From The Inbox

From the Morning Read inbox

A victory for golf, if not stogies and scotch
I’m fond of John Hawkins’ writing style, and Hawkins makes golf sparkle for me. But (you sorta knew there would be one …) with all due respect, I had a strong reaction to his article about Muirfield accepting women as members (“Muirfield admits women but not to be PC,” July 2).

While I’m uncertain of the final thrust of his article about Muirfield, women and the Open (did I miss the sardonic inference?), he contends that Muirfield’s capitulation is regrettable, because the club’s members were frog-marched, at the tip of a financial and prestige bayonet, toward inclusion and equity.

If so, I argue that it is because of the club’s position in the firmament of golf that it must be inclusive. The idea that women aren’t dramatically disadvantaged in this world, even in developed countries, is archaic. Golf would be, as a sport, so much more healthy if women were better represented.

Now, I would have avoided complaining about them “moving at their own pace,” keeping status as a private men’s club, as long as they didn’t care about benefiting from the most hallowed golf tournament in the world. Their business. I would wish it were different but would respect the right of private citizens to congregate as they choose. Here, Hawkins and I may agree. But, as soon as Muirfield’s members wished to represent golf to the entire world and stand as its beacon (and shower themselves with cash), they lost that privilege, in my opinion. And, they may appreciate that more than you suspect.

Women are still an underclass, especially in golf, which is full of hoary old rules and institutions filled with stogies, 20-year-old scotch, entitlement and political/financial access, to which Martha Burk alluded. Nothing wrong with the stogies and scotch, of course, but for golf to realize its potential in popularity, it needs to shed its entitled skin in so many areas, and the R&A just peeled off a strip. That the almighty chase for cash and prestige has brought this exclusive club to heel is ironic, but not regrettable.

I see this as a victory for what’s right and for what’s good for golf.

Richard Jepsen
Alameda, Calif.

Hawkins gets no ribbon for this 'tripe'
I get so tired reading the type of tripe that John Hawkins was spouting (“Muirfield admits women but not to be PC,” July 2).

Is it so hard for certain males to understand that policies that discriminate against race, creed or gender are simply wrong? Oh, I am so sorry for the old geezers at Muirfield who might have a female member joining their tee sheet. Poor, poor them.

The only shame is that these old dinosaurs had to be dragged into the 21st century instead of being forced by the loss of their British Open position. You’d like to think some of them could have discovered some character over the past 40 or 50 years or so.

And enough of this bemoaning the participation trophy. Show me where in America that the more athletic winning kids don’t get all the adulation and special treatment growing up. Show me where that participation trophy ever took anything away from anyone, except for maybe making kids feel good about themselves. I’m really sorry the cost of that extra ribbon bothers you so much.

If you really think that the kids winning the races or those getting the participation awards don’t know the difference between their respective awards, you’re nuts.

I know that the kids whom I coached certainly knew the difference.

Terry Fraser
Brooksville, Fla.

Keep kids out of golf’s line of fire
Reader Jake Doty is correct (“From the Morning Read inbox,” July 2). Golf balls easily can be mis-hit and, even on a good hit, they can bounce in directions not predicted.

The PGA Tour and its sponsors cannot protect anyone from this fact, nor should they. Any tickets sold should state the dangers of attending (most know already) and deny children under age 5. Any younger and they probably cannot understand the game.

No baby strollers should be permitted at all. In large crowds, they become a problem for the parent trying to move around as well as other patrons. Others probably will state that they have a “right” to attend and bring anyone whom they might want. I disagree. Children younger than 5 need constant attention, and baking in the hot sun is not healthy for them. If parents want to see a golf match, leave the young tyke at home or watch it in the safety of your home.

Bill Martin
Quitman, Texas

Next generation needs to support Champions Tour
Selling golf is crucial to the success of the tournament. Most importantly, especially on the Champions Tour, you’ve got to have the horses. Hollis Cavner’s tenacity with nailing down Arnold Palmer for the 3M event is a prime example (“Cavner boosts Twin Cities’ golf pedigree,” July 2).

I sure hope the next generation of Champions Tour players understands the necessity and importance to the health of the game that they remain available and in the public's eye and compete at these tournaments. That's what made Palmer so special. He understood the power of his marquee at any event, especially a golf tournament.

I hope that Phil Mickelson and others understand their responsibility to give back to the game simply by being active competitors on the Champions Tour. The game needs them.

Dan Cahill
Santa Ana, Calif.

Seniors pick up pace, so why can’t PGA Tour?
It was refreshing to watch the U.S. Senior Open this past weekend because of the pace of play. The lead group went off at 2:25 p.m. CDT and finished its round in approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes.

The PGA Tour should take note and encourage players to speed up their pace. I did not recall the times for the U.S. Open, but the pace seemed slower.

Tom Marszowski
Homewood, Ill.

Paying homage to the King and Cavner
Gary Van Sickle’s article about Hollis Cavner and Arnold Palmer was a fine way to learn more about this week’s PGA Tour stop (“Cavner boosts Twin Cities’ golf pedigree,” July 2).

I never can read enough about the King. His legacy defines why golf is such a great sport.

Ken Chojnacki
Delran, N.J.

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