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Jan 08, 2014 | 11:34 AM

This Just In

Cornwell

Golf Channel’s new Golf Central anchor, Lisa Cornwell, is the second cousin of President Bill Clinton (they share great grandparents) and has played about 200 rounds with him, which translates into close to 3,000 mulligans. Although being a relative of Clinton’s certainly didn’t hurt when it came to landing her new job, Cornwell has got real bona fides when it comes to golf and broadcasting. A three-time All-American junior golfer, she is a four-time Arkansas Women’s State Amateur Champion (winning her first at a record age of 14), the 1992 Arkansas Female Athlete of the Year, and has won more than 30-plus tournaments nationwide during her playing years, which included collegiate golf at Southern Methodist University and the University of Arkansas. After starting her broadcast career in local TV, she served as a studio host, reporter, and play-by-play announcer for the Big Ten Network. Most recently, she founded and hosted a syndicated college football show, “SEC Press Pass.”

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Jan 07, 2014 | 11:49 AM

Measuring Up

The Royal & Ancient Golf Club may not yet be ready to admit women members, but they are at least showing signs of moving into the 21st Century. This week the club agreed to allow the use of electronic distance-measuring devices for all R&A club competitions (i.e. monthly medals, inter-club matches). This comes eight years after the R&A and USGA jointly agreed that any club in the world could, in its sole discretion, inovke a local rule permitting use of the devices. So eight years after the St. Andrews moguls declared rangefinders okay for the anyone, they decided they were good enough for St Andrews. Go figure.

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Jan 06, 2014 | 06:23 AM

Season Of The Switch

The new year is the time for new contracts between top players and equipment companies. It was almost exactly a year ago that Rory McIlroy became a member of the Nike family; then he spent the rest of 2013 being asked if the new clubs and ball were responsible for his inconsistent play. He finally got his first win of the year in early December at the Australian Open: It will be interesting to see if getting over that psychological hurdle—plus his recently announced engagement to tennis star Caroline Wozniacki—ignites another fantastic year like he had in 2012. Meanwhile, a number of other top golfers recently switched gear and may attract Rory-like scrutiny: Last year’s big winner, Henrik Stenson, has signed to play Callaway (that’s his Twitter photo above, taken at home in Sweden), as have Harris English and—reportedly but not yet confirmed—teenaged LPGA sensation Lydia Ko. Ernie Els is now playing clubs from Adams, while Trevor Immelman is in the TaylorMade stable. While The Buzz might not put all those changers under the microscope, we’re sure someone else will—and let us know just how well, or not, they do.

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Jan 03, 2014 | 10:45 AM

Arizona's Newest Course

Notah Begay may trail former Stanford teammate Tiger Woods in PGA Tour wins—79 to 4 actually—but he is 3-up when it comes to completed course designs, the latest being Arizona's newest course. His effort at Sewailo Golf Club, located 15 miles southwest of downtown Tucson, debuted recently as part of the three-year-old Casino Del Sol Resort owned by the Pascua Yaqui Tribe. Begay, who worked with Ty Butler (a former Robert Trent Jones II design associate who now works for JMP Golf Design Group) on the 7,400-yard Sewailo course, was previously a consultant to Robert Trent Jones II on the Sequoyah National Golf Course in North Carolina and designed Firekeeper Golf Course in Kansas with Jeff Brauer. Both courses were also built on Tribal land. At Sewailo, Begay and Butler spent an estimated $25 million to shape a flat desert landscape into a layout that includes 14 acres of water features. In a nod to his favorite layout in the world—the Old Course at St. Andrews—Begay incorporated a double green shared by the first and eighth holes. The Troon Golf-managed course, with green fees ranging from $99 to $179, will be the home to the University of Arizona golf teams. It’s also part of a Tucson Swing Golf package which includes rounds at Sewailo, The Gallery Golf Club and La Paloma Country Club for $299 plus tax (January 1 – April 15, 2014) or $199 plus tax (April 16 – June 1, 2014).

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