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Bubba Watson to paint U.S. flag over Confederate flag on General Lee

The recent controversy over the Confederate flag has prompted Bubba Watson to paint a U.S. flag over the Confederate flag atop his pride and joy, the original General Lee, the Dodge Charger made famous on the television show “Dukes of Hazzard.”

Watson's General Lee parked in Waste Management Open parking lot (Getty Images)

Watson made his announcement via the following Tweet:

The cable television station “TV Land” announced on Wednesday it was pulling reruns of the popular television series because of the controversy created by the recent murders in a South Carolina church.

Here’s what Watson had to say about the General Lee in a Golf Digest My Shot:

“I'm a huge ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ fan. I have the complete DVD collection. After I got the car, I didn't have it a month before I put it into the shop. It was messed up when I got it. There were hundreds of General Lees, but mine was the original. It had done a lot of jumping. There was a big concrete block in the back seat to stabilize it when it was airborne, none of the gauges on the dash worked, and it didn't have seat belts. I handed it over to some car junkies, and a year and $10,000 later— that's a cheap price, by the way — I got it back. Everything in it is perfect. Would I drive it into Augusta? Sure, it's just a car. But will I? No. That's a long way to transport a car just to drive it to a golf course.”


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Courses & Travel

Golf needs to dump Trump's courses; play here instead

Not that anybody asked me, but since Donald Trump has officially and repeatedly poisoned his relationship with golf and, well, humanity with his recent comments about Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, I thought it might be fun to provide some guidance on where golf’s organizations should take their Trump-affiliated events once they sever ties with the second-leading candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination. He doesn’t sound like he’s taking any of it back, so it’s time golf took back his golf tournaments.

First up is the tour’s long-standing event at Trump Doral, the WGC-Cadillac Championship. Now the Gil Hanse-refortified Blue Monster is an epic test, but until it’s no longer a Trump course, we have to look elsewhere. I would have chosen Crandon Golf at Key Biscayne. The well-regarded, tight and tough muni has been host to Champions Tour events back in the day, but now it seems Trump’s golf group is on the verge of signing a management contract there. So it, too, is out. How about The Bear’s Club in Jupiter, a home game for a bunch of tour players already? Better yet, why not Streamsong, a resort more real golfers want to play than all the Trump properties combined? Besides, it’s right on the way as the tour works its way from South Florida back up to Tampa and then Orlando.


Next: The Puerto Rico Open at Trump International. Never mind that the darn near insolvent commonwealth of Puerto Rico is currently North America’s version of Greece, there is more than one lavish golf resort on America’s pseudo-51st state. My choice: Royal Isabela. Lavish yes, but unlike the boorish, bulldozing golf course design preferences of Trump, nary a tree was removed in the design of this picture postcard layout spread over canyons and coastline.

Royal Isabela

PGA Grand Slam of Golf: Set to be played at Trump National Los Angeles, the first thing I’d do if I were Jordan Spieth is come out and say I’m not playing in the event if it’s being held at a Trump-owned course. This event has almost never been interesting including the time Mike Ditka filled one of the four slots. Why not take it to a revered venue that the world never sees? I nominate the North Course at Los Angeles Country Club, a layout many believe would be a worthy U.S. Open site. But if we really want to do the right thing, take it to Rancho Park or the Wilson Course at Griffith Park, as detailed here by David Owen. Golf is really a much more diverse game than mainstream media would have you believe, and there’s no better showcase than an L.A. muni golf course

Rancho Park

2017 U.S. Women’s Open, 2022 PGA Championship: Two legitimate major championships are already set for Trump National Bedminster. I say we divide them up. For the PGA, you can have your New Jersey major event standbys, your Baltusrols, your Plainfields, your Ridgewoods. It’s time the PGA thought outside the box. It’s always got the strongest field of the 
url.jpgfour majors with nearly every player in the Top 100 in the world in the championship. Why not take it to a venue outside the U.S.? How about Hirono in Japan, Cape Kidnappers in New Zealand or Barnbougle Dunes in Australia? Or better: Given Gary Player’s comments about the unworthiness of Chambers Bay as a major venue and Robert Trent Jones Jr.’s retort that Player’s never had a course of his own host a major, how about the PGA go to Player’s very own version of Chambers Bay, the Links at Fancourt in South Africa, site of the epic tie at the 2003 Presidents Cup? It would be fun just to see how Player would handle the backlash. 
And if golf’s organizing bodies really wanted to shake things up, I’d move the U.S. Women’s Open to Pine Valley, which as we all know doesn’t permit women to join and only allows them to play on Sunday afternoons. Hello? It’s 2017, not 1947. Time Pine Valley showed the world, men and women, how cool it really is.

