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Jan 15, 2014 | 12:14 PM

No Irish Wake

There is perhaps no finer hotel in Ireland than The Lodge at Doonbeg, and the Greg Norman-designed links with its massive dunes isn’t too shabby either, so it was disheartening to hear a report that the resort on the Southwest coast near Lahinch has entered into “receivership,” the Irish equivalent of bankruptcy. But it turns out not be quite accurate, according to a spokesman for the hotel’s owner, Kiawah Partners. “This is not receivership in the traditional sense in Ireland, where a bank forecloses on a property and appoints a receiver,” says Mike Touhill. “We are restructuring some of the debt related to the real estate side of Doonbeg and beginning the process of looking to sell the property. This is not a bankruptcy. We have committed the funding to continue operating Doonbeg as normal throughout this process, as long as it might take, which we don't anticipate will be very long given some interest already expressed. There is no change in the status of employees, guests, members, or vendors. We are open and fully operational.”

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Jan 14, 2014 | 06:48 AM

Raising Anchor?

According to the USGA and R&A, it’s a done deal: An “anchoring ban”—restricting how long putters are held when making a stroke—will go into effect on January 1, 2016. But while the two ruling bodies consider the matter closed, two other golf organizations, the PGA of America and the PGA Tour, are about to reopen it, requesting a “grandfather period for recreational amateurs.” And they need your help. PGAA President Ted Bishop and Tour commissioner Tim Finchem will make their request at the USGA’s Executive Committee meeting on February 8. In their search for ammunition, Bishop sent an email to PGA club pros, writing, “I am asking you to submit real-life stories and/or case studies of players at your facility who may be adversely affected by this change in the Rules. We want specific names and details of those who may find it difficult to enjoy the game after Jan. 1, 2016.” If you are one of those likely to find it harder or less enjoyable to play golf without anchoring, let your club pro know as soon as possible. It’s good that the pros—Tour and club—feel strongly about this issue. But if it anything is going to happen, it’s real golfers who have to speak up.

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Jan 13, 2014 | 06:45 AM

Call It The New Road Hole

If you’ve been wondering whatever happened to South Africa’s Charl Schwartzel since he won the 2011 Masters tournament, The Buzz thinks we’ve figured it out. He’s obviously been working on his trick shots, as evidenced by this video of him from Day 3 of the Volvo Golf Champions. Playing the par-four 16th hole at Durban Country Club in South Africa, Schwartzel drove his tee shot well to the right, off the fairway, over some trees, and on a road. You have to see the video to believe the shot he hit. (Spoiler alert: He missed the next shot.)

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Jan 10, 2014 | 10:52 AM

TPC Scottsdale Closing

No, not forever. Just temporarily. Best known for hosting the PGA Tour’s Phoenix Waste Management Open (January 30th to February 2nd this year), the TPC Scottsdale will shut down from April 1st until early November for an estimated $15 million worth of renovations. The course, which costs $299 (plus tax) to play in peak season, is being tweaked by original designer Tom Weiskopf. Plans include rebuilding all greens and tees, installing new bunker sand (that blinding white kind popular at Augusta National) and repositioning a few of those bunkers. Off the course the clubhouse restaurant will get a much needed makeover, and a new locker room will be built for the pros to use during their annual visit. As for the par-three 16th? The one made (in)famous when it’s completely encircled by boisterous fans fueled more by alcohol than a passion for the game? Other than canceling caddie races from tee to green during the tournament—a PGA Tour mandate—no changes are planned. 

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