Oct 31, 2013 | 10:02 AM

A Tripp Back in Time

Gil Hanse, Tom Doak, and “Open Doctor” Rees Jones are among the go-to names in golf architecture for the restoration of classic courses. But very quietly, Oklahoma-based Tripp Davis has landed several high-profile commissions, especially in the New York metropolitan area. Having touched up the likes of Deepdale Club and Engineers CC (shown above) on Long Island as well as Whippoorwill Club in Westchester County, Davis has just been signed to renovate and restore Spring Lake Golf Club’s historic course on New Jersey’s north shore. The original 18—laid out by George C. Thomas in 1911—was redesigned and updated by A.W. Tillinghast in 1918. Davis’s two-year makeover will preserve Thomas’s routing and re-establish Tillinghast’s strategic intent. When Davis speaks, members listen: He was a member of the 1989 National Championship golf team and an NCAA All-American while at the University of Oklahoma, and continues to play in prestigious amateur events. At Spring Lake, Davis will make the course more strategically interesting for modern play and enable golfers to take a step back in time.

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Oct 30, 2013 | 12:21 PM

A Good Bet

It looks like we finally might a get a golf movie that truly captures the essence of the game (translation: it won’t be a hokey bunch of crap with actors who can’t play). That’s because it’s being produced and directed by a real golfer, Terry Jastrow, a longtime Bel-Air member and TV talent who’s directed 60 major championships including 21 straight U.S. Opens (not to mention six Olympic games and many other sporting events; he also quite ably defended LACC North in our spring 2013 issue “Which Is Better?”). Principal photography began Oct. 21 in Wilmington, N.C., at four courses—Eagle Point, Beau Rivage, Cape Fear, and Wilmington Muni—and will wrap in Las Vegas around Nov. 14 at Dragon Ridge and Wynn Las Vegas. The story centers around a 20-year-old hotshot played by Jeremy Sumpter who is approached by a gambler (Chris McDonald) after winning the City Championship by 15 shots. McDonald convinces him to give up his dream of playing in the U.S. Open for high-stake matches, ending in a million-dollar game in Sin City against a mobster played by Michael Nouri. In the shot above obtained exclusively by The Buzz, Sumpter is reenacting a “cross-country golf” game similar to one Jastrow used to play growing up in Midland, Texas, with players teeing off with one club from the courthouse lawn and race/play to hole-out at the 18th of the muni a mile and a half away. That’s Jastrow tending the flag as they block out a shot.

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Oct 29, 2013 | 11:57 AM

Horny Superintendents

The thrifty Scots at Machrihanish Dunes GC, on the Mull of Kintyre, have found a way to hold down maintenance costs during the winter, despite hiring a seasonal staff of 40 locals. The workers began this week—a herd of 40 Hebridean sheep, enlisted as part of the celebration of the Year of Natural Scotland. The natural greenkeepers have been a hit with visiting golfers while also securing Machrihanish Dunes recognition from the British Travel Agents as the “Number 1 Eco Golf Course in the World.” Not bad for a bunch of black sheep.

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Oct 28, 2013 | 11:33 AM

A Great Short Drive

The Buzz usually doesn’t do much traffic reporting, but a new highway is destined to make life easier for traveling golfers. It’s called the La Romana Bypass, it’s in the Dominican Republic, and it’s only eight miles long. But upon opening in late November, the four-lane highway should reduce driving time between the capital city of Santo Domingo (and its airport) and La Romana—site of Casa de Campo, the top golf resort in the Caribbean and home of Pete Dye’s legendary “Teeth of the Dog” course (that’s the 15th hole, above)—to an hour, less than half what the trip takes now. The “Circunvalacion de La Romana” also will cut the drive from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana to under two hours. To meet the December deadline and the start of the winter rush, more than 1,300 workers are going 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Gracias!

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