From The Inbox

From the Morning Read inbox

Daly, Woods deserve our understanding
The comments by reader Ginny Kavanagh about John Daly perhaps hitching a ride on the beer cart at the PGA Championship were most unfortunate and reflect why golf is not growing in the United States (“From the Morning Read inbox,” May 13). It seems that in Kavanagh’s view, the trashing of a hotel room (by John Daly) is worse than the destruction of one’s own family (by Tiger Woods).

Both are unfortunate, but let’s be honest: a proper apology and monetary compensation can fix a hotel room. Nothing can fix a fractured family due to infidelity.

However, both men also have suffered from chemical addiction, which is very harmful to the family. Daly has had alcohol problems since his college days, and maybe even earlier. By his own admission, Daly had a gambling problem, too. Woods has been addicted to opioids while under the care of medical professionals treating the very real agony of major back injuries and the resulting surgeries. Woods’ addiction could be seen in his infidelity. He had several girlfriends, indicating sex addiction.

Both men are human. I battle daily my alcoholism. When I was getting treatment, I learned not to compare my addiction with another person’s addiction.

I praise Daly and Woods for beating the cruel mistress of addiction, and I know that to their great credit that both fight that battle every day.

Kavanagh seems to think that she is qualified to compare the ills of one of these men over the other, and that is her failing. It was very shallow of her to write, "Why not give him a cooler to go with it, or just throw his clubs onto the beer cart?" John Daly is an awesome guy and very loyal to his fans. I hope he keeps fighting the good fight. Tiger Woods has done a lot for golf and continues to give more than he takes and is rarely unapproachable by his fans.

Both men have done much to repair the fractured family relationships in their lives. Woods works well with his ex-wife in the raising of their children, and Daly has a great relationship with his son and works hard to be a good father.

Kavanagh should look within herself and try to speak kindly of others, in spite of their shortcomings. To err is human. I feel uncomfortable among gods.

Henry Godecke
Lovelock, Nev.

Golf’s physical requirements mandate that Daly walk
I’ve been reading the back and forth regarding John Daly being issued a medical exemption to ride in the PGA Championship (“With Daly, PGA opts just to let things ride,” May 9); (“From the Morning Read inbox,” May 10; May 13).

My position comes from a personal perspective as I was born with a severe disability in my feet and legs that required more than a dozen surgeries over the first 13 years of my life. I took my shot at playing professional golf in the 1970s and competed relatively well for a time, even though walking was challenging for me. I actually was paired with John Daly in the final round of the Erie Charity Classic in 1991, two weeks before he emerged as the winner of the PGA Championship at Crooked Stick. Playing alongside me, Daly won the Erie Charity for his first professional title and was absolutely charming and incredibly friendly the entire day. I am a huge fan of his.

That said, I have difficulty understanding how a meniscus issue is sufficient grounds for a waiver to ride. Think of the uproar had Tiger Woods tried to get a waiver into the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, where he played and eventually won on what was found to be a broken leg.

I feel badly for any talented and accomplished athlete who suffers a debilitating injury, but compromising the physical requirement to compete due to injury opens up an entirely different can of worms.

For myself, I tried to walk in a couple of USGA senior qualifiers over the past couple of years, unsuccessfully. The reality of physical limitations due to age and injury reaches us all.

Rick Oldach
Laguna Hills, Calif.

A comparison that is ‘not even close’
I am reading with great interest the Morning Read “inbox” these days and can’t help but weigh in on two subjects.

Charlie Jurgonis thinks that Tiger Woods vs. Jack Nicklaus would be no contest if they switched eras, this after he compares Nicklaus’ 18 major championships to the NBA career of Robert Horry (“From the Morning Read inbox,” May 13). Did I really read that? Are you serious?

Besides the fact that basketball is team game and cannot be compared to golf in any way, to suggest that Nicklaus competed against inferior competition is just plain foolishness. Palmer, Trevino, Player, Casper, Watson vs. Mickelson, Els, Singh, Duval, Montgomerie. Not even close, in my book.

That being said, I have witnessed both careers of these great players, and of one thing there is no doubt: There are two golfers far and above the rest in history, and after this past Masters, the debate about who is the greatest of all-time lives on.

Frank Blauch
Lebanon, Pa.

‘Play 9’ mantra must not translate into Canadian
I live in Windsor, Ontario, and we do not have any public courses “embracing” nine-hole rounds (“What’s wrong with golf? Try this fivesome,” May 13).

I certainly expect to pay more than 50 percent of the 18-hole green fee, but all courses seem to charge 75 percent-90 percent of the full price to play nine.

Joe Harding
Windsor, Ontario

Paying it forward, one lesson at a time
As a member of the PGA of America who proudly has been involved with all aspects of golf for more than 20 years, I needed to respond to Gary Van Sickle’s article (“Nelford could teach ‘coaches’ thing or two,” May 14).

My PGA training was done via the business-school model, in which we went to a location for a week to receive in-depth training on a number of subjects, including teaching. These schools allowed me to spend quality time with instructors such as David Leadbetter, Hank Haney and Butch Harmon, among others. They helped me form a foundation for my philosophy as it relates to teaching the game. In addition, I added insights from a number of PGA professionals with whom I have worked over my career. This compilation is what I use to approach my students, giving them the knowledge and the tools necessary to play and enjoy the game. It is a simple understanding that has allowed me to introduce hundreds of new golfers to the game, and continues to bring them back for swing tuneups with their children in tow.

The PGA of America prides itself in training current and future instructors, and I am confident that my association will continue to do so for years to come. It is important to encourage experienced teachers to apprentice up-and-comers, so that successful techniques continue to be passed along for the benefit of future generations.

Mark Anderson
Alexandria, Va.
(Anderson is a PGA of America member.)

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