So for the above reasons, let’s hope the Donald doesn’t recant and golf’s ruling bodies move the game in a more exciting direction.
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News & Tours

Tiger shot 66 at the Greenbrier. He's . . . back?

Tiger fans rejoice! 

When Woods teed off in the first round of the Greenbrier Classic, we were all watching with a little fear in our eyes. His golf has not been good lately, but you almost have to watch. Because he's Tiger.

He shot 66. Four under. Before we let this get away from us, we have to remember, it's just one round. But he did it with seven birdies. 

He started on the back, cruising through the first 7 holes at three under. Greens in regulation, a few dropped putts. Then, a slight hiccup on his eighth hole lead to a bogey.

Seeing that bogey appear on the scorecard was a little scary. Bad thoughts started creeping into our minds: Here it comes, the chip-yips are going to start up again. He's going to tweak a muscle. He's not going to be able to activate his glutes. 

But he steadied himself. More greens, more pars, a birdie for good measure. Even when some trouble around the green lead him to a double on his 15th hole, he came right back at us with three consecutive birdies. That's the Tiger who's fun to watch. 

Twitter, obviously, is excited: 

While one under-par round can't be called a comeback, we can't think of a better way to kick off Fourth of July weekend than by seeing Tiger go four under.


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Former NBA star Allan Houston's mansion is on the market, and it has a pretty sweet golf practice area (among everything else)

Allan Houston was a very good basketball player before a knee injury curtailed his career with the New York Knicks. Fortunately for him, that happened after the Knicks gave him an ill-advised six-year $100 million contract.

As you can imagine, that kind of money can buy you a pretty nice house. And now Houston, currently an assistant general manager for the Knicks, has put his custom-built mansion in Armonk, N.Y. on the market.

Related: The best backyard golf holes in the U.S.

The price? A cool $19.9 million because not listing it at an even $20 mill is a trick real estate agents use. Clever. Take a look at these photos, though, and you'll see that the property, which includes a basketball court and a golf practice area in the backyard (among everything else), is worth it:





Houston plays out of Hudson National Golf Club and has a 7.7 handicap index according to GHIN, but he hasn't posted a score in nearly eight years. Probably because he's been so busy making the Knicks a championship contender. . . kidding!


(h/t Wall Street Journal)

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Weird Golf News

Sickos who stole beloved fake horse from mini-golf course come to their senses and return fake horse

When you own and operate a mini-golf course with fake animals, you run the risk of pranksters making off with your wildlife. Phil and Suzie Santucci have experienced their share of wildlife abductions through the years, but on Sunday morning, they arrived at Vince's Sports Center in Ogletown, Delaware, and were devastated by what they saw.

The fiberglass pony that guards the fourth hole was gone, torn off at the hooves, reported

"We can't purchase another one like that," said Suzie, who remembers ordering it with her mother-in-law nearly three decades ago, "and it wouldn't have the same sentimental value. It's priceless, it really is."


"Priceless" might be stretching it, but that is a quality-looking fake horse by mini-golf standards.

Related: More weird golf news

Through social media, newspapers, and word of mouth, the Santuccis pleaded for the thieves to return their beloved horse. They promised not to press charges unlike when a thief who stole a giraffe from the course a few years back was turned in by his neighbor and wound up going to jail. Yep, jail. Stealing fake animals from mini-golf courses is serious stuff, people!

The message found its intended target and it worked. On Wednesday, the Santuccis showed up to work and the horse (shouldn't it have a name?) was there leaning against a fence.

"We both cried," Suzie told Tears of joy!

Here's a video of Phil talking about the horse and promising a day of free mini-golf (Woo!) as a thanks to customers who supported the family during this crisis.


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Golf pads

This home across from Augusta National isn't much more expensive than a handful of badges

A Masters ticket is traditionally one of the toughest in sports, and even if you get in the gates there's the issue of finding someplace decent to stay nearby.

You're at the mercy of the secondary market -- or Augusta National's lottery -- for the tickets, but you can solve the sleeping problem with a quick call to your mortgage broker. 


This four-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath, 3,600-sqft home sits literally steps from Augusta National, and has already been tricked out as a hospitality venue for Georgia's most important golf week of the year. Updated inside with modern appliances and downstairs wet bar and catering station, the exterior features enough yard space for car and RV parking, a pool and a hot tub. It even has an attractively-designed promotional website already set up. 


