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Letters to the Editor: May 2004

Could not agree more about Curtis, next step ABC (ESPN) should take is to dump "NON STOP I LOVE TO HEAR MYSELF" Torico, who fails to understand that most of the silence is golden in golf.

Al Burn, via email

Shut off the micraphones and lets us watch. None of them add anything to the game. Give us a leader board now and thenand show us the shots.

Bert, BCP Golf Instructions

Whoa, ease up there Doug. Hale Irwin as an announcer? Excuse me but his dominance of the Champions tour and its demise as a viable golf "show" are inexorably linked. Watching him play, or listening to him "analyze" his rounds after his round, are slightly below watching paint dry for entertainment value.

For those of us somewhat tired of the self-proclaimed self-important announcers, we'll take the self-deprecating humor of the Fehertys and McCords anyday. If you want to really evaluate someones self-importance listen for how many times they use the words "I" or "Me" in a sentence. Jack Nicklaus is the undisputed chmpion in this area, but Hale is not far behind
along with Johnny Miller and Curtis Strange.

Joe Sciortino, The Links at Boynton Beach

I used to be the head professional at an American Golf course in Chicago. Never before have I seen a company care less about their customers. AG is not about service. It is about the bottom line and providing for David Prices' expensive hobbies (airplane racing). A couple of stories to share:

1. National Golf Properties - After cutting our budgets to the bone and leaving my service staff 4 people short of minimum needs, I was finally aproved for my budget. less than 2 weeks after that, AG came out with what they called a "10% Opportunity". We had to now go back through our budgets and cut another 10% off our budget so that corporate could use the money for a new venture "NGP" and purchase more clubs.

2. With very little left in our budget with spring approaching, it was discovered that the roof in one of the banquet rooms was in dire need of repair. the word "should be condemned" was used. We also needed to repair some of the bunkers on the course. Not enough budget for both. Decision? Do the bunkers as it would bring more to the bottom line because of the appearance enhancement. This was in 1996 or 1997. The roof has yet to be fixed. If you really want a laugh, check out the American Golf Mission Statement. All the employees have to know it....I am not sure management does.

Tripp Hardin, via email

I read your review of Doral with great interest since I am a Legends Golf Member. In English that means I have a full golf membership, nothing else. Like most of Doral, a fancy name is simply window dressing to hide reality. The Blue Monster is no longer a monster. It is not even an interesting course or a particularly challenging layout with a few distinct exceptions.

The course is overplayed, under maintained and living on past glory. I have yet to meet any person staying at the regular resort (as opposed to the Spa) who felt that it was satisfactory. The three non-premier courses are poorly maintained at best. Ant hills abound. The name of the game at Doral is to market the most number of rounds possible regardless of quality. Notwithstanding the recent sale of Doral to a new group, the focus will be on profitablity not quality.

Members, as always, are the least important part of the equation in any situation such as this. The White Course is a two trick pony repeated for 18 holes. Forced carry off of the tee, waste areas framing the fairways. Trick greens interspersed throughout the course - a double green here, a table top green there, an island green with pot bunkers there. There is no real theme, cohesion or statement about playing the Great White. The Blue is like many courses in Las Vegas - not worth the money, but a nice course. Nothing really special, but nice. The other three courses are below mediocre.

Residential development courses on the West Coast of Florida make the Doral operation a low second or even third rate facility. The practice area is fourth rate at best. It is a shame that your position requires you to be upbeat and a shill for the courses and resorts you write about. Unfortunately, honesty in your review would affect your advertising stream and your free stays. The end effect is that when I read your puff piece on the Doral, it tells me to ignore the rest of your recommendations.

Neal Farr, Pinecrest, Fla.

I agree with you 100% about the Golden Bear it is good to see a great champion without a big ego. He could stay in the limelight for as long as he would like, and people would still come out to see a legend. Also I love your site and all the links.

Noe Salinas, via email

I think Jack can still compete at Augusta. Didn't he only miss the cut by a stroke? He said if he only had a short game, he could have competed. Boy, would I love to see him playing the Masters on Sunday afternoon one more time. What a thrill he gave me shooting 30 on the back nine to win the tournament by a single shot in 1986 over Greg Norman. That has to rate right up there with the "Miracle on Ice" as pure drama in sports.

By the way, I don't hear any of these golf commentators and sports writers saying that it's just a matter of time before Tiger breaks Jack's record of 18 professional major championships anymore. They were in unison sounding the invincibility of Tiger on the links and Nicklaus' records would surely be surpassed. Now I wonder if Tiger has become Eldrick the toothless tiger. I've never heard this expressed by any of our vaunted golf sports announcers so, evidently, they don't share my perception. Tiger will probably win some more majors but his dominance is clearly over yet no one expresses this. Another example of truth taking a back seat to political correctness.

Ron Mullins, via email

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