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Feb 10, 2014 | 11:35 AM

The Niece Also Rises

Uncle Tiger is very happy for his niece Cheyenne, who won her first professional event over the weekend, taking the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters in Australia. He tweeted, “Way to go… A great win and accomplishment. I’m so proud of you.” In her second year on the Ladies European Tour, the 23-year-old Ms. Woods closed with a four-under-par 69 to win by two strokes, and that after missing the cut the week before in New Zealand. As might be expected, the headline writers have been all over the win, with lines like she “proves more than just a name” and regular references to her uncle (ours included, of course), including the fact that she is one-up in wins for 2014. But Ms. Woods definitely has game, as these video highlights prove. Furthermore, her career scoring average while playing for Wake Forest, where she was a two-time All American, was the lowest in school history, and she had more than 30 victories as an amateur. She also won an event on the SunCoast Ladies Tour, a developmental tour for pros, in August 2012. Still, she’s likely to be known as Tiger’s niece for a long, long time. Especially if she keeps on winning.

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Feb 07, 2014 | 06:10 AM

Turning Joes Into Pros

For the second year, club-maker Mizuno is running its “Play Famously” contest, which outfits 12 lucky golfers from head to toe with its equipment, notably a custom set of the company’s JPX-EZ game-improvement irons. Last year, more than 6,000 players sent in stories chronicling their passion for golf. This year, noting that “there is more to the game than just what’s on the scorecard,” entrants are asked to write about life improvement, with “transformative stories of how golf has helped, or is helping, individuals overcome significant life challenges.” The contest is open now, and can be entered on the Mizuno website. The first two members of Team JPX will be announced on February 21, with two more selected each month until July 21. Along with the clubs, the lucky dozen will receive a customized Mizuno staff bag, Team JPX apparel, golf lessons from a top instructor, and the chance to play in the JPX Invitational in September in Atlanta. Tee up your computer and swing away.

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Feb 06, 2014 | 09:00 AM

Pebble’s Permanent Resident

There will be no shortage of airtime this weekend for the 17th hole at Pebble Beach. The par 3 with the hourglass-shaped green is best known for hosting two of golf’s most iconic shots. During the final round of the 1972 U.S. Open, Jack Nicklaus hit a 1-iron that bounced off the flagstick en route to capturing the third of his four U.S. Opens. A decade later Tom Watson’s famous chip-in from the left rough cemented his only U.S. Open victory. What you may not know is the 17th green is also the final resting place of astronaut Alan Shepard, the only human to hit golf balls on the moon. One of the original Mercury 7 astronauts, Shepard was an avid golfer who owned a home in Pebble Beach. He loved the course so much that he requested his ashes be spread from a U.S. Navy helicopter over the famed green. Shortly after his death on July 21st, 1998, that wish was granted.

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Feb 05, 2014 | 06:05 AM

When One Hole Means A Lot

Does one hole a golf course make? Of course not. But a single hole—the par-four 3rd at Royal Dornoch, the iconic layout in northern Scotland—has undergone a notable renovation. As reported by the British magazine/website Golf Course Architecture, the third was reworked by architect Tom Mackenzie, who says, it “used to be a fearsome driving hole,” but houses built along its left side forced golfers to the right, avoiding the series of bunkers down that side of the fairway that gave the hole its character and distinctive look off the tee. To restore the hole, the fairway was widened and the bunkers relocated even further right. (The photo above, from the club’s website, shows the bunkers before the renovation.) “[The 3rd] has become overpowered in recent years," Mackenzie told GCA. "Even relatively short drivers are going straight past the bunkers." To Dornoch’s members, he wrote, the bunkers “were adjusted so that they will test the better players much more… whereas once they dominated the thinking of these players. The fairway has been slipped over to the right by about 25 yards… and the valley on the left is now punishing, which will encourage golfers to play the hole to the right more.” A relatively simple change—work began in the fall, was completed in December, and will be unveiled next month—says a great deal about what’s happening to classic architecture.

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