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June 23, 2011 | 3:20 p.m.

An inside view on the rules

James Achenbach
Karsten Solheim is among the people to make an appearance in Frank Thomas' 'From Sticks and Stones: The Evolution of Golf Equipment Rules.'
Karsten Solheim is among the people to make an appearance in Frank Thomas' 'From Sticks and Stones: The Evolution of Golf Equipment Rules.'

The Rules of Golf today are as much about golf equipment as they are playing the game, with regulations surrounding clubs and balls dominating rules discussions in recent years.

For 26 years, Frank Thomas was in the middle of this rules storm as technical director of the U.S. Golf Association. He knows as much about equipment rules as any golfer on the planet.

This book is full of inside stories. Thomas was there when Karsten Solheim invented square grooves and sued the USGA and PGA Tour after those grooves were declared nonconforming. He was there for the fine-tuning process ...

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Categories: James Achenbach, Features
June 23, 2011 | 3:11 p.m.

Top resorts are his Forte

Rocco Forte
Rocco Forte

Add golf to spectacular draws of Sicily

SCIACCA, Italy – Rocco Forte sits down to a late lunch – it’s just after 3 p.m. – at Verdura Golf & Spa Resort in Sicily, and looks very much at home, as he should. Forte built the sprawling seaside resort that opened in 2009, just outside of the town of Sciacca.

It’s a light lunch, just a bit of prosciutto and mozzarella and a glass of white wine, which seems to fit with Forte’s trim, athletic build.

Despite the Italian invasion in pro golf, led by the Molinari brothers and Matteo Manassero ...

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Categories: Travel, Features
Bradley S. Klein
Deane Beman (file photo)
Deane Beman (file photo)

Meet the commissioner. He’s part business tycoon, part carnival barker, and part self-promoting publicist. From 1974 to 1994, Deane Beman presided over the growth of the PGA Tour. During his tenure, the circuit grew from $8.2 million in total purses to $56.4 million. What started as a loosely strung circuit of small-town events morphed into a nationally televised chain of big-city tournaments under major corporate sponsorships.

Former Golfweek senior writer Adam Schupak has done his homework. The result is an exhaustively detailed account of the deal making, backroom politicking and savvy – sometimes crackpot – vision by which men ...

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Categories: Bradley S. Klein, Features
June 16, 2011 | 5:59 p.m.

Potomac fever

Martin Kaufmann
The 18th hole at Lake Presidential
The 18th hole at Lake Presidential

The first nine holes of the Blue Course at East Potomac Park opened in 1921, the same year that Congressional Country Club – which is hosting this week’s U.S. Open on its own, somewhat more famous Blue Course – was incorporated. East Potomac’s Blue was designed by Walter Travis, whose work, like that of Devereux Emmet, the architect of Congressional’s Blue, always has been undervalued by historians.

That’s where the similarities end.

East Potomac Park is near the seat of power – the Washington Monument is the target line for several holes – but Congressional is where the power ...

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Categories: Martin Kaufmann, Features
June 16, 2011 | 5:34 p.m.

Raucous caucous

Bradley S. Klein
Congressional's clubhouse
Congressional's clubhouse

BETHESDA, Md. – It’s a cold, damp Friday night in April, and the golf course – all 36 holes – is still struggling to emerge from winter’s chill. But inside Congressional Country Club, the joint is jumping.

There’s a rock band blaring 1960s tunes at a wedding in the main ballroom. Over in the Chop House, guests and members in proper attire (jackets and ties for men, dresses or skirts for women) hover over their candle-lit meals in hushed reverence. And downstairs in the Founders Pub, about 400 folks clad in TGIF garb (jeans and sneakers de rigueur) are making ...

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Bradley S. Klein

Villainous professional wrestler George Zaharias, an 8 handicap, met Mildred Didrikson when they were paired together during the first two rounds of the 1938 Los Angeles Open. He beat The Babe by a shot that first day, 83-84, and though neither made the 36-hole cut, they went on to form a colorful, if strained, partnership. He was the big galoot turned entrepreneur. She was the rough-hewn Texas tomboy who never met a sport she didn’t master.

Her life as a barnstormer, sports headliner, champion golfer and pack-a-day smoker (before her death from cancer at age 45 in 1956) is ...

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Categories: Travel, Features
May 23, 2011 | 6:49 p.m.

Igniting a revolution

Martin Kaufmann
No. 18 at Firekeeper
No. 18 at Firekeeper

MAYETTA, Kan. – Standing near the adjacent tees at Firekeeper Golf Course’s ninth and 11th holes, Notah Begay III recently was describing how the wind would affect play on two holes. A hurting wind on No. 9 would help on the 11th, and vice versa.

“The net-net is balance,” he said.

The term “balance” comes up often when talking with Begay, who partnered with Jeff Brauer on the design of Firekeeper, which celebrated its grand opening May 15. Begay, a four-time winner on the PGA Tour, usually talks about balance in terms of architecture – factoring in winds, finding the proper ...

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Categories: Martin Kaufmann, Features
Martin Kaufmann
No. 5 on the Kiele Moana nine at Kaua'i Lagoons Golf Club.
No. 5 on the Kiele Moana nine at Kaua'i Lagoons Golf Club.

KAUA’I, Hawaii – Kaua’i Lagoons Golf Club plans to reopen the Kiele Moana (Ocean) nine May 23 following renovations to six holes and the addition of three others. The changes create a half-mile of uninterrupted ocean holes, billed as the longest such stretch in the state. 

The golf course is next to Kaua’i Marriott Resort and Beach Club on Kalapaki Beach. A $50 million renovation of that property was completed last year.

Visit www.kauaimarriott.com.

