The Local Knowlege

Weird Golf News

For the golfer who has everything, splurge on a $190k fleet of used golf carts

If you've recently picked up your own golf course in a fire sale -- or you want to be the most popular retiree in your neighborhood at The Villages -- you can become the commander of your own fleet of 79 late-model E-Z-GO golf carts. 


The eBay listing says the carts are located in Southern California, where they came from a country club. A dedicated charger is included, and the model-year 2012 carts all have what is apparently the popular Trojan battery upgrade. 

The list price for the lot is $190,000 -- which works out to about $2,400 per cart, or about $5,000 less than the cost of a 2015 model. Of course, by the looks of the photos, you might have to hose a few of these ones down before use. But with a little elbow grease and some logistical help (how many trucks does it take to ship 79 carts?), you could be hosting your own senior citizen version of the Indy 500 within a week or two.


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A Florida resort tries to restore its historic charm (and its Donald Ross course won't hurt).

The Belleview Biltmore Hotel & Course, the venerable Florida tourist stop on the state's gulf coast, has been in the news ever since it opened in 1897. The news in 2015, however, hasn't been of facility's transition to a 21st century destination.

Not familiar with one of the grand ladies of early resort locales? Henry B. Plant was one of the pioneering Florida developers who were key to the infrastructure and growth of the state as a tourism locale. The main mode of transportation in the late 1800s was railroad, and Plant, who had developed a transportation system to the South after the Civil War, used the rails to build up the west coast of Florida as Henry Flagler would do for the east coast. Plant City, east of Tampa, is named after the developer. One of the hotels he built was the Belleview Biltmore in Belleair, on Clearwater Bay, and Plant, who died in 1899, had private railroad cars pull right up to the front door (see photo below) to drop off elite, wealthy and famous clientele, even presidents.


If only the delivery of guests had stayed so simple, the hotel might not be in the precarious state it currently finds itself. Starting in the 1970s, various events and ownership changes began the hotel's decline. Threats to demolish the hotel were met with pleas to preserve and renovate it, even as it had been shuttered for several years. But in April, the Tampa Bay Times reported a sale was made of hotel that's on the National Register of Historic Places to St. Petersburg-developer Mike Cheezem and his JMC Communities for $6.2 million. In May, demolition began of the structure, known as the White Queen of the Gulf. By most accounts, the plan is to retain perhaps 10 percent of the hotel, or 36,000 square feet, as a classic inn and build condominiums on the rest of the old grounds. The inn (the name Belleview Inn is tossed around) would be the focal point of the new development and have 33 rooms, the original lobby and a grand living room.

The good thing for golfers still looking to experience the Donald Ross/Biltmore feel is that golf has never stopped being played there. Six holes were built in 1897, three more in 1899, and by 1909 the West Course was made into 18. The hotel is considered to have the first course in Florida. Then by 1915, a second 18 was done, by Ross, with both the East and West courses considered to have been done under his influence.

In 1959, the hotel bought a 1926 Ross course built very close to the Biltmore -- Pelican Golf Club -- making it a 54-hole resort. In the 1990s, the East & West courses went fully private as Belleair Country Club, and the Pelican layout continued as a resort course under the Belleview Biltmore Golf Club name to keep that heritage alive.

So while there is no more Belleview Biltmore hotel to stay at, you can play a Belleview Biltmore Ross layout (727-581-5498). Green fees range from $40 to $65, depending on the season, and you can dine at the Pelican Restaurant. If you play after Sept. 1, you can see the results of a complete bunker renovation.


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News & Tours

The golf world has no idea what to make of Tiger Woods at the Quicken Loans National

Tiger Woods is playing his second round at the Quicken Loans National in Gainesville, Virginia. After a second-round 66, he's just a shot out of the lead, but with most of the leaders teeing off in the afternoon, he could be a few back by day's end.

An intermediacy, it seems, that has thrown golf into a tizzy.

