I WAS glued to the Solheim Cup golf over recent days. What a fabulous spectacle and what a fantastic result for Europe led by the inimitable Catriona Matthew ("Europe’s own captain marvel goes out on a high", Herald Sport, September 8). I am sure that everyone watching her will have noticed how calmly she led her team; how her quiet confidence seemed to transfer to her players.

Most golf TV spectators will have been surprised at the outcome of Nelly Korda’s attempt to sink an eagle putt; how the ball rested agonisingly above the hole. In an obvious bid to speed up play – the match in question had earlier been warned over pace – Europe’s Madelene Sagstrom stepped forward and tossed the ball to Korda, at the same time giving the putt for a birdie 4 to halve the hole. Unfortunately, the American referee stepped in to say that because the ball had been picked up in less than 10 seconds after it had reached the rim of the hole, the hole would be awarded to the Americans. What surprised me, and many others I suspect, is that the American players stood by without intervening to protest at the referee’s intervention.

This incident contrasts starkly with a beautiful and uplifting story recounted to me by Connor Wilson of Castle Park Golf Club. Two years ago, at Leven Links Golf Club, a Scottish Area Men's Team match was to be played between the hosts, Fife, and the visitors, The Lothians. In the absence of a putting green, the visitors decided to have a few practice putts on the 18th green adjacent to the 1st tee. A club official intervened and told the Lothians pair that this was against competition rules and they were to start one down and move on to the second tee. The Fife pair protested on behalf of the visitors but to no avail.

Then they had a brilliant idea. They picked up their balls, moved onto the 18th green and started putting. The club official retreated red-faced into the clubhouse, leaving the teams to agree that they had halved the first hole.

Now that is what I call superb sportsmanship, exemplifying the famous quote by Grantland Rice, the American sports writer who wrote in about 1910: “When One Great Scorer comes to write against your name, He marks, not that you won or lost, but how you played the game.”

Andrew Hamilton, Gifford.


CLAIRE Taylor takes issue with politicians who advocate a four-day working week ("Politicians need reality check over four-day working week", The Herald, September 7). I would guess that Ms Taylor has a good job and decent remuneration; unfortunately that is not the case for many employees languishing in low pay and poor working conditions.

Trade unions have been campaigning for a reduction in hours over generations. Many campaigned previously for a reduction to 35 hours, which has been achieved by many workers, and the commercial business world has not collapsed. Achieving a four-day working week will provide many advantages for workers, create more jobs, reduce work-related stress, reduce accidents at work and allow staff with caring responsibilities to attend to children or elderly relatives. It will also provide educational opportunities, especially for low-paid workers to obtain qualifications.

Multiple studies have proven that reducing hours and working more co-operatively increases productivity. More than 200 years ago Robert Owen at his New Lanark mill proved that point. Scandinavian countries are already implementing this along with New Zealand. It's time for Scotland and the whole UK to move progressively towards a four-day working week.

Jim Mackenzie, Edinburgh.


COULD I just add a few words to the letter from Mike Bath (September 8) about the difficulty of making out what TV actors are saying? Mine is on behalf of listeners to the radio, where we cannot engage subtitles.

The same muttering, mumbling, word-swallowing and annoying background music/noise is often present. We radio listeners have to acknowledge the fact that the BBC Drama department, during the past 18 months, has had to contend with the actors broadcasting from their own homes, often from under duvets, as they tried to reproduce studio conditions. Other radio programmes too have suffered from the same cause. Most annoying is the use of correspondents' own mobile devices to send in information as they cover outside events, often losing the connection or it wandering in and out so the listener has to often guess what has been said.

By far the most pleasant listening is to the news bulletins, especially the one at 12:48am just before World Service begins. It is so lovely to have the newsreaders end their bulletins wishing us all "Goodnight". Tucked up in bed with their pleasant voices whispering in our ears; what could be better?

Perhaps in due time broadcasting will get back to being just that, "broadcasting" and not the thing I have been calling it this past few months ... "narrowcasting". Fingers crossed.

Thelma Edwards, Kelso.


BRAVELY exercising my right to freedom of speech ("What Rangers fans, the Famine Song, Piers Morgan, and Tess White MSP all have in common", The Herald, September 8), I hereby declare my dislike for Portuguese men o’ war and wasps.

And if C Ronaldo and any entomologists out there are offended, so be it.

R Russell Smith, Largs.