• • •

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Troon Golf is serving as technical advisor on a project to build a floating golf course in the Maldives, off ...

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Categories: Features
April 22, 2011 | 9:49 a.m.

Marathon woman

Nike's Cindy Davis and her puppy before a long run in Oregon.
Nike's Cindy Davis and her puppy before a long run in Oregon.

PORTLAND, Ore. – Dressed as if she should be starring in a Nike commercial, Cindy Davis, outfitted head-to-toe in swoosh-stamped gear, is hurdling tree roots, stomping through muck and tackling an ascent that would leave most gasping. It’s a chilly March afternoon, and Davis is trail running amid dense trees cloaked in fog and mist that make the place feel enchanted.

“I’ve run through here when the heavens have opened up, and it’s just incredible,” she says of her favorite local getaway, Forest Park, a 5,100-acre wilderness within Portland that gets nearly 40 inches of rain annually ...

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April 18, 2011 | 2:39 p.m.

In a New Light

Beth Ann Nichols
Paula Creamer spent an afternoon with Golfweek director of photography Tracy Wilcox, showing off her off-the-course style.
Paula Creamer spent an afternoon with Golfweek director of photography Tracy Wilcox, showing off her off-the-course style.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Before hopping into her black Range Rover to head to a photo shoot, Paula Creamer took out the trash. She also laid out the ingredients for that night’s dinner (maple-braised pork chops) on the kitchen counter. The woman who grew up in a pink cocoon – coddled by loving parents, an entourage of supporters and fans from around the globe – even cleaned up after her rescue puppy, Tank, who chewed her patio furniture, but thankfully, not her Christian Louboutins.

“I never went to college, so my parents and I never had that separation,” said Creamer, a nine-time winner ...

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Martin Kaufmann
Jack Nicklaus watches his putt drop for a birdie on the 17th hole at Augusta National on April 13, 1986 in Augusta, Ga. The shot gave him the lead and he went on to win his sixth Masters title.
Jack Nicklaus watches his putt drop for a birdie on the 17th hole at Augusta National on April 13, 1986 in Augusta, Ga. The shot gave him the lead and he went on to win his sixth Masters title.

Few tasks are more difficult for a writer than bringing new insight to a topic that your readers know as well, or better, than you. Try writing something fresh about a Super Bowl after America has hung a “closed” sign on the door and spent the day crashed on the couch watching a six-hour pre-game show, the game, the halftime show and post-game interviews and analysis that extend into the wee hours.

Or you can try to chronicle the 1986 Masters, which has been dissected more than a box of dead frogs in a ninth-grade biology class.

That notwithstanding, the ...

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Categories: Travel, Features
March 29, 2011 | 5 p.m.

Thumbs up

D.J. Piehowski
An image, courtesy of EA Sports, that shows No. 12 at Augusta National in the new Tiger Woods '12: The Masters edition, slated for release on March 29, 2011.
An image, courtesy of EA Sports, that shows No. 12 at Augusta National in the new Tiger Woods '12: The Masters edition, slated for release on March 29, 2011.

Editors note: Reviewer played on XBOX 360

In EA Sports’ “Tiger Woods 12: The Masters,” the legendary sports video game company provides players with this deal: We’ll give you a tee time on Augusta National, the most exclusive golf course in the world. . . but you’re going to have to work for it.

Not only does this mean you have to work your way through a much-improved and fantastic career mode before earning a spot in the Masters, but you have to put in the time learning the game controls, as well. This isn’t a golf game for ...

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Categories: PGA Tour, Top Stories, Features
March 28, 2011 | 5:25 p.m.

New book places Golf Style over substance

Martin Kaufmann
Sophie Gustafson during the 2009 Solheim Cup.
Sophie Gustafson during the 2009 Solheim Cup.

The adage that “golf is a lifestyle” has become accepted wisdom, particularly among many in the design world. You might leave the golf course, they believe, but you don’t leave golf.

In "Golf Style," Vicky Moon runs with this idea through a compilation of light personality features and short historical summaries on resorts and fashion. Moon’s choices of subjects seem random, held together only by the device of 18 chapters. Some work, others don’t.

At its best, "Golf Style" takes readers inside Duffy Waldorf’s home and 1,800-bottle wine cellar, which includes everything from Chateau Lafite ...

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Categories: Features
March 28, 2011 | 5:17 p.m.

Still in the game

Martin Kaufmann
Lyle Anderson eyes the land where he plans to build a boutique eco-resort.
Lyle Anderson eyes the land where he plans to build a boutique eco-resort.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The undeveloped 219-acre parcel on the west side of Golf Club Scottsdale is, by Lyle Anderson’s standards, barely a speck on the landscape. Anderson, the man largely responsible for shaping Scottsdale into one of America’s most desirable addresses, has developed properties 20, or even 40, times larger. 

These days, however, his attention is focused primarily on this tiny parcel, which overlooks the golf course and has panoramic views of the McDowell Mountains and, in the distance, Four Peaks. When Anderson bought the land in 2006, he says nearby lots were selling for “a couple million dollars ...

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Categories: Martin Kaufmann, Features
The Cal Club's par-4 seventh hole.
The Cal Club's par-4 seventh hole.

Sometimes, credit is the other side of blame. Consider Thomas Bastis, superintendent of the California Golf Club of San Francisco.

A $13 million restoration by architect Kyle Phillips in 2007-08 might be responsible for launching the Cal Club onto the Golfweek’s Best Classic Course list in 2009, at No. 60. But it’s Bastis who looks after the retro-look layout that keeps the Cal Club moving up the charts – to No. 54 last year and an eye-popping leap of 19 spots this year, to No. 35.

“It’s so fresh and different from where it was,” Phillips said. “Thomas ...

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Categories: Features

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