The letters continue to arrive in response Bill Fields' column about President George W. Bush's decision to stop playing golf during the Iraq War, "Golf a casualty when war of words heats up," in the May 23 issue. They also continue, with a few exceptions, to be critical. But as predicted supporters are surfacing.
To start with a one of those, Robert A. Legg of Greensboro, Georgia, writes:
The piece by Bill Fields is perhaps the most political I've read in Golf World in my 49 years as a subscriber. It is also one of the best. I can' t help but wonder about the reaction of Bush 41, who has done so much for the game, to his son's ill-advised pronouncement.
Robert H. Broyles of Oklahoma City had a similar reaction:
Bill Fields is to be congratulated for his courage and style as well as for excellent writing skills so evident in his opinion piece. Mr. Fields is both wise and correct to urge golf and golfers to take the high ground in response to President Bush's ill-advised statement. Although I am not proud of my swing, I am very proud of Mr. Fields and the many men and women of high character who are associated with the sport of golf. I also believe that most of us - from duffers to champions, from foot-soldiers to generals, students to professors - appreciate that golf, like many human endeavors, can provide us with experiences ranging from entertainment to the greatest of moral challenges. Bill, I salute you!
"Salutes", however, were in the minority. More typical, this letter from Bill Schmidt of Tulsa:
I am very disturbed to see you print such an article in your May 23rd issue. Even though it is labeled "Opinion", I was surprised that it was not about PGA issues, but was a typical "Bash Bush" liberal rant, that quoted a very left leaning web site. I enjoy your magazines great stories about the golf tours, but urge you to leave the politics to the New York Times, etc.
Kurt Richeson of Culver, Indiana, echoed that sentiment...
Bill Fields should keep his political opinions to himself and out of this golf magazine. If I want to read political opinions I will read Time. Keep this crap out of your excellent golf publication.
...as did Dick Brandes of Manhattan Beach:
Pleeeze! I subscribe to Golf World to read about golf, not about politics. I get more than enough of that from newspapers and TV. If Fields wants to bash Bush, send him to the New York Times, or tell him to take a hike.
Matthew from Colorado took a slightly longer view:
I don't expect a golf reporter/writer to have a grasp on world or domestic politics, but image seems to be one thing you guys rely on quite heavily. At least President Bush did SOMETHING in the face of a hugely unpopular war to change his lifestyle, including golf, that at first glance looks elitist to everyone else but golf writers. Halting WWIII would not make sense to you guys. Bush (just the front man) took the heat for this unpopular war that did just that. No news channel, or the public would want to even consider the stakes that this war undertook. Go on consuming your gas guzzling cars (25-35 MPG is NOT good gas mileage, get a clue!!), expensive polyester shirts, carbon fiber shafted drivers with the blessings of 5-10 more years of cheap (by world standards) oil thanks to G.W. Bush and company. After that, some sort of WWIII will result, but at least not now....heck maybe we will even have better alternatives then!!
Political pandering should be WAY below you guys at Golf World, but hey, I guess not, very sad to see.>
Thank you all for your comments.