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Apr 28, 2016 | 09:34 am

A Pre-US Open Round at Oakmont

LINKS was able to play Oakmont this past Monday during the US Open Media Day, and the entire team agreed, the course is one of the hardest in the United States.

“I think in the past the course rating has been somewhere in the low 80s,” said Mike Davis, President of the USGA, “I think the average golfer, even if it's not setup for a U.S. Open, has no idea how exacting this golf course is. I believe it's an 80, 81, 82 course rating when it's set up for the U.S. Open.” Davis hit on the one point we noticed during the round; Oakmont is exacting, and there is no margin for error. A golf game that isn’t completely in control will spiral out of control at Oakmont. What does all of this mean for the pros? Look for the players to reach for a new level of concentration during the tournament. Those who let that concentration slip will pay dearly. Those who don’t know the course well will fall prey to the slopes, bunkers, and lightning fast greens that give the course its fearsome reputation.

Oakmont

The LINKS team guesses the winning score would be +3 for the tournament. If a player is able to shoot better than that, they deserve the US Open Championship Trophy and everything that comes with it. 

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Apr 27, 2016 | 08:51 am

#GetFitThursdays

For the first time ever, Titleist is offering free fittings every Thursday for the next two months at more than 75 locations around the country. Not only can you get a complimentary fitting with the use of a TrackMan ball-flight monitor for all the great clubs for which Titleist is known, but you can also demo and get fit for its new line of concept clubs, the C16 driver and irons, a technologically advanced set aimed at the upscale market (the driver retails for $1,000 and the irons for $2,700). Thanks to premium materials and costs-be-damned technology, the driver and irons deliver more distance and forgiveness than any other clubs the company has ever created.

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Apr 26, 2016 | 10:12 am

Troon Meets Woodstock

The R&A, in an effort to expand the fan base of the Open Championship, has taken a decidedly non-R&A-ish step, adding free campsite accommodations to the array of offerings at Royal Troon this July. The Open Camping Village, for fans 25 and under, will feature two-, four-, and six-person pre-pitched tents with inflatable beds. Free parking will be included, and there will be food and drink options as well as shower facilities on site, just a short walk from the first tee of the Open. (No word yet on rumored appearances by Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, and the Grateful Dead.)

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Apr 25, 2016 | 06:38 am

Golf In North Korea

“Bizarre, surreal and exclusive, Pyongyang Golf Course sits between a rock and a hard place, providing a morally conflicting spot of fun within an otherwise dark, oppressive nation of well publicised human rights violations. Situated across arguably the most secretive border on earth, the course is guarded by well over ten million active, reserve and paramilitary personnel and requires express permission to visit—Augusta eat your heart out. Technically a public course, you won’t find a soul here, it’s played only by a handful of the regime’s elite, and well…open to tourists both crazy enough to find themselves in North Korea and who want to play golf. Apparently that’s rare.” That’s the opening paragraph of a fascinating description of a visit to North Korea’s only golf course by Elliott (no last name given), a youngish resident of Hobart, Tasmania, who is hoping to visit every country on earth and is chronicling his travels on a website called earthnutshell.com. If the rest of his adventures are anything like his round at Pyongyang GC, he is worth following. And that’s him, above, with one of his guides on the 15th hole, where he had his only birdie of the round.

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