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Feb 13, 2014 | 10:08 AM

Gimmicky Golf?

The par-three 6th at Riviera Country Club—venue for this week’s Northern Trust Open—has a bunker in the middle of its green. So do holes at Doonbeg in Ireland, TPC San Antonio in Texas and Shadow Ridge Country Club in Nebraska. Is it a gimmick or a stroke of genius? Dustin Johnson aced the sixth in 2010, albeit to a pin location below and away from the bunker. Riviera members and guests are not allowed to use anything but a putter on the green, even when the bunker is between their ball and the hole. Good luck getting down in two if that’s the case. But here’s a look at how it can be done. 

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Feb 12, 2014 | 12:30 PM

End of the Road

The weather at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, is better suited for golf than skiing and had a major highway been approved, that’s just what people would be doing there at a Pete Dye course located about 10 minutes from the alpine facilty at Rosa Khutor (above). Dye and Bobby Weed were well into design development on Sochi's first course a couple of years ago, Weed tells The Buzz, getting bids from contractors, doing water testing, when they got the news about the road. “We were pretty disappointed because it’s a great piece of property that’s very well suited for golf,” says Weed. “It was a former vineyard so it was very open with rolling terrain. The routing really laid on the ground very well and offered great vistas. The long-range views of the surrounding mountains, which are snow-capped much of the year, are stunning.” The project is on indefinite hold until a new developer can step in and get the road approved. Russian President Vladimir Putin spent $50 billion on the Games and they couldn't find a few extra bucks to build a road? Guess Putin does't play golf.

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Feb 11, 2014 | 08:52 AM

Doondonald?

The Irish Examiner has reports today that Donald Trump is about to purchase Doonbeg, the five-star golf resort and club in County Clare, Ireland. The resort, which opened 11 years ago, has never made a profit, still carries massive debt, and last month went into receivership. The asking price is said to be about $20 million (a fraction of what Trump spent in creating his links course in Scotland). For that he’ll get an acclaimed Greg Norman course and a suitably baronial 219-room lodge. What he’s unlikely to get this time is pesky farmer neighbors, incipient wind farms, political maneuvering by Scotland’s Prime Minister Alex Salmond, protests from Tilda Swinton, or a full-length movie villainizing him. This one almost sounds too easy for The Donald.

Editor's note: Shortly after we posted this story, The Trump Organization announced that it had purchased Doonbeg Golf Club, "an already terrific property that we will make even better," said Mr. Trump. The club will be renamed Trump International Golf Links, Ireland.

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Feb 10, 2014 | 11:35 AM

The Niece Also Rises

Uncle Tiger is very happy for his niece Cheyenne, who won her first professional event over the weekend, taking the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters in Australia. He tweeted, “Way to go… A great win and accomplishment. I’m so proud of you.” In her second year on the Ladies European Tour, the 23-year-old Ms. Woods closed with a four-under-par 69 to win by two strokes, and that after missing the cut the week before in New Zealand. As might be expected, the headline writers have been all over the win, with lines like she “proves more than just a name” and regular references to her uncle (ours included, of course), including the fact that she is one-up in wins for 2014. But Ms. Woods definitely has game, as these video highlights prove. Furthermore, her career scoring average while playing for Wake Forest, where she was a two-time All American, was the lowest in school history, and she had more than 30 victories as an amateur. She also won an event on the SunCoast Ladies Tour, a developmental tour for pros, in August 2012. Still, she’s likely to be known as Tiger’s niece for a long, long time. Especially if she keeps on winning.

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