Nov 17, 2016 | 06:34 am

Tee Times

We don’t know of many golf courses that allow you to play in a t-shirt. But we still like a new series of casual tees, with a golf theme, designed by noted artist Lee Wybranski, who has been creating the official posters for the U.S. Open and PGA Championship for the last few years. The new collection is called Rat Pack Throwback and features a ‘50s-ish design in a choice of sayings, colors, and styles, including for both men and women. The shirts are $29 from Wybranksi’s website, where you also will find his posters and other products that will be a big hit with golfers this holiday season.

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Nov 16, 2016 | 08:20 am

Top Golfers

Topgolf held its first Tour Championship Sunday at its flagship facility in Las Vegas on Sunday. Adam Ball (white cap) and Steven Jenkins of Virginia Beach beat 15 other teams to become the nation's ultimate Topgolfers and pocket $50,000. The teams were broken up in four groups for round-robin play of altnerate-shot TopShot Advanced before the top eight teams moved onto the quarterfinals. The championship was a best of three alternate shot, starting with TopShot Advanced and two rounds of TopPressure Advanced, a new game that ups the ante from TopPressure. After amassing 437 points in the East Regional, Ball and Jenkins took down teams from Oklahoma City, Denver, and San Antonio to take the title. Because of their win, the Virginia Beach Topgolf venue is offering free play to its guests through this Sunday. Both Ball and Jenkins played golf at Virginia Commonwealth University and have toured professionally. They won the Virginia Beach regional qualifier back in August to earn an all expenses-paid trip to the Topgolf Tour Championship. The Buzz is excited to see a giant winner's check once again in golf. We say, bring it back to the PGA Tour!

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Nov 15, 2016 | 09:09 am

Record Deal

Washington Road in Augusta, Ga., is not the most posh neighborhood in the world. Basically it’s a series of shopping centers and fast food joints—less than desirable real estate. Unless of course, you happen to be a next door neighbor of the Augusta National Golf Club. The Augusta Chronicle this week reported that the club, under its shadow LLC, Berckman Residential Properties, has purchased Jay’s Music Center, located at the corner of Washington and Berckmans roads, just across the street from the Masters home. The store had been on that site for 25 years, and now will have to move out within the next few weeks, but the owner isn’t complaining. The  3/4-acre property with an assessed value of $637,900 sold for $5.35 million. No word on what the club plans to do with its new 5,600-square-foot retail space (possibly the first Masters Burger drive-in?). Over the past few years the Augusta National has spent more than $50 million buying up over 100 acres of property contiguous to its pristine acreage, converting the land into parking lots, practice ranges, hospitality areas, and now a new media center—all to be used just one week a year. 

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Nov 14, 2016 | 06:37 am

Spiffed Up Courses Await Winter Visitors

Heading to the South or Southwest to escape winter and play some golf? A number of top resorts have renovated their courses in anticipation of snowbirds. Among them:

  • Tiburon Golf Club, Naples, Fla. Greg Norman enlarged and regrassed all the greens, added new bunkers, widened fairways, and cleaned out trees on the Gold Course, which hosts the Franklin Templeton Shootout and the LPGA’s CME Group Tour Championship
  • PGA Golf Club, Port St. Lucie, Fla. The Tom Fazio-designed Wanamaker Course was renovated earlier this year, and now it’s Pete Dye’s Dye Course that has received all-new, genetically modified turf while the greens were returned to their original sizes and the bunkers redone.
  • Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate, Orlando, Fla. Another Norman project, his International Course has all new Bermuda grasses while the greens were expanded and the greenside bunkers restored to their original sizes. The National Course will receive its own reworking next spring.
  • The Wigwam, Litchfield Park, Ariz. The Patriot and Gold Courses (shown above), both designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., were significantly touched up. The Patriot has a new irrigation system while 31 bunkers were removed and the remaining 38 reshaped with a splash-up, flat-top design. The Gold lost 30 bunkers, moved those that remained into more strategic locations, and gave them a classic “sod-down” design with grass flowing over the faces.
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