The First Call Inbox

Which is the best of the west?

The First Call readers favor two iconic venues as the PGA Tour swings through the west; NBC Sports' golf analyst debate continues on

Pebble Beach Golf Links — Hole 8
Pebble Beach Golf Links, eighth hole.

Question of the week [January 15-21]: As the PGA Tour begins its five-tournament West Coast Swing, which is the tournament you are most looking forward to in this stretch — The American Express, Farmers Insurance Open, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, WM Phoenix Open or Genesis Invitational?

RELATED: The First Call Inbox archive

— — — — — — —

As a former member of the Carolinas PGA and one who vacations in Scottsdale the following week, I look forward to and embrace the WM Phoenix Open. The galleries, weather and dramatic 16th hole make for a unique week on the PGA Tour. A reminder for us on the east coast that golf is in the offing.

Geoffrey Spence
Pinehurst, North Carolina

The WM Phoenix Open is clearly the standout event out west. The golf course was designed for a Tour event and the spectators have a great time. More PGA Tour sponsors should follow this model.

The Pebble Beach tournament was a spectacle when they had a 180-man field. Now with an 80-man field, there will not be any underdogs playing.

Dennis Brissette
Heathrow, Florida

WM Phoenix Open since it's so much fun to watch, particularly the stadium par-3 hole.

Bob Norris
Cincinnati, Ohio

I no longer care to watch the men's tournaments. Science has made balls and clubs that make up the men's game uninteresting. It takes less skill to just use crazy equipment to overpower the game. This is from a guy who was a 6 handicap on a very tough western Pennsylvania country club at age 15 ... with normal clubs and balls.

When Arnold Palmer hit one 280, people gasped. But he still used a driver for second shots. Now it's a driver / 8-iron / yawn. A par 5 was 465 yards and almost no one got there in two.

I will watch old episodes of Shell's Wonderful World of Golf. That was golf.

What I will watch the LPGA play Palos Verdes. Normal length makes the women play all the shots. And that's a seriously interesting and scenic golf course.

I will watch the Masters, because it's Augusta National. I used to like to watch Pebble Beach, but the modern science equipment has made it too easy.

My two cents worth. But I would bet this is how many golfers feel.

Gary Mair
Boca Raton, Florida / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

I love Pebble Beach. Number one is the stunning scenery. Golf wise, I like the challenges of small greens and short game. And if the wind blows, it gets real interesting. I could care less about the celebrity factor. 

Barry Duckworth
Knoxville, Tennessee

AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am because of the golf course. While the last few holes are interesting, I wish CBS would show more of the entire course.

Jim Pomeranz
Cary, North Carolina

Pebble Beach … memories.

Michael Rutledge
Sarasota, Florida

Besides the majors, the most exciting tournament of the year is the Phoenix Open. Other courses might be more scenic, but just to see the enthusiasm of both the players and crowd is awesome, and I long to be able to view this tournament in person. 

Tom Schnurstein 
Wheaton, Illinois

[QOTW, January 8-14: Who do you believe should be NBC Sports' new golf analyst — if not Kevin Kisner, then who?]

I would love to see Steve Elkington.

Larry Michaels
La Jolla, California

Fred Couples, Davis Love, Fred Funk,

Derry Myers
Edmond, Oklahoma

Dottie Pepper.

Pete Kellos
Bluffton, South Carolina

[Kevin] Kisner was great, but I don’t think he wants it as a permanent position. I am already looking forward to the WM Phoenix Open, when he will be on the broadcast again. But let’s wait until a couple more have tryouts before making our preference known.

Mike Wells
Aiken, South Carolina

I haven't heard  enough of Kevin Kisner to make a judgement, but I just hope that it's someone like Johnny Miller or Nick Faldo. Lee Trevino would be great, but i m sure he's not interested. What's Tom Watson up to these days?

Larry Ashe
Chicago, Illinois

Curt Byrum or Phil Blackmar. It really doesn't matter, however. With Dan Hicks's incessant babbling of irrelevant information, Vin Scully couldn't save the broadcast.

Jay Ardolino
Amelia Island, Florida 

Kevin Kisner did an excellent job and provided insight and honest evaluation not typically aired in golf broadcasts. His work was light years better than what I have heard from recent analysts like Justin Leonard, Trevor Immelman, Peter Jacobsen and Paul Azinger.

I still think it would be great if he were paired with someone like Paul Goydos, who gives intelligent and experienced interviews mixed with humor.

Terry Fraser 
Huntsville, Alabama

Kevin Kisner is a must have. His experience on Tour combined with his everyman language and sarcastic humor is a breath of fresh air from the experts who couldn't break 90 playing on Tour.

He's a better version of Johnny Miller and the exchanges that he and Smylie Kaufman have are what regular golfers want to hear as it reminds us of, well, us ... if we were good enough to be on Tour.

Rob King
Savannah, Georgia

The First Call invites reader comment. Write to editor Stuart Hall at Your name and city of residence is necessary to be considered for publication. If your comment is selected for publication, The First Call will contact you to verify the authenticity of the email and confirm your identity. We will not publish your email address. We reserve the right to edit for clarity and brevity.