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Mar 02, 2016 | 01:46 pm

Democratic Design

With his populist presidential campaign, bombastic Donald Trump is resonating with the little guy who feels left out of politics. The same is true of the latest Gil Hanse tweaks at Trump National Doral's Blue Monster. With the Trump's approval, the architect has made six holes more democratic this year for the little guy, a/k/a the mid- and short drivers on tour after numerous complaints following last year's tournament that The Blue Monster had become a bomber's-only layout. "After every tournament you get feedback, some of it public, some it private, some of it constructive, some of it guys just venting, so we generally wait a little while," Hanse tells The Buzz. "But we got some constructive feedback from the average length hitters that the course gave a significant advantage to the longer hitters. So we repositioned some fairway bunkers from 300 yards to 325 and filled in a few fairway bunkers that were primarily in play for the average hitters. We tried to level the playing field off the tee." But is it fair to penalize guys who can hit it longer?

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Mar 01, 2016 | 09:00 am

Strange Development

In a further shake-up of its announce team, Fox Sports has signed a three-year deal with Curtis Strange to become its lead on-course reporter, replacing Corey Pavin in that role. Strange, no stranger to TV work, has been a lead analyst for ABC and currently fills that role for ESPN where his last event will be the Masters. The back-to-back U.S. Open Champion (1988-89) should be at home covering the Open, Senior Open, and U.S. Amateur while also joining his former ESPN cohort Paul Azinger, recently announced as Greg Norman’s replacement as the network’s lead analyst.

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Feb 29, 2016 | 06:36 am

A Sunday We'll Never Forget

Remember where you were 30 years ago Masters Sunday? On April 13, 1986, Jack Nicklaus fired a 65 to win his sixth green jacket in a performance no one who watched will ever forget. That includes viewers of Golf Channel, who responded to the network’s call for favorite memories to be included in a special program, called “’86,” that will air on the Tuesday of Masters week, April 5, at 9 p.m. Eastern time. Among those interviewed in the program are Nicklaus, his wife Barbara and their children—including Jack II, who caddied for his father that day—as well as members of the CBS crew covering the tournament, other players, caddies, golf writers, volunteers, patrons, and others. Many of the comments will be like this one from Gary Koch, now a commentator for NBC Sports but then a competitor: “Playing in front of Jack on that Sunday was truly incredible. Bob Tway was my playing competitor and on the second nine we spent more time looking back to watch Jack play than we did on our own games. The roars were so loud the hair on the back of my neck was standing up. The energy and electricity in the air were amazing.” Check out the trailer for the show, and share your own story about that magical Sunday on the Golf Channel website.

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Feb 26, 2016 | 06:51 am

Going Bust In Ballybunion

The Ballybunion Golf Hotel in Ireland is almost as well known as the golf course it sits next to. Countless golfers have stayed in the 100-room hostelry, which is on Ballybunion’s Main Street and, with six floors, is the tallest building in County Kerry. However, according to the Irish Examiner newspaper, the hotel announced earlier this week that it is closing. On the hotel’s Facebook page, owner Michael Carr blamed a lack of support from Irish tourism officials and the absence of an “independent tourism organisation in Ballybunion.” Plus, he cited “false information,” spread by local politicians late last year, that the town would be hosting “up to 200 asylum seekers” coming from the Middle East in the wake of the refugee crisis overwhelming Europe. Carr said he had made an offer to the British government to house a maximum of 25 refugees, but that “the speculation had an adverse impact on his business” and that bookings “completely collapsed.” He also was the victim of threats. This was to be the hotel’s 50th anniversary year; instead, its contents will be sold off over the next month with a private auction to take place on March 26.

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