The list price is $389,900 -- or about $1,800 per month, not counting property taxes. When you consider an equivalent house costs $15,000 or more to rent for Masters week, the numbers look better than you might expect. Given the way the club has been buying land around the golf course, you might even with the speculator's jackpot a few years down there road. 

In the meantime, you'd finally have an excuse to come back in the summer and catch a Augusta GreenJackets minor league baseball game, or see the James Brown exhibit at the Augusta Museum of History.


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News & Tours

Tiger Woods makes par on his opening hole. Seriously!

The heavens have opened and the golf gods are signing praises from on high, for Tiger Woods has opened his round at the 2015 Greenbrier Classic…with a par.

We’re not being facetious. Well, maybe a bit. Nevertheless, this feat has been a rarity for Woods. The last time the former World No. 1 posted par on his opening hole in a tournament was June 26, 2014 at the Quicken Loans National at Congressional.


To give this "achievement" context, the last time Woods’ was even after his first hole…

- LeBron James was a member of the Miami Heat.

- The Ice Bucket Challenge was all over your Facebook feed.

- Mo’ne Davis was a month away from making fools out of her Little League adversaries.

- George Clooney was still a bachelor.

- Chris Pratt was “Andy Dwyer from Parks and Recreation” and not “Chris Pratt, movie star.”

- Dumb Starbucks was a thing.

- The best Wheel of Fortune guess in the history of the game was just a glint in our eyes.

- The world viewed Jay-Z and Beyonce as a happy couple.

- We had only been blessed with one Sharknado film.

- Taco Bell was still a late-night mistake instead of a beginning-of-your-day mistake.

- James Franco and Seth Rogan had yet to instigate international catastrophe.

Sure, celebrating a 14-time major making a 4 on a 387-yard hole might be the biggest illustration of his fall from grace, but still…progress!


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Throwback Thursday

The Sam Snead connections with The Greenbrier never end

Any week -- any day, really -- is likely to be an anniversary of something special the great Sam Snead achieved in golf. Exhibit A: July 4 marks the 50th anniversary of a Snead double repeat. In both February 1964 and 1965, Snead won the Senior PGA Championship, which allowed him to go up against the English senior champion in July each year in a 36-hole International World Senior match, sponsored beginning in 1955 by Teacher's Scotch. In 1964, Snead beat Syd Scott, 7 and 6, at Wentworth in England (Snead is getting the winning trophy below). Then on July 4, 1965, he beat Charles Ward in 37 holes at England's Formby Golf Club. After 1968, Teacher's dropped sponsorship of the match.


With this being the Greenbrier Classic week, it's only appropriate to also look back at Sam's remarkable association with "America's Resort." Almost 80 years ago in 1936, Snead made his first visit to The Greenbrier and the two were nearly always associated until Snead's death in 2002. Snead memorabilia populates the West Virginia resort, including at two restaurants, Sam Snead's at the Golf Club and Slammin' Sammy's.

Related: Don't think West Virginia is a playground for the rich? Think again

Snead was The Greenbrier's golf pro from 1946 until the end of 1974 when the two parted ways because the ageless wonder Snead, at age 62, "wanted more time to play tournament golf and [The Greenbrier] wants a full-time club pro," according to Golf World coverage. He rejoined as The Greenbrier's Golf Pro Emeritus from 1993-2002 (Tom Watson followed from 2005-2015 and Lee Trevino was named GPE earlier this year).

In October 1970, Snead aced the 18th hole of the Old White House Course (now Old White TPC), with a 7-iron covering the 163 yards. At the time it was his 18th career ace and the fourth on that hole, but he had another on it -- his final one -- in 1995. Snead also shot 60 six times on the Old White Course, and he had an easy-to-remember 59 in 1959 on the Greenbrier Course. 


An elegant fixture of The Greenbrier is the Spring Festival, which began in 1948 and was later renamed the Sam Snead Festival. It was a star-studded event at its origin, held in late spring. Forty pros played 18 holes Thursday through Sunday, and three amateurs joined each pro on Saturday and Sunday in a pro-am format. Bob Hope, the Duke of Windsor and assorted U.S. senators were amateurs in the early days; Ben Hogan, Peter Thomson, Jack Burke Jr., Dow Finsterwald, Doug Ford, Claude Harmon, Henry Picard and Jimmy Demaret some of the pros.

