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Dec 05, 2014 | 06:26 PM

Kidd’s Play

It’s been almost two decades since David Kidd first walked a site on the Oregon coastline where he would design the very first course at Bandon Dunes. Now the latter’s owner, Mike Keiser, has named him to create a second course at Sand Valley Golf Resort in Wisconsin. Kidd’s work, slated to be unveiled in 2018, would follow a Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw design that is expected to open in 2017 on the 1,500-acre property located three hours northwest of Milwaukee. “David identified perhaps the most interesting part of our site and has routed the golfer through it in a very exciting way,” said Keiser. “I truly am looking forward to working with him again.” That gap in time included new public designs by Kidd that were deemed to be confounding (The Castle Course in St Andrews, which opened in 2007) and sublime (this year’s Gamble Sands in Brewster, Washington). But the key to winning this assignment was Kidd’s use of a relatively new technology called Light Detection and Ranging (LIDR), which uncovered a V-shaped ridge under layers of vegetation at Sand Valley. “It jumped off the map when we saw it and was too bold a feature not to work a routing (see above) around,” said Kidd. “I’m very pleased we found it. Bill Coore did not have access to that technology when he did his routing for the first course, and neither did Tom Doak or the pairing of Ron Whitman and Dave Axland (Kidd’s competition for this assignment). I’m glad they didn’t.”

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Dec 05, 2014 | 06:13 AM

Dr. Ko

Just a few weeks ago, Lydia Ko won her third LPGA tournament of the year, plus a million-dollar bonus. So what’s next for the 17-year-old who was born in Korea and raised in New Zealand? College. Starting next year, Ko will attend Korea University in Seoul to study psychology while continuing to play the tour. According to Golf Channel, Ko’s agent, Michael Yim, said his client won’t have a problem keeping up with two kinds of course work. “She balanced school and golf this last year, getting all the schoolwork done she needed to graduate, and she’ll do it again.” Furthermore, Ko has talked about possibly going for a doctorate, which could take her as long as 1o years. Or... perhaps she’s already practicing a little psychology, trying to lull the other ladies into a false sense of security. Psych out!

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Dec 03, 2014 | 01:05 PM

New DOB for Golf in America

Stop the Gutenberg presses! There’s new evidence that golf arrived in America even earlier than previously thought. Okay, so it’s only four years earlier—1739 as opposed to 1743—but the discovery adds further credence that golf first began in this country in Charleston, S.C. Scottish historian Dr. David Purdie presented a document on Monday to the St. Andrews Society of Charleston showing golf clubs were shipped on June 29, 1739 to William Wallace of all people (it was another William Wallace who led the Scottish rebellion against King Edward I and won Mel Gibson a couple Oscars). The cost was 1 pound and 18 shillings, or about the price of a new driver today, $350. Wallace was also a member of the town’s St. Andrews Society, which is the world’s oldest, dating to 1729, and helps explain why clubs would have been shipped to Charleston than, say, New York. Charleston was also the site of the country’s first golf club, the South Carolina Golf Club, founded in 1786. “The cradle of golf in America is this city,” Purdie told the local paper, The Post and Courier. “The oldest continuous golf club in America is The Saint Andrew’s Golf Club in Yonkers, N.Y. They were founded in 1888. But 150 years earlier, this was going on in Charleston.”

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Dec 02, 2014 | 10:07 AM

The Best Golf Invention Ever?

What’s the most significant invention to hit golf in the last decade? According to the latest report from the National Golf Foundation, there’s no contest, and it has nothing to do with clubs or balls—it’s the distance measuring device. In a recent NGF survey, more than two thirds of core golfers said they now use laser range finders, GPS watches, and GPS-aided smart phone apps, and the benefits go well beyond just getting accurate yardage. Seventy-eight percent of those surveyed reported that the devices had given them more confidence in the playing of shots, 52% said their pace of play had improved, 39% said their scores had lowered, 34% said they enjoyed the game more, and 21% claimed they’d gained an advantage over golfers who didn’t use the devices. Try to think of another product—from any era—that has had such an impact. 

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