Mar 25, 2016 | 06:18 am

Required Course: Is Golf Back In China?

A few years ago, golf was growing in China faster than bamboo. The Mission Hills Golf Club—the world’s largest golf complex, with 12 courses designed by the likes of Nicklaus, Norman, Faldo, Dye, and others—was emblematic of the country’s total golf immersion. But just as quickly, it stopped, the victim of a national crackdown on corruption and “bourgeois” activities. What’s the game’s status now? Call this reading the tea leaves, but golf may be on the rebound. The China Daily, a state-run media outlet, reported that the Experimental School of Foreign Languages in Shanghai has made golf lessons compulsory for 400 students aged 7 and 8. The school’s principal is quoted as saying, “Golf is not a high-class sport exclusive to the rich. It can be a popular game accessible to all.” And a recent post on a Wall Street Journal blog noted that golf also is a required course at many of China’s private schools, such as the Beijing Huijia School, where 2,000 elementary, middle, and high-school pupils have added green reading to the three Rs. The head of sports management at that school says golf is “a skill that can be useful when they’re interviewing or applying for colleges,” and noted it can help them in their future careers.

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Mar 24, 2016 | 09:46 am

Tough Loss for Olesen

Typically when you hit a shank, you lower your head, casually check over both shoulders, and make sure that nobody else saw what happened. Unfortunately for Thorbjorn Olesen, people saw his shank yesterday... in fact, millions saw it.

The mishit happened yesterday at the WGC-Dell Match Play in a match against Rory McIlroy. Olesen played well through the 13th hole, where he was 2-up on McIlory. The match slid to the Northern Irishman's favor down the stretch and the fateful shank sealed the victory on the 18th hole. "You feel bad because he's up basically the whole match, and to finish like that, as well," McIlroy said. "If I hadn't birdied 18 and he parred it, I would feel like I won the match and he probably would feel the same way, whereas he's definitely going away like he lost it. It was his to lose."

They say that the hardest shot in golf is the shot after a shank. Thanks to Rory's birdie on the 18th, that hardest shot didn't matter much for Thorbjorn.

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Mar 23, 2016 | 07:23 am

Cinderella Story

As the second seed in the East region, Xavier was one of the favorites in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, but the Musketeers lost to seventh seed Wisconsin 66-63 on Sunday when Badger guard Bronson Koenig hit two three pointers in the last 12 seconds. What does this have to do with golf? Well, Xavier's biggest fan is none other than Bill Murray, whose son, Luke, is an assistant coach for the team. Murray was there at the game in Philadelphia, of course, and sat for a rare interview with his son for ESPN. Murray talked about how he likes to "back" Luke under the basket when they play hoops together and Luke revealed that he's never seen Caddyshack. His father's reaction at the very end of the video is quintessential Murray.

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Mar 22, 2016 | 08:49 am

Hot Property

It’s official—the golf course property market is back. For the third straight year, the average selling price of a golf course has gone up. In 2015, the increase was 7.5%, with the average price exceeding $5 million for the first time since 2009, according to What’s behind those numbers? A healthy U.S. economy, job growth, and a rising stock market combining to increase golf rounds played and revenue at courses across the country. 

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