May 09, 2013 | 09:14 AM

Détente To Divots

In a sure sign the Cold War is over, Zavidovo PGA National Russia, the nation’s first PGA-branded golf club, will celebrate its grand opening next month. Located 100 km west of Moscow, the course, built by European Golf Design, combines links and heathland-style features, with several water hazards adding to the layout’s challenge. There’s also a golf academy committed to the development of junior golf, a golf shop with top-brand merchandise, a stylish clubhouse with 10 suites, cigar lounge, billiard room, and library, and a fine-dining restaurant at the complex. According to British PGA chief executive Sandy Jones, Zavidovo “looks set to be the crown jewel of the Russian golf experience.” First glasnost, now a private member’s club with limited public access within an hour’s drive of Russia’s largest city.

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May 08, 2013 | 04:00 PM

Pine Valley Legend Dies

Former Pine Valley president Ernie Ransome passed away on Sunday. Here is his obituary.

He was a Trustee and member of the board of Directors of Pine Valley Golf Club, which has been selected for many years as the No. 1 Golf Course in the World. He served as Chairman of the Board as well as President of Pine Valley Golf Club—Chairman from 1988 through June 2001; President from 1977 to 1988. In addition, he was a member of the Board of Governors of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course in Manassas, Virginia; was a Director of the Philadelphia Golf Classic from 1968–1970; and was a member of the Executive Committee of the Golf Association for 10 years, as well as its President for three years 1965–1967. He was on the Board of Directors of the first Presidents Cup in honor of President George H.W. Bush held at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course. Besides Pine Valley Golf Club he is a member of numerous golf courses, in the United States and abroad. His golf accomplishments include: twice South Jersey Amateur Champion, twice Club Champion Riverton County Club, once Club Champion Pine Valley Golf Club, winner James S. Coale Tournament Riverton County Club, twice winner Griscom Cup and twice winner Boyle Cup with Helen Sigel Wilson. In 1995 he was awarded the 1995 United States Golf Association Ike Grainger Award in recognition of giving 25+ years of his time and talents in volunteer committee service to the game of golf and the USGA.

To honor his great contribution to the game of golf, in 1994 a group of his friends established in his name a Scholarship Trust at the University of St Andrews in Scotland.

 Survived by, his wife Myradean, his three daughters Leslie (Greg) Hudson, Elizabeth Ransome, Jane (Wayne) Bromley, and numerous loving grandchildren and great grand-children. 

Relatives and friends are invited to attend his Funeral Service Thursday 11 A.M. at Christ Episcopal Church, 4th & Main St Riverton, NJ Burial private. In lieu of flowers family requests donations in his name to: Alzheimer's Association of South Jersey 11000 Lincoln Dr. W. Marlton, NJ 08053 or to Ernest L. Ransome, III Scholarship Trust c/o Michael B. Kennedy, Treasurer Pine Valley Golf Club 10 Baker Hill Rd. Pine Valley, NJ 08021.

Arrangements by: WEBER FUNERAL HOME 112 Broad Street, Riverton, NJ 08077.

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May 08, 2013 | 10:05 AM

Pine Valley Anniversary Photos

How do you celebrate turning 100? Well, if you’re Pine Valley you throw a five-day party. The LINKS100 No. 2 course in the world (behind Cypress Point) held a Stableford competition for members from Wednesday through Sunday with a big dinner Saturday night. One of the highlights of the gala were vintage photos on display throughout that the club, like the one above, from the Smithsonian Institute’s Thomas Warrens Sears Collection. A landscape photographer, whose shadow can be seen in the foreground, took them not long after the course opened in 1919 (the anniversary celebrated the founding of the club), but they were mislabeled as a Maryland course until recently. Click on this link to view the rest.

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May 07, 2013 | 06:03 AM

Seve No Match For Agnes

In the time since his death (two years ago today, May 7), Seve Ballesteros has been remembered fondly by the entire world of golf. His image, punching the air after his second Open Championship victory, at the Old Course at St Andrews in 1984, became the inspirational insignia for the victorious European Ryder Cup Team. But now word comes of a bitter defeat, a posthumous pasting suffered by Seve last year in the same Auld Grey Toon. It seems the largest dormitory at St. Andrews University, 550-bed New Hall (built in 1993), decided to adopt a more distinctive name, honoring a prominent individual linked to the town. Five names were proposed and 363 student residents cast their ballots. The results: Seve finished second with 27% of the vote. And who conquered the swashbuckling Spaniard? With a whopping 42% it was Agnes Blackadder, the university’s first woman graduate, in 1895.

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