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Feb 11, 2014 | 08:52 AM

Doondonald?

The Irish Examiner has reports today that Donald Trump is about to purchase Doonbeg, the five-star golf resort and club in County Clare, Ireland. The resort, which opened 11 years ago, has never made a profit, still carries massive debt, and last month went into receivership. The asking price is said to be about $20 million (a fraction of what Trump spent in creating his links course in Scotland). For that he’ll get an acclaimed Greg Norman course and a suitably baronial 219-room lodge. What he’s unlikely to get this time is pesky farmer neighbors, incipient wind farms, political maneuvering by Scotland’s Prime Minister Alex Salmond, protests from Tilda Swinton, or a full-length movie villainizing him. This one almost sounds too easy for The Donald.

Editor's note: Shortly after we posted this story, The Trump Organization announced that it had purchased Doonbeg Golf Club, "an already terrific property that we will make even better," said Mr. Trump. The club will be renamed Trump International Golf Links, Ireland.

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Feb 10, 2014 | 11:35 AM

The Niece Also Rises

Uncle Tiger is very happy for his niece Cheyenne, who won her first professional event over the weekend, taking the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters in Australia. He tweeted, “Way to go… A great win and accomplishment. I’m so proud of you.” In her second year on the Ladies European Tour, the 23-year-old Ms. Woods closed with a four-under-par 69 to win by two strokes, and that after missing the cut the week before in New Zealand. As might be expected, the headline writers have been all over the win, with lines like she “proves more than just a name” and regular references to her uncle (ours included, of course), including the fact that she is one-up in wins for 2014. But Ms. Woods definitely has game, as these video highlights prove. Furthermore, her career scoring average while playing for Wake Forest, where she was a two-time All American, was the lowest in school history, and she had more than 30 victories as an amateur. She also won an event on the SunCoast Ladies Tour, a developmental tour for pros, in August 2012. Still, she’s likely to be known as Tiger’s niece for a long, long time. Especially if she keeps on winning.

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Feb 07, 2014 | 06:10 AM

Turning Joes Into Pros

For the second year, club-maker Mizuno is running its “Play Famously” contest, which outfits 12 lucky golfers from head to toe with its equipment, notably a custom set of the company’s JPX-EZ game-improvement irons. Last year, more than 6,000 players sent in stories chronicling their passion for golf. This year, noting that “there is more to the game than just what’s on the scorecard,” entrants are asked to write about life improvement, with “transformative stories of how golf has helped, or is helping, individuals overcome significant life challenges.” The contest is open now, and can be entered on the Mizuno website. The first two members of Team JPX will be announced on February 21, with two more selected each month until July 21. Along with the clubs, the lucky dozen will receive a customized Mizuno staff bag, Team JPX apparel, golf lessons from a top instructor, and the chance to play in the JPX Invitational in September in Atlanta. Tee up your computer and swing away.

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Feb 06, 2014 | 09:00 AM

Pebble’s Permanent Resident

There will be no shortage of airtime this weekend for the 17th hole at Pebble Beach. The par 3 with the hourglass-shaped green is best known for hosting two of golf’s most iconic shots. During the final round of the 1972 U.S. Open, Jack Nicklaus hit a 1-iron that bounced off the flagstick en route to capturing the third of his four U.S. Opens. A decade later Tom Watson’s famous chip-in from the left rough cemented his only U.S. Open victory. What you may not know is the 17th green is also the final resting place of astronaut Alan Shepard, the only human to hit golf balls on the moon. One of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, Shepard was an avid golfer who owned a home in Pebble Beach. He loved the course so much that he requested his ashes be spread from a U.S. Navy helicopter over the famed green. Shortly after his death on July 21st, 1998, that wish was granted.

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