Sep 10, 2014 | 11:36 AM

Labor of Love

Say what you will about President Obama, but he sure loves his golf, but not everyone loves that he golfs. You'll remember that he was roundly criticized for playing golf on Aug. 20th while on vacation in Martha's Vineyard just minutes after making a strong and emotional public statement about the beheading of journalist James Foley, which he expressed some misgivings about this past Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press. "I should have anticpated the optics," he told Chuck Todd. "Part of this job is also the theater of it. It's not something that always comes naturally to me, but it matters." Over Labor Day weekend, Obama tried to play golf at a private club in Westchester County, just north of New York City, but was rebuffed, according to a report today by the local NBC affiliate in New York. Trump National, Winged Foot (pictured), and Willow Ridge all turned down the First Duffer because they didn't want to inconvenience their powerful members on the last weekend of summer (no one else can be on the course). Obama was in the area that weekend for a fundraising event and planned to spend Friday night to attend the Saturday evening wedding of White House chef Sam Kass to MSNBC host Alex Wagner. Instead of staying over and playing golf Saturday morning, he flew home and spent some time with his family before flying back up on Saturday.

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Sep 09, 2014 | 02:41 PM

LACC In 2023?

If you can wait a few years, you may finally get a peak inside the gates of the very exclusive Los Angeles Country Club. The Los Angeles Times reports that LACC and the USGA have agreed to hold the 2023 U.S. Open over the highly regarded North Course (presently number 39 on the LINKS100 World Rankings; number 21 on the U.S. list). Holding the event isn’t a done deal: Club members have to vote on the proposal. A letter went out to the membership last week and the results could be known—at least within the club—by October. The North Course was originally designed by George C. Thomas, who also did Riviera and Bel-Air, and was treated to a restoration at the hands of Gil Hanse finished in 2010. The club is famous for its aversion to publicity, and for years was known for not admitting anyone from the “industry,” LA-speak for the movie business. If the club agrees to holding the Open—the first in Los Angeles since Ben Hogan won at Riviera in 1948—it will have to admit Fox Sports’ TV crew, and their equipment, too. But in a town famous for spending millions on blockbusters, we have to believe the club won’t be disappointed by its share of the box office.

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Sep 08, 2014 | 02:15 PM

Coming To A Theater Near You: The Donald!

Donald Trump has already been a TV star, so why not boffo at the box office? He's slated to be the subject of a movie, called “Trumped,” that will recount the mogul’s attempts to acquire the land for his course near Aberdeen, Scotland: The course was built, of course, but a number of locals objected to the plans and refused to sell, leading to a messy and very public spat. The script is being handled by Scotsman John Collee, who wrote “Master and Commander” and “Happy Feet,” and Anthony Baxter, who’s already made a documentary about the billionaire’s Scottish activities, called “You’ve Been Trumped.” Producing will be Chris Young, who said the film could be a “‘Local Hero’ for the 21st century,” while calling it “a cross between ‘The Full Monty’ and ‘Seven Samurai,’” whatever that means. Young also said he was looking for a top Hollywood actor to play The Donald and suggested “someone like Alec Baldwin.” Asked what he thought of the moviemakers’ plans, Trump said he hoped they’d get “somebody good-looking” to play him.

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Sep 05, 2014 | 09:28 AM

The Rocky Road to Rio

For months, The Buzz has been covering the progress of the golf course being built for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Despite numerous problems, construction has continued—if delayed—and it’s always been assumed that the Gil Hanse-designed layout will be ready in time. But the latest bump in the rocky road looks to be the biggest yet, with a local judge ruling that changes must be made to the course to meet “environmental concerns.” As reported here a few weeks ago, large sections of Atlantic rainforest are being taken over by the course. The judge has given the prosecutors—who sued the city of Rio and the course developer—until September 17 to offer a proposal that would protect as much land as possible while letting the course be built. Judge Eduardo Klausner said, “It is in society’s interests that the Olympics take place and it’s also in society’s interests that the environment be preserved.” A forest engineer working with the government said that the damage is not irreversible. According to Yahoo Sports, “She proposed the creation of a 400 meter- (yard-) wide corridor to allow for the circulation of animals between the wooded areas on either side of the course.” Speaking for the International Golf Federation, Ty Votaw has said, “There are contingency plans. What they are is not something we’re going to share right now.” We may start hearing more about those plans soon.

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