Sally Jenkins's July 2 Sports column, "Destruction of Golf Is in Progress," was timely. Equipment manufacturers are ruining the game for players and spectators. The U.S. Golf Association has been forced to trick up its venues to combat the driver/pitching wedge game that is being played now.

I have been playing golf for 50 years, and when I started as a 10-year-old, there wasn't a lot of difference in equipment between what amateurs and professionals used. What separated the two was ball compression, shaft specs, swing weight of clubs, and being able to afford forged irons vs. cast and professionally made persimmons vs. less costly versions.

I don't recall many 13- or 16-year-olds who could hit a 300-yard drive with a wood or hit a 7-iron 190 yards. Admittedly, young people are more physically fit today, but technology in balls and clubs has taken the fun, the challenge, the sport out of golf.

Let's give some of the equipment many of us learned the game with to these up-and-comers. I am not suggesting the old hickory shaft and gutta percha ball, but off-the-shelf balls and clubs from the '60s or '70s.

I am guessing there wouldn't be the kinds of rounds we are seeing today.

J.H. JORDAN

Rockville