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October 20, 2014 | 4:29 p.m.

Greens and Gridirons: Georgia, UGA Golf Course

Bill Zimmerman
The par-3 13th hole at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga.
The par-3 13th hole at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga.

ATHENS, Ga. – Anyone crafting a college town for a novel or motion picture might be tempted to add layers and eccentricities until it almost becomes too much of a good thing.

They might, in short, craft a place that looks a lot like Athens, where, on fall weekends, thousands of rabid Bulldogs fans and Georgia alums join 34,000 students in a city where the rich football tradition – defined by the phrase “Between the hedges” – is complemented by a thriving music and foodie scene.

I arrived two days before the game to find a predictable sea of partisans clad in ...

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Martin Kaufmann
The Garrison sits across the Hudson River from West Point.
The Garrison sits across the Hudson River from West Point.

WEST POINT, N.Y. – For as long as I can remember, people have told me that few fan experiences are as memorable as attending a football game at Army.

I finally was able to do that Sept. 6, as part of Golfweek’s annual “Greens & Gridirons” series. (The story appears in our Oct. 3 print issue.) That series has run annually since 2007, as my colleagues and I have visited college campuses during the fall and played some of the best courses nearby. Needless to say, I don’t have much trouble finding colleagues eager to spend a few days ...

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February 20, 2014 | 10:22 a.m.

Gleneagles pro shares tips on Ryder Cup course

Martin Kaufmann
The 16th hole at Gleneagles, the site of the 2014 Ryder Cup.
The 16th hole at Gleneagles, the site of the 2014 Ryder Cup.

In September the Ryder Cup will be played on the PGA Centenary Course, a Jack Nicklaus design at The Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland. Andrew Jowett, head professional at The Gleneagles Hotel, recently gave Golfweek a scouting report on the course.

  • Golfweek: What are some of the best match-play holes on the course?
  • Jowett: There’s a definite shift as you get to the back nine. From 14 onwards, it’s an exciting finish, whether you’re playing stroke play or match play. But certainly from a match-play perspective, you can see how it will light things up.
  • Golfweek: Take us ...

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Martin Kaufmann
No. 16 at Bandon Dunes
No. 16 at Bandon Dunes

The first course at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort made Golfweek’s cover even before it opened in 1999. Owner Mike Keiser had swung for the fences and hit a tape-measure shot. Now home to 85 holes on the remote southern Oregon coast, Bandon Dunes has become a rite of passage for serious golfers and an homage to Keiser’s love of classical golf architecture. It also has inspired imitators in other remote destinations.

Keiser currently is developing a second course at Cabot Links in Canada, and is contemplating a multicourse resort project in Wisconsin. In a Q&A with Golfweek, Keiser shares his thoughts on how to build greens, his tendency to go against the grain, and the similarities between golf and greeting cards.

GW: How involved are you in the design of your courses?

MK: I’m extremely involved. (The architects) all know that before we seed anything, I need to approve it. I don’t actually see every last inch before they plant seed, but I have a pretty good idea of the general contours and shapes of the hole-by-hole progression of things. In particular I’m looking at greens, because greens are the soul of a golf course. I feel strongly that between St. Andrews and National Golf Links and Chicago Golf (Club) and some of Pine Valley’s greens, I would like most of my greens to fit into those four courses – especially the flatter National Golf Links and Chicago Golf greens. There’s always a debate. I want flat, they want contoured, and we end up somewhere in between.

GW: What is your handicap?

MK: Twelve and getting higher.

GW: I’m told by architects that you keep in mind the average golfer as you work on courses.

MK: I want the best tees for the retail golfer. That’s 5,800 to 6,300 yards. Those are the vast majority of golfers who pay me. . . . I’m interested in what we call the royal-blue tees, which measure 4,300 yards. I’m interested in the back tees, from 7,000 to 7,500 yards. But I’m especially interested in the 5,800- to 6,300-yard tees.

GW: Was Sand Hills (in Mullen, Neb.) a model to copy, or was it so unique that it was a model to avoid?

MK: I won’t say that it was a model to copy, but it was a model for (the idea that) remote can work. That opened in 1994, Bandon Dunes opened in 1999. . . . I knew what (Sand Hills owner Dick Youngscap) was doing. I was a little bit envious that he picked (Bill) Coore and (Ben) Crenshaw before I got to them, and I excluded Bill and Ben from the first course because Dick picked them. So instead I picked David Kidd, and that worked out great.

