The Local Knowlege

Celebrity

Bill Murray's newest pair of outrageous golf pants have Ellen DeGeneres' face on them (really)

Bill Murray's outlandish wardrobe has become part of his celebrity persona, one he likes to push the limits with whether making public appearances promoting his movies or out on a golf course enjoying his favorite pursuit. If Murray could wear a Jackson Pollock painting while on the links, we're guessing he'd sign-up quicker than you could say, "So I got that going for me, which is nice."

Recall these beauties he wore at a celebrity outing during the 2012 Ryder Cup: 

loop-bill-murray-pants-518.jpgAnd here he is at a recent AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

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Oh, and another from Pebble. No, we're not sure what this actually is either.

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Knowing full well, then, Murray's penchant for wearing crazy golf outfits, Ellen DeGeneres surprised the famous "Caddyshack" star when he appeared on her talk show to promote his new movie, "St. Vincent." At the end of his segment, she told him she had a gift for him, and then pulled out a pair of modest grey slacks . . . dotted with Ellen's face all over them.

As you can see on the video, Murray played along superbly, trying them over the pants he was already wearing and doing his usual Bill Murray hijinks.

Unlike other actors, who would probably would have tossed the pants in the dumpster once the cameras turned off, we're guessing Murray not only kept this pair but will indeed show up on the first tee some day at a celebrity golf event actually wearing them.

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Video

Watch this guy make the longest four-foot putt ever (you'll see what we mean)

As far as viral stunts go, there is still nothing better than your basic “how did he do that” putt. In this case there are the usual YouTube commenters suggesting fakery and, more legitimately, gripes about the vertical framing.

Either way, according to the golfinguniverse.org posted clip, “Greg” reached Elie Golf Club’s long, difficult par-4 ninth green and had a four-footer for birdie. But because golfers never want to take the easy way out he belted his putt up a slope and appeared to cover about 100 feet of fescue green to make his birdie. 

Looks real to us:


 

As a side note, The Golf House Club, Elie, as it’s formally known, sits in the “East Neuk” of Fife and is one one of Scotland’s quintessential “hidden gems.” The 6,273-yard course features a tremendous golf experience offering stellar ocean views, a connection to the quaint town of Earlsferry and the kind of satisfying challenge that makes you understand why golf prospered in Scotland.

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Photos

This viral golf photo speaks volumes about the separation of two worlds

Golf often is a place to escape life’s realities, but a Spanish course couldn’t avoid them as it became the backdrop for a dramatic photo making its way around the Internet Thursday.

The image shows several African migrants trying to enter Europe from Morocco by climbing a nearly 20-foot-tall, razor-wire fence adjacent to the Club Campo de Golf in Melilla, Spain. The migrants had been living for months in makeshift campgrounds near the fence, waiting for an opportunity to cross the border and seek asylum as Spanish officers (hidden by the bushes) attempted to keep them from coming over.

The photo was taken by Jose Palazon of the human-rights group PRODEIN, and posted on Twitter.

According to a story in The Guardian, roughly 200 migrants tired to scale the fence with 20 successfully making it over. As many as 70, meanwhile, remained stuck on the fence for several hours.

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Tenuous golf connection

The iPod was introduced 13 years ago, and golfers may have benefited most of all

Thursday marked the 13-year anniversary of Apple's debut of the iPod, and surely your life hasn't been the same since. Remember trying to run with a Discman? It was like carrying around a manhole cover. The Walkman was a little better, but that required you to listen to cassettes, and sometimes your idiot sister taped over your favorite mix with some awful Depeche Mode album.

But the iPod changed all that. It was personal, powerful and, most importantly, highly portable.

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"With iPod, Apple has invented a whole new category of digital music player that lets you put your entire music collection in your pocket and listen to it wherever you go," the late Steve Jobs said when introducing the iPod in 2001.

As it turned out, sometimes that place was the golf course. While the idea of practicing or playing while listening to music was not born with the iPod -- Richard Zokol earned the nickname "Disco Dick" in the early 1980s when he listened to a Walkman during tournament play -- the iPod opened the idea up to the masses. Now golfers everywhere could tune in/out, while at least practicing (Zokol was an extreme in listening while competing). The notion of the ideal golf "playlist" was introduced. Eventually in 2007 came the iPhone, which in most cases rendered the standalone iPod obsolete, but the same concept endured.

And golfers have taken advantage ever since, if no other reason, than as a means of avoiding interactions with pesky reporters. 

