THE OPEN EGG
I certainly can find no fault with the premise developed in your article (The Egg and the Net, Feb. 18). However, one point that was not brought out but which, in my opinion, is extremely essential, is that the resolution adopted opposing open tennis was approved over the objection of every officer of the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association with the exception of one, and that of both immediate past presidents. It was also done over the objections of Mr. William Kellogg, who is a member of the Committee of Management of the International Lawn Tennis Federation representing the USLTA.
In my opinion, the action taken was extremely ill-advised and harmful to tennis, and I am sorry that the sections which supported this position made no attempt to poll either their clubs or players in regard to this particular policy. It is important, I think, to note that the Midwest area, which did poll its clubs concerning the question of open tennis, found that over 82% were in favor of our holding an open tournament.
EDWARD A. TURVILLE
St. Petersburg, Fla.
Your indictment of the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association should have been directed against the majority of the top sectional leaders of the country rather than against the individual clubs.
The Chicago Association, the largest district in the USLTA, through the wisdom of its president, polled its member clubs and the "press" on the anti-open resolution later passed by the annual meeting of the USLTA. Of 75 replies from newspapers and TV stations in the Midwest, 74 favored open tennis. A past president of the Chicago District and of the Western Section had tried previously to persuade the western officers to support the resolution without a club poll, on the assumption that their association was opposed even to "national home rule" on the question of open tennis. As it developed from the poll, that man's own club reported that apparently every member of the club except this one man favored open tennis.
It is doubtful from the discussion at the USLTA meeting whether many, if any, other local associations polled their own clubs. Apparently the decisions were made largely by the officers or the executive committees of the various associations. Hence your indictment of those responsible for the present position of the national organization should be, for better or for worse, against the majority of the sectional leaders and not against the clubs as you imply.
Past President, Western and Chicago
A lack of suitable courts is the trouble with tennis in my section of the country. Most of our courts are poorly constructed asphalt. Those are intolerably hot in summer, not adequately shielded in winter, and not provided with shelter and refreshments and comfortable chairs for watching and resting. If we had one quarter of the money spent on golf, tennis would go over the top.
I believe our recent emphasis on exercise for health is going to help tennis. No other sport offers so much exercise for one who is limited in the time he can spend each week for recreation. Probably no other sport requires as much mental concentration as the modern attack game of tennis.
W. S. PENNINGTON, M.D.
My reasons may be peculiar to myself, but I do not get much enjoyment out of watching people do something that I can do myself, even though they do it much better than I can. Following this line, I would never pay to see anyone bowl or play bridge or play tennis. However, I will gladly pay to see ice hockey or football or baseball, because there is no way that I can presently participate in these sports. I guess what it all boils down to is that it is more fun to participate, even though poorly, than it is to sit and watch the best.
JOHN E. STEVENSON JR.
Congratulations on your new series, Secrets of the Short Game (Feb. 18, 25), by Jerry Barber. It is wonderfully detailed and presents its subject in the clearest and easiest-to-understand manner I have ever seen. But then so did My Secrets of Putting (Feb. 20, 1960) by Billy Casper and The Modem Fundamentals of Golf (March 11, 1957 et seq.) by Ben Hogan. Your golf editor has performed a real service for golf and golfers with the presentation of such articles in your magazine.
I am not a golfer—had never attended a golf tournament prior to the PGA of 1961 at Olympia Fields. We all know the story now—that miracle on the third hole of the fourth round, and those three incredible putts on 16, 17 and 18. The last was the 60-footer, and it seemed to take five minutes to wend its way to that small hole. It may well be that Jerry Barber may never win another major tournament, but it was a pleasure to find him chosen as the SPORTS ILLUSTRATED instructor of the short game. He earned this honor on that warm July day in 1961 by proving that to be short in stature is no handicap—if one is long on heart.
STUART G. MORRIS
Glen Ellyn, Ill.