GW: Some of the remote courses that subsequently have been built have struggled. Why do you think that is?

MK: No ocean. I’m a fan, but have never been, to Sutton Bay, The Prairie Club. I have been to Dismal River; I have been ...

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Steve Harmon
Matt Daniels, Sewanee's head professional, shares the legend of 'Shakerag Hollow' while admiring the view northward from the Gil Hanse-renovated course, which reopens in early June.
Matt Daniels, Sewanee's head professional, shares the legend of 'Shakerag Hollow' while admiring the view northward from the Gil Hanse-renovated course, which reopens in early June.

SEWANEE, Tenn. – As a retired Episcopal minister, King Oehmig has spent a lifetime delivering a message of salvation.

So when he talks about what architect Gil Hanse’s renovation of the University of the South’s golf course will mean to this 1,500-student liberal-arts school on Monteagle Mountain, Oehmig (pronounced EM-ig) takes on an air of a revivalist.

“It has turned out to be an incredible revamp,” said Oehmig, who earned a doctorate in divinity from the school popularly known as Sewanee after having played golf at Virginia in 1969-73. “It’s one of the great stories not only ...

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Martin Kaufmann
The waves lap at the back of the 18th green at Guacalito de la Isla.
The waves lap at the back of the 18th green at Guacalito de la Isla.

Five years ago, architect David McLay Kidd was on his way to inspect the site for a potential course in Costa Rica when his client redirected him to Nicaragua. Big difference. Costa Rica is a relatively stable democracy and popular destination for golfers and other tourists. Nicaragua is an undeveloped socialist state just two decades removed from a civil war and with no history in golf.

“Like every other westerner, I’m thinking there are going to be contras hiding in the trees with AK-47s getting ready to shoot me,” Kidd recalled, amused by the memory.

Kidd began to warm ...

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Martin Kaufmann

It’s now been more than a week since the election, yet the postmortems continue. While the previous two federal election cycles in 2008 and 2010 were “wave” elections – new, energized voters emerged and rocked the electoral math – 2012 was a “turnout” election. President Obama’s formula this time around was to get every possible supporter to the polls while simultaneously driving down Gov. Romney’s turnout.

There’s a similar parallel to be drawn with golf. Right now the golf industry is putting a lot of resources behind a wave strategy, with programs designed to recruit people who have ...

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August 17, 2012 | 10:17 a.m.

Nebraska's Dismal River shows a softer side

Martin Kaufmann
The Dismal River Club in Mullen, Neb.
The Dismal River Club in Mullen, Neb.

MULLEN, Neb. -- To reach Dismal River Club, visitors turn off of Highway 97 and travel 17 miles on a paved, one-lane road that ripples across the plains, occasionally cresting on a wave of asphalt that leaves one wondering what, if anything, is approaching from the other side. If it’s a Ford F150, be prepared to drop a wheel off the side of the road and keep on motoring.

Welcome to golf in the wild, vast, untamed heartland. Spanning 3,000 acres, Dismal River Club is the sort of place where one might go not just to play golf, but ...

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Categories: Top Stories, Travel, Features
June 14, 2012 | 3:42 p.m.

For a good 'Coz'

Ron Balicki
Jerry Cozby
Jerry Cozby

NORMAN, Okla. – Throughout his life in golf, Jerry Cozby has racked up his share of honors, as a college player and in 40-plus years as a PGA club professional.

Cozby played for two junior-college national champions at Odessa (Texas) College in 1960-61 before transferring to Lamar, where he played his last two years.

During his 41 years as head professional at Hillcrest Country Club in Bartlesville, he earned PGA section and national awards.

Retired since late 2009, Cozby, who turns 71 on June 9, reflects on a lifetime of service through golf with an honor that tugs at his heart ...

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June 14, 2012 | 2:57 p.m.

Thrill of the grill

Steve Parrish (left) and Candy Parrish-Thrush serve up their famous burger dogs in much the same fashion as their father did 60 years ago.
Steve Parrish (left) and Candy Parrish-Thrush serve up their famous burger dogs in much the same fashion as their father did 60 years ago.

