My favorite alltime great golfer, "The Golden Bear," laid an egg in his article (Shorten the Tour, Improve the Game, May 13). Agreed, reduce the number of tournaments to the amount a pro would want to enter and still be at his peak—which he does now. What Jack Nicklaus fails to recognize, though, is that probably 99.9% of the lesser lights in the pro ranks are just as eager to win, too, and try just as hard to be competitive. Winning for them may be placing in the top 25. I feel the real golf fan follows the shots and scores of "also rans" on the tour who have never won the big one. How about Lee Elder's win a few weeks ago? Personally, I like to follow a name like Jerry McGee from week to week, and see him come on with some good rounds. And one of these weeks he will take a big one.
MS. vs. MR.
This is a comment on Pat Wilson's letter to you (19TH HOLE, May 6). Wilson said that Charlie Brown had girls on his team, and he has never won a game. True, but if you look across town you will see a team that always wins. This team's manager and star player is Peppermint Patty, a girl.
New Shrewsbury, N.J.
Have you noticed who the best player on Charlie Brown's team is? Not a boy or a girl, but a dog.
I would like to present a rebuttal to Barbara Greene's letter (April 29) concerning sportscasters. She contends that the most significant reason that sports news broadcasts are done poorly is because they are done by men. I find it incomprehensible that someone from the Boston area could make such an absurd statement. One of the local TV stations employs Barbara Borin as a sports-caster. By now she is better known as Borin' Barbara. Even a fellow sportscaster at the station has publicly denounced her ability to report sports. The sportscasters for the other two major networks are excellent. Both Len Berman and Don Gillis report the news accurately and in an interesting manner.
Your April 29 contributor to the 19TH HOLE, W. E. Hagenlocher, is right when he points out that Erich Hagenlacher (as he used to spell it) of Stuttgart, Germany, defeated Jake Schaefer in 1926 to reign briefly as world balkline billiard king, but he is wrong to state that he earned the right to challenge Schaefer by winning elimination matches with Cochran and Hoppe. All of the players in the 1925 world tournament, in which Hagenlacher finished third, were entitled to a challenge match with Schaefer, the tournament winner.
Mill Valley, Calif.
In a time when all that is written, which is very little, about international soccer concerns the present world champion, Brazil, it was refreshing to read Clive Gammon's story (Where a Cup Is Bigger Than a Stein, May 13) about the world champion-to-be: West Germany. With a relatively young team, as well as a very experienced one, the West Germans are without doubt in the best possible position. Their tremendous strength up the middle of the field should make all the difference. Starting with Sepp Maier, the goalie, and moving up the middle through Franz Beckenbauer, one of the world's best all-round players, to G�nter Netzer and, finally, Gerd M�ller, the leading scorer in international soccer, the Germans should be unstoppable. The remainder of the team is an excellent balance of fast, strong defensemen, adept ball handlers and pinpoint passers.
Above all, it should be noted that the games will be played on West German soil and the home-team advantage is very important in soccer. I find it difficult to imagine that anyone other than Franz Beckenbauer will accept the World Cup trophy for his country. I certainly hope your fine magazine will continue its coverage of the most important sporting event of the year anywhere in the world.
Yes, Buck Dawson (Into the Pool with a Seal of Approval, April 29) as we remember him was indeed a most individualistic person! Apparently all 200 of his classmates at Officers Training School, Fort Benning, Ga., during World War II shared the same opinion. In a system where every officer candidate had to rate all the others, Buck found himself, after the first grading in May 1943, No. 200. At graduation in July he had, characteristically, risen to No. 1—quite a tribute from his classmates.
During field exercises, Buck didn't scale six-foot walls—he high-jumped them. Twenty-foot streams weren't forded—they were long-jumped. On the dreaded day, when every member of the class had to prove his all-round agility and stamina by running a tortuous obstacle course, Buck came breezing across the finish line in his typical clowning manner. The official timer, a young officer from the Infantry School Board, was outraged and chewed Buck out for obviously cheating as the elapsed time was "absolutely impossible." Not even breathing hard, Buck shouted, "Start the watch again!"—and away he went, establishing a new school record.
A week later the school's commanding general and his staff wanted to watch Buck make the run. You guessed it—another Infantry School record, and as far as I know, it still stands.
LIEUT. COLONEL JACK DEDERICK
Costa Mesa, Calif.