Golf Buzz

February 22, 2013 - 10:54am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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St. Andrew's Golf Club
Photo by Jim Krajicek Photography

We celebrated the Presidents' Day holiday a few days ago, but today is actually George Washington’s birthday. It's also a significant day in the history of golf in the United States.

On this day in 1888, a small group of hearty golfers staged the first known exhibition of golf in America – over three holes laid out by John Reid and John Upham in a cow pasture in Yonkers, N.Y. And on Nov. 14, 1888, these golfers formally established The Saint Andrew's Golf Club, which remains the oldest continuously existing golf club in the United States.

That makes 2013 the club's 125th anniversary year, and it is going all-out to celebrate. Among the big events on its calendar are the Folds of Honor Golf Tournament (June 4) to support the families of deceased and disabled members of the military; Celebrating Women in Golf (June 5), marking the history and growth of women's golf in America; the 125th Anniversary Celebrity Golf Tournament (June 7); and the Gala 125th Anniversary Dinner Dance (June 8) at the Waldorf Astoria in midtown Manhattan.

Its age isn't the club's only claim to fame. Here is a list of some other firsts achieved there:

--the first photograph of golf in America (1888)

--the first recorded mixed foursome, played on March 30, 1889, when Upham teamed with Mrs. John Reid to defeat the team of Reid and Miss Carrie Law

--the first American ''clubhouse,'' including a rudimentary 19th hole, was the famous apple tree where Reid and his friends hung their coats while playing in the apple orchard that became the club's second course

--the first U.S. Amateur Championship, at match play, was hosted by St. Andrew's in 1894 – and won by St. Andrew's member L.B. Stoddart

--the first U.S. Open was hosted by St. Andrew's, also in 1894

--Saint Andrew's member Henry O. Tallmadge suggested and organized the Dec. 22, 1894, meeting of five golf clubs that resulted in the creation of the United States Golf Association (USGA).

--St. Andrew's published the first Yearbook (or Handbook) in America containing a club's list of members, officers, and committees, as well as its constitution and by-laws in 1895

--St. Andrew's also organized and funded the first U.S. Public Links Championship. The tournament, for players who didn't belong to a USGA club, was held at Van Cortlandt Park, the nation's first public course, in 1896

--Saint Andrew's member Charles E. Sands won the first Olympic gold medal for golf in 1900. 

 

February 21, 2013 - 4:11pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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David Feherty
Getty Images
David Feherty, an outspoken supporter of those who serve, has a charity called Troops First Foundation. It was one of many defrauded by an ex-Marine.

 

Golf-commentating funnyman David Feherty -- who recently became a U.S. citizen -- has long been an incredible supporter of those who serve.
 
However, one ex-Marine Feherty thought he was supporting, was actually scamming the CBS on-course reporter.
 
Here's the report from the Associated Press:
 
DALLAS (AP) -- A former Marine lied about having war injuries so he could get free golfing lessons, endorsements, cash, a trip to Iraq and to fulfill his dream of playing golf on the PGA Tour, court documents show.
 
Court documents filed in Dallas on Tuesday show that Michael Duye Campbell has agreed to plead guilty to mail fraud. The plea agreement does not recommend a sentence but outlines that Campbell faces up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and payment of restitution to those he deceived. A judge must still approve the plea deal.
 
Campbell defrauded charities out of at least $40,000 by claiming he was wounded in 2003 while on foot patrol in Fallujah, Iraq, according to court documents. He told people that members of his unit were killed by a bomb blast and that he woke up months later at Walter Reed Army Hospital. He claimed he could not speak, had partially lost his memory and was left with a stutter as a result of his injuries that included broken bones and a traumatic brain injury, an outline of his case filed in court Tuesday says.
 
Campbell, 30, lived in the Dallas area as recently as 2010. Military records show he served in the Marine Corps from 2000-04, but the records do not support his claim that he was a combat veteran who suffered a traumatic brain injury.
 
Campbell's public defender, Douglas Morris, declined to comment on the case.
 
Prosecutors say Campbell set up a website to promote his cause and that he approached celebrities in the golf world to ask for support. He would persuade them to write stories about him, give him access to expensive golf schools and exclusive courses.
 
He eventually learned about the Troops First Foundation, a charity led by former professional golfer and TV golf commentator David Feherty.
 
Feherty wrote an article for golf.com about meeting Campbell at a golf tournament in 2010.
 
"When he told me he was a Marine, I was instantly fine with it. He didn't look injured, but I didn't care. Any member of the military can walk with me, anytime, anywhere," Feherty wrote.
 
In December 2010, the Troops First Foundation flew Campbell to Dubai, where he took a military transport to Fallujah, as part of a program in which wounded veterans are taken to the site where they were injured, according to court documents.
 
