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Aug 23, 2016 | 09:29 am

Keiser vs. The Kilts

Bandon Dunes developer Mike Keiser, whom we co-profiled with Donald Trump in the Spring Issue of LINKS, has just heightened his resemblance to The Donald—and not in a good way—with his latest venture, in the Scottish Highlands. The Sunday Glasgow Herald reports “a major row brewing” over Keiser’s plans for Coul Links, a Coore-Crenshaw course three miles north of Dornoch. The course, which is still in the planning stages, “will trash a highly protected network of sand dunes treasured for birds, insects, and plants,” said the Herald, citing one environmentalist who called it “the Trump [Aberdeen] fiasco all over again.” Another opponent declared,  “Like Trump, Keiser has a track record of getting his own way, whatever it takes, and like Trump, he seems to think protected-area laws can be torn up for his own private financial gain.” Public hearings on the project will be held this month. They may want to sell tickets.

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Aug 22, 2016 | 06:07 am

Bob Cupp, 1939-2016

Not every golf course architect achieves the notoriety of a Pete Dye, Tom Fazio, or Jack Nicklaus. One of those you might not have heard of but should, Bob Cupp, died this past Friday at age 76. Widely described as a “Renaissance man,” Cupp had a brief career as a professional golfer, wrote novels as well as books about course architecture, was an accomplished artist, as well as a blacksmith and musician. He was a senior designer for Nicklaus’s firm for 15 years before going out on his own. Among his more notable designs are Liberty National (N.J., with Tom Kite), Pumpkin Ridge (Ore.), Crosswater (Ore.), Old Waverly (Miss., with Jerry Pate), TPC Starr Pass (Ariz., with Craig Stadler), and both the Plantation (shown) and Landings courses at Reynolds Lake Oconee (Ga.). Cupp also served as the president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects in 2012-3.

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louisiana flood august 2016

Aug 19, 2016 | 06:01 am

RTJ Golf Trail Supports Flood Relief

Southern Louisiana is currently in a state of emergency due to severe flooding. So far 40,000 homes have been destroyed, 8,000 people have been displaced, and 13 have died. The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in neighboring Alabama is doing what it can to help. Ten dollars from every round of golf booked between Saturday, September 3 and Monday, September 5 at any of the trail’s 26 golf courses will go to the American Red Cross South Louisiana Flood Relief fund. "We hope this Labor Day Weekend charitable promotion will provide financial relief to Louisiana residents in need," says John Cannon, president of the RTJ Golf Trail. A complete list of Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail courses can be found here, and donations can be made directly to the Red Cross Relief Fund here.

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Aug 18, 2016 | 06:47 am

Canada: More Golf For Less Money

Thinking about a late-summer golf trip? Looking for somewhere sure to provide great rounds at great value? Then look to Canada. Thanks to a very strong U.S. dollar versus the Canadian dollar (nicknamed the “loony” for its depiction of the national bird, the common loon, on the one-dollar coin), Americans are reaping a nearly 30% bonus on their bucks at courses like Cabot Links on Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, pictured above.

As of yesterday, one Canadian dollar was worth 75 cents American, that after a steady slide over recent years. In August 2012, the two dollars were almost at parity; in fact, the Canadian dollar was worth a penny or two more than the greenback. But in August 2013 the loony was buying only 96 cents U.S., then 91 cents in 2014, and 75 cents a year ago. The Canadian dollar reached its low in February—down to 70 cents U.S.—but even at that rate it was too cold to play in our neighbor to the north.

Right now, Canadian golf resorts are reporting big increases in American golfers, as well as non-golfing visitors, and many of them are even offering sweet deals on rooms and rounds. As the representative of a leading golf resort in Nova Scotia put it, “The Americans are coming by the boatload!” With one U.S. dollar buying $1.29 Canadian, to paraphrase a famous movie, they’re going to need a bigger boat.

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