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Feb 03, 2015 | 08:40 am

Moneyball

Is golf a sport or a game? Neither—it's a business. Consider the latest headlines. 1) Gleneagles, host of the recent Ryder Cup, has been put up for sale—asking price: $300 million. 2) Rory McIlroy, in a lawsuit with his former management company, has reportedly offered to settle for $15 million—offer rejected. 3) The R&A has abandoned the BBC as its purveyor of the Open Championship in favor of satellite pay TV network Sky. Why? For the same multi-million reasons the USGA left NBC for FOX. 4) Golf Datatech reports combined US and Japan sales of golf equipment—in a rocky 2013 market--to be $8.7 billion. And 5) Tiger Woods owes his former wife Elin the second half of the divorce settlement—$54.5 million.

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Feb 02, 2015 | 10:54 am

Want Some Free Golf?

Now that we have your attention… No, seriously, we are happy to tell you about two contests giving away free golf. GolfNow, the online tee-time booking service (part of Golf Channel), is awarding a foursome one free round a month for life. There are various restrictions, of course, with all the rules and ways to enter—including the chance to win instant prizes—spelled out on the GolfNow website. You have to enter by April 13. Still feeling lucky? Then go for the “Ultimate Buddies Trip” to Bandon Dunes, sponsored by KemperSports, which manages the award-winning resort in Oregon. (That’s one of the terrific courses, Tom Doak’s Pacific Dunes, above.) To enter, either visit a KemperSports-managed course or sign up on the buddies trip website by February 28. The winning foursome will get golf, with caddies, on all five Bandon courses plus three nights’ lodging. And remember, if you need to fill out your winning foursomes, give us a call.

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Jan 30, 2015 | 10:45 am

Ladies In Waiting

One of the biggest stories in golf last year was the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (the R&A) voting to admit women after 260 years of male-only membership. So here we are, more than four months since 85% of the current membership voted in favor of adding some women to the roles, and the club has added—none. According to The Herald, a newspaper in Scotland, “Women have yet to play a round of golf as members of the R&A” because “due process and administration means a further wait for the first 15 females to be invited.” A spokesman was quoted as saying, “We are in the process of inviting women as members and are very much looking forward to welcoming them to the club.” In a related story, Royal Troon—which already has a separate ladies’ club—announced earlier this week that it will review its membership policy with an eye toward adding women. That leaves two other Open Championship hosts that don’t accept women members: Muirfield, which said last year it will conduct a review of its membership policies, and Royal St. George’s, which is expected to vote on the issue some time in 2015. But as another newspaper, The Guardian, notes, “Pressure on Muirfield and Royal St. George’s… is less acute because the Open is not expected to return to either course until 2021 at the earliest."

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Jan 29, 2015 | 01:35 pm

Sweet 16

There's no hole on the PGA Tour quite like the 16th at TPC Scottsdale during the Waste Management Phoenix Open, particularly this week with Tiger Woods playing for the first time since 2001. Know as "The Coliseum," it's the only stadium hole on tour and it has gotten bigger every year. But just as its namesake wasn't built in a day (or the city it's in, Rome, as the saying goes), either was this one. This year construction of the triple-decker structure, which was recorded in time-lapese video above, began earlier than ever before when more than 20 semis arrived on site Oct. 1. The 2015 version of 16 features:

  • A New Loge Section – The Loge Section promises to be the coolest “hang” at the tournament. The Loge Section, which requires a special Loge ticket for entry, is literally built into the stadium and will feature views of the 15th and 16th holes as well as couches, HD televisions, and a high-end selection of food and beverages.
  • 200 Skyboxes
  • 5,000 general admission seats
  • 15,000+ fans
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