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Jun 25, 2015 | 10:14 am

Costly Miss

Dustin Johnson wasn't the only one disappointment when he missed the ealge putt on the 72nd hole to win the U.S. Open (not to mention the come-back three-footer). So were a lot of PGA Tour Superstore customers who had bought a new TaylorMade driver between May 18–June 17. No doubt you saw the commerical where Johnson said, "If I win, you win," where anyone who bought an R15 or AeroBurner driver would get the price ($430 and $350, respectively) refunded if Johnson won the U.S. Open. Usually, those kinds of promotions are more hype than hope, but with Johnson considered one of the favorites headed into the national championship at Chambers Bay (he went off 25-1), there was a real possibility of getting a free driver. In fact, PGA Superstore, which is owned by Golf and Tennis Proshop out of Atlanta, was on the hook for more than $500,000 to roughly 1,500 customers. Actually, their insurance company was the one who would have paid up, so the company was really pulling for Johnson to win. "We were on the edge of our seats," says Chief Marketing Officer Matt Corey. A few hundred bucks is nothing, though, compared to the guy, Headchopper, who lost $900,000 on Draftkings.com because of Johnson's missed eagle, although he did get $100,000 for coming in second in the fantasy league.

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Jun 24, 2015 | 10:58 am

Dry Humor

Jimmy Fallon is a golf fan and loves to play the game, so it's not a big surprise he worked in a few U.S. Open jokes during his monologue Monday night. He even got in a little nod to Johnny Carson with a golf swing. He congratulated Jordan Spieth on winning the tournament, but added about the 21 year old, "You can tell he's young because he's never heard of any of the products they advertise during golf tournaments. He's like, 'What the hell is Levitra?'" He also congratulated Tiger Woods on finding a locket when he was retrieving his ball from the lake. Ouch! But the funniest bit was a video gag about the dried-out greens where the hole coughs out the ball. "Dry greens," he joked. "That's not good."

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Jun 23, 2015 | 01:22 pm

Auld Grey Tomes

With the U.S. Open now behind us, attention focuses on the British Open, St. Andrews, and Jordan Spieth’s continued pursuit of the Grand Slam. Just in time, a pair of sumptuous new books have appeared. St Andrews—in the Footsteps of Old Tom Morris by Roger McStravick sheds new light on the history of the town, its most famous citizen, and several others who contributed mightily to the Home of Golf. Numerous previously unpublished photos, unveiled with the help of the R&A and the University of St. Andrews, paint a vivid portrait of 19th Century life in the town. A consumer edition (about $125) and two limited editions are available through thegolfbookshop.com. Links to St. Andrews is a collection of love letters to the Auld Grey Toon, assembled by Joshua Evenson who fell in love with St. Andrews when he attended the university. Among the 100 diverse contributors are Arnold Palmer, Jim Nantz, Tom Doak, James Dodson, and Sir Michael Bonallack. The book is lavishly illustrated, beautifully designed, and available for $150 as of July 1, 2015.


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Jun 22, 2015 | 06:42 am

Is Golf Good For You?

When walked, the average round of golf is about five miles. At Chambers Bay last week, participants in the U.S. Open walked about 10 miles due to the layout and elevation of that course. So is golf exercise? National Public Radio, along with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, recently asked that question of 2,500 adult golfers in the U.S. Most said they thought the game was good for them, as it got them out into the fresh air, relieved stress, and stretched the muscles with swings. But the experts aren’t quite as kind to golf, which the same survey says is the most played sport in the country by adults. Stanford University found that golf offers less exercise than juggling, while others say that unless the course is walked a round of golf offers almost no health benefits at all. And as for that stress-relief claim, we have only one question: Really?

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