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Congratulations to Rick Reilly for capturing the essence of the real game of golf. The subtleties he so artfully described in The Nifty 50 (July 2) are why the game is impossible to resist. But there are more than 50 reasons to feel good about golf, so here is a start on the next Nifty 50:

•Tradition mandates that a player who makes a hole in one buy drinks for the house. Now, that is classy and cool.

•Prize money is never mentioned during the Masters broadcasts.

•At the 1st tee in the final match in the movie Caddyshack, Rodney Dangerfield slides $20 to the referee with instructions to "keep it fair."

•Next year's U.S. Open will be held at Hazeltine in suburban Minneapolis.

More nifty things that should be mentioned: no phone, no bills and no screaming kids or crowded Saturday shopping. These are some of the reasons why people play golf, no matter how bad their game.
Fredericton, New Brunswick

I enjoyed Reilly's 50 reasons to feel good about golf, but while I agree with most of his examples, I have to take exception to No. 6: "Femur damage—it is unlikely you will suffer any playing golf." As a physical therapist, I recently treated a gentleman who suffered a fractured femur during a round of golf at Haig Point Golf Course on Daufuskie Island, S.C. He was driving his golf cart with his left leg hanging out and smashed into a tree. Unfortunately, he was unable to finish his round at this fabulous course. As an expression of sympathy, his golfing companions sent him an inscribed plaque on which were mounted his incomplete scorecard and a piece of bark from the offending tree.
Oaklyn, N.J.

The photos accompanying John Garrity's July 16 story on golf architecture (Playing God) were so tantalizing they made me want to go and play the holes depicted as soon as I put down the magazine. Unfortunately, the holes on pages 62-63, 64 and 68 weren't identified. Could you fill me in, please? And, by the way, who's the man with Jack Nicklaus on page 68?
New York City

•The hole on pages 62-63 is the par-4 15th at Black Diamond Golf Club in Lecanto, Fla.; on page 64, the par-3 6th at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Ind.; and on page 68, the par-3 14th of the Renegade Course at the Golf Club at Desert Mountain in Scottsdale, Ariz. The fellow with Nicklaus is Lyle Anderson, a developer at Desert Mountain, for whom Nicklaus was designing a course.—ED.

In E.M. Swift's article about golf equipment technology (Choose Your Weapon, July 9), the picture of how tees have changed failed to include the once-popular sand tee. Until the mid-1950s, buckets of sand and water could often be found on tees. These were used by the golfer or the caddy to create a little mound from which the golfer teed off.
DAVID H. HALLE, President
Middle Atlantic Golf Association
Glyndon, Md.

That was a great cover photograph of Hale Irwin (June 25). Hale's younger brother, Phil, was on SI's cover back on Oct. 5, 1970, when he was a senior linebacker for Colorado. The Buffaloes' 27-7 defeat of Penn State, which was the subject of that cover, helped to usher Colorado into an era of success in football that lasted he best part of a decade.
Colorado Springs

•Phil led Colorado in tackles in his junior and senior years, and was captain in 1970. He is now a real estate developer and broker in Boulder. Last month, at the British Open, he caddied for Hale for the first time since they were teenagers.—ED.





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