Golf is a great game, but it has its drawbacks. No. 1 is probably that it takes a long time to play. Another is that it is very difficult. As a result, participation is falling and golf courses across the nation are closing.

There is one simple remedy: Increase the size of the golf cup to make the game quicker.

The cup is 4 1/4 inches wide. The size should be increased to 6 1/2 or 7 inches wide.

Traditionalists will howl at this proposal, but what is sacrosanct about 4 1/4 inches? And this change could be very easily implemented and tested without alienating traditionalists.

A number of venues have more than one golf course. On Long Island, Bethpage State Park has five courses. Eisenhower Park has three.

These parks could set aside one of their courses for, say, one week or month to test the larger cup. Golfers who want the traditional cup could play the other courses.

The next month, the golf sites could switch the larger cups to a different course.

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It should be easy to tell whether the rate of play changed and whether more golfers chose the course with the larger hole. As one who has enjoyed the game for 50 years, I say, let's go FORE-ward.

Edward Dermon, Roslyn Heights

 

Health costs, taxes drain seniors' IRAs

I hesitate to say what my wife and my combined income is, but suffice to say we should not have to pay federal or state taxes.

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However, my wife suffers from late-stage Alzheimer's disease, so I was forced to withdraw a lot of funds from our quickly depleting individual retirement accounts to pay for home health care, prescription copays, etc.

Much to my horror, once withdrawn, all those IRA funds get added on to your gross income at tax time, meaning we paid a very hefty bill.

Government would do well to allow a full deduction for those expenses. I venture to guess that in the long run, it would save millions paid out in Medicaid. Otherwise, the faster IRA funds are depleted, the quicker Medicaid will start paying for all of your requirements.

It does not take a brain surgeon to figure out that by helping seniors save money, the government will delay its own payouts.

Robert E. Feffer, North Bellmore

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Kindness warmed up our winter

In this day and age of bombings, bloodshed and beheadings, with brutality on parade, displaying man's inhumanity to man, let me tell you about my wonderful neighbor, Brian Sells, who took it upon himself to help his aging neighbors survive the terrible winter of 2015.

I remember the moment late last fall. Brian was gearing up his new snowblower for what lay ahead. One of us stopped to chat and he said, "Don't worry about the snow. I'll take care of you."

And he did. He repeatedly cleared our driveway, brought our newspapers and mail to our front door, and took our trash can to and from the curb. He made it possible for us to get out of the house without incident.

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We have no doubt that we will think back to the winter of 2015, and when we do, it won't be to how many inches of snow fell in Islip, but to Brian's kindness and selflessness.

Chris and Mel Month, Stony Brook