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February 2004 | Letters to the Editor

The Phoenix mentality

I too saw the Phoenix open and the "enthusiastic fans." What happened to golf etiquette? The cheering crowds seemed to hold their tongues while the players were hitting their tee shots to the par 3 but what did their outbursts do to the people coming up the hole behind them? As a high school golf coach, etiquette is the toughest thing to teach.

Golf is pretty exciting the way it is without all of the "you the man" comments being yelled from the bleachers that just screams of the "forget about you, look at me" mentality that you are encouraging. If you consider this "making golf fun again" then you obviously are a fan of golf for the wrong reasons.

Kris Oftedahl, Hill-Murray High School Boys Golf Coach, Maplewood, MN

Are there obnoxious fans in Phoenix every year? Definitely. But when you consider how many potential new fans you're attracting to the game, the positives far outweigh any negatives. I'm not saying every tournament needs to be Phoenix, but it wouldn't hurt the PGA Tour to really look at what goes right there every year - DC

Oh, the sarcasm

I'm really with you on that FBR shindig. But how about a few improvements for next year. Cheerleaders are a must,and mascots; and how about some circus animals wandering the fairways. Hey, maybe they could get Janet Jackson to do her thing. Oh, yes, and free beer! Talk about your enthusiastic fans!! That's what golf's all about, right?

JF Horcher, via email

Turkey, anyone?

Although I live in the UK, I did play several Phoenix courses this year and read your Email page. I was interested in your comment about new courses in India, but what about the wonderful courses in the belek region of Turkey, where I also play each year. Not very well known, but superb courses and hotels which are great value for money.

Roger Dean, via email

Living the American dream

How could someone not admire Chi-Chi Rodriguez for what he has accomplished. He lives the American dream that all of our ancestors had. Come to America where you are free, work hard and get rich. We may all not be rich, but can still live the American dream thru people like Chi Chi. His love of life is evident.

Jerry Vaughn, Mason, OH

Journey to India

Finally someone thought about India. Golf is amazingly inexpensive in India. At green fee pricing of 5$ to a maximum of 25$ for 18 holes with a caddie (no power carts at most courses) Combine that with great weather for 9 months a year and 1$ for two beers. It is the tip of an ice berg which no one has noticed. I am probably the first person who has been trying to organise an exclusive golf vacation to India from California for the past three months.

Rammohan, via email

From the 19th hole

I had the great privelege of playing golf in England several times last summer and let me tell you, they do it right. There is nothing better than a "warm" Guinness after a round of Golf on a British links course. The clubhouse had all the best best beer and ale Europe has to offer on tap. Of course if you were so inclined you could still get a cold Budweiser, but you know what they say "when in Rome."

Mike McCoy, Grove City, Ohio

Fun in the desert

Came across your article on Arizona's best winter courses and just wanted to say it was incredibly well written. The author did a very nice job. Very clever, very informative. We played three of the recommended courses on our vacation earlier this month -- if the other four were as good as these, wow. Gotta love Arizona weather! Keep up the good work.

Jack Fischern, Austin, MN

Praise for Quail Lodge

You hit the nail on the head with your rave review of Quail Lodge and Resort. I recently spent a weekend there with nine of my associates, and we couldn't have been more pleased with our stay. What stands out is the exceptional quality of service; every employee there pays attention to the details and goes the extra mile to make sure all of the guests' needs are met. My congratulations to Bruce and his staff for restoring the Quail to greatness. We will be back.

Robert Lingner, Minneapolis, MN

Cheers for Chi Chi

I'm 56 years old. I've always been a fan of Chi-Chi Rodriguez. The article seemed directly to the point and well written. It also taught me a few things:

1. Where and how the matador fanfare came from.
2. Knowing that the European tour only allows 10 foreigners (not only Americans) into their weekly events was some good info.
3. It does go to show how inviting the American Tour must be to all the other Pro Golfers outside of the European mainland: All of Asia, Africa, Australia, Canada, South America and let's not forget Fiji. We are still and will probably always be the melting pot. The best one going. Thank you for the article. I enjoyed it.

Larry Rosato, Charlotte, N.C.

Women's world

Takes the right kind of women for a man to compete in golf. I think they will be just fine. If you look at last year's standings, you'll notice that Tiger beat out all the rest with fewer tournaments. Last year Vijay played something like 30 plus events and tiger only 20 or so and still kicked butt. I would be more worried about how to get her to sign a prenup! But that's just me.

Ron Spragg, via email


Although it might be a nice thought to consider that women might meet men on a golf course with whom they might relate, most men on the golf course don't think about women. They think about golf. In most cases, the women golfing are also thinking about golf. The atmosphere of golf courses does little to consider a function of matchmaking an option for them since the environment is not much different than walking into an arena where timed play is the game. It's rather difficult to think of a particular man and the dynamics of a golf hole at the same time. They are uniquely different and equally demanding. While on the course, the golf takes precedence, as it should. One would imagine that the same applies for business and golf.

Also: It's very difficult for male golfers to see the courses from the perspective of women. Most are designed boring as if the most important part of golf is the drive. While women are forced to play the entire field, in most cases, most courses are set up to ignore the field by designing only the tees and the greens with the possible exception of locating a strategic bunker or a body of water. By and large the contours of the fairway are ignored as well as their condition unless it is an exceptional private course.

The long fairways require many more strokes for women which is more tiring than for men, and in many cases, are unsuitable for women, not because of the challenge of control, but because of the manner in which the course is set up to cater to the powerful drive instinct that men have. Most women do not have the pleasure of enjoying that instinct since they lack the strength, (and/or the equipment) to aid in that process. Not only does it often make the game boring, it makes it more challenging than it should be for women, dampening their enthusiasm, and taking longer than it should, as many men have no doubt noticed.

Until skill in placement becomes a priority for men as it is for women, it is unlikely that golf courses will be female friendly. The real question is why men are so intensively focuses not on placement except near the green, but on driving in the first place. Except for driving, following men around a course who have no concept of ball placement is very, very challenging because it takes forever mostly because of this unfamiliarity with ball placement and the undue concern over acquiring yardage. Courses are rarely "balanced" in this respect. They're often too long or too short.

Pat Ross, Wellesley, MA

The Natural

I enjoyed your thoughts on Mr. Ernie Els. I am, however, more impressed with Mr. Els as a person... than I am with him as a golfer. Regarding his personal and business life, well, let's just say he has them well intact...I sincerely believe Mr. Els would rather be at home with his family messin' around on the floor with his children than be on the first tee...and yet look how well he plays! Mr. Els truly falls into the "a natural" category. Plus I love his rhythm, tempo and timing!

M Barton, SwingSong LLC

Male order

I have no problem with male-only country clubs. I just think it's funny that they are willing to pay $85,000 to get away from us. They are probably men we wouldn't want to be around anyway. Thank you for having this type of course available so these men aren't on the unisex courses to ruin it for us ladies that play good golf.

Susie Combee, Atlanta, Ga.

Character counts

The essence of Estaban Toledo's life and his character was exhibited by his young son during Thursday's round at the Nissan Open. He was in line to 'putt' for a 'club cover' directly in front of me. He sank three putts and was given the Nissan Open head cover. I offered to buy it from him, and he simply stated, "you can have it, I can get another." When he turned I noticed "Toledo" on his shirt back. Please tell Estaban for me that his son was a credit to him.

Vi Page, San Bernardino

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