Hank Haney's essay, "Best route to the tour? It's not college" will do exactly what I think Hank wanted to do: Generate a debate one that most other sports are long familiar with. Essentially, go for the diploma or go for the dough. Chris Gibbs of Calabasas, Calif., was the first of letter writers who aren't buying Hank's argument:
"I can speak for every Golf Digest subscriber I have talked to and they agree 100% that Hank should stick to helping improve our swings from the lesson tee and not give any life lessons."
Gibbs makes a retroactive argument: ____
"The best players went to college, so if you want to be one of the best players, go to college.
On page 46 (of the same issue), the best golfer in the world, Tiger Woods, says, "I really enjoyed my time at Stanford. Not only did I grow as a person, I made some lifelong friends. They were the best two years of my life." It doesn't seem like college stunted Tiger's improvement...."
Okay, but note that Tiger said the best TWO years of his life. As Hank points out, most golf professionals who attend college don't attend four years and don't graduate. He's also not arguing that school doesn't make one a more well-rounded person. He's saying it is not the most direct way to being a world-class golfer. It's an inconvenient truth.
I like Jerry Pate's solution. He waited until his daughter enrolled in Alabama and enrolled with her. I believe he got straight As.