Sep 15, 2015 | 09:10 am

Lots of Money

With her victory last week in the Evian Championship, 18-year-old Lydia Ko raised her 2015 LPGA earnings to $2.2 million—and she would need every penny of that to buy a home on her nation’s newest golf course. Tara Iti, the Tom Doak design set along a sandy stretch 75 minutes north of Auckland, New Zealand, will be flanked by 47 homesites with prices averaging $2 million. The course, due to open October 1, offers views of the Pacific from every hole and is expected to rank among the top 100 in the world. It will be strictly private, but if you’d care to purchase one of the lots, you’ll surely have a nice head start with the membership committee. 

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Sep 14, 2015 | 09:24 am

Coming Up Aces

The odds of an amateur making a hole-in-one is 12,500 to 1. For tour pros it's 2,500 to 1, although this year it seems like a lot less than that. Both tours, coicindentally, have registered 41 hole-in-ones so far this year, after Magnus Carlsson and Wade Ormsby made one each this weekend at the KLM Open in The Netherlands. That's a record this year on the European Tour, overtaking the 39 made in 2006, and the second most ever on the PGA Tour after the 44 made in 1994. Miguel Angel Jimenez has been responsible for three of them on the European Tour, while Morten Orum Madsen and Byeong Hun An have made two each. No one has made three on the PGA Tour this year, but Billy Hurely III, Andres Romero, and Brian Harmon have two each, with Harman making his two in the same round two weeks ago in the FedExCup Playoffs at The Barclays at Plainfield Country Club. He became the third player in PGA Tour history to make two in one round (the others being Yusaku Miyazato in the 2006 Reno Tahoe Open and amateur Bill Whedon at the 1955 Insurance City Open). The odds of that? About 7 million to 1 using the odds above. For amateurs, it's 67 million to 1, according to the National Hole-In-One Registry.

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Sep 11, 2015 | 08:16 am

BMW On The Move

This is a rare week off for the PGA Tour as the last 70 players still standing catch their collective breath and get ready for the next stage of the FedExCup race, the BMW Championship at Conway Farms outside Chicago next week. For the foreseeable future, the BMW will continue to be the third leg of the sprint to the $10,000,000 prize, but the venue is scheduled to change, moving among a group of great courses, many with major-championship history. Here’s where the BMW will be driving to the next few years:

2016: Crooked Stick GC, Carmel, Indiana

2017: Conway Farms GC, Lake Forest, Illinois

2018: Aronimink GC, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania (shown above)

2019: Medinah CC, Medinah, Illinois

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Sep 10, 2015 | 01:00 pm

Royal Birthday

Happy Birthday to the King! Arnold Palmer turns 86 today. According to his longtime publicist, Doc Giffin, Arnie won't be playing golf today like most of us like to do on our birthday because of his troublesome shoulder. He occasionally hits balls on the range, but hasn't played a round since he dislocated his shoulder last December. He plans on taking it easy before a quiet dinner his wife Kit is planning for him at a restaurant in Latrobe. But now is as good a time as any to ask, What is Arnie's legacy? No, it's not his eponymous drink, though people will be ordering it long after he's gone. (How many others have a drink named after them, after all?) For many, it's how he popularized the sport and brought it out of its stuffy country club confines into the mainstream. No doubt that's part of it, but what we love about Arnie here at LINKS is how much appreciation he has for the game. He never tired of it, whether it was playing tournanments, traveling the world, beating balls, or signing autographs. He has always showed gratitude for his incredibly good fortune and rarely, if ever, has taken it for granted. He's always seen the bigger picture. He might not have been the game's greatest player, but he is the game's most loved player. And in the end, that's what matters most.

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