legends of Golf fails to live up to its name,” April 26).
I live in Austin, Texas, and remember how fun it was to go to the pre-tournament banquet and see all the true legends be introduced, including Jimmy Demaret. My clients loved following their favorite legend around the course.
Austin’s Barton Creek Resort is now owned by Omni, which is about to finish a $150 million-plus renovation and expansion of the courses and resort.
How about bringing the true Legends back to Austin after the contract with Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris ends? Austin is one of the most popular cities for corporate expansions and growth. Surely there's a solid corporate sponsor among them.
Mary Sue Clyne
Don’t gloss over the golf glossary
While the zealous, rule-revising pooh-bahs have seen fit to replace the charming and quaint “all square” with the mundane “tie” and forced us to mouth the six-syllable “penalty area” rather than the breath-saving two syllables of “hazard,” these fellows seem to have completely overlooked a couple of terms that are in need of revision, especially in view of the recent Zurich Classic.
I'm referring to “foursomes” and “four-ball.” Obviously, these terms were designed for match play when two pairs match up against each other. But I note in the stroke-play Zurich that there was an odd number of pairs. So, did this odd-pair-out play four-ball on Saturday and foursomes on Sunday?
Well, at least the TV announcers had the good sense to use “alternate shot” and “better ball” most of the time in reporting on the tournament. But, hey, rules guys, your golf glossary needs some work.
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