Nov 12, 2013 | 10:41 AM

Another Walker Cup Winner

Word is the USGA will soon announce the site of the 2021 Walker Cup to be Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Florida. This comes as quite a surprise inasmuch as the ultra-exclusive club (where Ben Hogan famously practiced for the Masters) has not opened its doors to the general public, let alone an international television audience, since its vaunted Donald Ross course debuted in 1929. Although generally ranked among the top dozen or so in the U.S., Seminole also has its share of detractors. More than once it has been called “just a good Florida golf course” and, more harshly, “the most overrated course in the world.” At just 6,836 yards from the tips, it will be less than a backbreaker, but it sits beside the Atlantic Ocean and when the breeze kicks up and the greens are fast (as they always are) it’s a full test and a superb match-play venue. The list of recent U.S. Walker Cup hosts couldn’t be more impressive: National Golf Links (2013), Merion (2009), and Chicago Golf Club (2005), not to mention earlier sites including Pine Valley, Cypress Point, Shinnecock, and Winged Foot. And now Seminole joins the equally exclusive Los Angeles Country Club (2017). So what’s next, Augusta National? Don’t hold your breath.

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Nov 11, 2013 | 10:26 AM

Saluting Our Veterans

On this Veterans Day, a shout-out to everyone in golf helping and honoring those who have served. Kudos to the teaching pros working with those who came back from overseas with injured bodies and minds; to the clubs, courses, and resorts offering free and discounted rounds today, and every day, to America’s finest; and to the thousands of golfers around the country who participate in outings that help fund organizations like Folds of Honor, IAVA, Wounded Warrior Project, and others. There also are countless smaller, local projects using golf to help soldiers readjust, including one at Clearview Golf Club in Canton, Ohio, which was founded by Bill Powell in 1948 as the first integrated golf course in the U.S. His daughter, Renee, is carrying on his work in many ways, as this story from last night's NBC Nightly News reports.

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Nov 08, 2013 | 06:06 AM

Tiger vs. Brandel: Whose Side Are You On?

It says something about the state of the game that one of the biggest stories of the year—and certainly the feud du jour—is the Tiger Woods/Brandel Chamblee spat. In case you’ve been in outer space for the last few weeks, here’s the skinny: Golf analyst Chamblee slammed superstar Woods for playing fast and loose with the rules on more than one occasion this year. Woods got mad, then he and his team made noises about taking legal action (unlikely) as well as freezing out Golf Channel (where Chamblee talks) and Sports Illustrated/Golf Magazine/ (where Chamblee wrote) from future interviews. The Buzz wants to know where you stand, whether you think this is big news or a big nothing, if Tiger is being a bully by throwing his weight around, and if Chamblee should have been fired from his TV gig (he was not, at least not yet, but he did resign from magazine/website writing). We want to know what you think, so please, post your comments, below.

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Nov 07, 2013 | 12:52 PM

Putting the Pop Back in Poppy

Like his dad, Robert Trent Jones, Jr. has always been a globetrotter. At present, he’s working on courses as far-flung as Argentina, Colombia, England, and China, but the Palo Alto, Calif.-based designer also works extensively in his home state. In fact, he’s wrapping up a complete rebuild of Poppy Hills, a public-access venue on the Monterey Peninsula originally built in 1986 as the home course of the Northern California Golf Association. RTJ II, in partnership with the association, has reduced the amount of irrigated turf to conserve water and introduced transitional sandy areas between turf and forest. It reopens next srping, but no word as yet if the course will ever find its way back into the rota of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. The pros disliked the tree-lined course, ravine-slashed course with its sharp doglegs and huge funky greens (inspired by those at Augusta National), but of course Cypress Point, for which it was substituted, was a tough act to follow. Despite the changes-for-the-better at Poppy Hills, expect the current AT&T rota—Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill, and Monterey Peninsula CC’s Shore Course—to remain intact.

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