Mar 11, 2013 | 07:37 AM

Talk About A “Tradition Like No Other”

Now that Augusta National has opened its gates to female members, can a ladies’ event be far behind? LPGA Tour Commissioner Mike Whan hopes so, and admitted to Bloomberg News that he contacts the club every year to ask if they’d be interested in hosting a second professional event. So far the answer has been "no" but that doesn’t dampen the spirits of the irrepressible Whan, who has been running the LPGA since 2010. He notes that “it’s not the right time and may never be the right time…” but that “I just figure I’ll just keep asking because if they ever change their mind, I’ll be somewhere near the top of the list of people who has asked the longest.” Whan also said that Augusta National gives a six-figure check to the LPGA every year to support its Girls Golf program, which introduces the game to 20,000 young women annually. Sounds like a pretty good start.

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Mar 08, 2013 | 05:59 AM

Move Over, Caddyshack

Follow The Sun wasn’t very good, Bagger Vance either, and Stroke of Genius wasn’t one. But there’s a new golf movie coming out that looks pretty interesting. Called The Short Game, it premieres at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas, this weekend. According to the SXSW website, this 95-minute entry in the Documentary Competition “follows the lives of eight of the best 7-year-old golfers in the world as they train for and compete in the World Championships of Junior Golf.” One of the contestants is tennis star Anna Kournikova’s brother, a second-grader who mixes school with 7 a.m. sessions with his speed and strength trainer. Time will tell if it’s a “Cinderella story” or “a dead varmint.” Click here to see a trailer.

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Mar 07, 2013 | 12:22 PM

Blame It On Rio, Part Dois

As “The Buzz” reported two weeks ago, construction of the Gil Hanse-designed golf course for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is behind schedule. Now Hanse himself is talking about the problems. Speaking on Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive” program, Hanse said he is “right up against the deadline” for being able to get the course in the ground and ready for pre-Olympics tests starting in 2015. Explaining that construction needs to begin by April 1, Hanse said he is “disappointed” that disputes over ownership of the site have yet to be worked out and “I’m disappointed in myself because I thought, gosh, it’s the Olympics, you can’t get any bigger than that. They’ve got to be able to just move this through. Unfortunately, I was dead wrong with that.” On the upside, he shouldn’t expect similar problems at Doral’s Blue Monster now that Donald Trump owns it.

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Mar 07, 2013 | 09:37 AM

Dubai’s New Hoteliers

“The Race to Dubai,” the European Tour’s season-long, big-bucks competition that culminates in a high-stakes event in the fall, isn’t the only game in town. Dubai, the most westernized of the seven sheikdoms within the United Arab Emirates, is also attracting big players in the hospitality industry. Last fall, the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, occupying several floors of a 1,164-foot-tall skyscraper, claimed the title of the World’s Tallest Hotel in the Guinness Book of World Records. Starwood Hotels & Resorts, which includes Westin, St. Regis, Sheraton, and six other lodging brands, is currently relocating its global headquarters from Stamford, Conn. to Dubai to take advantage of its location for business travel to emerging destinations in Asia. “With 80% of Starwood’s pipeline coming from rapidly growing markets, it is simply not possible to lead a truly global business from a boardroom in Connecticut,” said Frits van Paasschen, Starwood’s president and CEO. Fine and dandy. But will stay-and-play packages to be part of the equation?

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