Dec 29, 2014 | 06:47 am

Golden Gear

If you still didn’t get the presents you wanted last week, here are a few other ideas, courtesy of, which claims to have found the world’s most expensive golf clubs. From Japan comes Honma Golf’s made-to-order Five Star Set, featuring 24-karat-gold and platinum, starting at $5,400 per club. Maruman Golf, another Japanese company, sells its Majesty Prestigio Super7 driver for $2,500: It incorporates grade 5 titanium and a thicker head to create a lower center of gravity for less spin. Then there’s the Golden Putter from Germany’s Michael Barth, with 24-karat gold plating and numerous customizing options, starting at $2,940 each. And should you think such high-priced equipment is only available on special order, one of our correspondents was recently in a Tokyo golf store where he saw the above set of gold-plated GIII clubs for ¥1,339,200—a little over $11,120 at current exchange rates. No promises that any of these will lower your score, but they’ll definitely lighten your wallet.

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Dec 26, 2014 | 12:34 pm

Home For The Holidays

Didn’t get what you wanted for Christmas? Here’s something to buy for yourself, a 50,000-square-foot mansion—with a private 18-hole golf course, to boot. The 106-acre property, known as Asherwood, is in central Indiana, just north of Indianapolis, and was the estate of the late real estate developer Mel Simon. According to Indianapolis Business Journal, the house is 15 years old and contains seven bedrooms, 24 full or partial baths, a theater, fitness room, indoor pool, tennis court, and more. There’s also a 6,000-square-foot guest house and 7,000-square-foot clubhouse (plus three maintenance buildings). The course was designed by architect Steve Smyers, who describes it on his website as a “golf facility of unique concept. The course offers three distinct nines, making possible three different course configurations. Each on is a par-36, championship-standard course.” The price? Well, if you have to ask, it’s $25 million.

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Dec 25, 2014 | 06:58 am

Bubba Claus

Along with his very obvious golf skills, two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson has other “talents,” as well, including one for making videos and what some would calling singing. Adopting a new persona—that of Bubba Claus, a happy holiday elf who traded a sleigh for a hovercraft—Watson has made a new video for Christmas in which he raps about some of his favorite things. There’s sand instead of snow and we’re not quite sure what Gumby is doing there, but we’ll take a little “ho, ho, ho” however we can get it. Happy holidays, everyone.

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Dec 24, 2014 | 12:04 pm

Christmas Green

If you’re a golf course owner in Southern California this Christmas is much more merry than last. First, there are the recent rains, which the parched fairways have desperately needed. Second, many courses are taking advantage of the Metropolitan Water District’s turf removal incentive program, particularly after the MWD doubled its payment to $2 per square foot to replace grass with drought-tolerant landscaping. That works out to about $87,000 per acre and so far the MWD has committed almost $50 million to the program with nearly another $50 million in requests. There are about 20 courses are in the rebate program, including Brookside Golf Club in Pasadena (22 acres), Oakmont Country Club in Glendale (23 acres), Glendora Country Club in Glendora (25 acres), and North Ranch Country Club in Thousand Oaks (35 acres). The 27-hole North Ranch, for instance, stands to recoup more than $3 million from the MWD, as well as save $500,000 annually in water costs, which have gone from $400,000 in 2005 to $1.5 million today and rising. To save some green, courses have to give up some green these days.

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