Feb 26, 2015 | 03:43 pm

Towering Record

Here's a prediction: a record will be set this weekend at the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. When Johnny Miller and partner Dan Hicks ascend the TV tower at the 18th hole to start NBC's 2015 golf coverage, it will mark their 16th consecutive year together, breaking the previous mark by ABC's Jim Mckay and Dave Marr. Hicks called them "an old married couple." As is his wont, Miller got verklempt talking about their partnership. "Like Jack Nicholoson said, 'You make me a better man,'" said Miller, quoting a line from As Good As It Gets. "Dan, you make me a better announcer and it's a pleasure to work with you." If not for Hicks, Miller might have hung up his mic years ago. "I feel comfortable with Dan. I had no intention of going on this many years, but he's just made it too good to quit."

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Feb 25, 2015 | 02:42 pm

Back in the Black

Gil Hanse is one busy man these days. Now that's he's finished with the Olympic course, which was no easy task as everyone knows, he's moved onto other projects. He's just started construction on Mossy Oak in West Point, Miss., teaming with the outdoor company of the same name and the George Bryan family, who own 1999 U.S. Women's Open-host Old Waverly right next door. They intend to "create a one-of-a-kind nature's golf experience," according to yesterday's press release (that's Hanse on the right in the above photo touring the property). He's also started planning on the third course at Streamsong, which will be called Black to go with the Red and Blue courses, so named because those are the colors Coore/Crenshaw and Tom Doak used in their routing plans, respectively. "I heard the legends of the Red and the Blue drawings, so we had a hint that Black might be the preferred name," he tells The Buzz with a chuckle. "So yes, all of our drawings are in black. I usually do them in red because they stand out better on paper, but this one is all in black."

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Feb 24, 2015 | 09:33 am

Early Masters Odds

We’re 14 weeks into the PGA Tour season—seven weeks from the end of last year and seven in 2015—with 14 different winners. But now it gets serious—the Florida swing begins this week at the Honda Classic with the strongest field of the year. The next seven weeks—leading up to the Masters—should sort things out a bit. Meantime the prohibitive favorite at Augusta is Rory McIlroy. British bookie Ladbrokes lists him at 7-2 odds to win his third major championship in a row and complete the career grand slam. He’s followed by a trio of players at 14-1—Jason Day and the past two Masters winners, Adam Scott and Bubba Watson. After that it’s a jump to 20-1 odds on Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, and yes, Tiger Woods. Prefer a long shot? Paul Casey is at 100-1, Geoff Ogilvy’s 200-1, Darren Clarke’s 500-1, and seven players are listed at 1000-1 including former champions Sandy Lyle, Mark O’Meara, and Tom Watson. 

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Feb 23, 2015 | 11:19 am

On Tap For High Pointe

A beer after golf is one of the game’s great traditions, but this might be carrying things a bit too far. High Pointe Golf Club in northern Michigan—the first course built by noted architect Tom Doak, opened in 1989—is being turned into a hops farm. According to the Traverse Ticker of Traverse City, the course, which closed in 2008, is part of a 545-acre tract sold to a local venture called MI Local Hops. The land is supposedly “pretty much perfect” for growing hops and has attracted the attention of local brewers, part of the big growth in craft beers. Once upon a time, High Pointe was regarded as one of the top public courses in the country. We were sorry to see it go, but now are happy to raise a glass to its future.

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