From The Inbox

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Just because a Lee won doesn’t make Haney right
Now that Jeongeun Lee6 has won the U.S. Women’s Open, it will be said that Hank Haney was right and that he is owed an apology (“If Haney feels remorse, next step is key,” May 30). He is not.

What is offensive about his statement is his cavalier attitude toward women’s golf in general and the LPGA specifically, not his contention that a Korean named Lee would win.

When he said that he couldn’t name six players on the LPGA tour, that was when he lost me. As a golf instructor who claims to have instructed more than 200 touring professionals from the PGA, LPGA, European and Asian tours, Haney should make it his business to know who the players are.

Going forward, I hope he will use his platform to promote women’s golf instead of belittling it. Otherwise, he is no better than the “amateur” misogynists whom we women encounter on golf courses everywhere.

Ginny Kavanagh
St. Augustine, Fla.

Market validates women’s second-class golf status
I have been a supporter of women's golf for years. I was an assistant coach for an NCAA Division I women's team, and I sponsored a women's college tournament for six years. Given the environment these days, I suppose that Hank Haney's comments offended people, but that doesn't make them untrue (“If Haney feels remorse, next step is key,” May 30).

The LPGA is not well watched. Look at the past week’s U.S. Women's Open in Charleston, S.C. The leaders on Saturday were on the ninth tee, with not many people watching. Contrast that with the crowds at the Memorial, where the fans were three-deep.

Though the women are good players, they are not as good as the men. And the people I talk to like watching the best.

Furthermore, I have heard people negatively mention the abundance of Asians on the LPGA tour. While that is jingoistic, it's a reality. They want to see Americans do well, and unfortunately, Americans are not consistent winners on their tour. Last year, nine different Americans won out of the 33 events, which was one of their best performances in years.

So, people can complain about the unfairness of sponsor's money and purses, but the market has spoken. And while the market isn't perfect, it's the best thing we have.

Bill Tignanelli
Perry Hall, Md.

LPGA whitewashes controversy at Pure Silk event
I don’t know whether Hank Haney is a racist or just an insensitive idiot who said racist things (“If Haney feels remorse, next step is key,” May 30). But my comments are more directed to the LPGA and the LPGA players who are offended and disgusted by his insensitivity toward racism.

The LPGA recently finished a tournament at the Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, Va. The governor of Virginia is Ralph Northam, who in February admitted that he was pictured wearing blackface in his medical-school yearbook in 1984. Despite calls for his resignation by state and national party leaders and the former governor of Virginia, Northam refused to step down and is still governor.

I followed the Pure Silk Championship at Kingsmill, and at no time did I see any protests or moves to boycott the event because of the admitted racist actions by the governor.

Maybe the governor is not a racist and just someone who did a stupid thing. Maybe the same can be said for Haney. But to call out Haney while giving a pass to Northam because $1.3 million in prize money is on the table, is disingenuous.

Charlie Jurgonis
Fairfax, Va.

Media share blame with Haney for ignoring women
Alex Miceli is correct in that Hank Haney's comments regarding the U.S. Women's Open were sexist, but racist? No (“If Haney feels remorse, next step is key,” May 30).

Just because Koreans are considered part of a minority group in this country does not automatically mean that what Haney said was racist.

Having said that, as an avid listener to Haney's show on SiriusXM Radio (although I wasn't listening at the time of his remarks), what he said does not demean the women's game. Instead, he demeaned himself for his lack of knowledge and his pride in his lack of knowledge of the players. As someone in the golf industry, I follow the LPGA Tour and am fascinated by the Korean female golfers, whose work ethic and abilities are something to be greatly admired.

But Haney is not the real problem. The real problem is an outlet such as Golf Channel, which gives short shrift to the women's tour while talking about the PGA Tour 95 percent of the time. Those in the media who are critical of Haney but at the same moment fail to give more than passing notice to what the women are doing need to look in the mirror and realize that they, too, are just like Haney.

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

Don’t give Haney a pass for his ‘unconscious bias’
Alex Miceli wrote, "Though [Hank] Haney’s comments were racist and sexist, that fact doesn’t necessarily mean that he is a racist or sexist” (“If Haney feels remorse, next step is key,” May 30).

Wrong. Unconscious bias is still bias nonetheless, and it is made all the more egregious by people such as Miceli and Hank Haney who think that it is OK to make racist/sexist comments if they pretend that those comments don't reflect who the speaker really is. Of course they do, and those of us who are the recipients of those offensive remarks know it.

Patricia Dixon
Haywards Heath, England

Permanent blemish for Haney
For Hank Haney, such a knowledgeable, well-respected PGA instructor, to make such a banal and insensitive comment in the year 2019 is almost unforgivable (“If Haney feels remorse, next step is key,” May 30).

For all of his accomplishments, Haney will never be the same prominent golf figure again. Shame.

Frank D'Ambrosio
Roslyn, N.Y.

