Mistwood Golf Club

Oct 27, 2014 | 09:45 am

The Best of 2014 in Golf Design

They may not be the glitziest of golf's annual honors, but they are surely among the most credible—the American Society of Golf Course Architects honorees for Design Excellence. Based on the vote of a panel of course managers, superintendents, builders, and owners, the awards recognize ""the innovation and problem-solving skills required of today's golf course designs, whether the project is a small bunker renovation or a full-scale 18-hole layout." The list for 2014 includes 12 projects—nine in the United States and three in Asia:

Bali National Resort, Bali, Indonesia/Neil Haworth
Carillon North, Grayslake, Illinois/Greg Martin
The Challenge Course Concept, Nipomo, California and Meridian, Idaho/Damian Pascuzzo
Dennis Golf Performance Center, Columbus, Ohio/Michael Hurdzan
Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina/Scot Sherman
Mistwood Golf Club, Romeoville, Illinois/Ray Hearn
Oakland Hills Country Club (North Course), Bloomfield, Michigan/Shawn Smith
Peninsula State Park Short Course, Ephraim, Wisconsin/Bob Lohmann
Reid Municipal Golf Course, Appleton, Wisconsin/Todd Quitno
Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point, Bronx, New York/John Sanford
Yinhong #6 Golf Club, Bejing City, China/Rick Robbins & Brian Lussier
Yishan Golf Club, Wuhan, China/Rick Robbins & Brian Lussier

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Oct 23, 2014 | 01:08 pm

Scottish Gimme

The Golf Club House, Elie is one of Scotland’s most unique courses. Not just because there is a submarine periscope to the right of the first tee (the starter uses it to see over the hill on the blind tee shot) but also because the 6,273-yard layout features criss-crossing holes and contoured greens. Like the one on the 440-yard ninth hole, where this golfer turned a 3-foot putt into a bit of an adventure. But then that’s the fun of playing a pure links course, especially one in the East Neuk of Fife, isn’t it?

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Oct 22, 2014 | 02:51 pm

Poulter Ponderings

If you thought the American team had cornered the market on drama during and after this year’s Ryder Cup, think again. In his new book, No Limits: My Autobiography, Ian Poulter takes aim at former European captain Nick Faldo, who during this year’s broadcast said Sergio Garcia had a bad attitude and was useless during the 2008 Ryder Cup. “It makes me laugh,” write Poulter. “Faldo is talking about someone being useless at the 2008 Ryder Cup. That’s the Ryder Cup where he was captain. That’s the Ryder Cup where the Europe team suffered a heavy defeat. And he was captain. So who’s useless? Faldo might need to have a little look in the mirror.” Poulter also expresses surprise at Tom Watson’s decision to not play Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley on Saturday. “He leaves them out of both sessions. It completely baffles me. It gives us a double boost because it tells us there are problems in the US team room.” Like him or not, it’s hard to disagree with Poulter on another point he makes in the new book regarding crowd noise: “Guys are trying to get themselves heard on TV – that’s what it is. It’s somebody thinking, I am going to go to a golf tournament today and I’m going to shout ‘Me nan wears pants’. It’s really not very clever.”

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Oct 21, 2014 | 09:01 am

Fighting Irish

It's been quite a year for Rory McIlroy—he overcame earlier struggles with an equipment change, then survived—actually thrived—after a break-up with fiancee Caroline Wozniacki, winning back-to-back major championships and becoming Player of the Year. Now, he's hoping, in April, to become the sixth player in history to win the career Grand Slam. But it looks as if he'll have another major hurdle to jump before he gets to Augusta, a bitter lawsuit with his former management company, Horizon. A year ago McIlroy sued the Dublin-based firm, saying they'd conned him into an "unconscionable contract" with excessive commissions that were less favorable than those paid by his countryman and fellow Horizon client Graeme McDowell (who is also a Horizon partner), despite assurances the deals were similar. McIlroy had hoped for a mediated settlement, but this week learned that the talks had failed. Now he has cancelled his next to tournament appearances to prepare for the lawsuit which, if he loses, could cost him tens of millions of dollars. More important, with the trial scheduled for February in Dublin, it could affect his preparation for the Masters. Stay tuned.

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