Golf Buzz

December 4, 2012 - 2:12am
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John Holmes
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Tom Watson
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When Tom Watson thinks of the Olympics, he says, he doesn't think of golf.

Who’s against golf in the Olympics? Apparently Tom Watson is.

''I still think of Olympics as track and field and not golf, to be honest with you,'' the eight-time major winner said Tuesday in Sydney, where is playing the Australian Open. ''I don't want to pour cold water on it, but I don't think it should be in the Olympic Games.''

Golf has its four major championships, Watson added, and they should remain its pinnacle events.

Golf was played in the 1900 Paris Olympics and the 1904 St. Louis Olympics, but then was dropped. It will return at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics after a huge effort from golf organizations around the globe.

December 4, 2012 - 12:33am
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John Holmes
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Graeme McDowell at the World Challenge
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Graeme McDowell became the seventh member of the European Ryder Cup team to pick up a trophy in the past two months.

Is there such thing as a Ryder Cup bounce? It sure looks like it.

Since the European team made that miraculous comeback to retain the golden chalice at Medinah a little more than two months ago, seven members of that victorious squad have gone on to win tournaments. They are:

--Graeme McDowell at the World Challenge in California on Dec. 2
--Martin Kaymer at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa on Dec. 2
--Rory McIlroy at the DP World Tour Challenge in Dubai on Nov. 25
--Luke Donald at the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan on Nov. 18
--Ian Poulter at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China on Nov. 4
--Peter Hanson at the BMW Masters in Shanghai on Oct. 28
--Justin Rose at the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final on Oct. 12

And on top of that, Vice-Captain Miguel Angel Jimenez won the UBS Hong Kong Open on Nov. 18 

Meanwhile, no member of the U.S. team has managed a victory since the Ryder Cup.

Golf clap for Kelly Tilghman of the Golf Channel, who pointed this out. You can follow her on Twitter at @KellyTilghmanGC

December 3, 2012 - 11:08pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Courtesy of Golden Horseshoe Golf Club
Golf at the Golden Horseshoe in Colonial Williamsburg is a father-son affair, thanks to the course-design genius of Robert Trent Jones Sr. and his sons Robert Trent II and Rees.

Few names in golf course architecture are as recognizable as that of the Jones family: The late, great genius Robert Trent Jones and his equally renowned sons, Robert Trent Jones II and Rees Jones. Together, the three industry giants have designed or remodeled nearly 1,000 courses around the globe.

Now, golfers can play the Robert Trent Jones-designed Gold Course and the Rees Jones-designed Green Course at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club, and also stay onsite at Colonial Willamsburg's Woodlands Hotel. In addition, they can add a round at the nearby Rees Jones-designed Club at Viniterra, for a two-night, three-round package starting at $399 per person.

The Jones Collection package is available through the end of 2013 – yes, 2013.

Fittingly for a family destination, golf at Golden Horseshoe is a father-son affair. Trent Jones Sr. designed the Gold Course in 1963 and Rees came along to build the Green Course nearly 30 years later. The Gold Course is both an enduring example of traditional golf course architecture -- walkable and free of surrounding real estate development – and an excellent counterpart to the Green Course, which at 7,120 yards plays a little tougher than its sibling.

Located just off I-64 in New Kent toward Richmond, the Club at Viniterra opened in late 2009 as an amenity to help sell real estate, and once the golf course fully matured, the developers elected to open for public play earlier this year. Built on nearly 1,200 acres of wooded and rugged terrain, Viniterra can stretch to nearly 7,800 yards from the tips and flies against the grain of your typical Tidewater design.

With massive fairways and run-ups to nearly all of its green complexes, combined with the strategic placement of various grass, sand and water hazards -- Viniterra is enjoyable for golfers who select the proper set of tees, as some holes offer up to a dozen different teeboxes. Viniterra's routing incorporates many of the site's diverse natural features, including frequent elevation changes, multiple wetland areas and sections of mature, deciduous forest.

For more information, click here.

December 3, 2012 - 9:36am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
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Keegan Bradley
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Keegan Bradley, winner of the 2011 PGA Championship, was called something on Saturday that no golfer ever wants to be called.

Former PGA Champion Keegan Bradley -- who also proved himself a match-play force in the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah -- was the victim of some unwarranted, distasteful heckling at Tiger Woods's World Challenge on Saturday.

Bradley, who famously uses a belly putter, was called a, "cheater," by a spectator as he played the final hole of his third round at Sherwood Country Club.

"It's very disrespectful, but it's fine with me," Bradley told the press. "I've got to try to look at it as motivation to help me try to win this tournament."

Just last week, the USGA and the R&A proposed a new rule to ban anchored putters -- a rule that would take effect in January 2016.

Three of the last five major champions, starting with Bradley at the 2011 PGA Championship, used a belly putter. The proposed change was likely the reason -- among other things -- for the vitriol Bradley received on Saturday.

