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Jan 28, 2015 | 12:36 PM

Lightening the Load

One thing that hasn't changed in years on the PGA Tour is the sight of caddies lugging around heavy (40-plus pounds), oversized staff bags. Maybe that's about to change. Tomorrow at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, a number TaylorMade Tour staff players will be lightening the load on their loopers. They'll be swapping their cumbersome staff bags in favor of the company's new Supreme Hybrid carry bag, which has a 14-way top with two slots to accommodate oversized putter grips and allows finicky pros greater flexibility in arranging clubs to their liking. It's even got more pockets than a staff bag—10 to 8. Best of all, it only weighs 5.3 lbs. It's just a shame the tour eliminated the caddie races on the 16th hole. We could have really seen some fleet-footed bagmen.

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Jan 27, 2015 | 09:01 AM

Taking Flight is Taking Flight

The European economy may still be in the doldrums but one sector that's booming is tourism. Long the most visited area of the globe, Europe welcomed 588 million tourist arrivals  last year--more than half the total arrivals worldwide and a 4% increase over 2013, according to a just-released report from the World Tourism Organization. But the fastest growing area was The Americas which surged 7% to 181 million tourists. Predictions are for continued strong growth this year, so if you're planning a golf trip, whether to Scotland or Scottsdale, expect plenty of company.

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Jan 26, 2015 | 10:26 AM

A Different Olympic Trial

Along with going for the gold and playing for one’s country, there’s another aspect to competing in the Olympics that the world’s best golfers are thinking about: mandatory drug testing. Olympic athletes are subject to far more stringent testing for PEDs—performance enhancing drugs—and other banned substances than pro golfers currently face, as discussed during a symposium at last week’s PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida. As reported in today’s New York Times, Suzann Petterson said that, “The procedure that we’re facing [in the Olympics] is nothing compared to my fellow Norwegian athletes,” Petterson said. “They have to report their whereabouts 24/7, and if you’re not at the spot you said you were going to be, that’s almost the same as failing a drug test.” Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell sees merit in the testing. “It’s going to be very insightful for us as a sport, as a game, as professional athletes, to experience what those other sports have to put up with. I’m not going to say we’ll embrace it. We will accept it…. We shouldn’t have anything to hide, and that’s the bottom line.”

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Jan 23, 2015 | 08:40 AM

Streamsong: Back In Black

Two of the top courses in Florida are about to get a little brother. Streamsong Resort in central Florida—which opened two years ago with the acclaimed Red Course, designed by Coore/Crenshaw, and the equally praised Blue, by Tom Doak—is bringing in Gil Hanse to design the Black. While Red and Blue overlap, Black will sit on its own to give golfers “a sense of peaceful isolation,” according to the announcement. The course “will feature abundant sand—the common denominator of the world’s greatest golf courses—rolling elevation changes, native grasses and stunning views of ridges and the surrounding landscape on a grand scale” (the photo, above, is of the land right now). Construction begins this summer with the course expected to open in autumn 2017. A second practice facility, clubhouse, and restaurant also will be built to accommodate Black. Plus, word is the Streamsong folks are already discussing a fourth course.

 

 

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