More practice, less paint might help women excel
Hank Haney really opened a can of worms with his comments about the LPGA (“If Haney feels remorse, next step is key,” May 30), but whether you agree with him or not, perhaps we're finally going to get to the bottom of this frequent discussion and be done with it.
As with most delicate situations in which people disagree but can't seem to come up with an answer, this appears to be a situation where "telling it like it is" and forgetting about being politically correct is the only way to address this problem.
The comment from reader Bobby Phillips on Thursday was a step in the right direction (“From the Morning Read inbox,” June 6).
Without naming names or nationality, but simply asking the right questions: Perhaps we should ask the women who compete on the LPGA tour, "Which holds the highest priority for you: your physical appearance or the way you hit a golf ball?"
Obviously, they're both important, but it would appear that it should start with the latter and then you could address the former. You can't drive a pretty car if it has no engine. It's fair to say that the success that you achieve when you're working has much to do with the quality of your life when you retire.
Ben Hogan said, "The secret is in the dirt." So why not forget the pretty outfits, the cute little ribbons and bows, the manicures and dye jobs for now, and get out on the practice range.
Economic realities limit women’s pro sports
Hank Haney's comments about women’s golf have certainly drawn a lot of comment, mostly flak (“From the Morning Read inbox,” June 6). It certainly is amazing that in 2019 a media-savvy(?) public figure would choose to phrase his criticism of the LPGA as a joke and one almost sure to be found tasteless by many.
Some of the comments include the idea that sports fans are under some requirement to watch, support and indeed attend women's sporting events. Unfortunately, no such requirement exists. Fans attend and support the sports they enjoy, and money and media coverage follow the crowd.
The WNBA has fans but not enough to support the league without the financial backing of the NBA (that means the women’s league would be out of business if the NBA were to cut it loose). The women's professional hockey league is in limbo because the NHL does not provide similar support, and there is insufficient income to pay a decent wage to players. Tennis seems to be a bright spot, but soccer and other women's sports languish in the shadows.
The LPGA suffers from this lack of dollars in its own way in trying to attract sponsors. This difficulty is undoubtedly increased by the absence of U.S. stars on the tour, which greatly decreases interest for casual golf fans. Those casual fans can make the difference. See PGA Tour tournament success with and without Tiger Woods, if you doubt this.
At the high school and college level, Title IX legislation has been wonderful for women's athletics’ providing equal opportunities for participation. But when school is over, athletes are out in the big, bad world of economics and the marketplace. There is no longer a requirement for opportunity. You cannot make people pay to see your product. You can only compete for the limited entertainment dollars of the viewing public.
Maybe when all those women who participated in high school and college buy tickets and merchandise and otherwise become fans, women's professional sports will stand on their own.
St. Paul, Minn.
Trying to whitewash a deeper issue
Reader Patricia Dixon wrote, “If white men don’t want to watch Asian female athletes, that should be called out for what it is” (“From the Morning Read inbox,” June 6). My question: Just what is “it”?
White men prefer to watch sporting events in which American women participate, and we root for them to win. I watched and rooted for Lexi Thompson to beat the Asian players. What’s wrong with that? How is that different than watching the Olympics and rooting for the American women to beat the Eastern European and Asian women in swimming and gymnastics? Is that also white nationalism?
Can I assume, Patricia, that you were rooting for the European Ryder Cup team to beat the Americans in France last fall? I believe the Europeans were all white while Tiger Woods and Tony Finau played for the Americans. Isn’t that the same “it” we’re being called out for?
USGA sets itself apart with course setup
More than enough has been said about Hank Haney’s comments (“From the Morning Read inbox,” June 6). I don’t believe he was racist or sexist. He just told the truth, which is often difficult to accept.
My favorite tournament, the U.S. Open, is almost upon us. I can never understand the flak that the U.S. Golf Association receives from fans. The USGA shows yearly how to make a tournament not the normal drive-and-wedge contest.
I love the fact that the winning score isn’t 10-15 under par, like every other tournament. They narrow the fairways, let the rough grow, and let the greens dry out and become faster. It is a true test of golf.
While the pros want perfect conditions so they can shoot 65, we as fans should appreciate the fact that it takes accuracy and course management to conquer USGA setups.
Forest Ranch, Calif.
A risk worth taking, so hold the crap
Great article on Hank Haney by Dan O’Neill (“Haney exposes LPGA’s dirty little secret,” June 5). Thanks for taking the risk to write it.
Women's golf cannot grow without male fans and viewers. The LPGA and its players’ reaction to Haney will not help in this regard. I hope they learn their lesson this week.
Political correctness has no place in sports; just ask the NFL. I have many friends who will not support the NFL or its players since the anthem and flag disrespect. They watch only college
football and men's golf now. I am in that camp, as well. I never will watch or attend another LPGA event again.
Don't take any crap over this article. It is truth.
Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
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