Apr 24, 2015 | 11:10 am

The Old College Try

It’s college tournament season, and Golf Channel will air more than 100 hours of coverage of the NCAA Men’s and, for the first time, Women’s Golf Championships. The events are being held back-to-back at Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Florida, from May 22 to June 3. There will be live coverage of the women from May 25-27 and the men from June 1-3: the opening day for both are at individual stroke play, followed by two days of match play in the quarterfinals, semis, and finals. There will be additional coverage on other Golf Channel programming leading up to the tournaments. Among the top teams heading into the championships are Florida State, Illinois, Texas, and Arizona State on the men’s side, and USC, UCLA, and Duke among the women. One team not high in the rankings but definitely worth watching is the Lady Aztecs squad from San Diego State, who created the trick-shot video above, which further proves, to paraphrase another group of top golfers, that “These guys—and gals—are good."

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Apr 23, 2015 | 03:31 pm

The Trumping of Turnberry

For years Donald Trump has said each new course he builds or acquires is "the best course ever built!" But he might finally be right when the changes to Turnberry's Ailsa course are completed by next summer, at least judging from this very impressive animated aerial video tour. There are so many incredible new tees and greens hard by the Firth of Clyde, you wonder how architect Mackenzie Ross, who redesigned it in the late '40s, could have missed them. Martin Ebert will renovate all but a handful of holes when the course closes at the end of September. For the pros, par will be 70 with five par threes and three par fives. The Women's British Open takes place in late July and Trump is hoping to get the 2020 Open.

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Apr 22, 2015 | 11:30 am

Green Practices

Today marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day, which began in 1970, channeling the youthful engery of the anti-war movement into environmental concerns. Not only have we come a long way as a society (remember leaded gasoline and belching smokestacks?), but so have golf courses, from less water use to more natural habitats. The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America is celebrating the day by highlighting five key facts about courses and the environment.

  1. Golf courses are professionally managed landscapes where environmental stewardship is important – from using water and nutrients efficiently to implementing better methods of erosion control.
  2. In general, the golf industry is striving to deliver firm and fast playing surfaces that are better for everyone and improve the bottom line. More than two-thirds of golf courses report that they are keeping turfgrass drier than in the past.
  3. The golf industry is continually investing in research to identify drought-tolerant grasses, promote water conservation and improve best management practices.
  4. Golf courses provide habitats for wildlife, including protected species.
  5. Many golf courses have recycling programs to reduce and reuse.
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Apr 21, 2015 | 08:40 am

R.I.P. Golfer’s Handbook

In another sign of the shifting media world, The R&A Golfer’s Handbook—an annual first published in 1899 and in continuous print ever since—has ceased publication. In recent years the Handbook—a 1000-page compendium of facts, figures, and features by British journalists—had been edited by Renton Laidlaw who retired last year after a long and distinguished career writing for the London Evening Standard and broadcasting for the BBC and Golf Channel. Another comprehensive annual—Mark McCormack’s World of Professional Golf—is still in publication, thanks to sponsorship from Rolex, and certain elements of the British coverage can be found at, but as a single source of records, information, and good reading, the Golfer’s Handbook will be irreplaceable.

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