Nov 13, 2014 | 02:33 pm

Marking Time

Slow play is the issue that most frustrates golfers at every level of the game. Aside from three putts, of course. Even though it’s incumbent upon every golfer to play faster, the USGA is creating a tool to help courses identify where the bottlenecks are occurring. The prototype device, called a Flagstick Monitoring Tool, places a Processing and Communications Unit (photo) in the center of the flagstick to help courses keep track of the pace of play. It records the time between when the flagstick is first pulled out of the hole by a group and when it is placed back in the hole after that group is done putting. That information is then sent via a radio antenna to a computer, tablet or cell phone used by the course. When noticeable delays between group times occur, the course will know and should do something about it, thereby preventing delays that would surely follow. Will it help? Time will tell.

PHOTO: Courtesy USGA

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Nov 12, 2014 | 04:28 pm

Love Conquers All

Davis Love III has claimed another victory at Sea Pines. The five-time winner of the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town on Hilton Head Island, S.C., just landed the renovation work for the resort’s—and the island’s—first golf course, the Ocean Course, beating out fellow tour pros Tom Watson and Ernie Els. (George Cobb was responsible for the first layout, which opened in 1962, while Mark McCumber completed a remodel in 1995.) Davis’ brother Mark, who works closely with Davis in their design company, tells The Buzz that the footprint will remain generally the same, but that’s about it. “The plan is to reduce amount of water in play where possible and open things up where we can, much like our renovation of the Retreat course at Sea Island,” he says. “We will focus on interesting greens that are open in front for the most part and a little larger than what exists at Herron Point and Harbour Town, with large, closely mown green surrounds for variety of options around greens. We’re also going to mprove the drainage to try and promote more ground-game characteristics.” The new owner of the Sea Pines, Bill Goodwin, sure is investing a lot of money in the resort. In addition to a brand new clubhouse to serve the Herron Point and Ocean courses, Harbour Town is also getting a new clubhouse. The Ocean Course remodel is expected to take a year with the course shutting down next October.

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Nov 11, 2014 | 06:31 am

Flying The Flag

The Japanese company Bridgestone Golf has manufactured some of its balls in the U.S. for years. But as of next February, all of its premium golf balls will be made at its North American headquarters in Covington, Georgia, near Atlanta. The company is celebrating the move with a limited-edition version of its B330-RX ball that features “USA” stamped on one side in an Old Glory-like red, white, and blue. The ball, now available, also comes in similarly colored sleeves and boxes. Company officials expect the ball—which is the same formula as the existing B330-RX, designed for optimum performance from amateur swing speeds—to sell out quickly at $45 a dozen.

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Nov 10, 2014 | 06:04 am

A Rare Juli

It’s a busy time for LPGA Hall of Famer Juli Inkster. She’s preparing to captain next year’s Solheim Cup team when American women take on the Europeans at Golf Club St Leon-Rot near Heidelberg, Germany, on September 18-20, 2015. She just played in her first LPGA Legends event, finishing second yesterday to Meg Mallon at the Walgreen’s Charity Championship in Florida, and says she’s planning to play in a few more Legends events next year. Plus, according to Golf Channel, she will become part of Fox Sports’ golf-announce team when the network begins its USGA coverage in 2015. “I’ve always been busy, I like to stay busy, and you know me, I love golf,” Inkster told Golf Channel. She has a little bit of TV experience, having worked with Golf Channel for five events, but, as she admits, “I’ve never done a men’s event. So, I feel like I’ve got a lot to learn. The good thing is that everyone is going to be new at Fox.”

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