Michael Byrne, the manager of Hidden Creek Country Club in Reston, in explaining why his club will not allow women to tee off on weekends before 11 a.m. is quoted as saying, "women actually take more shots to get to the green, and that's what slows down the play" {Sports, Aug. 13}.

I have a simple solution for Mr. Byrne. Base starting times on the handicap of the player instead of sex. That way the better players, men or women, will not be held up by slow play.

Do you know why this solution will never work? For one thing, because we all know that the better players are not always the fastest; but the real reason this solution won't be tried is that too many male egos would be damaged in the process. DIANE D. WAYMAN Washington

Michael Wilbon's report from the PGA Championship at Shoal Creek Country Club in Birmingham {"Of Black and White and Seeing Red," Sports, Aug. 9} raised some of the moral issues that this controversy has generated. I am concerned however that important public policy, legal and economic issues are being overlooked in the national debate.

First the game of golf is now a multibillion dollar industry involving the manufacture and sale of equipment, clothing, instructional videos, magazines, product endorsements, development of real estate and golf course construction as a package, the televising of PGA tour events and, of course, television advertising by major corporations that sell a wide variety of consumer products. And this industry is growing by leaps and bounds as more people take up the game, as I did in the mid-'50s.

So, I can't agree with those who say that African Americans have more important issues to worry about. Economic development is the most important issue. We should do our homework and develop a strategy that goes beyond golf-club membership. We should have a strategy to gain a market niche and a market share in this multibillion dollar industry. For example, Langston Golf Course in Northeast Washington could provide vehicle for minority economic participation.

With regard to public policy and laws, it should be noted that the persons with the highest income and greatest wealth in America are the members of the country clubs that discriminate. These are the same people who run businesses, corporations and even charitable organizations that are required by law to establish nonracial, nondiscriminatory equal employment opportunity programs. It is now public knowledge that some corporate executives and business owners practice racial discrimination at their country clubs. I think that it is time to reassess the competence of these executives to oversee our nation's EEO laws. CHARLES E. TATE President Booker T. Washington Foundation Washington