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Oct 30, 2013 | 12:21 PM

A Good Bet

It looks like we finally might a get a golf movie that truly captures the essence of the game (translation: it won’t be a hokey bunch of crap with actors who can’t play). That’s because it’s being produced and directed by a real golfer, Terry Jastrow, a longtime Bel-Air member and TV talent who’s directed 60 major championships including 21 straight U.S. Opens (not to mention six Olympic games and many other sporting events; he also quite ably defended LACC North in our spring 2013 issue “Which Is Better?”). Principal photography began Oct. 21 in Wilmington, N.C., at four courses—Eagle Point, Beau Rivage, Cape Fear, and Wilmington Muni—and will wrap in Las Vegas around Nov. 14 at Dragon Ridge and Wynn Las Vegas. The story centers around a 20-year-old hotshot played by Jeremy Sumpter who is approached by a gambler (Chris McDonald) after winning the City Championship by 15 shots. McDonald convinces him to give up his dream of playing in the U.S. Open for high-stake matches, ending in a million-dollar game in Sin City against a mobster played by Michael Nouri. In the shot above obtained exclusively by The Buzz, Sumpter is reenacting a “cross-country golf” game similar to one Jastrow used to play growing up in Midland, Texas, with players teeing off with one club from the courthouse lawn and race/play to hole-out at the 18th of the muni a mile and a half away. That’s Jastrow tending the flag as they block out a shot.

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Oct 29, 2013 | 11:57 AM

Horny Superintendents

The thrifty Scots at Machrihanish Dunes GC, on the Mull of Kintyre, have found a way to hold down maintenance costs during the winter, despite hiring a seasonal staff of 40 locals. The workers began this week—a herd of 40 Hebridean sheep, enlisted as part of the celebration of the Year of Natural Scotland. The natural greenkeepers have been a hit with visiting golfers while also securing Machrihanish Dunes recognition from the British Travel Agents as the “Number 1 Eco Golf Course in the World.” Not bad for a bunch of black sheep.

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Oct 28, 2013 | 11:33 AM

A Great Short Drive

The Buzz usually doesn’t do much traffic reporting, but a new highway is destined to make life easier for traveling golfers. It’s called the La Romana Bypass, it’s in the Dominican Republic, and it’s only eight miles long. But upon opening in late November, the four-lane highway should reduce driving time between the capital city of Santo Domingo (and its airport) and La Romana—site of Casa de Campo, the top golf resort in the Caribbean and home of Pete Dye’s legendary “Teeth of the Dog” course (that’s the 15th hole, above)—to an hour, less than half what the trip takes now. The “Circunvalacion de La Romana” also will cut the drive from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana to under two hours. To meet the December deadline and the start of the winter rush, more than 1,300 workers are going 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Gracias!

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Oct 25, 2013 | 10:48 AM

Ko Is A "Go"

The last few months, there’s been no better story in women’s golf—perhaps all golf—than Lydia Ko, the 16-year-old amateur sensation from New Zealand. Last January, at 14, she became the youngest golfer to win a pro event (a record subsequently broken), then became the youngest-ever winner of an LPGA event, capturing last year’s CN Canadian Women’s Open at 15 years, 4 months. But she wasn’t done: This past summer, she repeated at the Canadian Open then finished second at the Evian Championship, two strokes behind Suzann Pettersen. Originally hinting that she’d turn pro next year, Ko has surprised the golf world yet again by announcing her plans in a charming video (click on the arrow in the box above). If you’re neither a Kiwi nor a rugby fan, you might not know that her playing partner in the video is Israel Dagg, a star on New Zealand’s famous All Blacks rugby team. And while their “match” might not be the best golf action you’ll seen this year, it presages an endearing, exciting star—and a potential powerhouse on the ladies’ tour.

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