Women need to set themselves apart in golf world
I hadn't heard of Hank Haney's remarks until I opened up the responses in Morning Read on Friday (“From the Morning Read inbox,” May 31). I wonder how many LPGA players could be named by the complainants who aren't full-time golf scribes?

The closing holes of a close-fought tournament are enthralling, be it men or women playing, and that's true of any sport, but more men pay to watch sports than women, and they tend to want to see the guys play. Hence, more publicity, more airtime, more familiarity with the players' names.

We get very little golf on TV in the U.K. without paying a significant fee each month for lots of content we don't watch. What the women's game needs is someone to sell it to one of the smaller commercial channels that are free to air and build a following that way. Not part of the "man's world" but a separate entity, ideally with a last round not clashing with a men’s event finale, say on Saturday. They don't play the Wimbledon tennis finals at the same time.

I would watch it, not least because I would learn a lot more about improving my own game than by seeing Brooks Koepka hit the ball 330 yards and take only short irons.

Terry Wall
Winchester, England

American women must win for LPGA to thrive in U.S.
Interesting comments about the lack of Americans on the LPGA tour (“From the Morning Read inbox,” May 31). Hank Haney recently got blasted for inferring that the only ones who win on the women’s tour have Asian-sounding names (“If Haney feels remorse, next step is key,” May 30). He is correct.

The Asian players have been a dominant lot for the past decade. Golf is a game of merit, but their system certainly helps them. Can this be a wakeup call to the USGA to foster American girls to play golf even more?

It’s not that easy in our society. There are so many sports, and golf remains expensive despite The First Tee and other programs. The sacrifices that parents must make in order to develop a tour player go beyond what most people can afford in terms of time and money. I remember how excited I was when Stacy Lewis hit the No. 1 spot a few years ago.

I love the women’s tour, but it would definitely generate more attention if more American women won on the LPGA. That's in no way to disparage. It's just reality.

Yvonne Guerra
Alhambra, Calif.

Haney’s attitude isn’t unique
Thank you, Alex Miceli, for your insight on the Hank Haney issue (“If Haney feels remorse, next step is key,” May 30).

As a 69-year-young woman, I grew up before Title IX. Studying health and recreation was the only extension I had after high school to continue my athletic interests.

I'm involved in seven women's golf associations in Pennsylvania, and we continue to face disrespect, although hidden. I reside near Harrisburg, and perhaps you have heard of the "Grandview 5,” the five black women accused of slow play, with police called to the golf course.

I’m sure that Haney has had lots of female clients who pay good money at his school, but did he actually devote the time and commitment to a professional women’s golfer?

Paula Bauer
Wormleysburg, Pa.

A potential course correction for Haney
I liked Alex Miceli’s column on the Hank Haney matter because it tried – successfully, in my view – to look at it from some elevation, some distance (“If Haney feels remorse, next step is key,” May 30). One has to hope that good comes from this.

Haney has been long overdue for a moment of humility; he demeans and criticizes everyone for entertainment value. Now, he faces uncertainty.

He can respond to this moment in a humble and respectful manner and use his SiriusXM Radio show to highlight women’s golf. He could bring all sorts of people onto his show to talk about women’s golf at a variety of levels. He could introduce female golf instructors to his audience and give then some exposure. He could discuss the women’s tournament of the previous week. And he could do it with some respect.

There are moments in a life where course corrections can occur. This is one for Haney.

Greg Lederer
Cedar Rapids, Iowa

It comes down to character, and Woods lacks it
Alex Miceli’s piece about Jack Nicklaus’ comments about Tiger Woods was spot on (“Nicklaus likes Woods’ odds; don’t bet on it,” May 29).

I’ve never been a Woods fan. Something about character. Great talent, but in my opinion, he couldn’t make a pimple on Jack or Arnold’s backsides as a person. I see Don Johnson’s “Tin Cup” character when I look at Woods. After years of being a jerk, walking by fans and kids, he’s now going to start stopping to sign? Too late.

Folks need to face the facts you presented. Woods, 43, has undergone eight surgeries, and lots of kids are not intimidated by him. I’m with you. He’s a potential favorite, OK, but he still has to put it all together.

Tom Boland
Northborough, Mass.

Golf could use a break from constant Woods theme
So, I was watching the telecast of the Memorial on Thursday, and the Golf Channel announcers start interviewing Judy Rankin, this year’s honoree, as is the Memorial’s tradition. And then it happens again. Terry Gannon and Nick Faldo steer the conversation to Rankin’s Tiger Woods memories, and the next three minutes are all about Woods.

A great and interesting interview about Rankin’s World Golf Hall of Fame golfing and broadcasting career careened into the daily Tiger Woods show. And the look on Rankin’s face said it all for me: Really? We are going there?

I have no doubt that the producers get in the announcers’ ears and instruct them to steer the conversation back to Woods at every opportunity, and it is really a shame to see them ruin a good interview with a great women such as Rankin.

I would plead with the networks to give us a Tiger break, please, but I know I would be wasting my time.

Frank Blauch
Lebanon, Pa.

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