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Jan 10, 2014 | 10:52 AM

TPC Scottsdale Closing

No, not forever. Just temporarily. Best known for hosting the PGA Tour’s Phoenix Waste Management Open (January 30th to February 2nd this year), the TPC Scottsdale will shut down from April 1st until early November for an estimated $15 million worth of renovations. The course, which costs $299 (plus tax) to play in peak season, is being tweaked by original designer Tom Weiskopf. Plans include rebuilding all greens and tees, installing new bunker sand (that blinding white kind popular at Augusta National) and repositioning a few of those bunkers. Off the course the clubhouse restaurant will get a much needed makeover, and a new locker room will be built for the pros to use during their annual visit. As for the par-three 16th? The one made (in)famous when it’s completely encircled by boisterous fans fueled more by alcohol than a passion for the game? Other than canceling caddie races from tee to green during the tournament—a PGA Tour mandate—no changes are planned. 

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Jan 09, 2014 | 06:08 AM

Storms Soak Ireland

While much of the U.S. is battling blizzard conditions and record-low temperatures, weather across the Atlantic has been fierce, as well, with a number of well-known golf courses suffering as a result. The west coast of Ireland was ravaged by massive storms at the end of last week and over the weekend, causing extensive erosion to County Sligo Golf Club (also known as Rosses Point; that’s the 17th hole, above, showing the new erosion) and flooding parts of Lahinch Golf Club and Ballybunion. According to Irish Golf Desk, a website, Sligo’s Facebook page posted the following message to the local government: “Terrible night of erosion last night, we really need Sligo County Council to sit up and take notice otherwise there will be no dunes left. No dunes no golf course no tourists no jobs!” Erosion also affected the town of Lahinch, with substantial damage to coastal fencing, opening the way for further problems.

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Jan 08, 2014 | 11:34 AM

This Just In

Cornwell

Golf Channel’s new Golf Central anchor, Lisa Cornwell, is the second cousin of President Bill Clinton (they share great grandparents) and has played about 200 rounds with him, which translates into close to 3,000 mulligans. Although being a relative of Clinton’s certainly didn’t hurt when it came to landing her new job, Cornwell has got real bona fides when it comes to golf and broadcasting. A three-time All-American junior golfer, she is a four-time Arkansas Women’s State Amateur Champion (winning her first at a record age of 14), the 1992 Arkansas Female Athlete of the Year, and has won more than 30-plus tournaments nationwide during her playing years, which included collegiate golf at Southern Methodist University and the University of Arkansas. After starting her broadcast career in local TV, she served as a studio host, reporter, and play-by-play announcer for the Big Ten Network. Most recently, she founded and hosted a syndicated college football show, “SEC Press Pass.”

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Jan 07, 2014 | 11:49 AM

Measuring Up

The Royal & Ancient Golf Club may not yet be ready to admit women members, but they are at least showing signs of moving into the 21st Century. This week the club agreed to allow the use of electronic distance-measuring devices for all R&A club competitions (i.e. monthly medals, inter-club matches). This comes eight years after the R&A and USGA jointly agreed that any club in the world could, in its sole discretion, inovke a local rule permitting use of the devices. So eight years after the St. Andrews moguls declared rangefinders okay for the anyone, they decided they were good enough for St Andrews. Go figure.

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