We love sensationalism. Everything has to be designated the best or the worst, and every take has to be made with conviction. There's no room for indifference.

Which is why we saw this after Tiger started his Thursday round with three bogeys in the first four holes:

But, unlike previous falters, Woods was able to bounce back mid-round, dropping six birdies in a nine-hole stretch, leading to...

That's right. A comparison to the year Tiger won nine events, including three majors. Not excessive at all.  

The reality of Woods' game this week, it appears, is somewhere in the middle. And its a mediocracy we can't seem to process.

Woods isn't the best golfer in the world. He's also not the worst. His current game is of the unassuming, ordinary variety.

Tiger Woods, just another golfer. Talk about unfathomable.


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The Donald says he doesn't know Lizette Salas. Here's what he's missing

Any time you paint with the broad brush of stereotype the resulting picture is sloppy, at best. Accuracy is achieved only with the sharp tip pen capable of subtlety and nuance. Nothing is as simple as it seems, and therein lies the flaw in Donald Trump's sweeping statements about immigration, especially pertaining to Mexicans.

The Donald showed up at the Ricoh Women's British Open in the middle of Thursday's first round and met with the media. One of the interesting things he said was that he has never heard of Lizette Salas. He should. It might make his statements on immigration more informed.
One of best memories I have in this job is standing behind the 18th green at Colorado GC during Sunday singles at the 2013 Solheim Cup with Ramon and Martha Salas, Lizette's parents. They were watching their daughter finish off a halved match against Suzann Pettersen when tears started to stream down Martha's face.

"You have no idea what it means for two immigrants from Mexico to see their daughter playing for the United States," she said.
Yes, Donald Trump should know who Lizette Salas is. If he did, he'd know that Ramon bartered his skills as a mechanic at Azusa Greens CC, a blue-collar, daily fee course, to get lessons and playing privileges for Lizette.
If the Donald took the time to know Salas he'd learn that Ramon drove her to Symetra Tour tournaments in a pick-up truck and that they lived hand-to-mouth as she tried to make it in pro golf.
If The Donald knew Lizette he'd know that every Tuesday she is in Azusa, Calif.,  and not on tour she leads a junior golf clinic at Azusa Greens. 
If he knew Salas -- the entire family -- he'd know another side to the immigration story than the nasty stereotype he paints. He'd know how hard the Salas' worked to make it in America.
 No, Donald Trump does not know who Lizette Salas is. In a way, that's his loss. In a greater way it is a loss for all of us. It makes it much easier for him to paint with the broad brush of stereotype.
Hey Donald, here's a campaign tip: Have dinner with Lizette, Ramon and Martha Salas. You might learn something. 


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Health & Fitness

Fitness Friday: Why you can't stay behind the ball

Most people think of the "glutes" as two massive muscles that help fill out a pair of jeans. But there are actually three types of glute muscles—maximus, medius, and minimus—and it's the middle child that is often neglected but plays a key role in hitting solid shots. 

Golfers who tend to excessively sway or slide during the swing likely have failed to activate the glute medius muscles. The maximus muscles play a key role in stabilizing the pelvis when you swing, but it's the medius that keep the body laterally stable. Without lateral stability, you'll likely lurch toward the target and in front of the ball's position usually resulting in a weak shot off the toe of the club. Or you'll sway too far away from the target in the backswing and end up hitting a thin or fat shot off your back foot. 

Do either of these results seem like your typical miss? If so, Golf Digest fitness advisor Ralph Simpson (@ralphsimpsonpt) has a simple exercise you can do prior to a round or in the gym to activate the medius muscles. "It's hard with traditional exercises like a traditional two-legged squat to get the glute medius primed," Simpson says. "But this does the trick."

Click on the video to see me demonstrate Simpson's activation exercise.

Ron Kaspriske is the fitness editor of Golf Digest.


