Mar 18, 2013 | 01:29 PM

Slippery Slope

Woods and Vonn

Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn just confirmed on her Facebook page that she and Tiger Woods are indeed an item. In addition to being the best in their respective sports, Vonn and Woods have other things in common, too, such as knee surgery and recent divorces. Vonn, who was married to her coach, Thomas Vonn, for four years before divorcing last year, is recovering from season-ending knee surgery. (She reportedly flew home from Austria in a private jet provided by Woods after the injury last month, and spent the week before last aboard his yacht, "Privacy," recouping while he was winning at Doral.) "I guess it wasn't a well-kept secret but yes, I am dating Tiger Woods," she writes. "Our relationship evolved from a friendship into something more over these past few months and it has made me very happy." Most of the comments on her Facebook page were a little, er, catty, however. "Wish you luck," wrote one female follower, "but you can do soo much better." Meow!

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Mar 15, 2013 | 07:49 AM

Resort Court

Used to be that building a golf course was dependent on two key people: a developer with money and an architect with a vision. Nowadays, it often needs a judge with a gavel, as well. In Northern Ireland, a judge recently ruled that construction can begin at Bushmills Dunes, a golf resort and spa to be built near two famous sites: Royal Portrush Golf Course and the Giant’s Causeway. The resort was in court battling Britain’s National Trust, which wanted to stop or move the project away from the Causeway, a fabled series of basalt columns that look like stepping stones into the Irish Sea. Meanwhile, on the west coast of Scotland, plans have been filed for The Ayrshire, a development featuring a links course, hotel, and homes, next door to Western Gailes Golf Club on the Firth of Clyde. No idea when either resort will open, but if British society is as litigious as ours, don’t make any reservations just yet.

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Mar 14, 2013 | 08:28 AM

The Players Raises its Game

The PGA Tour brain trust in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, is on a mission to elevate the “experiential value” of The Players Championship (May 9-12), aiming to have the fan experience at its marquee event rival that of the Super Bowl. The Stadium Village, for example, has Autograph Alley, a Kids Zone, and a scaled-down version of the par-3 17th, where golfers can take a crack at landing a ball on an island green. The “Taste of Jax” features a collection of top Jacksonville-area restaurants, while the popular “Wine & Dine on 9” complex has been expanded to include a full bar at the 9th hole, with dishes served by Restaurant Medure, a local hotspot. Finally, fans can attend parties in the evening during the week of the event in “The Lot,” i.e., the grounds of the parking lot at TPC Sawgrass. It's the perfect place to clink glasses and celebrate golf’s “Fifth Major” with commish Tim Finchem and friends.

Photograph by LC Lambrecht

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Mar 13, 2013 | 10:51 AM

Holy Crap

Firs there was the guy in Florida who was swallowed by a sinkhole while sleeping. Now a golfer near St. Louis disappears in the middle of a round when the ground opens up underneath him. What in the name of holy hell is going on here? Mark Mihal, a 43-year-old mortage broker, was one over par when he fell into an 18-foot sinkhole on the 14th hole at Annbriar Golf Club in Waterloo, Ill. He was about to hit his approach from 100 yards on the par five when he noticed a bathtub-size indentation about knee deep just behind him on the fairway. The six handicap went over to take a closer look and took one step onto it. His golfing buddies wondered where he had gone, then heard his moans before managing to hoist him to safety with a rope 20 minutes later. Mihal suffered a dislocated shoulder, as well as missing out on completing a very good round. When he recovers a free round awaits him on Annbriar's new "19-hole" course. Hopefully, the next time Mihal holes out from the fairway it will be a lot more fun.

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