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May 09, 2014 | 11:43 AM

Open To Portrush?

After years of rumors, it appears that the British Open might finally be returning to Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, long regarded as one of the best courses in the world. According to Golfweek, an announcement could come as early this summer that the 2019 Open Championship will be awarded to Portrush, which hosted its one and only previous Open in 1951, when it was won by Englishman Max Faulkner. For many years, the “troubles” in Northern Ireland kept any consideration of an Open there to a minimum. But with years of peace and a very successful Irish Open at the course in 2012, chances look very good and it is said that the club and the R&A are deep into negotiations. Among the topics being discussed is the fate of the current 17th and 18th holes, which are the course’s weakest; word is that architect Martin Ebert would create two new holes while the old final two would be used for hospitality. Graeme McDowell, who is a Portrush member and has been vocal in his support for the course, told Golfweek, “It needs some changes, needs a little length, but it’ll be a solid Open venue."

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May 08, 2014 | 02:04 PM

San Francisco's Newest Course

The city that has hosted four U.S. Opens is now home to one of the world’s most unique new courses. Urban Putt, a 14-hole miniature course located in a historic Victorian building in San Francisco’s Mission District, opened earlier this week. The layout/art installation, which features replicas of numerous city landmarks, was built by owner Steve Fox with a design goal to be “a visual, aural and tactile feast for the senses that goes beyond the conventions of classic miniature golf.” Each hole has its own soundtrack, and the first (called “Quake”) actually vibrates when you make the putt. Open seven days a week, a round will cost you $12. But this being San Francisco, the food and drink offerings might be a bigger draw. You can order the Caddy Shack, a cornmeal crust deep dish pizza with applewood smoked bacon, jalapeno peppers, leeks, ricotta mozzarella and tomato sauces. Or at the facility’s two bars, you can imbibe the Wicked Game, a cocktail with Carpano Bianci, cardamom gastrique and Meyer lemon bitters. 

(Photo by Cesar Rubio)

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May 07, 2014 | 11:03 AM

Mexican Beauty

If you like to look at the ocean when you play golf, then you'll love Jack Nicklaus's newest course in Cabo San Lucas, Quivira Golf Club, his sixth design on the Baja Peninsula. The layout, which is located on the true tip of Baja, offers more oceanfront exposure than any course in Los Cabos, all 18 holes, in fact (in the winter, you'll even be able to see whales breaching). The $40 million golf facility at Quivira has been more than eight years in the making. The 1st tee is right at sea level near the rolling surf before the holes climb to more than 350 feet above sea level, where the views are even more impressive than the shot values. In additon to four comfort stations, a halfway house situated near the 8th green, will offer tuna sliders, fish tacos, and Mexican specialties, all included, of course. The course is the centerpiece of two all-inclusive resorts and three high-end real-estate communities (the formal opening is Oct. 1).  

 

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May 06, 2014 | 10:53 AM

Rare Opportunity

One of the UK’s most exclusive private golf clubs has decided to open its doors—just a crack. The Renaissance Club, set in East Lothian, Scotland, literally a stone’s throw from Muirfield, has announced it is offering a “One Time Experience” for non-members, including a round on the acclaimed Tom Doak golf course and a stay in one of the club’s 23 luxury bedrooms. Also included: use of the three-hole practice course and driving range (supplied with Pro V1 balls); access to the club’s gym, steam room, sauna, and jacuzzi; private dining overlooking the course or in the club wine cellar. There’s a limit of one visit per customer. Of course, none of this comes cheap—your round of golf will run you about $400 and the nightly room rate is $600. If you’re still interested, contact membership@trcaa.com.

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