PGA Tour Notebook: Is practice area the best part of Woods' new house?

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Tiger Woods has assembled a short-game practice area that features four greens, six bunkers of various depths and types of sand, a video center and a putting studio.
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Associated Press

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Published: Sunday, March 13, 2011 | 6:06 p.m.

Tiger Woods says he is close to moving into his new home in south Florida, and it sounds as though the most exciting part of that is his practice facility.

“It’s phenomenal,” Woods said on his website.

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His design team built a short-game practice area that features four greens, six bunkers of various depths and types of sand, along with a video center and a putting studio.

Without any wind, the longest club he can hit is a 7-iron. Woods also said he can hit shots from his studio on the second floor.

ERNIE’S DILEMMA: Ernie Els was fitted for a Presidents Cup uniforms two weeks ago at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, although he still hasn’t decided where he will be playing Nov. 17-20.

The South African Open, where he is the defending champion, has been moved to the same date as the Presidents Cup in Australia, leaving Els uncertain, along with being a little irate.

Els said he spoke to PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem last week, and that Finchem is meeting with European Tour chief George O’Grady and South African chief Gareth Tindall.

“It’s basically in their hands and it’s a bit of an issue to resolve,” Els said. “Somebody is going to have to move a date or something.”

But he at least recognizes the problem of such a crowded schedule at the end of the year.

The European Tour wants to end its season with the Dubai World Championship, which already has been pushed back because of the Presidents Cup. Previously, two South African events were held in December and were considered the start of the next season.

The top five players in the International team standings are South African, and all played in the South African Open last year.

“It could be quite something,” Els said.

LOCAL CADDIE: Alastair Presnell hired a local caddie for the Nationwide Tour event in Panama two weeks ago, and it became somewhat of a distraction in the final round.

The Australian Associated Press reports that the caddie’s cell phone rang five times during the first seven holes, and Presnell’s patience finally ran thin.

“On the eighth tee, Alastair told his caddie to throw it in the bush,” said Mathew Goggin, who played in Presnell’s group. “So the caddie literally threw it in the bush and walked off.”

Goggin wound up winning by one shot over Presnell and Darron Stiles.

STAT OF THE WEEK: Of the four major champions from 2009, Y.E. Yang was the only player to qualify for the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral.

FINAL WORD: “When will I win again? Whenever it happens, it happens. I’m just going to keep trying to progress.” -- Tiger Woods.