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Nov 25, 2015 | 10:53 am

Trumpeting History

Donald Trump is playing fast and loose with the facts again. No, not on the campaign trail. At Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va. According to a story in today's The New York Times, he's errected a memorial to the Civil War soldiers who died there between the 14th and 15th holes on one of the two courses. The flagpole with a big stone base overlooks the Potomac and contains a black plaque with gold lettering and the title "The River of Blood" beneath the Trump family crest. "Many great American soldiers, both of the North and South, died at this spot," the inscription reads. "The casualties were so great that the water would turn red and thus became known as 'The River of Blood.' It is my great honor to have preserved this important section of the Potomac River!" But according to four Civil War historians, including club member and former House speaker Newt Gringrich, there was no battle there. The closest one was 11 miles up river where several hundred Union forces died in The Battle of Ball's Bluff in 1861. To be fair, though, a lot of bloody battles involving balls do take place on the two courses, which reopened this summer after a $25 million renovation.

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Nov 24, 2015 | 09:31 am

Play Alone? No Handicap For You

America may have a golf-playing population of 25 million but only about twenty percent of us—roughly five million—have bona fide handicaps, and now that number is about to shrink even further. Yesterday the USGA announced six changes in the their handicapping system. They cover a variety of areas (including handicaps for the handicapped) but the key change is this: Golfers who play alone will no longer be allowed to post scores for handicap purposes. Peer review—the opportunity for golfers to observe and attest to each other’s level of play—is a central concept of the USGA system, and solo rounds do not allow for peer review. So starting next year, when you play alone, you don’t post your score. 

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Nov 23, 2015 | 10:44 am

Thanks, Mate!

Remember that bloke we told you about earlier this month who asked Rory McIlroy for a new driver on Facebook? Well, McIlroy was good to his word. The driver arrived last week, along with a signed Nike cap, and Barry Edwards (pictured above with his prized possession) still can't believe it. "Very exciting times in the Edwards household," the 40-year-old builder from Blackpool, England, tells The Buzz. "I'd love to thank Rory personally." The 22-handicap took the Nike Covert driver, which McIlroy won two majors with, out this weekend for a test drive on the range and flushed it. "The driver feels beautifully balanced and strong, which possibly made my swing a little smoother," he says, adding that it's also improved his status about town. "I seem to have become a bit of a local celebrity, which is quite comical."

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Nov 20, 2015 | 01:00 pm

Death Valley

After losing more than a $1 million last year, the city of Tucson is thinking of closing one if not all of its five courses, according to a KOLD-TV, the CBS affiliate. There's been talking of shutting down some of the courses for a couple years now, but after the city brought in OB Sports to manage them, there was hope that they could turn things around. While the've increased rounds by nearly 9,000 in the past year and revenues by more than $1 million, it's still not enough. The question is, will the city give them enough time to break even, which city policy requires. City Manager Michael Ortega said closing golf courses to make them parks, baseball or soccer fields adds costs to the city budget and they may be much greater than the golf subsidy. "We have to know how much it costs to close them," he said, adding that golf courses provide a public service to local high school golf teams and the First Tee program. "Is that worth giving up?" Sure would be a shame to close the courses, considering the munis rich history which dates back to the 1920s. Randolph North (pictured above) opened in 1925 and was the site of the P.G.A. Seiko Tucson Match Play Championship, the P.G.A. Joe Garagiola Tucson Open, and the PING/Welch’s LPGA Championship. The city council will meet on Dec. 15 to discuss the future of Tucson City Golf.

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