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Aug 19, 2013 | 06:40 AM

Sweet Success

Cantigny—the well-regarded, 27-hole public-golf complex outside Chicago—is already a leader in environmental stewardship and a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. To that list of green accomplishments, add apiary. Scott Witte, the club’s superintendent, is an accomplished beekeeper, maintaining 10 hives on the property. The honeybees help pollinate flowers on the courses’ 300 acres and the honey they produce is sold in the golf shop, as are candles and lip balm made from the beeswax. But there’s more. According to the local Daily Herald, Witte took $200 of the “honey money” earned from product sales and, through the Educational Development Projects Trust, sent it to a high school in Ghana to help the students in the Awutu-Winton Bee Club buy three bee suits and two smokers. Now that’s a perfect story for “The Buzz."

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Aug 16, 2013 | 06:30 AM

And Who Said Scots Were Cheap?

If you’re heading to Scotland in the next few months—our congratulations if you are—consider a visit to the Mull of Kintyre off the west coast (across the Firth of Clyde from Turnberry) and rounds at two classic courses, the nearly 140-year-old Machrihanish Golf Club, designed by Old Tom Morris, and the four-year-old Machrihanish Dunes, designed by David McLay Kidd. Besides two great golf experiences, the round at Mach Dunes could win you $1 million. Between now and October 15, golfers who sign in at the pro shop and play a full 18 will be automatically registered for random drawings that will pick four finalists for a hole-in-one shootout. Each of the four will then get one shot on the beautiful, 167-yard 14th hole (shown above). There’s a little more to it than that, of course, and all the details are on the club’s website. But honestly, even if you don’t win the money, the chance to play these two courses is, to coin a phrase, priceless. Good luck.

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Aug 15, 2013 | 08:24 AM

Ryder Cup Homecoming

On the heels of “The Gathering”—Tourism Ireland’s campaign inviting North Americans of Irish descent to visit Eire this year—Scotland is promoting heritage tourism with its “Homecoming 2014” outreach. “There are three types of people we want to come to Homecoming 2014,” said Alex Salmond, first minister of Scotland. “First, all people of Scottish ancestry. Second, anyone whose granny once met a Scot. And third, everyone else.” Heading the list of next year’s events is the much-anticipated Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. Officials have confirmed that final-stage applications for tickets are up 38 percent compared to the 2010 event at Celtic Manor in Wales. In addition, people from 75 different countries will head to the fabled resort in the foothills of the Scottish Highlands for the competition in September, 2014. The biennial match-play competition between teams from Europe and the U.S. is expected to provide a major economic boost to Scotland, which has also scheduled next year a referendum on independence from the U.K. You can expect that particular contest to be as hotly contested as the Ryder Cup matches!

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Aug 14, 2013 | 07:10 AM

Anniversary Am

After 36 holes of stroke-play qualifying, the U.S. Amateur Championship gets underway in earnest today with match play at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. It’s the nation’s oldest golf tournament (by one day over the U.S. Open). Here’s a little primer:

*It was here 100 years ago in 1913 that 20-year-old amateur Francis Ouimet shocked the sports world by upsetting British professionals Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in an 18-hole playoff to claim the U.S. Open, helping to popularize golf in America.

*Founded in 1882, The Country Club is one of the five original clubs of the USGA, along with Newport (R.I.) Country Club, Shinnecock Hills, Chicago Golf Club, and St. Andrew's Golf Club. In addition to five U.S. Amateurs, it has hosted three U.S. Opens.

*The club has 27 holes, with the Main—or Composite Course—taking most of the holes from the Clyde and Squirrel nines, along with three from the Primrose Course, an executive nine designed by William S. Flynn and opened in 1927. The course will play to a par 70 of 7,310 yards.

*Except for an eight-year period (1965-1972) when it was contested at stroke play, the Amateur has been a match-play championship.

*The champions in all three Opens at The Country Club won in playoffs, including Julius Boros in 1963 and Curtis Strange in 1988.

*Last year’s champion, Steven Fox, missed qualifying for match play, as did four of the five Walker Cuppers in the tournament.

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