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Sep 06, 2013 | 11:47 AM

Save The Date!

Get your calendars out. Calendars for 2016, that is. It’s going to be a momentous year, and not just because there’s a Presidential election. In the golf world, along with the four majors, there’s a Ryder Cup and, for the first time in more than a century, Olympic golf to slot in. Which is why a datebook comes in handy. Since the Rio Olympics will take up most of August 2016, the PGA Championship—to be held at Baltusrol in New Jersey (above)—is being pushed back, most likely to the last week of July. As a result of that move, the British Open—at Royal Troon, on Scotland’s west coast—probably will be moved back a week or two from its usual third-week-in-July date; final confirmation should come soon. For the moment, the Masters and U.S. Open (at Pittsburgh’s Oakmont, June 16-19) appear safe. But you never know, so for now you might want to write in those dates in pencil.

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Sep 05, 2013 | 10:06 AM

Golf on the Gomorrah?

Ibiza—smallest of the three principal Balearic islands (just east of Spain in the Mediterranean)—is, according to your source, a legendary dusk-to-dawn party capital, an ancient crossroads founded by the Phoenicians in 654 B.C. replete with Punic ruins, or an up-and-coming golf destination. As to the last, Spanish developer Grupo Empresas Matutes, which recently opened the Ushuaia Ibiza Beach Hotel and Ushuaia Tower, has plans to build an 18-hole public-access course with a golf school and driving range. The golf facility has been identified as a prospective boost to off-season tourism on Ibiza and hopes to piggyback on the success of the larger island of Majorca, which offers more than 20 courses, many open year-round. One hurdle: large portions of the island are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Environmental factors and the preservation of antiquities will need to be considered, though a recent survey by the Balearic Institute for Advanced Social Studies indicates that 68% of Ibizans are in favor of a public course. If built, will the golf course, like many of Ibiza’s beaches, be clothing optional? Watch for sunburn!

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Sep 04, 2013 | 08:30 AM

Out of the Closet

Always wanted to own a piece of Masters history? Now’s your chance, but time’s running out. You have until 8 pm on Saturday to acquire the green jacket awarded to the tournament’s first champion, Horton Smith, at greenjacketauctions.com. Current bid: $66,252. Although that’s close to what the site sold Doug Ford’s 1957 jacket for three years ago, two years ago it sold one that Bobby Jones may have worn for $310,700. Though it does sell other golf memorabilia, tracking down the emerald garments is the site’s passion, obviously, and Smith’s jacket is a little like the Holy Grail since every other jacket was accounted for except Smith’s. Who had it, or even if it still existed, was a bit of a mystery. Turns out Smith’s brother Ren, who was also a professional golfer, inherited the jacket after Horton passed away in 1963. He then left it to his second wife who left it to her two sons who stuck in a closet and pretty much forgot about it. They tried to give it to Augusta 15 years ago but the club reportedly wasn’t interested, so it went back in the closet until they read about Al Geiberger netting $130,000 in April for his memorabilia on Green Jacket Auctions. Smith’s jacket doesn’t actually date to the first Masters in 1934 but to 1949 when the club retroactively awarded jackets to the nine different winners between 1934–1948 (it wasn’t held from ’43–’45 while Smith, Bryon Nelson, and Jimmy Demaret were given only one green jacket despite each winning twice).

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Sep 03, 2013 | 10:16 AM

The Ultimate Big, Bad Buddy Trip

Have $164,000 you don’t know what to do with? A web-based outfit called VeryFirstTo.com is offering 60 ostentatious golfers the opportunity to commandeer their own Boeing 767 jet for a 44-day, 15-country marathon. The itinerary is not what a golf traditionalist might expect: It's a tropical/Southern Hemisphere jaunt that includes Peru, Easter Island, Fiji, Samoa, India, and Angkor Wat as well as Australia, New Zealand, and Argentina, with the only high-profile golf course the Emirates in Dubai (above). But hey, there are plenty of wine tastings and spa treatments on the schedule, former Tour player Keith Clearwater will be on hand to give clinics, and there’s a trip-long competition where the first prize is a BMW Z4. It all begins on New Years Day, with the point of departure—appropriately enough—Las Vegas.

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