Welcome to the 21st century, Muirfield
What a bunch of mensches. Muirfield's Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers has admitted women. They always wanted to, you know, beginning in 1744. They laser-focused on the issue, right after the move to Muirfield in 1891. Finally, finally, I say, they were able to overcome the many obstacles that prevented them from recognizing the existence of women in 2019.
Or right after they were informed that they no longer would be hosting the British Open, whichever came first. It was a Shoal Creek moment, for sure. Funny how money talks. So, let's not be as effusive in recognizing their accomplishment as is club captain Alistair Campbell: "This marks a milestone in the club's illustrious history, and we look forward to welcoming all of our new members to share in the great values and traditions of our club." Not too sure what great club values and traditions he is referring to, or how illustrious they are, since they have been exclusionary and elitist for the past 275 years.
I don't want to judge the past by today's standards, but times change, and when you are especially laggard in adapting to the times and, in fact, resist until threatened with loss of income and prestige, a skeptical attitude concerning your values is appropriate. You can be exclusionary and elitist all you want, but you can't have your cake (male only) and eat it too (major tournaments).
St. Paul, Minn.
One game, one ball? One key reason why not
In his letter headlined “One game, one ball,” reader Peter Rosenfeld asked, “Why is golf the only major ball sport I can think of in which the competitors don’t all have to play with the same ball?” (“From the Morning Read inbox,” June 27).
Well, the obvious reason is that the sports he cited use only one ball (or puck) at a time. They wouldn't be very good sports if every participant had his own. However, they do use different shoes, sticks, bats and rackets, for which the big stars are paid handsomely to endorse.
The financial futures of the other sports' equipment manufacturers are as involved with integrity of those games as the golf manufacturers are with theirs. It's no secret that the right ball for each of us can improve our games, and that sells product.
If you want to dial back the distance, make the ball manufacturers produce a “tour” ball that would have to pass conforming tests, and let the players continue to endorse their brand's other balls that improve our games.
View of modern ball for golf’s 99 percent
Reader Charlie Jurgonis rightly asks, "Why would I want to play a reduced-distance ball when I know there's an equally performing, longer ball made?" (“From the Morning Read inbox,” June 28).
Me, too, Charlie, except at my lifetime highest swing speed, the shorter ball would be just as long, as surely it is only those over 110 mph who can enjoy the benefit of the current designs, specially engineered solely for that category. So, no bifurcation, no loss of effect for the 99 percent of us, and improved spectacles and contests in pro and elite events.
Let's get the guy who pushed through the spring-face driver legislation on the case, and fast.
Diving into the distance delta
I have been following the distance issue for quite some time and am curious as to why no one has researched the expanding distance delta now apparent between slow and fast swing speeds (“From the Morning Read inbox,” June 28).
I have no data to support my premise but do believe that a turbo effect kicks in with swing speeds in excess of 100 mph. As a result, the distance that the elite player hits the ball versus a good club player has grown exponentially.
I recall that in the persimmon era, a PGA Tour player hit the ball perhaps 25-35 yards longer than a good club player. Now, that delta appears to be perhaps three times this distance. It would be interesting to see someone do the research necessary to substantiate my premise.
I recall seeing a comment by the late Sandy Tatum, a former USGA president, regarding Cypress Point not adding any meaningful distance to the course. He said, “The advancements in technology have had no impact upon our members.”
Vero Beach, Fla.
U.S. Senior Open needs a Fox filter
Someone doesn’t get it, and I suppose that it might be me, but I really had a hard time with Fox’s presentation of the U.S. Senior Open.
It has become almost unwatchable for one main reason: noise! It seems the majority of their microphones are on the highway, next to an air-conditioning unit, or in a bird’s nest, and it makes it terribly hard to hear the announcers.
I am old and crotchety, but my hearing is still good, and for the life of me I can’t understand what is being said half the time for all of the outside interference.
Thursday night, I watched 15 minutes and put it on closed caption, and then somewhat lost interest and went to bed. This event is a top-5 tournament for me to see during the year. I greatly appreciate the opportunity to watch this wonderful event free of charge from the comfort of my house – I really do – and appreciate the Fox network for allowing me to do so, but the outside noise takes away from the enjoyment of the event. Does anyone else have the same issues with the Fox coverage?
I know that Fox wants to be edgy and do things other networks don’t do, but we don’t have to feel as if we are watching from the freeway in order to enjoy the event. Please, Fox, save yourself some money on the number of microphones on the course – better yet, watch your own telecast and see if you agree. If I am in the minority on this, my sincere apologies.
(Nixon is the director of golf operations for the Tennessee Golf Trail. He played in the 2012 U.S. Senior Open.)
Another view of muni makeovers
I love the spirit of Adam Schupak’s article but have a problem with the facts (“Motor City munis could use jump start, too,” June 28).
Palmer Park always was lowest on the golf scene in Detroit. The other munis were good courses worthy of saving. Palmer got some play because it was convenient and could be accessed by bus. I played it in the early 1960s many times. Perhaps it should be opened but as a typical muni.
Schupak point out the efforts in Chicago led by the Mark Rolfing/Tiger Woods group. This one is taking two viable and historic venues, both of which get significant play from the minority community, and trying to turn them into a PGA Tour tournament course, which will do little for the economy of the area and less for the golfers in the area. Both are part of Chicago’s lakefront park system and serve far more than the elites who would play the new design.
I truly don’t see the kids and seniors who routinely play there being served by the new venue.
Tunnel vision could leave fans with painful souvenirs
It’s fun to catch a foul ball, but it’s terrifying to see a screaming liner coming directly at your third-base box (“Risk rises as fans squeeze close to action,” June 27). I have experienced both. The older I get, the more I am convinced that baseball needs to extend its fan protection.
As for golf, I am continually amazed by the fans that form a tunnel in front of a golfer hitting his shot. As good as those guys are, even they can have a glitch. There is not enough netting in the world to protect all golf spectators. Yes, it is buyer beware, but it does seem that the PGA and its marshals should at least try to keep the “tunnel” spectators a bit more out of harm’s way. It seems as if the players might appreciate it as well, especially at pro-ams.
Morning Read invites reader comment. Write to editor Steve Harmon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide your name and city of residence. If your comment is selected for publication, Morning Read will contact you to verify the authenticity of the email and confirm your identity. We will not publish your email address. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and brevity.