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Sep 30, 2015 | 10:40 am

A-Bandoned

There's not much Mike Keiser and Gil Hanse can't accomplish in the world of golf-course development, but then, they've probably never had to deal with the Bureau of Land Management. Keiser has just decided to terminate Bandon Links, 15 miles south of his renowned resort on the southern coast of Oregon, because the BLM, which has jurisdiction over a 280-acre section of the land, wouldn't allow Keiser to charge out-of-state tourists $200 to $250 a round. Coos and Curry county residents would have been able to play the world-class design by Hanse for as little as $10, and up to 200 high school students annually would have earned money caddying. But the BLM advised Keiser that all green fees must be commensurate with other golf courses on BLM lands. Adequate well water was also an issue. "As a result of these problems," said Keiser, "I am abandoning the Bandon Links project and will seek a site where the same programs would be viable." The BLM gave much of the Bandon State Natural Area (pictured above) to the state in 1968, under the condition that it remain a park, but last year the Oregon State Parks Commission agreed to sell Keiser a big slice of 878-acre park in exchange for $2.5 million, 216 acres of land elsewhere on the coast, and money to help rid the area of gorse, an invasive plant.

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Sep 29, 2015 | 09:05 am

Premature Celebration

The art of pre-event hype reached a new high—or was it low—with the "Ryder Cup Year to Go" celebration staged yesterday in Minneapolis. Opposing captains Davis Love III and Darren Clarke were trotted out to receive jerseys (all but inexplicably) from the five Minnesota sports teams as Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and PGA of America President Derek Sprague exchanged platitudes while proclaiming this Ryder Cup Week, despite its being 365 days too early. The 41st biennial matches will take place at Hazeltine GC in Chaska, MN, September 26-October 2016.

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Sep 28, 2015 | 09:05 am

Trump On The Rocks

Donald Trump has something about walls. No, not just here but in Ireland, where he wants to build one at the Doonbeg Golf Resort that he bought last year. According to the Belfast Telegraph, the club, in County Clare on Ireland’s west coast, has asked permission to build a 1.8-mile wall of boulders—200,000 tons of them—that will stop the beach erosion along the 6th, 9th (shown above), and 10th holes. Politician that he is, Trump said he wants to invest $50 million in the resort, including more rooms, amenities, and a banquet hall, but won’t unless he’s allowed to build that wall. The resort noted that the boulders won’t be any higher than an existing fence and that similar walls have helped save the beaches at notable Irish courses Tralee, Waterville, and Lahinch. An environmental impact statement is in the works and hopes are the wall will begin going up next summer.

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Sep 25, 2015 | 06:21 am

Drive For Dough, Dough For Driving

GolfNow, the tee-time-reservation service, and Uber, the alternative to taxis and car ownership, have formed a digital partnership that will not only affect the future of golf, but can save you money right now. This weekend—September 25-27—the two companies are running a promotion that offers Uber riders a discount on golf as well as surprise gifts and the chance to win free golf for a year. Anyone who uses Uber this weekend will automatically receive a discount on the next round of golf as well as being entered in the free-golf giveaway. And anyone who uses the GolfNow option on Uber’s app will be eligible to win golf prize packages (except where prohibited). The promotion is in effect in Orange County, Calif., as well as 10 cities—Charlotte, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Myrtle Beach, Orlando, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Tampa, and Tucson. Go to uber.com to get the app. And expect more news from the two companies—drives to your drives?—starting next year.

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