Jul 11, 2014 | 06:38 AM

Golden Gate Golf Galore

The pros are going to be seeing a lot of San Francisco in the next few years, thanks to a deal struck among the city, the PGA Tour, and the PGA of America. Three big events will be held at TPC Harding Park (above), a muni owned by the City by the Bay—next year’s World Golf Championships-Match Play Championship, the 2020 PGA Championship, and the 2025 Presidents Cup. It’s “the first time that the PGA Tour and the PGA have announced a series of events that are coordinated in this kind of fashion,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem. Along with the new venue, the Match Play Championship gets new dates—April 27-May 3, 2015—and a new format, which resembles what we just saw in soccer’s World Cup: 64 players, divided into 16 groups of four, play round-robin matches within each group; the player with the best record in each group advances to a round of 16, single-elimination match play, followed by quarterfinals, semis, and the championship match. It sounds better already.

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Jul 10, 2014 | 11:33 AM

The Art of Putting

Few have merged putter fitting, new technology and merchandising like Scotty Cameron. All of those elements are now on display in his very own gallery just north of San Diego. Located in a former surf shop in Ecinitas, The Scotty Cameron Gallery is described by the man himself as “part retail space, part high-end product gallery, 100-percent putter fitting facility.” The latter comes in two-hour sessions that cost $350 and are available by appointment only via the website or by calling 760-591-9720. Open Tuesday through Saturday, The Gallery includes items beyond putters too. “We will have things here that you won't see any place else in the world,” Cameron said. “When people come into the Gallery, we want them to feel the craftsmanship, the vibe, the experience. This is a place where you come to get fit and learn about your putting stroke, but also to get something that there's only one of in the world.” 

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Jul 09, 2014 | 01:11 PM

Plane Lucky

Ah, the life of a PGA Tour pro. Not only do they get to play for a $4.7 million in prize money this week at the John Deere Classic, but those lucky enough to qualify for the Open Championship will have a private jet waiting to whisk them over to Royal Liverpool as soon as the tournament ends on Sunday. This is the seventh year that the John Deere has arranged for a charter flight right from Quad Cities International to the Open venue. Twenty-three players are headed over this year on the all-first class 767 and at least two-thirds of them wouldn’t be playing the John Deere without the perk, which includes hassle-free customs and security screening. (The number could rise to 24 as the highest top five finisher not otherwise in the Open also qualifies. Last year that was Jordan Spieth, whose playoff win delayed the flight by 45 minutes.) The jet can carry 100 passengers so players can buy a minimum of three seats for caddie, wife, friends, etc. at a cost of $1,500 per seat, which the tournament donates to charity (one year Tom Lehman bought six seats). Only problem once the players get to England: they’re on their own getting home. Oh, the indignity!

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Jul 08, 2014 | 11:27 AM

Rails To Rounds In Scotland

A just-launched website offers golf travelers a new way to navigate Scotland—by train. Turns out, more than 400 of Scotland’s 597 courses are within a half-hour cab ride of train stations, and some of the very best (i.e., Carnoustie, North Berwick, Prestwick) are within walking distance. Now has assembled all the information you need to ride the rails from links to links. The site includes complete Scotrail timetables and you can search for courses by location, price, and distance from the station. All aboard!

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