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Sep 04, 2013 | 08:30 AM

Out of the Closet

Always wanted to own a piece of Masters history? Now’s your chance, but time’s running out. You have until 8 pm on Saturday to acquire the green jacket awarded to the tournament’s first champion, Horton Smith, at greenjacketauctions.com. Current bid: $66,252. Although that’s close to what the site sold Doug Ford’s 1957 jacket for three years ago, two years ago it sold one that Bobby Jones may have worn for $310,700. Though it does sell other golf memorabilia, tracking down the emerald garments is the site’s passion, obviously, and Smith’s jacket is a little like the Holy Grail since every other jacket was accounted for except Smith’s. Who had it, or even if it still existed, was a bit of a mystery. Turns out Smith’s brother Ren, who was also a professional golfer, inherited the jacket after Horton passed away in 1963. He then left it to his second wife who left it to her two sons who stuck in a closet and pretty much forgot about it. They tried to give it to Augusta 15 years ago but the club reportedly wasn’t interested, so it went back in the closet until they read about Al Geiberger netting $130,000 in April for his memorabilia on Green Jacket Auctions. Smith’s jacket doesn’t actually date to the first Masters in 1934 but to 1949 when the club retroactively awarded jackets to the nine different winners between 1934–1948 (it wasn’t held from ’43–’45 while Smith, Bryon Nelson, and Jimmy Demaret were given only one green jacket despite each winning twice).

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Sep 03, 2013 | 10:16 AM

The Ultimate Big, Bad Buddy Trip

Have $164,000 you don’t know what to do with? A web-based outfit called VeryFirstTo.com is offering 60 ostentatious golfers the opportunity to commandeer their own Boeing 767 jet for a 44-day, 15-country marathon. The itinerary is not what a golf traditionalist might expect: It's a tropical/Southern Hemisphere jaunt that includes Peru, Easter Island, Fiji, Samoa, India, and Angkor Wat as well as Australia, New Zealand, and Argentina, with the only high-profile golf course the Emirates in Dubai (above). But hey, there are plenty of wine tastings and spa treatments on the schedule, former Tour player Keith Clearwater will be on hand to give clinics, and there’s a trip-long competition where the first prize is a BMW Z4. It all begins on New Years Day, with the point of departure—appropriately enough—Las Vegas.

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Sep 02, 2013 | 06:50 AM

William C. Campbell, 1923-2013

Golf lost one of its true gentlemen when Bill Campbell died last Friday at age 90 at his home in Lewisburg, West Virginia. His record of achievements as an amateur is spectacular: He won the West Virginia Amateur a record 15 times from 1949-75 and the state’s Open three times; he played on eight Walker Cup teams from 1951-75 (never losing a singles match or playing on a losing team); he won the U.S. Amateur in 1964, the U.S. Senior Amateur in 1979 and ’80, and the North & South Amateur four times. He also competed in the U.S. Amateur 37 times, the U.S. Open 14 times, and the Masters 17 times. Campbell also was a respected administrator, serving as president of the USGA in 1982-3 and on its Executive Committee for 10 years. He was named Captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews in 1987, making him the only man to reach the top of golf’s two governing bodies. A member of the World Golf Hall of Fame and PGA Hall of Fame, Campbell won the Bob Jones Award for Distinguished Sportsmanship—the USGA’s highest honor—in 1956. The USGA’s statement upon his death noted that Campbell was “one of the game’s great champions and finest gentlemen.” Very true. He set the ultimate example for everyone who plays and loves golf.

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Aug 30, 2013 | 06:32 AM

More Than Just The Old Course

Even casual golfers know that St. Andrews, Scotland, is the home of golf. But what they and many knowledgeable players don’t realize is that the Kingdom of Fife—a surprisingly small county on Scotland’s east coast—offers many more golf opportunities than just the Old Course, 43 courses in all, in fact. Hoping to get that word out, local tourism authorities have produced a downloadable guide to seven “Fife Golf Trails,” promising seven very different golf experiences. There’s the “Classic Links Trail,” combining the St. Andrews courses with Kingsbarns and Lundin Links, as well as trails of Open Championship qualifying courses, a Ladies’ Trail, a Golf Gourmet Trail that features nearby fine dining, and three others. Definitely something for every taste, and every trail a delight.

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