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Oct 28, 2015 | 12:13 pm

Teen Idol

Fresh off her fifth win of the year and 10th overall on the LPGA (the youngest player ever to do so), rising to No. 1 in the world again, and pocketing close to $3 million in prize money this year, Lydia Ko also happens to be one of the most influential teens in the world, at least according to Time magazine. For the second year in a row, the prestigious newsweekly has named the 18-year-old New Zealander to the list of 30, noting her goal for 2016 is to play in Rio when golf returns to the Olympics next year and that despite all her accomplishments, "Ko still makes time to be a teen, regularly posting videos of bejeweled golf balls markers and Dubsmash videos to her SnapChat and Instagram channels." Other teens on the list include President Obama's oldest daugther, Malia, Will Smith's son, Jaden, and Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban who won the Nobel Prize for her fierce advocacy for girls's education.

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Oct 27, 2015 | 09:35 am

Clubs To Hire

Until recently, you've had three choices when it comes to traveling with golf clubs: 1) take your own set with you (at an ever-increasing baggage fee)  2) ship your clubs to your destination (also rather pricey) 3) hope to get a decent rental set at the course(s) you plan to play. Now there’s a fourth option. With Clubs To Hire you rent your clubs online and then pick them up at your destination. The Dublin-based company, which is already booming in the U.K. and Europe, operates at 22 locations around the world, recently launched in the Orlando, Phoenix, and Las Vegas airports, and has plans to open at other U.S. destinations next year. The benefits: no airline baggage fees, no hassling with the oversize baggage drop, no worries about loss or damage to your clubs. Best of all, you can rent a set of the latest Callaways or TaylorMades for as little as $80 a week. Check it out at ClubsToHire.com.

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Oct 26, 2015 | 09:22 am

New Rules

The USGA and R&A has just released the 2016 edition of the Rules of Golf, which will go into effect on January 1, 2016. The two organizations update and revise the Rules every four years, and while most people are aware that golfers who use a long putter and anchor it “directly” or “by use of an anchor point” (holding it against their chest or chin, for instance) will have to find a new putter and/or method, there are a few other significant changes, as well:

  • Withdrawal of Rule on Ball Moving After Address - Rule 18-2b (Ball Moving after Address) has been withdrawn. This means that if a ball at rest moves after the player addresses it, the player is no longer automatically deemed to have caused the ball to move. A one-stroke penalty under Rule 18-2 will be applied only when the facts show that the player has caused the ball to move.
  • Limited Exception to Disqualification Penalty for Submission of Incorrect Score Card - A new exception has been introduced to Rule 6-6d (Wrong Score for Hole) to provide that a player is not disqualified for returning a lower score for a hole than actually taken as a result of failing to include penalty strokes that the player did not know were incurred before returning the score card. Instead, the player incurs the penalty under the Rule that was breached and must add an additional penalty of two strokes for the score card error. In all other cases in which a player returns a score for any hole lower than actually taken, the penalty will continue to be disqualification.
  • Modification of Penalty for a Single Impermissible Use of Artificial Devices or Equipment - The penalty for a player’s first breach of Rule 14-3 (Artificial Devices, Unusual Equipment and Abnormal Use of Equipment) during the round has been reduced from disqualification to loss of hole in match play or two strokes in stroke play. The penalty for any subsequent breach of Rule 14-3 will continue to be disqualification. 

To order the new book, and for much more, including a new “Rules Experience" and videos explaining many Rules, check out the USGA’s website, which is an invaluable tool for all golfers.

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Oct 23, 2015 | 11:00 am

Better Than Cake

If your birthday is coming up, we have a gift for you. Actually, not us but Omni Hotels and Resorts, which is giving the birthday boy or girl a free round of golf at any of 11 golf resorts around the country. If it’s your birthday (or within seven days of it), you’re staying at an Omni Resort, and you’ve pre-booked and mentioned the birthday offer, you get a free round at one of the following:

  • Omni Bedford Springs Resort, Bedford, Pennsylvania
  • Omni Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
  • Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate, Orlando, Florida
  • The Omni Homestead Resort, Hot Springs, Virginia (shown above)
  • Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, Amelia Island, Florida
  • The Omni Grove Park Inn, Asheville, North Carolina
  • Omni Tucson National Resort, Tucson, Arizona
  • Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, Carlsbad, California
  • Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, Rancho Mirage, California
  • Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa, Austin, Texas
  • Omni Interlocken Hotel, Broomfield, Colorado

Just be sure to book in advance at the Omni website or by calling 1-800-843-6664. And as for that cake, you’ll have to buy your own. Sorry.

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