Apr 05, 2013 | 10:21 AM

Celtic Tiger?

It may be President Obama’s golf excursions that get the attention, particularly now during the sequester, but it seems Vice President Joe Biden is similarly making the rounds. The Veep—whose Secret Service nickname is “Celtic,” referring to his Irish roots—and his wife spent Easter weekend on Kiawah Island, where it is assumed he teed it up. Biden’s handicap reportedly has been as low as an index of 6.3, but his skills were called into question last summer by Ohio governor John Kasich after the Biden-Kasich team lost to the President and House Speaker John Boehner during the famous “golf summit.” Perhaps Biden used his Kiawah visit to practice for a planned trip to his ancestral homeland this summer, when he is scheduled to tee it up with the Taoiseach (prime minister), Enda Kenny, in County Mayo. While Biden may have a famously thick skin from his many years in politics, we still suggest he pack a wind shirt.

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Apr 04, 2013 | 12:25 PM

Welcome Back, Annika

She’s not planning a return to the LPGA Tour—too bad—but it’s still great to hear some smart, straightforward words from one of the classiest golfers of our time. Ms. Sorenstam minces few words in an online interview definitely worth reading. While many will pick up on her criticism of Michelle Wie (“the talent we thought would be there is not there”), just as interesting are her thoughts on the long putter (“not a big deal”), pace of play (“the biggest issue”), differences between the men’s and women’s tours (“we pay for everything”), and more. Currently dividing her time between an array of business ventures and her family, it would be great if Annika became more vocal, perhaps the female equivalent to Jack, Arnie, and the other leading men who weigh in on every issue affecting the game. Besides a fresh perspective, it might be a shot in the arm to women’s golf. We’d listen.

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Apr 03, 2013 | 06:55 AM

Happy Trails

Perhaps the most underrated course at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is Bandon Trails, the Pine Valley-esque design by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. People tend to focus on the epic, seaside layouts of the namesake course and Pacific Dunes instead of the intimate inland routing of Trails. The course also had a few quirks that players rightfully found objectionable, but most of those have been eliminated with the latest tweaks. The course just reopened following improvement to several holes, most notably the par-four 18th. Coore and Crenshaw removed a fairway dune so the tee shot is no longer a blind drive (the green is now visible from the tee), softened the crowned fairway, and lowered the green by five feet while also removing the false front so balls don’t run back down the fairway. The difficult, par-four 15th also has been made a little easier, particularly the green, which now has more pin locations. Surprisingly, the designing duo didn’t alter the most controversial hole, the drivable par-four 14th (pictured above), where all drives seem to find a deep swale right of the green. (By the way, the 14th is referenced in an article called “Great Courses, Awful Holes” in the just-released spring issue of LINKS.)

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Apr 02, 2013 | 02:04 PM

"George, I'm sinking mate!"

It's truly amazing 1) what's on the internet, and 2) what people will make movies of. This YouTube clip  is very amusing, and yet who of us hasn't been in a similar situation at least once on a golf course? But knowing how expensive golf balls are in Britain, can you blame him?

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