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Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday: The World Golf Hall of Fame's Grand Opening 40 years ago in Pinehurst

After a one-year hiatus to revamp its selection process -- creating a 16-member Selection Commission to determine inductees -- the World Golf Hall of Fame announced Oct. 15 the four new members who’ll make up the Class of 2015: Laura Davies, David Graham, Mark O’Meara and A.W. Tillinghast.

The news came a little more than a month after the World Golf Hall of Fame first opened its doors -- albeit in a different locale -- on Sept. 11, 1974. The original WGHOF was built in Pinehurst, N.C., adjacent to the resort’s famed No. 2 course. On opening day 40 years ago, President Gerald Ford was present to cut the ribbon and address the assembly who were there to see the inaugural 13 inductees be honored.

loop-throwback-wghof-player-518.jpgLike the initial class that entered the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939, which had the likes of Ruth, Cobb and Wagner, the WGHOF class recognized golf’s early legends Bobby Jones, Harry Vardon, Francis Ouimet, Babe Zaharias and Walter Hagen. Enshrinees attending included Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Patty Berg, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Sam Snead.

loop-throwback-wghof-hogan-350.jpgThe creation of the WGHOF had been a long time coming, and officials had high hopes that it would become a mecca for golf visitors. Along with the presence of President Ford and a parachute exhibition by the Golden Knights, the assemblage of eight of the game’s royal legends gave the Hall of Fame an extra-special start. The ceremony was also notable for a rare dressing of Player—the Black Knight—wearing white, and the normally serious Hogan laughing broadly.

But the lure of Pinehurst wasn’t enough, and low attendance, among other issues, forced the hall to close in 1993, having witnessed 71 member inductions. In May 1998, the WGHOF opened in a new location, St. Augustine, Fla., just a high-handicapper’s wedge shot off I-95. It is the main attraction of the World Golf Village, but it’s also still working to find its niche in the golf world. Election of new Hall members had been a major concern in recent years, some feeling the threshold for entry was too easy, allowing popular players who might not have proven their worth for an entirety of their career to be inducted to make the ceremony a must-see event.

The WGHOF now has 146 members, and artifacts from those members alone are enough to provide a significant history of the game. So the WGHOF is putting out great effort to fulfill its mission to “preserve and honor the history of the game of golf and the legacies of those who have made it great.” And the fulfillment of that all started 40 years ago in Pinehurst.

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News & Tours

Tom Watson resurfaces from Ryder Cup exile at the World Series

Longtime Kansas City Royals fan Tom Watson has kept a low profile since his less-than-stellar Ryder Cup captaincy and the ensuing brouhaha over his communication skills. But the Kansas native resurfaced at Game 2 of the World Series Wednesday proudly wearing a classic Royals jacket and the team's alternate white cap, rooting on the team he's supported through thick and thin.

Multiple Tweeters noted the golfing legend's presence but it was a photo with Major League Baseball's Joe Torre that got the most social media traction. It didn't hurt that Anchorman star Paul Rudd and Kansas City Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt joined the shot. Watson undoubtedly left a happy man as the Royals evened the World Series at 1-1 with the San Fransisco Giants after a resounding 7-2 victory.

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Gear & Equipment

Adidas' newest additions to its Tour 360 x shoe line have plenty of tech to talk about

The latest entry to the Tour360 shoe line from Adidas Golf -- the Tour360 x -- features a new outsole and additional cushioning in the midsole for comfort. The Tour360 x's nine-cleat design is intended to increase stability and reduce the shoe's weight.

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Also joining the line is the Tour360 x Boa, which uses a dial on the tongue to adjust for comfort and fit.

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The Tour x ($140) will be available in six colors—three of which: white/silver/black, blue/gray/white and silver/white/black—go on sale Nov. 1. The other three colors will be available in February. The Tour360 x Boa ($180) will be offered in two colors and available Dec. 1.

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Video

Eagle takes and then returns golf ball; headline writers everywhere rejoice

The problem with a video about an eagle on a golf course is the bad golf puns are inevitable. Come on, an eagle? It's too easy! Make us work for it!

Anyway, here's Part 1 of a two-part nature drama in which an eagle takes a golfer's ball on the 12th green of North Bellingham (Wash.) Golf Course, presumably for good.


 

But no! The eagle actually returns the ball on the 13th tee, as revealed in Part 2.



