ARNIE AND TOM
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