San Francisco – Some 50 years ago, when he was in his early teens and a junior member at The Olympic Club, Johnny Miller often played the front nine of the Lake Course over par, but he never finished 18 underfed.

Regardless of his score, all of Miller’s rounds came with the same highlight: a refueling stop, between the 10th and 11th holes, at the snack shack run by Bill Parrish, whom Miller addressed as “Mr. Parrish” but everyone knew as “Burger Bill.”

A big-band trumpeter by training and an entrepreneur by necessity, Parrish earned his nickname in the early ...

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May 31, 2012 | 5 p.m.

What price for history?

Martin Kaufmann
The former home of Russell Montague now serves as a museum and clubhouse for Oakhurst Links.
The former home of Russell Montague now serves as a museum and clubhouse for Oakhurst Links.

For sale: Oakhurst Links, one of America’s oldest golf clubs. Established in 1884. Original layout was faithfully restored in 1994. Nine holes, 2,235 yards. Annually hosts a national championship. Course is played exclusively with replica pre-1900 hickory clubs and gutta-percha balls. For sale at auction. Will accept best offer.

• • •

“There’s Sambo.”

That would be Sam Snead, who is pictured striking the first tee shot here at the 1994 reopening of Oakhurst Links. Lewis Keller smiles. Keller always smiles when he recalls his old friend.

Nearby, there’s a photo of Snead, the local hero, practicing at Oakhurst ...

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Categories: Martin Kaufmann, Features
May 24, 2012 | 6:35 p.m.

High-stakes action

Martin Kaufmann
The course at Greenbrier Resort
The course at Greenbrier Resort

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- It’s 11 p.m. in The Greenbrier’s Casino Club, and waitresses dressed in evening gowns are passing out complimentary flutes of champagne to each guest. The uber-elegant, 103,000-square-foot casino suddenly is flooded with orchestral music – an original arrangement called “The Greenbrier Waltz,” we’re told – as two couples dance from the marble staircase to the faux springhouse in the center of the casino.

Some gamblers stop to watch and take pictures, while others seem oblivious to the dancers. An attractive young blonde at the craps table, about 20 feet from the springhouse ...

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May 18, 2012 | 12:25 p.m.

Battle by the Bay

Bradley S. Klein
Sharp Park in San Francisco
Sharp Park in San Francisco

David Holland, like many Bay Area golfers, loves Sharp Park Golf Course. On May 19, he plans to be at the legendary course to celebrate the 80th anniversary of this Alister MacKenzie design. However, when most golfers return to work the next day, they’ll leave the course behind them.

For Holland, 63, Sharp Park has become his work – maybe even his calling. He tried retiring after working for the U.S. Forest Service for 34 years – the last four as national recreation, heritage and wilderness director. Then he went to work for San Mateo County, spending six years as ...

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May 11, 2012 | 1:17 p.m.

Book review: The power of three

Martin Kaufmann
Arnold Palmer
Arnold Palmer

It is widely accepted that Arnold Palmer popularized golf for the masses with his swashbuckling playing style and off-the-charts charisma. James Dodson, who helped Palmer write his memoir, certainly has a soft spot for The King, but insists we not forget three legends – Byron Nelson, Sam Snead and Ben Hogan – who all were born in 1912 and set the stage for Palmer’s generation and those who followed.

As Dodson recalls Snead growling, “You tell Arnold if it hadn’t been for me and old Ben and Byron, hell, nobody would’ve ever heard of him!” There’s no doubt ...

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Categories: Martin Kaufmann, Features
May 11, 2012 | 1:14 p.m.

Alliss in Wonderland

Alistair Tait
Peter Alliss at the 2012 World Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Peter Alliss at the 2012 World Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

LONDON – Peter Alliss has enjoyed a long, fruitful career in golf because he hasn’t taken the game too seriously. That trait shines through in his commentary.

Alliss transitioned seamlessly from a successful playing career to an equally accomplished television career because golf came secondary to his interest in human nature. “I think the reason I’ve had such a long run is due to the fact I’ve never really been that interested in the golf,” Alliss said. “I’m always more interested in what’s going on outside the ropes than inside them.”

Alliss, 81, an Englishman, will ...

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Categories: Alistair Tait, Features

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