Mar 31, 2014 | 10:29 AM

Rio Olympics: Downbeat Update

To almost no one’s surprise, the golf course being built for the 2016 Olympics in Rio won’t be ready as soon as hoped, but it should be ready for the big games. Peter Dawson, who is president of the International Golf Federation (as well as Chief Executive of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews), recently visited the site and said that the course probably will not be ready to host a test event scheduled for summer 2015. With what can only be regarded as British reserve, he said, “We are not satisfied…. However, I still think it will be ready in time for the Olympics.” Notice, he said “think.” He also said “There are other courses in Rio but there is no Plan B at present because I don’t think we’ll need one.” Notice, he said “at present.” According to the website, which covers the Olympics, other officials of the 2016 games expressed confidence in the preparations and that the course “would be ready in time.” As always, the whole world is watching.

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Mar 28, 2014 | 11:20 AM

The Iron is Hot

One of two sets of irons Ben Hogan used during his historic 1953 season is officially up for sale at—the site’s first great piece of Hogan memorabilia. Right now the current bid is $7,320 but the set of seven irons is expected to fetch somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000. The USGA has the other set in its museum, but it’s unclear which tournaments Hogan won with the set up for auction. (The Hawk entered only five events that year, but won all of them, including the Masters, U.S. Open, and British Open.) In all likelihood, he probably mixed the sets because the serial number on the 9-iron pictured matches the set at the USGA. The clubs have spent the last 40 years locked in the garage of Champions Tour player Jimmy Powell, who received them as a gift from a friend of Hogan’s, Dennis Lavender, the head pro at Dallas’ Stevens Park Golf Course for whom Powell used to caddie.

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Mar 27, 2014 | 11:00 AM

Casting Votes

Scotland’s Royal & Ancient Golf Club, founded a mere 260 years ago, will vote this September on allowing women members (on the same day that Scotland votes on independence from the United Kingdom). So why now? "You can always ask that question: 'Why now? Why not 10 years ago?' The R&A have been considering this. It's been on our agenda, on our radar, for quite some time," said Peter Dawson, R&A chief executive. "The feeling is as society changes, as sport changes, as golf changes, it's something the R&A needs to do, and is doing now as being forward-looking as we can." If the vote is positive as expected, then the spotlight will shift to quickly to all-male Royal Troon, venue for the 2016 Open Championship. Few predict that club, founded only 136 years ago, will take the same forward-looking approach. 

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Mar 25, 2014 | 10:28 PM

A Full Cup

Even though this year’s Ryder Cup Matches are being held across the sea at Gleneagles in Perthshire, Scotland, September 26-28, fans on this side of the Atlantic won’t have to miss a minute of the competition. NBC Sports Group has announced that through its two channels, NBC and Golf Channel, the Cup will be broadcast in its entirety in the U.S. Friday’s day-one matches will air on Golf Channel from 2:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. For the weekend, coverage shifts to NBC, from 3 a.m. till 1 p.m. on Saturday, then 7 a.m. till 1 p.m. on Sunday (all times Eastern). That’s 26.5 hours of live golf, the most-ever for a European-based event. NBC has grown cozier with the PGA of America since losing rights to broadcast the U.S. Open, which shifts to Fox Sports in 2015. NBC also will air Ryder Cup preview shows, features, and updates; the opening and closing ceremonies; highlight shows on various networks that are part of NBCUniversal; and Spanish-language shows on Telemundo and Mun2. NBC and Golf Channel coverage also will be streamed live on NBC Sports Live Extra and Golf Live Extra. So come late September, there will be no excuse to miss even a minute of one of golf’s greatest events.

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