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Oct 16, 2013 | 01:51 PM

King Jordan

It’s good to be Jordan Spieth. After turning pro last fall and starting the 2013 season with no PGA Tour status, he became the youngest player ever to win on tour, went from No. 810 in the Official World Golf Ranking to 21st, and finished 10th on the money list with almost $4 million. He also was a Captain’s Pick for Freddie Couples’ Presidents Cup Team and earned the Tour’s Rookie of the Year award. And yesterday he pulled off a bucket-list doubleheader, getting to play Pine Valley AND Augusta National IN THE SAME DAY! Spieth shot 67 at Pine Valley in the morning, tweeting, “Golf day to remember today. Pine Valley is incredible! The 18th is just one of the many amazing views...,” posting the photo above on Instagram. He then presumably flew by private jet to Augusta, where he and his playing partners were the only group on the course. “Heaven on earth,” he tweeted in the gloaming.

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Oct 15, 2013 | 06:22 AM

Quick Thoughts

Alabama’s number-one-ranked public golf course, Farm Links, will soon try to do something that hasn’t been done in decades—get everyone around the course in 3.5 hours or less. On November 2, they will welcome the public for a day of ready golf, minimal ball marking on the greens, and minimal ball searching off the fairway. About an hour from Birmingham, Farm Links already has a reputation as America’s first R&D golf course, having hosted more than 1,000 industry professionals for hands-on seminars in eco-friendly, cost-cutting, and technological innovations in greenkeeping and course management, but this will be their first experiment involving actual play of golfers. Data will be recorded in the hope of identifying the practices that best encourage a swifter pace of play. Godspeed!

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Oct 14, 2013 | 06:07 AM

Moneyball

If you marvel at how much the pros make playing golf, it might help to put those ridiculous sums into a broader context. While Henrik Stenson pocketed more than $11 million by winning the Tour Championship a few weeks ago, that’s small change compared to what golf is worth to the U.S. According to “Golf 20/20,” an annual report from the World Golf Foundation, the industry generated $68.8 billion in goods and services in 2011, with a total economic impact of nearly $177 billion. WGF chief executive Steve Mona told CNN that the industry “is larger than the spectator sports and performing arts industries combined.” Furthermore, nearly two million Americans work in the golf business, earning annual wages of $55.6 billion. But The Buzz still strongly recommends that you tip the locker room attendant and the kid who cleans your clubs after a round.

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Oct 11, 2013 | 11:03 AM

TV’s Latest Big Deal

A few weeks ago, Fox Sports completed a big-money deal to broadcast the U.S. Open and other USGA events for 12 years beginning in 2015. Losing the USGA contract was NBC Sports, which has responded by upping its commitment to the PGA of America. Yesterday, the two parties announced “an unprecedented agreement”: a 15-year deal to cover the Ryder Cup, Senior PGA Championship, and PGA Professional National Championship on NBC and Golf Channel. Along with those tournaments, the channels also will run preview shows, historic highlights, documentaries, and live practice rounds, as well as the Ryder Cup Captain Selection Show, Spanish-language coverage on Telemundo and Mun2, and programming designed to help the PGA of America’s grow-the-game initiatives and elevate the stature of PGA professionals. Sounds like good stuff—except for the expectation of hearing Johnny Miller going on and on about “el grano.”

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