Golf Buzz

April 24, 2013 - 2:38pm
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John Holmes
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Drive, Chip and Putt Championship

Just a reminder, the entry deadline for the inaugural Drive, Chip and Putt Championship is April 30.

The Drive, Chip and Putt Championship is free to enter, and open to boys and girls ages 7-15, who will compete in four age categories.

The event is supported by the Masters Tournament Foundation, The PGA of America and the United States Golf Association. The finalists in the various age groups will compete in the national finals next April at Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters.

To read more about Drive, Chip and Putt, click here.

And for more information and to register, please visit


April 24, 2013 - 12:19pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler and the Duck Dynasty crew at the Zurich Classic
Charlie Rymer via Twitter
Bubba Watson (right), Charlie Rymer (center, in dark sweater) and Rickie Fowler (far left) hung out with some of the 'Duck Dynasty' clan at the Zurich Classic on Wednesday.

If you've been keeping up with Bubba Watson on social media over the last month or two, you know he's become fast friends with the gentlemen from ''Duck Dynasty.'' 

Mostly, Bubba's been on their turf (or in their blinds). But today, the duck-calling crew is returning the favor – they're at TPC Louisiana for pro-am day for the Zurich Classic.

Charlie Rymer of the Golf Channel has posted a few funny shots of the gang on Twitter, and I only wish he would pass along what everybody was laughing at. The photo above is my favorite so far – because of the duck dudes, and also because of Rickie Fowler hanging out on the far left. 

If one thing is not like the others in this image, it's him. Rickie looks like one of those people you see at sporting events who get on camera and then have to call their buddies to at home to make sure they're watching!

Ironically, the pro-am was delayed shortly after noon by rain – or, as we used to call it, duck weather.

While Bubba was hanging out with the Robertson clan in New Orleans over the last few days, by the way, Rickier was in Austin, Texas, for the big Moto GP motorcycle race at the Formula 1 track. 


April 23, 2013 - 5:43pm
Posted by:
John Holmes
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Links Golf Club at Sandestin
Courtesy of Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
The Links GC at Sandestin is one of three courses at the resort that will remain in top shape for golfers and NCAA Division III Golfers.

May is typically the month when the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort typically punches its greens and performs routine maintenance on its golf courses. Not this year, though – the resort is hosting the NCAA men’s and women’s Division III national championships, and the courses will remain in top shape throughout the month.

The college kids aren't the only ones who can take advantage of the extra-long prime season at Sandestin. The resort is offering a Spring Swing package to lure golfers – no matter their collegiate loyalty.

The package includes three nights and three rounds of golf, along with unlimited use of the practice facility and practice balls. Also included are golf car and greens fees, a $20 beverage cart credit and a Nike wedge.

The golf portion of the package includes one round each at the Raven Golf Club, Links Golf Club and Baytowne Golf Club. And in between rounds, vacationers can visit The Village of Baytowne Wharf, an assortment of casual and fine-dining restaurants, bars and nightlife, and boutique shopping. Beach access, a marina, fitness facilities and numerous organized activities are also available on-site.

The Spring Swing starts at $172 per player per night based on quad occupancy in the Bayside complex, and at $253 per person per night based on double occupancy in the Village units. The price includes all taxes and fees.

The package runs through May 22. The Division III finals are set for May 14-17, as 21 women's teams will compete at Baytowne and 40 men's teams will play at the Raven and the Links. 

For more information, visit

April 23, 2013 - 2:45pm
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John Holmes
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Tournament Course at Redstone Golf Club
Getty Images
Redstone Golf Club, home to the Shell Houston open, joins the Escalante Golf portfolio of high-end golf facilities.

Redstone Golf Club, home of the Shell Houston Open for the past decade, has a new owner. 

Fort Worth, Texas-based Escalante Golf is buying Redstone GC, whose Tournament Course hosts the PGA Tour each spring (the facility also includes the Member Course) from the Redstone Companies. Also included in the deal are several other Houston-area properties: Shadow Hawk Golf Club, the Houstonian Golf & Country Club and BlackHorse Golf Club (North and South Courses).

''These iconic clubs and courses have excellent reputations in the local market with unique designs and overall experiences,'' said Escalante Golf President David McDonald.  ''We will build on the foundation created by The Redstone Companies to enhance every aspect of membership and public play.''

These six courses join a portfolio at Escalante that also includes the Golf Club at Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz.; Crosby National Golf Club in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.; Country Club of the North in Beavercreek, Ohio; and Black Diamond Ranch in Lecanto, Fla.

''Escalante has built a strong portfolio of golf properties across the nation,'' said Redstone CEO Robert Henricksen. ''Shadow Hawk, the Houstonian Golf & Country Club, Redstone Golf Club and BlackHorse offer a great complement to Escalante's portfolio, while helping to expand their reach into the state of Texas.''

The 36-hole BlackHorse GC is widely considered the premier daily-fee facility in the Houston area, while Shadow Hawk and the Houstonian are among the city's most exclusive private clubs. Both Shadow Hawk and the Houstonian feature Rees Jones-designed courses. The Tournament Course at Redstone is a Rees Jones/David Toms design, while the Member Course was created by Peter Jacobsen and Jim Hardy.

The price for the transaction was not disclosed.