Snead won the event multiple times (and gave clinics at the event like in the photo above), but in February 1968 the resort announced it was dropping festival. The announcement said, "Following a thorough study of current and future spring activity schedules at The Greenbrier, we have reluctantly decided to cancel future Sam Snead Festival golf tournaments."

But in a beautiful example of how life and common sense can come full circle, the Sam Snead Festival is back on The Greenbrier schedule as a 36-hole pro-am to honor his legacy. It was restarted in 1994 and he hosted it until 2001. This year it was held June 7-9 and hosted by Nick Faldo, who has a learning center at the resort and an affinity for The Slammer. 


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There's so much going on in these Rickie Fowler-Alexis Randock photos it's hard to know where to begin

Rickie Fowler and Alexis Randock are vacationing in Baker's Bay, and it looks like the two are enjoying themselves. Here they are hitting golf balls topless:

Well, Rickie is topless. Sorry, guys. Nice job by Alexis beating Rickie in a closest-to-the pin contest. And a nicer job by Rickie playing left-handed to give her a chance. What a gentleman.

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

And here's the couple playing a game of telephone(?) using conch shells:

Got conch🐌🐚??? @alexis.randock looking beautiful as she always is!!!

A photo posted by Rickie Fowler (@rickiefowler) on

Fowler will return to the "real world" when he plays in the Scottish Open next week ahead of the Open Championship at St. Andrews. Until then, Baker's Bay doesn't look like a bad spot to spend July 4th weekend.


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News & Tours

Should golf evaluate its relationship with Donald Trump?

Donald Trump is familiar with the seas of controversy and, historically, has managed to stay afloat in the choppiest of waters. But now that he's accused Mexico of sending criminals, druggies and rapists into the United States, will this latest tempest swamp him?

Following Trump's disparaging comments towards Hispanics, companies -- most notably, Univision, NBC and Macy's -- have severed ties with the billionaire businessman.

While most of the present attention is focused on his dispute with Univision, and its impact on his nascent 2016 presidential campaign, there is another issue looming on the horizon: Trump's relationship with golf.

In recent years, Trump has very publicly made his presence felt in the golf industry. Currently, he has ties with 17 courses around the world, many of which are held in high regard by the golf community. This sentiment is supported by the tournaments they host.

In 2015, Trump properties have their hand in three prominent men's professional events: the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral and the Puerto Rico Open in Rio Grande in March and the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in Los Angeles later this fall. The upcoming Ricoh Women's British Open will be held at Turnberry, which Trump recently acquired.

In the future, more high-profile events -- including the 2017 U.S. Women's Open and the 2022 PGA Championship -- will be played at Trump courses.

Thumbnail image for donald-trump-blog-518.jpg

With so much on the itinerary, there’s no doubting the synergy between the golf world and Trump. Yet, in light of Trump’s remarks, this might become problematic for his golf partners.

How should the PGA of America address the paradox of its Grand Slam host holding an event in a town (Los Angeles) that has a 48.3 percent Latino population? And what about the International Federation of PGA Tours continuing to play at Trump’s Doral course, one that currently bans any Univision employees from the premises?

Golf's biggest stakeholders have undertaken a variety of recent initiatives to make the game more inclusive and accessible. FootGolf, wider cup holes, offering four- and six-hole rounds compared to the traditional 18 are ideas that have been implemented to try and expand interest in the game. Yet those initiatives risk being undermined if someone so visibly associated with the game makes comments that offend a sizable part of the population

Trump says he sees no issues between his views and golf.

“I’ve had tremendous support from the golf world, because they all know I’m right,” Trump told Tim Rosaforte on Golf Channel. “I’ve been great to golf. I’ve been investing while everybody else was fleeing.”

Well, not quite. On Wednesday, the PGA Tour, LPGA, PGA of America and USGA, all of which now or in the future have events at Trump courses, issued a joint statement regarding Trump. 

"In response to Mr. Trump's comments about the golf industry 'knowing he is right' in regards to his recent statements about Mexican immigrants, we feel compelled to clarify that those remarks do not reflect the views of our organizations."

The statement also said: "While the LPGA, PGA of America, PGA Tour and USGA do not usually comment on Presidential politics, Mr. Trump's comments are inconsistent with our strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf."

Golf has historically been a conservative sport when it comes to change, and its track record in race relations has been spotty, at best. If the game is smart, it should be proactive in questioning its playing partners. Starting now.


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