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Sep 16, 2014 | 09:07 AM

New Owners For Wentworth

Donald Trump, who now owns Scotland’s Turnberry and Ireland’s Doonbeg, isn’t the only foreigner buying iconic golf courses and clubs in the United Kingdom. Reignwood Investments from China has purchased the Wentworth Club, which is the headquarters of the European Tour and annual host of that tour’s BMW PGA Championship. Wentworth—located in the London suburbs and whose Harry Colt-designed West Course is one of the finest inland layouts in Great Britain—also hosted the 1953 Ryder Cup (the U.S. beat the British, 6-1/2 to 5-1/2). The club was sold for £135 million, only £5 million more than Richard Caring, who owns restaurants and nightclubs in London, paid for it in 2004. According to Britain’s Daily Mail, the new owners have said they will retain the club’s “unique culture,” while Britain’s Chancellor of Exchequer (roughly equivalent to our Treasury Secretary) has said, “Strengthening cooperation between Britain and China is not only good for China, but good for UK jobs and investment, too, which is why it’s a key part of our long-term economic plan.” It sounds as if more iconic British clubs could be getting new outside owners.

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Sep 15, 2014 | 06:50 AM

Great White Shark Bitten

Greg Norman underwent surgery in a Florida hospital over the weekend following an accident in which he nearly took off his left hand with a power saw. According to ESPN, Norman was “cutting back trees in his South Florida home when the weight of a branch pulled his left hand toward the chain saw. He said the blade hit him just below where a person would be wearing a wrist watch. He said doctors told him it missed his artery by a fraction of an inch.” Norman—who posted these photographs of himself on Instagram, the first a week ago, the other after surgery—reported that there’s no “major damage.” Norman also wrote online, “Working with a chainsaw ALWAYS be respectful of the unexpected. I was one lucky man today. Damaged, but not down & out. Still have left hand.”

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Sep 12, 2014 | 04:07 PM

Night Rider

Last week we told you about Bill Sampson, the director of golf at Old Tabby Golf Links near Hilton Head, and the record $42,000 he raised for the Folds of Honor Foundation by playing 202 holes on Patriot Golf Day. Well, he’s been outdone by one of his former assistants, at least from a playing standpoint. On Sept. 1st, Brian Stewart, who’s now the head pro at Bright’s Creek in the North Carolina mountains, played 325 holes in a 24-hour period. Using glow balls and glow sticks, he started at 8pm on Labor Day and didn't stop till the following evening. He made 51 birdies, three eagles, and one hole-in-one. At 1:10am on the 75th hole, Stewart made the third ace of his career, though it’s safe to say this is the first one he made at night. Talk about a shot in the dark! Stewart has raised more than $4,500 for the military charity.

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Sep 12, 2014 | 06:05 AM

Tom Doak Is At It Again!

Back in 1996, 27-year-old course architect Tom Doak stunned the golf world with his Confidential Guide to Golf Courses, a 361-page compendium of no-holds-barred reviews of the best and worst courses he’d seen. Now, two decades later, Doak—who in the meantime has given us Pacific Dunes, Streamsong (Blue), and Cape Kidnappers, among other Top 100-ranked courses—is issuing the update to his book, or at least the start of the update. Confidential Guide II, which just became available, features 288 courses in Great Britain & Ireland and will be the first of five volumes produced by Doak and three co-authors, Ran Morrissett, Masa Nishijima, and Darius Oliver. In all, they will cover 2,500 courses around the world, rating each on a scale of 0-10. As in the original, the expanded version will include a "Gourmet’s Choice” featuring longer descriptions of the authors’ favorite courses, as well as a Gazetteer with lists of everything from the best and wildest holes to the best courses to take your dog to play. The subsequent volumes, to be published annually, will cover The Americas (summer destinations), The Americas (winter destinations), Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. For more information or to order copies, go to Doak’s website, renaissancegolf.com.

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