Fifth Third Stadium in Toledo, Ohio
Courtesy of Toledo Mud Hens
Before they host a pair of minor-league ice hockey names, the Toledo Mud Hens are converting their field into a miniature golf complex.
I've played a lot of miniature golf in my day, but never on a course like the one currently under construction in Toledo, Ohio.  
 
What makes that one so special? Well, for one thing, it's being carved into the turf at the Toledo Mud Hens' stadium.
 
Yes, with the Mud Hens' minor league baseball season over, the grounds crew is busily creating two full 18-hole miniature golf courses on the diamond at Fifth Third Field. The little links, which the Mud Hens have dubbed "The Links at Fifth Third Field," is flat, but Sports Turf Manager Jake Tyler promises it will be challenging.
 
"The first nine holes will have a lot of angles, doglegs, and sand traps," he said. "The back nine gets confusing when the fairway of 14 and 15 intersect each other, and hole 17 may be the hardest because it finishes up on top of the pitcher's mound."
 
 
This is the first time a minor league ballpark has been converted into a miniature golf course, according to the Mud Hens. "I always thought it would be interesting to see a natural grass Putt-Putt course," Tyler said. "The timing is perfect to create this once-in-a lifetime opportunity for our community."
 
The Mud Hens came up with the idea after agreeing to wreck their field so a pair of minor league ice hockey games could be played in the stadium this winter. As long as they were going to tear up the grass anyway, they figured, why not do something else fun with it first?
 
The courses will be open to the public, but for one weekend only – Sept. 25-28. The green fee is $15 per player, with proceeds going to Toledo-area charities, and each player will receive a souvenir golf ball. Want to give it a shot? Call the Mud Hens' box office to make a tee time – they're going fast!
 
Toledo Mud Hens convert field into miniature golf course
September 5, 2014 - 4:22pm
john.holmes's picture
Ryder Cup logo
Who will host the 2022 Ryder Cup? That question should be answered in 2015.
The 2014 Ryder Cup kicks off three weeks from today in Gleneagles, Scotland, but European Ryder Cup officials are already looking ahead to 2022 – they've announced that seven countries have formally expressed an interest in hosting the Ryder Cup that year.
 
That so many nations are eager to host is no surprise. To me, the most fascinating part is the identity of those nations. 
 
There's no England, Scotland, Ireland or Wales, which have hosted every European Ryder Cup except for the 1997 edition in Spain. Instead, the list includes Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Austria, Denmark and Turkey. 
 
Spain, of course, has a long and storied golf history, and that 1997 Ryder Cup – which, incidentally, was my first overseas Ryder Cup – was a success by all accounts. Portugal might be considered Spain's little brother when it comes to golf, but it boasts several impressive golf venues and proved it could host big events with its highly regarded staging of soccer's 2012 UEFA European Championship. 
 
 
Germany hosts several big European Tour events every year, recently stepped up its game to land the 2015 Solheim Cup and is seeing its profile rise with the success of two-time major champion Martin Kaymer. Italy also hosts a long-running European Tour stop, and the ascendance of the Molinari brothers and Matteo Manassero is giving golf a boost there as well.
 
Turkey has been pushing hard to raise its sporting profile, making (so far unsuccessful) bids for several big events. But it recently launched the $7 million Turkish Airlines Open, which has become an integral part of the European Tour's playoff series. 
 
Austria and Denmark are, to me, the biggest eye-openers on the list. Both host European Tour stops but neither is really known as a golf mecca. Ryder Cup stalwart Thomas Bjorn is by far Denmark's best-known player, while Austria's most prominent practitioners that I can think of are veteran European Tour player Marcus Brier and fast-rising Bernd Wiesberger. 
 
European Ryder Cup officials plans to visit each nation before the end of this year, and receive formal proposals by Feb. 16, 2015. They hope to make a final decision sometime next fall. 
 
At this point, there is no way to handicap these nations' chances of landing the 2022 Ryder Cup because there are so many factors involved – everything from prospective host venues to how enthusiastic the national governments might be. But one thing is clear – it is great for golf to have so many "new" nations so eager to get involved in the Ryder Cup.
 
Seven nations want to host 2022 Ryder Cup
September 5, 2014 - 11:34am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
KLM Open
European Tour
The first player to ace the 15th hole in next week's KLM Open on the European Tour will win a trip to space.