April 22, 2013 - 6:55pm
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John Holmes
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Alan Dunbar
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Alan Dunbar will open his professional career by playing the upcoming Madrid Challenge in Spain and the Montecchia Golf Open in Italy.

Alan Dunbar of Northern Ireland has turned professional and plans to begin the new phase of his career in Europe.

Dunbar, who turns 23 next week, won the British Amateur crown last summer at Royal Troon, and soon thereafter signed with International Sports Management. He remained an amateur so he could play at the Masters two weeks ago, when he missed the cut. 

"I have been very impressed with the help and advice ISM have given me and am convinced I am in the right hands now that I have decided to turn professional," said Dunbar. "It is an honor to be part of a stable with several major champions and many multi-winners throughout the world."

As an amateur, Dunbar won the Gecko Pro Tour event at Guadalhorce Golf Club, Spain, in March. He also won the Georgia Cup a week before the Masters.

Dunbar will open his professional career by playing the upcoming Madrid Challenge in Spain and the Montecchia Golf Open in Italy. After those two events on the European Challenge Tour, he'll step up to the main European Tour for the Nordea Masters at the end of May.




NEW YORK -- Americans are spending an average of 500 to 1,400 more hours at the office per year than their parents did. Most people have seen time for leisure activities shrink to two hours per day, maximum. But even a two-hour window of free time can be a chance to play nine holes of golf. In its June 2013 issue, Golf Digest, the bible of the avid golfer, is launching a campaign to support and encourage more nine-hole rounds. Many golfers can play nine holes even when they are busy—and a little golf is always better than no golf at all. 
With promotional support from the United States Golf Association and the PGA of America, Golf Digest will create a list of nine-hole-friendly golf courses that will appear at The Time for Nine list comprises courses that allow and promote nine-hole play for men, women, juniors and families on layouts that make it easy to do so. Golfers are encouraged to submit qualifying courses to or or and the list will be published at 
“We think golfers will play a whole lot more if they join the growing number of golfers who have come to love nine-hole rounds,” says Golf Digest Chairman & Editor-in-Chief Jerry Tarde. “The real message is, don’t let the inability to play 18 pull the game away from you. Eighteen is great. But nine is fine.”
In addition to serving as President of the PGA of America, Ted Bishop is the general manager and PGA director of golf at The Legends Golf Club in Franklin, Ind. Thus, he understands the time constraints that many people are under and is a proponent of nine-hole rounds, both as an industry leader and a golf-facility operator.
“We are very pleased to support Golf Digest and the ‘Time for Nine’ initiative,” says Bishop. “Golf can be experienced in many different ways, and I’m proud that PGA Professionals across the country are encouraging people to have fun by playing nine holes. This new effort shows the commitment that Golf Digest has for the long-term well-being of the game, and I am confident that PGA Professionals will embrace it.”      
The USGA’s support for the “Time for Nine” campaign is part of a multifaceted program that was announced in February to identify challenges and solutions regarding pace-of-play issues in the game of golf. This USGA-led set of initiatives includes: an analysis of key factors known to influence pace of play; the development of a pace-of-play model based on quantifiable data; improvements to the USGA Pace Rating System; on-site assistance at golf courses to help managers assess and improve pace of play; and the creation of player-education programs.  
“Five-hour plus rounds of golf are incompatible with the compressed time that many of us have available for recreational activities,” said USGA President Glen D. Nager. “Time for Nine is a fun and creative start to promoting the nine-hole round of golf as a complete and enjoyable experience that is consistent with the traditions of playing the game.”
According to the USGA, nine-hole rounds of golf are fully compatible with both the Rules of Golf and the USGA Handicap System.  For more information on how to calculate a nine-hole handicap, visit
About Golf Digest
Golf Digest, the world’s foremost authority on how to play, what to play and where to play golf is part of Golf Digest Companies and is published by Condé Nast. Condé Nast is home to some of the world’s most celebrated media brands. In the United States, Condé Nast publishes 18 consumer magazines, four business-to-business publications, 27 websites, and more than 50 apps for mobile and tablet devices, all of which define excellence in their categories. The company also owns Fairchild Fashion Media (FFM), whose portfolio of brands serves as the leading source of news and analysis for the global fashion community. Condé Nast has won more National Magazine Awards over the past ten years than all of its competitors combined.  For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter @CondeNastCorp.
About the USGA
The USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, as well as 10 national amateur championships, two state team championships and international matches. Together with The R&A, the USGA governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, Equipment Standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA’s working jurisdiction comprises the United States, its territories and Mexico.
The USGA is a global leader in the development and support of sustainable golf course management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s history and funds an ongoing “For the Good of the Game” charitable giving program. Additionally, the USGA’s Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50 countries.
For more information about the USGA, visit
About the PGA of America
Since its founding in 1916, The PGA of America has maintained a twofold mission: to establish and elevate the standards of the profession and to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. By establishing and elevating the standards of the golf profession through world-class education, career services, marketing and research programs, The PGA enables its professionals to maximize their performance in their respective career paths and showcases them as experts in the game and in the multi-billion dollar golf industry. By creating and delivering world-class championships and innovative programs, The PGA of America elevates the public’s interest in the game, the desire to play more golf, and ensures accessibility to the game for everyone, everywhere. As The PGA nears its centennial, the PGA brand represents the very best in golf.