Feb 22, 2016 | 11:54 am

Scalia On Golf

Those of you of a certain age will remember a famous court case a few years back, in which Casey Martin sued the PGA Tour to be able to ride a cart, rather than walk, during a tournament. In the end, the 2001 case—which went to the Supreme Court—was settled in Martin’s favor. One of the two dissenting votes was from Judge Antonin Scalia, who died last week, and his written dissent shows some of the wit and scorn he was famous for. To wit: “I am sure that the Framers of the Constitution, aware of the 1457 edict of King James II of Scotland prohibiting golf because it interfered with the practice of archery, fully expected that sooner of later the paths of golf and government, the law and the links, would once again cross, and that the judges of this august Court would some day have to wrestle with that age-old jurisprudential question, for which their years of study in the law have so well prepared them: Is someone riding around a golf course from shot to shot really a golfer? The answer, we learn, is yes. The Court ultimately concludes, and it will henceforth be the Law of the Land, that walking is not a ‘fundamental’ aspect of golf. Either out of humility or out of self-respect (one or the other) the Court should decline to answer this incredibly difficult and incredibly silly question.”

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Feb 19, 2016 | 06:52 am

Irish (Golf) Sweepstakes

St. Patrick’s Day might not be for another month, but here’s a good reason to dig out your “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” button now., which arranges and books golf trips around the world, is offering a once-in-a-lifetime chance to win a golf getaway for your favorite foursome to Southwest Ireland. The prize is a seven-night/five-round trip for four with accommodations at the Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa, a rental car for the entire trip, and tee times at Waterville (shown above), Ballybunion, Tralee, Dooks, and the Killeen course at Killarney. No purchase is necessary, but you will have to answer a relevant golf trivia question on the Golfbreaks website to enter. Entries close on April 18, 2016. May the luck of the Irish be with you!

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Feb 18, 2016 | 11:01 am

Gender Pay Gap Between the Tours

LPGA star Stacy Lewis gave an interview published yesterday by where she addressed the pay gap between the LPGA and PGA Tours. She explained that she was frustrated with the difference in pay when “we’re doing the same thing and the only difference is the TV numbers and the TV ratings. That’s really it.” Unfortunately, that is a pretty big factor for those who determine the purse. TV ratings drive advertiser and sponsor decisions, determine coverage choices, and in turn (largely) dictate the purse for that week’s event. If an event has relatively few people watching, advertisers and sponsors adjust their budgets accordingly, and the event is unable to offer a large purse.

The men’s and women’s US Opens both taking place at Pinehurst No. 2 in 2014 provides an interesting opportunity to compare events with fewer variables. The 2014 US Women’s garnered the largest purse in history up to that point at $4 million. In contrast, the men played for $9 million in their event the prior week. The USGA maintained a policy of not releasing separate attendance numbers, but it is estimated that attendance was roughly just over one third as high for the women. TV ratings for the women’s final day were a record 1.7 (71% increase from 2013) while the men earned a 3.3 (46% decline from 2013) on their championship Sunday.

Is men’s golf more entertaining to watch than women’s events? Is the problem, like Lewis says, simply a matter of gaining more exposure? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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Feb 17, 2016 | 12:45 pm

Walk of Fame

Los Angeles usually doesn't get all worked up over celebrities, but there's a lot of star buzz around storied Riviera this week as Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy tee it up at the Northern Trust Open. Spieth goes off the 1st tee at 12:12 local time tomorrow with good friend Jutin Thomas and ageless crowd favorite Fred Couples, while McIlroy is paired with Matt Kuchar and Hideki Matsuyama at 7:32 off the 10th tee. While this is McIlroy's first trip to "Hogan's Alley," Spieth and Riv have a history together. He led the Texas Longhorns to victory at the course in the 2012 NCAA Championship and last year he just missed getting into a playoff when he bogeyed the 72nd hole. Southern Cal also heavily recruited him, even offering him one of their four playing memberships at Riv. "It's one of the very few with the history that it has, past champions, not only just the champions, but just those who have walked these fairways," he said yesterday. "And then for me to win on a golf course that I consider one of the top few in the world, I mean, that's always a goal. Yeah, it would be amazing."

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