Aug 20, 2014 | 04:02 pm

Alabama Shakes

One of the most exciting holes in the southeast—the downhill 175-yard 5th at FarmLinks Golf Course in Sylacauga, Alabama—has gotten even more exciting this year. That’s because since April 15th, players who paid the $10 registration fee have had a chance to qualify for a $25 million hole-in-one “Super Shootout” in early October by being the closest to the pin each day. The tricky part is that the hole (pictured above) drops about a foot for every yard, so selecting the right club can be difficult, but so far more than 100 amateurs (no professionals allowed) have qualified for Stage II the last two weeks of September. That’s when they get to come back for a free round and a chance to be one of the top 12 contestants for the final stage Oct. 5th and 6th. The closest of the 12 then gets to hit 25 shots with each potentially worth $1 million. The one catch is that “Supershooter” won’t be able to hit all 25 to the same pin from the same tee. He (or she) will get five shots to five different hole locations from five different tee markers no less than 175 yards. But given how downhill the shot is, it will play a lot less, something the underwriter apparently didn’t factor in. The first stage of qualifying ends Sept. 15th.

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Aug 19, 2014 | 08:46 am

Christian Values

Add another chapter to pro golf’s oddest biography, The Enigma That Is Bubba. Two weeks after losing a few thousand more fans with his petulant behavior at the PGA—where his antics included f-bombing, club throwing, and heaping some more abuse on his caddie Ted Scott—Bubba, as part of his penitence and promise to “be a better person,” has bestowed his long-suffering looper, Ted Scott, with a brand new car and truck. The professed devout Christian may not always act in accordance with his faith but he does seem to know something about Christian history, as the caddie car payoff harkens back to the medieval practice of buying indulgences.

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Aug 18, 2014 | 06:48 am

Waving Goodbye

There were two significant goodbyes at the Wyndham Championship this past weekend. On Friday, Padraig Harrington (above) missed the cut and, as a result, lost his exempt status on the PGA Tour (he entered the tournament ranked 188th on the money list). According to Yahoo Sport, his options for next year are relying on invitations from tournaments, taking a one-season exemption as one of the Tour’s all-time top-50 money winners (he said he’s saving that option for another time), and using his status as a former champion to get into a few events. The other farewell is to 41-year-old American Joe Ogilvie, who played his last Tour event—his 399th—at Wyndham: The graduate of Duke University is starting a full-time job as an investment banker. In 19 years on Tour, Ogilvie had one win (fittingly, it was the U.S. Bank Championship, in 2007) and four titles. More than 300 people waited at the final hole to wish him well. Speaking afterward about playing his last tournament, Ogilvie’s comment was, “Man, that was hard.”

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Aug 15, 2014 | 09:06 am

Tired Of Waiting For A Tee Time?

The real-estate market is showing healthy signs of life, so we’re curious to see how long it takes this property to get snapped up by some savvy bargain-hunter. “Three Ponds Farm” is a 60-acre estate in the tony Hamptons area of New York's Long Island (not far from such well-known courses as Shinnecock Hills, The National Golf Links of America, Sebonack, and Friar’s Head). Along with the 8 bedrooms, 10 full baths (and 3 partials), 20,000 square feet of interior space, and both a guest wing and staff quarters, the home features an “18-hole course” designed by Rees Jones: It plays as 18 holes but actually is 5 fairways with 4 huge greens (with two and three pins), and 10 sets of tees. We described the course two years ago in an article about ultra-private (as in one person owns them) courses. Now the whole kit-and-kaboodle is for sale for a reported $60 million. Check out the exclusive Sotheby’s listing (which features photo and video tours), make your bid, then invite us over for a quick round.

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