ARNIE AND TOM

Golf World (UK) - - The Spin -

Con­grat­u­la­tions on a great ar­ti­cle, giv­ing us the in­side track on how events evolved over the week of Hazel­tine’s Ry­der Cup. Though I do won­der who on the staff writes so well, ar­riv­ing in such a bal­anced fashion at the in­escapable con­clu­sion, “We did not have our 12 best play­ers in Hazel­tine and, ul­ti­mately, it cost us”?

In a par­tic­u­larly rich is­sue, the two pho­to­graphs of Arnold Palmer with half a cig­a­rette hang­ing from his lips gave pause for thought. Should we show a great sports­man thus ar­rayed? But then again, Arnold was a chain smoker un­til about 1963, even (es­pe­cially?) on the course, and it must have been dif­fi­cult to snap him with­out one...

We should re­mem­ber, too, that it was only in 1964 that the US Sur­geon Gen­eral is­sued the first Fed­eral warn­ing on smoking and health. As the King him­self said: “If I had known what cig­a­rettes were do­ing to me... I would have quit sooner.”

We should be glad that he gave up at 41 and that we had him for an­other 46 years.

Fi­nally, I was in­trigued – and puz­zled – to read in Tom Lehman’s in­ter­view that when play­ing in the Ry­der Cup his at­ti­tude was “I’d love to take that guy down” and “I would just love to tear them a new one!” Not hav­ing heard this ex­pres­sion be­fore, I had to go and look it up on­line. I take it the editorial team is aware of the al­lu­sion?! Very Old Tes­ta­ment, Tom!

Peter Gam­mie, Email

Your ‘Fu­ture of Golf ’ fea­ture in Jan­uary’s edi­tion was an ex­cel­lent read. For all of us who care about the game, there is some se­ri­ous think­ing to be done.

How dis­ap­point­ing, then, that the new-ish chief ex­ec­u­tive of the R&A seems to have his fin­gers in his ears when it comes to lis­ten­ing to those who would scale back the dis­tance modern day pro­fes­sion­als can hit the ball.

Else­where in the same is­sue, Gary Player makes a com­pelling case to ad­dress this very point. Jack Nick­laus is on record say­ing some­thing sim­i­lar.

It’s all very well spend­ing money mon­i­tor­ing hit­ting dis­tance, but what’s re­quired is ac­tion and lead­er­ship. The R&A would be well ad­vised to act upon the views of our great states­men of the game.

Gre­gor Clark, Email

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