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Dec 24, 2015 | 11:35 am

Time to Reflect

What has gotten into Tiger Woods? First he opens up to Lorne Rubenstein in a TIME Magazine interview titled "Tiger's Private Stuggles" a couple weeks ago where said he can't stand watching golf and if he does, like when good friend Jason Day won the PGA, the sound is on mute (take that Nick Faldo!), among many other interesting things. And yesterday he wrote a revealing blog on pgatour.com, looking back at 2015 and ahead to next year. He writes about how he can't wait to see the new Star Wars film, having been a total Star Wars geek growing up with Star Wars wallpaper in his room. He's also looking forward to watching Stanford play in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day. Perhaps the fact that he turns 40 on Dec. 30th and has been through so much the last few years, has finally softened him up a little to allow people in. "My friends keep asking me how it feels to be turning 40 at the end of the month and my response is, 'It depends when you ask me,'" he wrote. "Mentally, people who know me know I'm like a 5-year-old. Physically, sometimes I feel old and sometimes I feel like a teenager. I don't like the polar opposites of the two. I'd like to be somewhere in the middle where I feel 40."

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Dec 23, 2015 | 11:28 am

Tiger Pride

Located just 16 miles north of Clemson University, The Reserve at Lake Keowee has close ties to the school. Not only is it head football coach Dabo Swinney's home club (that's a perk that comes with the job), but many of the members are alums, as well. So it only seem fitting that the community would pay homage to the No. 1 team in the nation as it goes after its second national football championship (the first was in 1981) starting Dec. 31 in the Capital One Orange Bowl semifinal playoff. The Reserve grounds crew staff was able to commandeer the same stencil used at Memorial Stadium to create a mini "Death Valley" on the Great Lawn at the lakeside retreat, which also features a superb Jack Nicklaus course that will play host to the Clemson Invitational next spring. "We have such a strong relationship with the university and we wanted to find a unique way to show our support while the football team is on a truly historic run," says Director of Sales Rutledge Livingston, who played for the Tigers in the mid-1970s. "We think this is a pretty cool way of doing that. We’ll definitely be hosting a post-Christmas game of two-hand touch."

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Dec 22, 2015 | 05:23 pm

A New 12th

It’s not often we see a hole shortened just for the pros, but that’s about to happen at the TPC Sawgrass. In what will be the most extensive change to a single hole since the course debuted in 1980, the Tour has announced they'll shorten the 358-yard 12th to 300-320 yards for the 2017 Players Championship, essentially playing it from the current members tee. A large mound currently fronting the left side of the green will be leveled and replaced with a water hazard while the new green will allow for bounce-on approaches, in the hope of converting one of the course’s dullest holes into a thrill producer. The change will be part of a major renovation that will also include resurfacing the greens and upgrading the practice area.

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Dec 21, 2015 | 04:23 pm

The Force Awakened

On the one hand, the golf year is ending as it should—with relative quiet as the pro tours take a break other than giving out “best of year” awards and the like. But in other ways, this is a December to remember. Unusually warm temperatures in the North and Northeast—Christmas Eve probably will be warmer in New York City than in Phoenix—are keeping courses busy. Last weekend, golfers were playing in shorts in Maine, while in Florida, resort bookings are down as snowbirds stay home. Experts say this is the result of an “El Nino” winter, which is likely to bring lots of rain to the West (the Pacific Northwest has already been deluged) as well as other climatic anomalies. A disturbance in the force, perhaps? Blame it on the recent opening of the new Star Wars movie. If you don’t think there’s a connection, check out this video from SkratchTV of Jordan Spieth.

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