Being called, "a cheater," is the worst imaginable thing you can tag a golfer. Especially when he's done nothing wrong, which is the case with Bradley. Long putters have been legal for years. To its credit, the USGA responded to the Bradley incident with the statement below:

Far Hills, N.J. (December 2, 2012) -- The United States Golf Association (USGA) today issued the following statement regarding yesterday's incident at the World Challenge in which a spectator called Keegan Bradley's use of an anchored stroke as "cheating." The incident follows the Nov. 28 announcement by the USGA and The R&A proposing changes to the Rules of Golf that would prohibit anchoring the club in making a stroke. The proposed Rule change would take effect on January 1, 2016, in accordance with the regular four-year cycle for changes to the Rules of Golf.

"This is a deplorable incident, and there is no place in our game for this kind of behavior. As we noted when announcing proposed Rule 14-1b, it has been and remains entirely within the Rules of Golf for players to anchor the club while making a stroke. There should not be a shred of criticism of such players or any qualification or doubt about their achievements, and we think that it is inappropriate even to suggest anything to the contrary. Rule changes address the future and not the past. Up until now and until such time as a Rule change were to be implemented, golfers using an anchored stroke will have been playing by the Rules of Golf."

"We are sorry that Keegan had to experience this unfounded criticism from an obviously uneducated spectator. Instead, Keegan and other PGA Tour professionals should be commended for their maturity and grace in managing through a proposed change to the Rules of Golf."

"While we understand that the proposed Rules change would cause some short-term angst, we believe the new Rule would serve the long-term best interest of the game."

Here's to hoping Bradley -- or anyone else using a long putter while it's still legal, for that matter -- is spared the nonsense from the peanut gallery.

PGA of America President Ted Bishop issued the following statement after the USGA and R&A announced its proposed long putter ban:

"The PGA has long supported the USGA in its role of establishing the Rules of Golf governing play and equipment. We have representation on the Rules of Golf Committee and we have tremendous respect for the USGA in regard to their critical role in writing and interpreting the Rules of Golf. As our mission is to grow the game, on behalf of our 27,000 men and women PGA Professionals, we are asking them to seriously consider the impact this proposed ban may have on people's enjoyment of the game and the overall growth of the game."

December 3, 2012 - 1:10am
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy at the Ryder Cup
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The next time Graeme McDowell is pouring drinks, it might be at his new tavern in Orlando.

Well, maybe they will be next time.

Every time he wins a tournament, Graeme McDowell has a tradition. "I always call Rathmore, my home golf course" in Northern Ireland, and tell them that the drinks are on him, McDowell said Sunday afternoon after he won Tiger Woods' World Challenge for the second time in three seasons.

"It's a bit late there now. What is it, 11:35? I was going to say it's not too early for those boys, believe me," he noted. "Hopefully my dad will make a phone call and we'll shed the boys a few drinks and shed the boys a few drinks at Lake Nona."

However, we learned this week, McDowell is opening his own tavern at Lake Nona in Orlando.

"Thankfully it's not open yet, so I'll save a few dollars this time around," joked McDowell, who is also in the final stages of building what he calls his dream house at Lake Nona.

The combination bar and restaurant will be called Nona Blue, and McDowell is partnering with a company called Bistro Concepts LLC to bring it to fruition. It will be in the Lake Nona Village shopping center, between the entrances to Lake Nona Golf & Country Club and NorthLake Park, and McDowell said he hopes it'll open sometime in January.

"Traditionally, it may be drinks on the house at Nona Blue when I win a tournament," he said. And we can only hope he doesn't go another two years before his next victory.

December 2, 2012 - 2:08pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa
Courtesy of CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa
The clubhouse overlooking the Greg Norman-designed course at the CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa in Anguilla received a major refreshment.

The unique CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa on the Caribbean island of Anguilla is back in business following a three-month, $15 million renovation to the property.

"We're seeing a strong renewed interest in CuisinArt in the U.S. market as a result of the recent renovations," General Manager Stephanie Zaharia told Travel Weekly. "There's steady growth, as well, in the Canadian and South American markets."

The 11,000-square-foot clubhouse at the resort's $50 million Greg Norman-designed 18-hole golf course received part of the upgrade, and the resort's entrance was reconfigured to offer more expansive views of the course and the ocean beyond.

In addition, the 275-acre beachfront property's 93 guest rooms received new furnishings, LCD TVs, Bose Wave music systems, Nespresso makers and other enhancements. The resort also opened Anguilla's first Japanese restaurant, called Tokyo Bay. Another new restaurant, Italia, has opened in the golf clubhouse, while the menus at Cafe Mediterraneo, Beach Grill and the AAA Four Diamond-rated Le Bistro at Santorini all have been updated.

CuisinArt's winter rates start at $875 per night, though a variety of promotional plans and packages are available.

For more information, visit www.CuisinArtResort.com.