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Apr 01, 2014 | 10:36 AM

Spring Break-In

Fair warning: This is not an April Fool’s Day item.

Late yesterday, a message on the website of Florida-based Eckerd College read: “Due to circumstances beyond the team’s control, the men’s golf program has withdrawn from the Buccaneer Invitational Presented by Carrabba’s Italian Grill.”  How can that be, you ask? How could any team no-show for such a prestigious event on the Sunshine State Division II Collegiate Golf Calendar? The website provided no details, perhaps out of embarrassment, as truth was, the team van was burglarized while the boys and their coach ate dinner at a restaurant on Collins Avenue in Miami Beach two nights before the event. Everything was taken—not just their clubs, but their luggage, phones, computers. Everything. Rather than find replacement sticks, the fighting Tritons bagged the BIPCIG and pointed the van back to St. Petersburg.

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Mar 31, 2014 | 10:29 AM

Rio Olympics: Downbeat Update

To almost no one’s surprise, the golf course being built for the 2016 Olympics in Rio won’t be ready as soon as hoped, but it should be ready for the big games. Peter Dawson, who is president of the International Golf Federation (as well as Chief Executive of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews), recently visited the site and said that the course probably will not be ready to host a test event scheduled for summer 2015. With what can only be regarded as British reserve, he said, “We are not satisfied…. However, I still think it will be ready in time for the Olympics.” Notice, he said “think.” He also said “There are other courses in Rio but there is no Plan B at present because I don’t think we’ll need one.” Notice, he said “at present.” According to the website InsideTheGames.biz, which covers the Olympics, other officials of the 2016 games expressed confidence in the preparations and that the course “would be ready in time.” As always, the whole world is watching.

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Mar 28, 2014 | 11:20 AM

The Iron is Hot

One of two sets of irons Ben Hogan used during his historic 1953 season is officially up for sale at greenjacketauctions.com—the site’s first great piece of Hogan memorabilia. Right now the current bid is $7,320 but the set of seven irons is expected to fetch somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000. The USGA has the other set in its museum, but it’s unclear which tournaments Hogan won with the set up for auction. (The Hawk entered only five events that year, but won all of them, including the Masters, U.S. Open, and British Open.) In all likelihood, he probably mixed the sets because the serial number on the 9-iron pictured matches the set at the USGA. The clubs have spent the last 40 years locked in the garage of Champions Tour player Jimmy Powell, who received them as a gift from a friend of Hogan’s, Dennis Lavender, the head pro at Dallas’ Stevens Park Golf Course for whom Powell used to caddie.

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Mar 27, 2014 | 11:00 AM

Casting Votes

Scotland’s Royal & Ancient Golf Club, founded a mere 260 years ago, will vote this September on allowing women members (on the same day that Scotland votes on independence from the United Kingdom). So why now? "You can always ask that question: 'Why now? Why not 10 years ago?' The R&A have been considering this. It's been on our agenda, on our radar, for quite some time," said Peter Dawson, R&A chief executive. "The feeling is as society changes, as sport changes, as golf changes, it's something the R&A needs to do, and is doing now as being forward-looking as we can." If the vote is positive as expected, then the spotlight will shift to quickly to all-male Royal Troon, venue for the 2016 Open Championship. Few predict that club, founded only 136 years ago, will take the same forward-looking approach. 

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