Documents show he also lied to other charities, obtaining money for a car and car insurance, living expenses and golf tournament entry fees. He also received golf gear from sporting goods companies, the documents say.
 
The charities did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment Wednesday.
 
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
February 21, 2013 - 2:40pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Pebble Beach
Getty Images
Sure, it'll cost you a pretty penny, but you actually can play a round of golf at Pebble Beach.

 

Contrary to what you might think, not all of the best golf courses in the U.S. are private. In fact, there are many that are open to the public -- Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill, Pinehurst No. 2, Whistling Straits... the list goes on.
 
While you don't necessarily need to, "know someone," to set foot with golf bag in tow on the gems listed above, you will need a thick wallet.
 
Golf.com has put together a photo gallery of the, "Top 10 Most Expensive Tee Times."
 
 
While these prices certainly seem astronomical for the weekend hacker, a golf junkie might argue it's worth every penny. Think of the experience and the photos!
 
The courses in that gallery are bucket-listers.
 
Of course, those double bogeys on your scorecard will probably feel a lot worse than the ones you make for a $30 round of golf, right?
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
February 21, 2013 - 10:54am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Ian Poulter
Ian Poulter/Twitter
Ian Poulter tweeted this picture of a golf ball on a green. Or, more appropriately in this case, a frosty green.

 

As you know by now, the first round of the PGA Tour's WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship was interrupted Wednesday by, of all things, snow.
 
Once play was suspended for the day, we quickly learned that if this golf thing doesn't work out (not likely, since the field is comprised of the world's best players), then Weather Channel's Jim Cantore had better watch out!
 
Players took to Twitter once play was called for the day, posting great photos of the snow. 
 
We kept track of them and compiled a photo gallery of all the best pictures we saw.
 
Now granted, people in the Northeast -- this writer included -- aren't going to have any sympathy for a dinky little snowstorm that halts play. But, you've got to admit -- a snowstorm on the PGA Tour, especially at a tournament in the Arizona desert, just doesn't make any sense.
 
 
Enjoy. We sure did.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.
February 21, 2013 - 10:05am
Posted by:
John Kim, Coordinating Producer
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Tiger Woods
Photo: The PGA of America
President Barack Obama complimented Tiger Woods' golf game in a creative way.

The most famous non-covered, non-photographed golf pairing in recent memory grew in legend even more as both Tiger Woods and President Barack Obama have started to share their thoughts on their round together.

Woods mentioned the President's game showed great promise and that he enjoyed the Commander-in-Chief's company.  For his part, President Obama used a more innovative way to describe Woods' golf game - calling it "on another planet."

You can watch the President make his remarks courtesy of our friends at Yahoo! Golf here.

Incidentally, with 75 official PGA Tour victories and 14 major championships - the game Tiger shows here on earth is pretty good too! 

February 21, 2013 - 9:22am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Olympics
Getty Images
Golf will be a part of the 2016 Olympics in Brazil. However, there have been serious snags with the construction of the Olympic Course.

 

Things haven't exactly been what you'd call smooth sailing for the IOC and golf in the Olympics. 
 
Golf, which has been added to the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, hit another snag this week with a dispute over the land being used for the Olympic course.
 
A website called SuperSport.com reported on Wednesday:
 
The IOC officials were reportedly surprised at their hotel to be met by a court member seeking the president of the coordination commission for the 2016 Games, Nawal El Moutawakel, to sign the order notifying her and the IOC of the dispute.
 
The International Olympic Committee and 2016 Rio committee have downplayed issues related to the course as golf prepares to make its return to the games for the first time in 110 years.
 
According to Sergio Antunes Lima Jr., the lawyer of the company which is claiming ownership of the area where the 2016 Rio committee says the golf course will be built, El Moutawakel and the other IOC members seemed confused when they were approached by the court official and there was a lot of discussion until lawyers from the 2016 Rio organising committee finally arrived.
 
Lima Jr., who said he was accompanying the court official, said Rio 2016 Organising Committee President Carlos Nuzman also arrived later.
 
The Rio committee, which last year went through the embarrassment of having to fire several employees who illegally downloaded files from British organisers during the London Games, said it was not involved in the court order and gave support to the IOC officials only because the document presented to them was in Portuguese and dealt with Brazilian law.
 
El Moutawakel said she complied with the court official but could do nothing more than relay the document to the IOC's legal departments in Switzerland.
 
"This morning I received documents in my hotel which I was unable to understand, I was unable to read because they were in Portuguese," El Moutawakel said. "We have passed on all of these documents to our lawyers in Lausanne for translation and that's all I can tell you at the moment regarding this question."
 
To read the complete story, click here.
 
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tj_auclair.