Golf World (UK) - - The Spin -

I write re­gard­ing John Huggan’s ‘Straight Talk­ing’ in the De­cem­ber is­sue on the var­i­ous as­pects of Ry­der Cup Euro­pean Team se­lec­tion, and his fi­nal word of the ar­ti­cle – “dis­cuss”. So let’s “dis­cuss”.

The ar­gu­ment of Tour ver­sus Tour, at least for the past 30 years, is not con­tentious. And it should not be, as it is clear to all and sundry who wish to earn a liv­ing on the back of the Euro­pean Tour that a trans­parency of loy­alty to the Tour is ex­pected.

Paul Casey, in clearly stat­ing that by re­lin­quish­ing his Euro­pean Tour mem­ber­ship in favour of the more lu­cra­tive PGA cir­cuit, as is Rus­sell Knox. So they can­not de­serve to be favoured over Euro­pean Tour stal­warts or young and promis­ing play­ers like Thomas Pi­eters and Matt Fitz­patrick, who have earned the “right” to be an au­to­matic se­lec­tion.

Oth­ers who also qual­ify for the PGA Tour so pre­pare their di­aries for the year across the two tours ac­cord­ingly, they de­serve all they earn – and vice versa.

And, John, the se­lec­tion process will al­ways iden­tify the best play­ers in each side over the qual­i­fy­ing pe­riod, what­ever that hap­pens to be. Your sug­ges­tion that the Euro­pean Tour has put out un­der-strength teams is laugh­able, if not a lit­tle in­sult­ing to the mem­bers of past teams that have been so suc­cess­ful. Think Muir­field Vil­lage in ’87 – Seve, Jose Maria, Nick, Ian, Sandy, Bernhard, Sam, et al – un­der strength? I think not, and this has been car­ried through each Ry­der Cup meet­ing since then.

Your view that a string of de­feats is in­evitable is not one that is shared. And if it ain´t broke, don´t fix it!!

Ge­orge Gil­lan­ders, Mar­bella

Is golf at club level in ter­mi­nal de­cline? I ask this be­cause most clubs in my area of north-west Glas­gow now have re­duced mem­ber num­bers.

My nine-year-old son is the only one in his class who plays golf at all. At the mo­ment he plays for free un­der my adult mem­ber­ship un­til he is 10. Then he be­comes a cadet and the fee goes up to £125.

When I was his age in the early 1980s, most of my class­mates played. In fact at our pri­mary school we ac­tu­ally had a com­pe­ti­tion which was played over four rounds. I think this par­tic­i­pa­tion level was prob­a­bly largely due to hav­ing three lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal cour­ses we could play. I dis­tinctly re­mem­ber my fa­ther com­ing home at the start of April with our golf ticket for the year. This al­lowed us to play as often as we liked for 12 months.

It cost £4.80 and in the sum­mer hol­i­days you had to book a time as there were boys queued up to play ev­ery eight min­utes. I have such fond mem­o­ries of play­ing with my pals and brother at this time.

I am per­haps be­ing too nos­tal­gic but to­day’s gen­er­a­tion of boys are very few golfers. I can see how my son will lose in­ter­est if he doesn’t have boys his own age to play with. I do feel that the gov­ern­ing bod­ies are not re­ally do­ing enough to try and en­cour­age boys and girls to try golf. Per­haps lo­cal clubs could try and en­gage more with the schools to try and in­tro­duce chil­dren to the game? Be­fore it’s too late.

Roland Les­lie, Email

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