A May 25 commentary certainly explained what is wrong with golf. The writer omitted what is right with golf:
1) Parents need not fear their children will sustain a concussion or paralysis if they play golf.
2) Name another sport you can play when you are in your 80s.
3) Golf rules, if followed, instill honesty. You can’t always say that about baseball.
4) Golf is a universal sport played in Asia, Europe, South America and other places.
5) You don’t need to be able to speak the language of your competitor. One of my enjoyable rounds was played with a Japanese golfer who did not speak English.
6) Golf is a game of discipline.
7) Golf encourages sociability with other players.
8) Golf is no longer elitist — witness what Tiger Woods, Vijah Singh, Michelle Wie and Notah Begay have brought to the game.
9) A round of golf makes you appreciate the beauty and nature on a golf course.
10) Golf is a struggle to play — but when you get a par there is no other feeling as great.
Mark Luther, Minnetonka
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Way’s article reminded me of my last round of golf — a few good shots, but oh-so-seriously flawed. Golf too stuffy and elitist? Most golfers I know are pretty much the opposite. They’re just fun-seekers who like to spend time outside with their friends playing at a difficult but addictive game. Way goes on to blame the tradition-bound “keepers of the game,” gimmicky equipment, difficult golf courses and absurdly complex rules. Yikes — all that is what I love about the game. The rest of the world is so dumbed-down; can’t we leave golf alone?
Jon Balch, Edina
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Way mentioned nothing about this reason for the sport’s demise: the near total absence of golf being offered in our public schools’ physical education curricula. Poll your local public school and you might be surprised to note a lack of golf units offered to students in grades K-10. If, during a 36-week phy. ed. program, a gym teacher would offer a one-week unit on golf to every student from elementary school through early high school, as they do for badminton, bowling, softball, dodge ball and the like, just think of the positive ramifications for the sport statewide. Students would develop a golf stance, grip, swing and knowledge of the sport that just might transfer to an appreciation for golf during their adult lives.
It is no wonder, as Way states, that golf is still considered by many to be an “elite” sport. If the only way a child in our state is going to be exposed to golf is through having wealthy parents, then of course it will remain elite. But public education is for everyone. Phy. ed. teachers from Worthington to International Falls ought to begin tomorrow adding units on golf to their curricula. The Minnesota PGA is even willing to supply clubs to schools at no cost, and many golf courses in the state make their facilities available to schools in their districts. The time is now to promote this lifetime sport through our local school systems.
Robert M. Statz, Onamia, Minn.
Justice is cautious and imperfect — is that a blessing or a curse?
Announced above the headline of the May 22 article “Run over twice,” about pedestrian traffic deaths: “But many of the deaths weren’t even judged worth a traffic ticket.” While such words may inflame passions and sell newspapers, they perpetuate the ignorant myth that criminal charges are an evaluation of the victim’s loss, rather than of the sufficiency of the evidence to overcome the presumption of innocence that protects us all. Ethics rules forbid prosecution without such evidence, and we would be well-served by a newspaper that reminds us of the wisdom of this principle.
Nate Reitz, Lakeville
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I am writing to thank Eric Roper and all who contributed to “Run over twice.” Distracted driving is behind the deaths of too many innocent pedestrians. My twin brother, Michael Lindholm, is one of the “uncharged driver” dots on the map that appeared with the article online; his friend Jon Smith’s dot is directly underneath. Michael was killed instantly; Jon suffered in ICU for a month before succumbing to his injuries.
My feeling is that it’s the victim’s family members who are run over twice, or more accurately, hundreds of times. Because the dead cannot say what happened to them, the driver’s version of events directs what is written and stands as “truth,” as it did for Michael and Jon. I agree completely with Sandra Hanson: It is a “perpetrator-friendly legal environment” — there was no justice in the way the accident that ended the lives of my brother and his friend was handled. I am certain that the Hansons’ and our cases are not an anomaly but rather help explain why so many drivers are not charged with anything.
How can running a stop sign be more ticket-worthy than ending a life? In my mind, any driver who kills a pedestrian (unless being unavoidable is crystal-clear) is inherently negligent of not paying full attention to the road in front of them. Gross negligence should not be the only reason to hold drivers accountable for taking someone’s life. Distracted driving is a real problem; it is wrong that laws continue to give drivers involved in fatal pedestrian accidents greater consideration than those whose lives were tragically ended. My heart goes out to all families suffering from such heartbreaking losses.
Susan K. Lindholm, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Look in the mirror when it comes to performance standards
Our legislatures have been pushing pay for performance for teachers and public-sector employees for years. If our legislators are paid too little, as Lori Sturdevant argues (“Watch that legislative turnover,” May 22), it might be time for them to implement pay for performance in their own house. It would have saved taxpayers a lot of money this session.
Richard Crose, Bloomington
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The sheer number of legislators adds immeasurably to the dysfunction we see. The number was decided upon way back in the horse-and-buggy days.
Meanwhile, the low pay absolutely precludes the selection of a wider array of talent from running for office, no doubt severely curtailing the candidate pool. One subtle outcome is the existence of candidates who run for office to further their own ideological goals, not to improve legislation that benefits all Minnesotans. Hence the sickening gridlock and inaction we see now. The “my way or no way” mentality reigns supreme.
The answer is to double the pay of legislators and cut the number of them in half. That is cost-neutral and will facilitate better accommodation of others’ views, and hopefully provide a more talented and resourceful candidate pool.
Neal A. Wilson, Burnsville