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News & Tours

Rickie Fowler made a hole-in-one and bought all the golf writers beer

One of the golden rules of golf: When you get a hole in one, you buy everybody drinks. 

Rickie Fowler took that literally today when he aced the ninth hole at the Quicken Loans National. While we can't vouch for how many people he actually bought drinks for, he did send this glorious tub of beers to the media tent. 

Who even thinks of the media tent? I'm picturing Rickie at the bar with all the players, toasting his hole-in-one - and then he's like, You know who could use a drink? All those writers holed away in a tent somewhere. No one thinks of that. And ya know what, writers could pretty much always use a drink. Media tents are stressful. 

Cheers, Rickie. To your hole-in-one, and for yet again proving why you're one of the most well-liked guys on tour. 


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News & Tours

What if golf had a trade deadline? Five moves we'd like to see

Friday at 4 PM EST marks Major League Baseball’s trade deadline. The days leading up to threshold have become an unofficial holiday for fans, as they believe their club is one move away from making a postseason run. Which of course is absurd, because unless you’re rooting for the Giants or Cardinals, it will all be for naught.

Still, who are we to rain on the parade? If anything, we wish golf would adopt a similar barter session. Granted, ours is not a team sport, per se, but swaps can still be had. Here are five golf moves we’d like to see:

Europe trades Ian Poulter to the International Team for prospects

The International Team is 1-8-1 in the Presidents Cup. For you math scholars out there, that computes to .150 winning percentage, which we in the biz academically refer to as “not good.”

Also on the struggle bus as of late is Ian Poulter. Following a strong start to the campaign, Poulter has lost his way, finishing 54th at Chambers Bay and missing the cuts at the Scottish and British Opens. At 39 years old, Poulter’s best days may be behind him.

Yet, when it comes to match play, Poulter is unrivaled, boasting 13 points in five Ryder Cup appearances and wins at the 2010 WGC-Match Play and 2011 Volvo World Match Play tournaments. With a formidable line of Jason Day, Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen and Hideki Matsuyama, the addition of Poulter’s team-play merits make the International roster a formidable foe.

Coupled with the fact that, in two previous trips south of the equator, the United States club's performance has been so-so, this year’s event in South Korea may be the International squad’s best chance at grabbing a W.

As Poulter would be more of a rental entity, the International team will send Sangmoon Bae, Ryo Ishikawa and a player to be named later.


Under Armour sends cash considerations to Titleist for Brad Faxon

What would the sporting apparel behemoth need with a 53-year-old player on the Champions Tour? Easy: let’s just say UA has a tad invested in a certain 22-year-old that’s had issues with the flatstick inside six feet. What better mentor for the fledgling superstar than Faxon, considered one of the best tour putters of all-time.

ESPN moves Mike Tirico to FOX for Gus Johnson

This is one of the few win-wins on our list. The Worldwide Leader is losing its British Open coverage after next season, and though Tirico is a sound, eloquent voice, he doesn’t enhance a particular broadcast, either.

But coming off one of a rough debut at the U.S. Open, FOX doesn’t need flashy; it needs a foundation. In Tirico, they get the dual dexterity of a studio host and play-by-play man.

As for Gus, he’s being wasted on second-tier Pac-12 football and Not-So-Big East basketball games. With this swap, we’re giving Gus the reins to Monday Night Football. That’s right, we’re teaming up Gus with Jon Gruden’s “Let me tell you what, THIS guy can play for me any day!” schtick. The booth bravado will be off the charts.

Happy Madison trades the rights to Happy Gilmore to HBO for the rights to The Brink

HBO Sports produces a documentary in the "7 Days of Hell" mold on the hockey-centric golfer, or simply holds the film to protect it from Adam Sandler and his cronies bastardizing it for a sequel. As for The Brink, it’s a show that entered with hype but has ended a dud…which should fit right in with the Happy Madison mantra.

The PGA of America gives 2022 PGA Championship to Bandon Dunes for a sleeve of Top-Flite x-outs.

