Jan 21, 2016 | 06:58 am

Private, First Class

Looking for a special golf vacation? Tired of flying commercial? Magellan Jets—a leader in private-jet travel—and three Four Seasons Hotels have the trip for you. Their Private Jet Tropical Tee and Golf Tour is “a seamless runway-to-fairway” excursion with golf in three countries, luxury accommodations, dining, parties, and unique experiences, with private jet service connecting it all. The week-long escapade starts at the Four Seasons Hotel Miami and includes rounds at Crandon Golf Course on Key Biscayne, a private cabana, and special dinner. Then fly private to the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo, teeing it up on the Arnold Palmer-designed course with post-round relaxing and dining. From there, Magellan jets the group to Four Seasons Resort Nevis and its Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed course (shown above), with more dining and diversions before a return flight to Miami. Available beginning in April, prices begin at $132,000 for a group of eight for all travel, transfers, accommodations, golf, and more. The itinerary can be customized for as many as 12 travelers. Contact Magellan Jets at (844) 228-8796, or check out the website.

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Jan 20, 2016 | 10:44 am

Does it damage the game?

“Most Beautiful Women in Golf,” “Sexiest Tour Wives and Girlfriends,” scantily clad non-golfing models on golf magazine covers… Does it damage the game?

The move to digital has forced changes in the golf media business. Many magazines and media outlets have all but forgotten their core audience in an effort to reach an ever younger set of millennial eyes and increase digital advertising revenue.

Coverage of female golfers actually playing golf is difficult to find. You are more likely to find a gallery of the “Hottest Instagram Photos” than the results of that week’s LPGA event. If you look at the most popular story on a certain golf magazine’s website, you’ll find the “22 Hottest Pictures of Paige Spirinac,” an Instagram star who, while she was a college golfer, isn’t a professional player. Of those twenty-two photos, only three are related to golf.

Some call it click-bait while others call it damaging to the game, particularly the women’s leg of the sport. Is it golf media’s fault for creating this content or is it simply creating content where there is demand? After all, the Spirinac story is the most viewed on their site.

What do you think? Leave us a comment and we’ll start a discussion!

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Jan 19, 2016 | 08:51 am

Fox Watch

Two days after LINKS broke the news that Greg Norman was out at Fox, rumors swirl regarding his successor as the network’s lead golf analyst. Most of the chatter has focused on Paul Azinger whose glib, insightful work for ABC/ESPN has won him widespread praise. Indeed, some believe FOX has already made a deal with Azinger, is just waiting a bit to announce it. Meanwhile, dark-horse contenders include Norman’s bright and likable FOX teammate Brad Faxon; David Duval (an intelligent talker with Golf Channel experience, but is he smooth enough for the big time?); ABC/ESPN veteran Curtis Strange (he did win two U.S. Opens); and Tom Watson (his playing career’s basically over, so why not?). And then there’s the truly wild card: Tiger Woods.  Stay tuned. 

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Jan 18, 2016 | 11:17 am

One and Done

As LINKS broke last night on Twitter, Greg Norman has parted ways with Fox Sports after just one year in the booth broadcasting the U.S. Open and other USGA events. John Entz, the president of production at Fox Sports, said in a press release this morning that it was an "amicable separation" and Norman said as much, too. But while Norman has plenty on his plate to keep him busy with his multi-national corporation, the Shark clearly didn't see this attack coming. As he says in the current issue of Troon Golf & Travel magazine, "Everything will be different [next year]. We already are working from the production side of things, from the technology side of things. Camera angles will definitely be one. I just got a report that’s 32 pages long about it already, about what we want to do and what we expect and how we’re going to do it." Apparently, there wasn't anything in the report about a new lead analyst, but the early money is on Paul Azinger, who has worked with Fox's veteran golf producer Mark Loomis in the past as part of the Mike Tirico-Nick Faldo trio on ABC.

UPDATE on Monday, January 18, 2016 at 1:22pm

This just in: Greg Norman talks to LINKS about his departure from Fox.

In retrospect, how do you think you did as lead commentator for FOX?
"All I can say is this: going from what I was told by many at FOX and the USGA, knowing all that I put into the process, and considering it was my first run at it, I thought I did a good job. Not great, but good. Like trying to be the best you can be in golf, the more practice you have, the better you get. I only had one US Open Championship. I would have liked another opportunity, as it was so new to all of us last year."
Will you consider moving to another network?
"The learning curve was one that I truly enjoyed and I do believe I have a wealth of golfing experience on and off the course, design philosophy and agronomy knowledge, that someday I could express to the world. So I will certainly keep my options open."

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