Non-compliance with drivers raises questions
Watching the British Open, I was shocked to hear that as many as four of 30 drivers tested by the R&A were non-compliant.
The questions and implications that this fact raises are interesting and hugely relevant to hosting a fair tournament. These four golfers were required on very short notice to procure a compliant driver. This is a potentially huge competitive disadvantage to a professional golfer, exceeded perhaps only by a putter being deemed non-compliant and requiring placement on short notice.
Another question is, how representative is this sample? If 13 percent of the field is using non-compliant equipment, that is shocking. Why doesn’t such a large incidence of non-compliance result in expanded testing? Is it feasible for all players’ drivers to be tested so that the playing field is level?
What does such a large incidence of non-compliance say about the integrity of the golf club and its owner? It is too easy to blame the golf-club manufacturer. Isn’t each player ultimately responsible for the equipment that he uses? Further, I am unclear what advantage a “hot” driver has on a links course, where control of the ball, avoidance of the fairway bunkers and estimation of rollout are key, and a “hot” driver may in fact be a hindrance.
Finally, why is professional golf and its spokespeople taking a path of silence with regard to this issue, their testing procedures and how such non-compliance could occur? For a sport in which integrity is everything, I think full disclosure and transparency in everything should be the order of the day.
Oak Bluff, Manitoba
Observations about Open and Portrush
Shane Lowry played great in winning the British Open. Credit his great play first and how well he did in brutal conditions.
It was not the most compelling major championship I've ever watched. I’m mixed about the Royal Portrush course. There was nothing truly memorable about it.
Tommy Fleetwood's day to win a big tournament will happen soon enough.
How many people will watch the FedEx Cup now that it’s going to be over before football starts? That’s the big question now.
Middleburg Heights, Ohio
(Coleman is a PGA professional.)
Royal Portrush proves itself worthy
J.B. Holmes, one of the British Open co-leaders, shot 87 in the final round, and very few of the last eight groups came close to par. Do you think that maybe Royal Portrush is tough enough now? (“From the Morning Read inbox,” July 20).
I'd be amazed if the Open doesn't go back there quite soon as the crowds were fantastic, the golf was fabulous and the tournament fits perfectly.
The Villages, Fla.
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