Aug 05, 2014 | 02:15 pm

Double The Fun

Get ready for the world’s first reversible golf course. Forest Dunes Golf Club in Northern Michigan has commissioned Tom Doak to design and build a layout that can be played either clockwise or counterclockwise, each of its 18 greens attackable from two directions. Doak has some familiarity with this concept, having spent one of his college years in St. Andrews studying the Old Course, which was played “left- and right-handed” for a century. At Forest Dunes, Doak’s associate Brian Slawik has drafted a layout from one direction while Doak has done the other. “It is not a super dramatic site, but that’s better for this concept,” says Doak. “If you were playing over ravines in one direction, you’d probably have to play blindly out of them the other way around. You can’t have woods behind the green, or you’d have to play over the trees from the other direction.” For the same reason, the greens will lack the severe slopes that some of Doak’s other courses feature. Shaping begins next month and the double-dip course should be ready for play in 2016.


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Aug 04, 2014 | 06:57 am

Play Golf, Do Good

One week from today, on Monday, August 11, the “World’s Largest Golf Outing” will be held at 120 golf courses around the country. It will be the fourth annual outing, and as in years past, funds go mostly to the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), which has been helping injured veterans for 10 years. This year’s goal is to raise $1 million for WWP; last year, 10,000 golfers participated and raised $735,000. The main sponsor of the tournament is Billy Casper Golf, the largest owner-operator of courses, clubs, and resorts in the U.S. with more than 150 properties in 28 states. Other sponsors include Nike Golf, which will be giving away a trip for four to company headquarters in Oregon for custom-fitting and other merchandise, and the top fundraising team will win a trip to Pinehurst Resort. But the big winners, of course, are the more than 50,000 veterans and 7,000 family members being helped by WWP’s programs. There are still tee times available, and spots are open to all golfers regardless of skill; a USGA handicap is not required. All the important information is on the outing website.

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Aug 01, 2014 | 11:26 am

Fox’s New Voices

Fox Sports, which will begin broadcasting the US Open and a host of other national championships next year, has added to its golf-broadcast team. Joining Joe Buck and Greg Norman, whose anchor positions were announced last year, will be PGA Tour player Brad Faxon (above left, as lead studio analyst and hole announcer), former USGA Executive Director David Fay (above right, Rules analyst), and Holly Sonders (reporter/host), who left Golf Channel to come to Fox, where she’ll also cover the NFL and more. When Fox won the USGA contract last year, the network’s co-president/COO Eric Shanks (we hope his name isn’t a bad omen) promised “a new energy and innovation that will make every championship the best golf event on television.” Give Fox credit for bringing excitement and technological magic to its coverage of NASCAR and other sports. The pressure will be on its announcers to be similarly new, energetic, and innovative.

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Jul 31, 2014 | 03:56 pm

Publishing Dream

Roger McStravick has just over two weeks left to make a golf-related dream a reality. Naturally it involves St Andrews. In his case it’s getting financial backing to publish his new 240-page book entitled, St Andrews In the Footsteps of Old Tom Morris. It covers the golf history of the town and McStravick claims to have unearthed new information about the man in the title plus numerous rare photos. One problem: his funding campaign on Kickstarter appears to have landed in the publishing equivalent of the Road Hole bunker, having raised just more than $13,000 toward his goal of $38,000 for an initial printing of 2,000 copies. But if you’re willing to kick in $8,500 (or more), you get use of a two-bedroom house for seven days during next year’s 2015 Open Championship in St Andrews, plus a personal tour of the town and lunch in The St. Andrews Golf Club, overlooking the 18th green of the Old Course. And you will likely get an autographed copy of the book. Or two.

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