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Mar 21, 2014 | 09:57 AM

Is This What We Mean By Match Play?

Our special all-digital equipment issue that came out last month was called “HotLINKS.” Turns out we didn’t know just how hot equipment can be. According to a study conducted by scientists at University of California Irvine, golf clubs with titanium soles can cause a spark when struck against rocks, which can lead to wildfires. The study was undertaken after fires started at golf courses in Irvine and Mission Viejo, California, where drought has led to unusually dry conditions. The only common denominator in the two incidents was the use of a club—in both cases a 3-iron—with a titanium sole. In this local news report on the study’s findings, it’s possible to see club-on-rock ignition. While this is nothing to laugh at and local golfers are warned to be mindful of the conditions, we can’t help but imagine the marketing folks thinking up a new ad campaign: “Set your game on fire.” Let’s hope not.

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Mar 20, 2014 | 11:05 AM

Open Drought

It’s official. The U.S. Open is returning to Torrey Pines in 2021. But will Tiger be there? Six years have passed since he won his third U.S. Open with an epic playoff win there over Rocco Mediate. Who thought then that Woods would go six years without adding to a major total that still stands at 14? And given his past and current injuries (back spasms knocked him out of Bay Hill this weekend), odds are against him being a favorite at age 45 when the national championship returns to his native Southern California in 2021. Still, he’s not the first multiple U.S. Open champion to go through a lengthy drought between titles. Here are the golfers who have gone the longest between U.S. Open wins:


11 Years – Hale Irwin (1979-1990)

11 Years - Julius Boros (1952-1963)

10 Years – Gene Sarazen (1922-1932)

8 Years – Payne Stewart (1991-1999)

8 Years – Jack Nicklaus (1972-1980)

7 Years – Andy North (1978-1985)

7 Years – Billy Casper (1959-1966)

7 Years – Cary Middlecoff (1949-1956)

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Mar 20, 2014 | 11:05 AM

Open Drought

It’s official. The U.S. Open is returning to Torrey Pines in 2021. But will Tiger be there? Six years have passed since he won his third U.S. Open with an epic playoff win there over Rocco Mediate. Who thought then that Woods would go six years without adding to a major total that still stands at 14? And given his past and current injuries (back spasms knocked him out of Bay Hill this weekend), odds are against him being a favorite at age 45 when the national championship returns to his native Southern California in 2021. Still, he’s not the first multiple U.S. Open champion to go through a lengthy drought between titles. Here are the golfers who have gone the longest between U.S. Open wins:


11 Years – Hale Irwin (1979-1990)

11 Years - Julius Boros (1952-1963)

10 Years – Gene Sarazen (1922-1932)

8 Years – Payne Stewart (1991-1999)

8 Years – Jack Nicklaus (1972-1980)

7 Years – Andy North (1978-1985)

7 Years – Billy Casper (1959-1966)

7 Years – Cary Middlecoff (1949-1956)

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Mar 19, 2014 | 10:14 AM

Bush League

One of the stranger news items in the last few weeks was that police were investigating gambling at the city muni in Tarpon Springs, Florida, northwest of Tampa. Police were shocked—SHOCKED!—to hear that league wagering was taking place and decided to look into it because course manager Chuck Winship is a city employee. Doing what golfers do everywhere, members of 14 different leagues threw the money into a pot for low score, closest to the pin, etc., but a disgruntled former employee reported Winship, who oversaw one league pot, after he was fired. “We didn't look into individual players or somebody making a $2 wager on the back nine,” Tarpon Springs police Capt. Jeffrey Young told the Tampa Bay Times. “The focus of the investigation was on city employees possibly being involved in illegal gambling activities.” Thankfully rational heads prevailed and last week prosecutors said they wouldn’t peruse the case because they can’t prove a crime was committed. The ordeal wasn’t without one casualty, however: Winship, 65, resigned his position because of the pressure and publicity surrounding the investigation.

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