That tournament is currently slotted to Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. As the Ladies' Golf Union and LPGA players are finding out this week, it’s not worth it.


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News & Tours

Rickie Fowler hits walk-off hole-in-one. You read that correctly.

Golf has a problem with its finishes. Basketball has the buzzer-beater. Baseball, the walk-off homer. A sudden-death shootout in soccer and hockey.

As fans of the sport, it pains us to write such heresy, but a 20-foot putt on the 18th doesn't pack the same punch. In terms of last-play drama, golf usually falls short on the excitement barometer.

Usually, that is.

Starting the Quicken Loans National on the 10th tee on Thursday, Rickie Fowler's round ended on No. 9 at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Virginia, which happens to be a 200-yard par-3.

Coming off a bogey on the par-5 eighth, Fowler finished his day in fine fashion:

Now THAT, my friends, is how you end a round.


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News & Tours

He said WHAT? Six ridiculous comments from Donald Trump at the Women's British Open

"The world asked me to be here."

Following Trump's comments on Mexican immigrants, golf has tried to distance itself from the real estate mogul and Republican presidential candidate, most notably seen in the PGA of America moving its Grand Slam of Golf event from Trump's L.A. course.

However, due to the proximity of the tournament with his comments, it was too late for the Women's British Open to find a new venue. Trump even dared the event to be moved


With this in mind, The Donald arrived in Scotland on Thursday for the Women's British Open, held at his Trump Turnberry resort. The highly anticipated appearance did not disappoint. Some of his gems included:

"A poll came out two days ago where I am number one with the Hispanics."

Assuming this "poll" was a sample size of the person Trump sees in the mirror, he's probably right.

"Everybody has asked me to be here. The world has asked me to be here."

Give the man credit. The fact that Donald Trump has accumulated a $2.9 billion fortune -- or $10 billion, if you believe his assertion -- without knowing what the word "ask" means shows that you too can hurdle life's obstacles to achieve your dreams, kids. Assuming you have a dad that can get your out of numerous bankruptcy run-ins, that is.

"Illegal immigration is a huge subject. I brought it to the fore and everybody is thanking me for it."

Does Trump not own a TV? Or is there an employee on his staff who edits every media broadcast or snippet before showing it to Trump? Because if it's the latter, that person is earning their paycheck.

"Don't know who she is."

This was in response to comments from Lizette Salas, a top-30 world-ranked player from the United States who has Mexican parents, who expressed displeasure at Trump's presence. 

OK, I can kind of buy this, yet I'm sure Trump was aware of Salas' remarks. This also pokes a hole in Trump's "I'm a big fan and follower of women's golf" claim.

But instead of putting the issue to bed with, "She has an opinion, and I respect it," Trump's actual retort simply raised Salas' profile.

By the way, this was only a degree away from, "Oh yeah, well, the JERK store called" in terms of lame comebacks.

"That’s your problem, not my problem."

A reporter asked about illegal immigrants in the United Kingdom, specifically the Calais crisis. Sounds like Trump has this foreign affairs thing down.

"I expect to be President."

Well, I expect to be greeted into every room with a standing ovation and roses thrown in my direction, but that doesn't mean it's going to happen.


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This is the best flop shot you're going to see this summer

Look out, Phil. You're not the only one with a short-game imagination. 

Paige Spiranac, a former SDSU golfer, has found herself quite the following on Instagram. 

Yes, she's super attractive, but she can also actually play golf. 

Check out her latest video: 

I'm all about the flop. What's your favorite shot?

A video posted by Paige Spiranac (@_paige.renee) on

That is a brave flop shot right there. A takeaway that big would have caused just about everyone in this office to decelerate so hard through the ball that it would have been bladed right off the green. 

She says that she's trying to make it to the LPGA. If flop shots were any indication of a player's readiness for the tour, she'd be suiting up right now.  


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