What a good eagle! Meanwhile, theories abound on why the eagle took the ball off the green, only to return it.

1. He had the seen the guy putt and was trying to spare him further humiliation.

2. The eagle thought he wanted the ball, but he only plays Titleist, so he gave it back. (It was probably a Pinnacle).

3. The guy had inadvertently hit into the eagle's group, and this was the eagle's passive-aggressive way of telling the guy he should have waited ... or at least yelled "Fore!"

Attempts to reach the eagle through his publicist were unsuccessful.


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Celebrity

Recalling the rarest of breeds: A newspaperman who brought down one president and played golf with another

The Internet has been overflowing with tributes to Ben Bradlee, the charismatic former executive editor of the Washington Post who died Tuesday at 93. Bradlee was arguably the most important newspaper editor in history, presiding over the Post's groundbreaking coverage of Watergate while also publishing the controversial Pentagon Papers that detailed the United States war effort in Vietnam. 

When it came to golf, Bradlee had a lesser known but almost as impressive distinction: he was a frequent playing partner of President John F. Kennedy's.

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President Kennedy teeing off with Ben Bradlee, First Lady Jackie Kennedy and Antoinette "Toni" Bradlee looking on. 
Photo from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Although hardly the only newsman to score a tee time with a Commander-in-Chief -- our Dan Jenkins, for one, has written about his rounds with President George H.W. Bush -- Bradlee's relationship with the former President predated Kennedy's ascent to the White House to when they were neighbors in Washington in 1958. By many accounts, JFK was said to be the most naturally gifted golfer among the presidents, but once in office he played less and less, in part because of the demands of the job but also his troublesome back. Still, as Bradlee told Golf Digest's Dave Kindred for a story in the June 2011 issue, Kennedy was "competitive as hell, and had just a beautiful swing. He could hit it a ton, but, like all of us, often had no idea where it was going." 

As Bradlee told Kindred, the two men played a dozen times, very often near the Kennedy compound on Cape Cod. The last time they played, at Newport (R.I.) Country Club, was just two months prior to Kennedy's assassination.

In a book, Conversations With Kennedy, Bradlee wrote about about the "harrowing experience" of playing with the president.

In the first place, if you play golf with a president you are apt to play at some fancy country club whose code of dress requires clothes that I do not have in my wardrobe . . . like golf shoes, for openers. As a result I hit off the first tee in old sneakers, and I feel like I was three down before I hit a shot. In the second place, if you play golf with a president you are dead sure to be watched by a crowd of people who either play golf better than you do and therefore you know they’re going to laugh when you shank the ball, or who line the roads and shout to be recognized by your partner. In any case, that’s another two down. In the third place, there are Secret Service men all around you, carrying guns in dummy golf bags, and that doesn’t do anything for your game. And finally, if you play golf with this president, his patience is so limited that you can never stop to look for a lost ball, and that doesn’t suit my game at all.



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Travel

Deal of the Week: Escape to perfect weather in Palm Springs

There's a reason fancy folks in L.A. and San Diego go to Palm Springs in the fall and winter. Temperatures sit in the high 60s and low 70s with abundant sun, and nights dip into the great-sleeping-weather 50s. The roads are wide, the steaks are large and the wine lists are lengthy. 

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If you have some flexibility to make a midweek trip, it's hard to beat Troon Golf Vacations' four-night Palm Springs Sensation stay-and-play package. For rates as low as $76 per person per night, you get four rounds at PGA West -- two at the Greg Norman Resort course and one each at the Jack Nicklaus Tournament and TPC Stadium Course -- and four nights at the La Quinta Resort and Club. The Nicklaus and Stadium courses are longtime homes of Q school's final stage, and the Norman Resort course matches plush green target areas with vast expanses of crushed marble sand and nine ponds. Rates move up to about $200 if you pick certain weekend or prime dates.  

La Quinta Resort is a comfortable place to relax at the end of the day, especially at chef Jimmy Schmidt's award-winning restaurant, Morgan's In The Desert. The farm-to-table menu changes daily, but you can almost always get the braised short ribs. And you should. 

Out into Palm Springs, reserve one morning for breakfast at Cheeky's, which features the must-order Bacon Flight -- five custom-seasoned varieties of smoked pig. If you only need one kind, order it in the Blondie's eggs benedict, pair it with your choice of fresh-squeezed juices and sit in the sun with your Wayfarers on, pretending to be Steve McQueen circa-1970. 

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