Next week, the KLM Open takes place in The Netherlands on the European Tour.

The first player to make a hole-in-one on the 15th hole will receive a gift like no other -- a trip to space.

You read that correctly. Not a car, not a vacation, not a million dollars or a new set of clubs, but a trip to space courtesy of XCOR Space Expeditions, according to www.europeantour.com.

RELATED: Twelve-year-old scores ace, wins new car she can't yet drive

Talk about an out-of-this-world prize.

According to the report, a life-sized model of the Lynx Mark 1 that will be travelling into space -- an aircraft that can take off and land horizontally -- will be on display next to the 15th green throughout all four rounds.

"With this prize we wish to create awareness among the public that space is now also accessible for everyone," says Michiel Mol, from XCOR Space Expeditions on www.europeantour.com. "Journeys into space can be made starting from the end of 2015. We already have 300 bookings."

The prize package is worth a cool $100,000.

A trip to space for a hole-in-one?
Kendall Dye
Kendall Dye via Instagram
Symetra Tour player Kendall Dye showed off her play-calling skills at the Emporia State game on Thursday.
Pretty much all of us know that the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers kicked off the NFL season on Thursday night. That wasn't the only football game on tap, though – Emporia State hosted Missouri Southern State in the Hornets' home opener there in Emporia, Kansas.
 
Coincidentally, the Symetra Tour is playing this weekend in nearby Mayetta, Kansas, and Emporia State took the opportunity to invite one of the circuit's most enthusiastic football fans to the game. Former Oklahoma standout and die-hard Sooner fan Kendall Dye didn't just sit in the stands and watch, though – she conducted the pre-game coin toss, and even called the home team's first play.
 
Clearly, all her Saturday afternoons at the Palace on the Prairie in Norman, Okla., paid off – the pass play she called went for a cool 25-yard gain as Emporia State rolled to a 53-28 victory. 
 
Dye, who is seventh on the Symetra Tour money list, didn't waste the opportunity to tout her play-calling skills, either. She posted a photo in full offensive coordinator mode on Instagram, with the notation: "Hire me [Oklahoma coach Bob] Stoops!"
 
 
Kendall Dye tosses coin, calls first play in college football game
September 4, 2014 - 2:21pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Ernie Els
Claude Harmon III
How disappointed would you be if you asked a tattoo artist for some ink of Ernie Els and it looked like this?

There are a lot of ways for fans to show their appreciation toward their favorite star golfers.

You can go to a tournament and cheer them on. You can go to the local golf store and buy the same clothes as said golfer. Or, in the case of this fan who attended Wednesday's Pro-Am at the BMW Championship out at Cherry Hills in Colorado, you can take it one (permanent) step further and have the golfer's likeness tattooed on your body.

Believe it or not, that right there is supposed to be a tattoo of Ernie Els (h/t Brendan Porath at SBNation.com):

The Big Easy's swing coach, Claude Harmon III, tweeted out the picture on Wednesday of Els signing the fans leg just above the tattoo.

 

This fan has got to get the signature tattooed into his leg now too, right?

Believe it or not, this isn't the worst golf fan tattoo we've seen -- it's pretty bad though. That "honor" belongs to a fan who has Davis Love III (at least the man claims that's how it is) inked onto his skin

Check out this guy's Ernie Els tattoo
September 4, 2014 - 9:23am
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Bryan Brothers
YouTube
The Bryan Brothers are at it again, this time using a GoPro camera to make you appreciate their talents in a whole new way.

Just when you think there are only so many golf trick shots you can see before you start thinking, "OK, I've seen it all," the Bryan Brothers come up with something new that will blow your mind.

Like this latest effort utilizing GoPro cameras:

George and Wesley Bryan are magicians, that's all there is to it.

RELATED: Meet the Bryan Brothers | Trick shot with live alligator | Compilation

My personal favorite from this GoPro video? George's chip shot into the moving cart that the driver catches, then tosses over the cart to Wesley, who smashes it in mid-air with a driver. That was unbelievable.

The only question you can ask after watching a Bryan Brothers video is this: What will they come up with next?

Rest assured whatever it is, it'll be special.

Bryan Brothers utilize GoPro cameras in latest trick shot video