Mar 09, 2016 | 11:59 am

Major Deal

Whether The Players Championship is the fifth major or not is still open for debate. What isn't debatable is that it's becoming as a big a VIP event as the Masters, U.S. Open, Open Championship, and PGA Championship. Make that "VVIP" (VIP is so 2000s). The aptly named QuintEvents, which specializes in major-event travel to the Kentucky Derby, Super Bowl, College Football Playoffs, and other top sporting events, is offering "The Players Club" package for $9,500 that includes a Tuesday–Sunday ticket (May 10–15), six-night's accommodations at the Hilton Garden Inn Ponte Vedra, and access to the clubhouse and private suits overlooking the 17th tee and 18th green. In addition to gourment food and open bar, "members" will also receive a $500 exclusive shopping experience at the TPC Sawgrass Pro Shop. Lesser packages without accommodations start at $799.

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Mar 08, 2016 | 09:55 am

Big Little Shot


It was only 113 yards but Rickie  Fowler's wedge shot during a pro-am at the Old Palm Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, yesterday went a long way for Els for Autism, earning $1 million for the charity along with a big hug from the Big Easy. Fowler hit the shot wearing sneakers and using a club borrowed from Luke Donald. Check it out.


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Mar 07, 2016 | 06:39 am

In Alaska, Golf Beats The Iditarod

The Iditarod—Alaska’s famous, 1,000-plus-mile sled-dog race—began this past weekend. Not big news, since the race is always run in early March. But this year, it started one day after the opening of the 49th state’s golf season. Palmer Golf Course in Anchorage, usually the first course to open in state, opened seven holes on Friday, according to the Alaska Dispatch News. That’s two-and-a-half weeks earlier than last year’s opening, which was the earliest in history until now. “We’ve been open in January and February before, but only for a day or two,” said George Collum, the director of golf. This past February, Anchorage temperatures reached the upper 40s, 15-20 degrees warmer than usual; on January 2nd, when the historical average is 23, the thermometer read 46. Golfers shouldn’t expect temps above 40 for the next few weeks—if you believe the weatherman—but die-hards are expected to take advantage of the slightly warmer than average readings. “If the weather keeps going, we could open all 18 holes next week,” said Collum. By the way, when the Iditarod started, it did so on snow that had been trucked in from further north.

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Mar 04, 2016 | 06:15 am

Luke’s First

Luke Donald has joined many other Tour players and designed his first golf course, Ba Na Hills Golf Club, about half an hour’s drive from Danang, Vietnam. The course sits at the foot of a mountain range and is close to three other courses from players turned architects—Colin Montgomerie’s Montgomerie Links, Greg Norman’s Danang Golf Club, and Nick Faldo’s Lang Co. But unlike those others, which are all near the coastline, Ba Na Hills is inland and at elevation, meaning the climate is cooler and less windy. “This is an important addition to one of the best new golf destinations in Asia,” said Donald. “The large rolling hills, stunning mountain backdrop, and adjacent river at Ba Na Hills will provide golfers with the ideal complement to the existing courses in the area.” From the back tees, the course plays to 7,858 yards, making it the longest in Vietnam. It’s also the brightest. “The entire course can be illuminated,” said general manager Jack Hedges, “so you can play a full round even after the sun goes down. I think that will be a real draw in the warmer months. I expect night golf to be a serious advantage for us as the destination continues to grow.”

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