From The Inbox

From the Morning Read inbox

Haney stands out in golf’s sea of happy talk
I’m a regular listener to the PGA Tour channel on Sirius XM radio, and Hank Haney’s show is my favorite (“If Haney feels remorse, next step is key,” May 30). Why? Because in the sea of “happy talk” promoting the PGA Tour, professional golfers, golf, and most of all, sponsors, sponsors, sponsors, Haney stands out as the one host most likely to present a critical viewpoint (as well as positive, when deserved).

For example, Haney regularly savages the USGA and its executive director, Mike Davis. Regarding the PGA of America and its recent PGA Championship, Haney and his sidekick, Steve Johnson, took a lot of flak for noting that the 20 spots given to non-touring club pros are basically undeserved. I was so tired of extended accolades tossed to guys whom no one’s ever heard of who made it into a major championship through special exemption (reserved only for American professionals, by the way). Many of the same listeners who were critical of Haney for telling the truth about the PGA club pros expressed strong regret that former PGA champion John Daly received a “special privilege” for being able to ride in a cart for his two rounds.

Haney’s basic points, that 1) the LPGA lags in popularity among American golf fans, and 2) that Americans struggle with the names of many of the tour’s Asian stars, happen to be true.

Speaking of “sexist,” did you know that Haney’s show features a regular weekly extended interview with a woman, sports-fitness professional Katherine Roberts? How many of the broadcasters piling on Haney for his “sexist” remarks regularly have women on their shows? Hint: None, including the same guys who during the PGA made fun of Jazz Janewattananond’s name.

Since Angela Garcia and Hally Leadbetter’s show met a quick demise on SiriusXM, Haney’s is basically the only program on the entire channel that regularly gives a woman a voice.

I suspect that Haney will be back on the air sometime after the USGA has somehow screwed up next week’s U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. I also suspect that Haney will lead his first show back with a justified critique of his own performance. Then, I hope he gives the USGA hell (if deserved), and continues to feature Roberts, and jabs – and kudos – to former pupil Tiger Woods, etc.

Gene Richard
Newton, Mass.

What did you expect from Haney?
Hank Haney showed his true colors when he wrote a tell-all book about coaching Tiger Woods. It was inexcusable for an instructor to break the confidentiality of the student relationship. I thought it was vindictive of Haney to bash Woods and wouldn't listen to that man for all the money in the world.

Kitty Russell

Korean work ethic makes an impression
Reading all of the comments about the dominance of Korean female golfers reminds me of something (“From the Morning Read inbox,” June 4).

Decades back, I worked for a retail design-consultancy firm in Columbus, Ohio. One of the departments was industrial design. As it happened, we had a Korean client for whom we did some product-design work. The client sent several of its engineers to look over our shoulders to see how it ought to be done. On weekends, when the office was empty, those Korean engineers were working full days to learn how we did it and how it could be done better. Their tremendous work ethic impressed me.

I think that same work ethic carries over into other fields – golf being just one, the auto industry another, and there are many more. Not only are the Korean women fine golfers, but they go beyond to learn our language and culture.

Maybe Hank Haney’s comments are sour grapes because the Korean women don’t seek him out as a coach. If Jeongeun Lee6 were his client, what kind of comments would he have made?

Tony Baynard
Thompsonville, Mich.

It’s easy to rip Haney without knowing him
Over the last several days, there has been a lot of discussion in the national media, including Morning Read, regarding Hank Haney and his comments about the LPGA (“From the Morning Read inbox,” June 4). While some of the comments have been supportive of Haney, the vast majority have been critical. Charges of misogyny, racism, sexism, jingoism and Tuesday, a new one, Luddite (a person opposed to new technology or ways of working) are flying as fast as the fingers can type.

While reading many of the articles critical of Haney, I began wondering just how many of the writers have met him. How many actually have had an opportunity to sit down with Haney and get to know him as a person? My guess, not a one. Yet, all of these people have chosen to judge Haney and his character based on a few comments he made on a radio show, comments for which he already has apologized and added that he wished he had chosen his words differently.

If you think about it, this judgmental thinking about people whom we don't know, never have met and yet we pretend to know how they think, is at the root of a lot of our angst in this country. If the authors of the negative articles were fortunate enough to meet Haney and get to know him, they likely would consider a re-do of their comments.

Bill Boutwell
Jacksonville, Fla.

Haney’s apology ought to be enough
Americans like to root for Americans. There’s nothing sexist or racist in that. Alex Miceli proved Hank Haney's point when he brought up Billie Jean King and women's tennis (“If Haney feels remorse, next step is key,” May 30).

How many women's tennis players can the average person name today? I'd say two: the William sisters, Venus and Serena.

Haney's remark was clumsy and poorly stated, but not incorrect. He apologized, and that should be all that is needed. What else could he do?

Doug Whitson
Tulsa, Okla.

Pursuit of excellence crosses gender divide
I'll see a name on a PGA Tour leaderboard every week that I don't recognize, only to learn that he has career earnings in the millions. We also have some flares that burn brightly for a month before meekly returning to the Tour.

It's the nature of individual sports. Excellence is difficult to achieve and almost impossible to maintain. In this respect, the men's and women's golf games are very much alike.

Jim Kavanagh
St. Augustine, Fla.

These geezers are good
The Champions Tour is an outstanding venue for parents to take their youngsters so the kids can learn the game (“Concept of senior tour grows old,” June 4).

Watching the senior players who have weathered the storms of competition throughout their careers gives a youngster an opportunity to get up close and personal with pros who have unique skills and ways of seeing and playing the course. Sure, they can’t hit it 330 yards anymore, but they still hit it pretty darn far …. and can putt.

The time has come for the journeyman Champions Tour pro to take time out and offer clinics on the fundamentals of good golf: etiquette, grip, playing into the wind, bunker play for beginners, match-play strategies, etc., and make every effort to give back to the game that has given them so much throughout their careers.

The Champions Tour is not or should ever be about purse size but about sharing one’s love for the game and the joy of competition as the sun sets on their careers.

Dan Cahill
Santa Ana, Calif.

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