Apr 25, 2014 | 11:02 AM

This Is Not What Hack Golf Has In Mind

With all the news, noise, and notoriety this week about 15-inch holes and other ways to introduce golf to new players, here is one idea we promise they are not considering. It's called "Roller Golf," and it was played on NBC's "Tonight Show" the other night between host Jimmy Fallon and movie star Cameron Diaz. We simply offer it as a funny, silly sign-off to an otherwise heavy-duty week, a little levity to ease you into the weekend. However, we know that Fallon, a new golfer, is getting pretty serious about the game—in fact, here is a video of him holing out a bunker shot on a "real" golf course—and it looks as if Ms. Diaz has swung a golf club before. So maybe there is new hope for the old game yet.

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Apr 23, 2014 | 03:02 PM

Tiger Tour

Tiger Woods might not be playing much golf these days, but he sure is hosting a lot of tournaments. In addition to the three he already is involved with—the Quicken Loans National in June, the Tiger Woods Invitational at Pebble Beach in October (a private event for big donors to his foundation), and the World Challenge in December—he's backing a series of amateur tournaments, the Tiger Woods Charity Playoffs, at some of the best private clubs in the country with all proceeds going to his foundation. For $500 per player on most courses, a $1,000 charity pledge, and a fundraising goal, two-person teams with the best low net and gross score from each regional site, along with any team that raises $10,000 or more, qualify for the Charity Playoff Finals on Dec. 1–2 at Walt Disney World Resort. Finalists gets two days of golf, two nights in the Four Seasons Resort, a private exhibition with Woods and other PGA Tour pros, and clubhouse credentials to the World Challenge, which is moving from Southern California to Isleworth in Orlando this year. The grand prize, however, will go to the team that raises the most money: They'll get pro-am spots in the three PGA Tour-sanctioned events for 2015. The first qualifier takes place May 27 at Cascata in Las Vegas. Other courses include Congressional (June 2), Merion (June 9), Sherwood Country Club (Sept. 15) and Myopia Hunt (Oct. 16).

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Apr 22, 2014 | 08:18 AM

Dawson To Retire

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews announced today that Peter Dawson, who has been the organization’s Secretary and Chief Executive of The R&A for the past 16 years, will retire in September 2015. Dawson has played a key role in the evolution of the R&A, including in the forming of separate companies to run The Open and other businesses, which, according to the release sent to members, “enabled The R&A to focus on its governance role, running successful championships and supporting the growth of the game around the world and the Club to concentrate on catering for the needs of its more than 2,000 Members.” Dawson has taken a strong hand in key Rules issues, including strong opposition to the anchored putting stroke. He supported golf’s return to the Olympics and recently came out in favor of the R&A admitting women, an issue that will be voted on by members this September. The R&A has hired a search firm to help them find his replacement.

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Apr 21, 2014 | 06:14 AM

Taiwan Tee Time

Myanmar. Vietnam. China. Add another Asian country to the list of those trying to build golf tourism: Taiwan. There are more than 70 golf courses in the country—which measures about 14,000 square miles and has a population of 24 million—and the government is kicking off a golf-t0urism campaign this week at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic Golf Tournament, April 21-27 at Lake Merced Golf Club outside San Francisco. At the tournament, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau will have a booth featuring an eight-foot-tall inflatable “Taiwan Tourism” heart, a seven-foot-tall tea statue, and an outdoor staircase in the shape of a Taiwanese pineapple cake. Inside the booth will be information on golf in Taiwan, while on the island are new road signs and maps directing travelers to courses and other means of promoting local golf, including plans for a golf-specific website. Swinging Skirts is a private non-profit group based in Taiwan working to grow women’s golf and the golf industry in the country: The tournament is the first golf event in the U.S. co-sponsored by a Taiwanese concern.

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