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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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Aug 29, 2013 | 10:27 AM

Bermuda: Still In The Pink?

The buzz around Bermuda—the pastel-colored British colony that boasts more golf courses per square mile than any country in the world—is that Pink Beach Club & Cottages, set on a seaside estate in exclusive Tucker’s Town, has been purchased. The low-key property, which has been in receivership for three years (although it never closed), will be upgraded and reopened as a five-star resort by 2015 under the management of Capella Hotel Group. Golfers loved Pink Beach because it offers guests access on selected weekdays to Mid Ocean Club (shown above), Bermuda’s premier layout. This magnificent 1921 design by C.B. Macdonald is home to the original “Cape” hole, here the 5th, a dogleg par four across a body of water that invites players to cut off as much of the lake as they dare on their drives. All are hopeful that the revitalized property will retain this valuable connection to one of golf's masterpieces.

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Aug 28, 2013 | 11:47 AM

Open House

British Open champion Phil Mickelson and his wife, Amy, just dropped the price on their Mediterranean mansion in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., by $100,000 to $6.95 million—$5 million less than they first asked in 2008. The five-bedroom, 9,500-square-foot home on a 4.88-acre bluff enjoys sweeping views of the San Diego area, a swimming pool, outdoor kitchen, and putting green, as well as many other luxuries like a steam room, gym, and safe room. The master bedroom features a fireplace, sitting area, and an enormous bathroom with a fish-tank shower decorated in handmade mosaic tile. The couple bought the home in 2001 for $6 million. Maybe Mickelson is finally making good on his threat to leave California because of the high state taxes.

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Aug 27, 2013 | 08:49 AM

Should Ko Go Pro?

With a successful defense of her CN Canadian Women's Open title, Lydia Ko now has a mind-boggling four professional victories at the age of 16. Not since Bobby Jones have we seen this sort of performance by a young amateur golfer. Understandably, she’s considering turning pro. But should she? And if she petitions LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan to join the Tour, should he let her? Each of them has a difficult decision. Ko, in particular has a dilemma—continue to forfeit hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money or forfeit what remains of her youth. If she does decide to make the jump and the LPGA welcomes her, it will be interesting to see whether can retain her smiling freshness of spirit or becomes hardened to the weekly grind, whether she accepts the huge endorsement contracts that will come her way (and the time commitments that come with them), whether she’s able to perform under the pressure of the world’s expectations, and whether she becomes the next Tiger Woods or the next Michelle Wie.

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