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5 things to talk about on the course: "Deflategate," Jennifer Lopez, and saying goodbye to SkyMall

From sports to TV to politics (OK, so mostly the first two), we offer five hot topics that are sure to liven up your round of golf:

1. "Deflategate": The public has turned on the New England Patriots and NFL golden boy Tom Brady (it turned long ago on curmudgeon head coach Bill Belichick) in the wake of cheating accusations the team tampered with footballs. For those saying it's not a big deal because the Pats won their AFC Championship Game so easily, A.) you're wrong -- giving a pass on any cheating breeds more cheating, and B.) you're missing the point. This team has a terrible track record of other shady practices and it's time the league puts an end to it. Of course, it won't, and life will go on for the Pats and the NFL, and the Super Bowl will do record ratings. I mean, have you ever heard so many people talking about football?

Related: NFL stars who love playing golf

2. Weird PGA Tour news: In the past week, we've had Robert Allenby get "kidnapped," Tiger Woods have a tooth "knocked out," and Lee Westwood save a man from drowning in Barbados. But the most incredible thing to come out of any of this, though, is that someone charged $10,000 to Allenby's stolen credit card at Urban Outfitters and ABC liquor store. To whomever you are, congratulations. That is one impressive shopping spree.

PHOTOS: The year in golf WAGs

3. Jennifer Lopez: Between being a judge on "American Idol" and the release of a steamy new movie, "The Boy Next Door," Lopez is everywhere these days. And as evidenced by her recent dress at the Golden Globes, the 45-year-old star is still showing everything off:

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Good for her. A friend pondered, "Has any celebrity ever looked their absolute hottest at such an advanced age?" Great question.

4. Max Scherzer: There's an old saying that parents should put a baseball in their baby's left hand since good southpaw pitchers are so valuable (Are you listening, Dustin and Paulina?). But putting a ball in the right hand works too. Max Scherzer, formerly of the Detroit Tigers, just signed a seven-year contract with the Washington Nationals for $210 million. That's a lot of money to work one day per week during the season.

PHOTOS: The Oscars shows its anti-golf bias once again

5. SkyMall: On Friday, the in-flight catalog announced it has filed for bankruptcy. I know, I know, where will you ever find such a selection of lawn gnomes? Even if new ones aren't printed, hopefully, airlines will keep the old ones on planes for entertainment. Do they even change that much? This thing has been listed as a "best seller" as long as I can remember and yet I've never seen proof that one has ever been purchased:

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OK, so that could come in handy on a slow day at the office. . .

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Celebrity

TMZ corners supermodel Nina Agdal and asks about her golf game

TMZ likes sending its reporters to ask celebrities random questions while they go about their everyday lives. They did it with Paulina Gretzky and Dustin Johnson a few months ago, and now they did it to former Sports Illustrated swimsuit Nina Agdal.

What did they ask her? Well, after a few quick compliments (naturally), the reporter's attention quickly turned to golf. It turns out that Nina is still pretty new to the game, but she's been taking lessons and can already hit the ball 200 yards. Go Nina!

 

Here are some of Nina's golf-themed instagrams that have been popping-up more and more recently:

Ha'waii did i leave you? ⛳ᅬ❿ᅬ

A photo posted by Nina Agdal (@ninaagdal) on

Still learning #onthegreen @nikegolf #2015resolutions

A video posted by Nina Agdal (@ninaagdal) on

Too far. The ball never listens to me.

A video posted by Nina Agdal (@ninaagdal) on

My golfshoes are cooler than yours.

A photo posted by Nina Agdal (@ninaagdal) on

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Celebrity

5 things to talk about on the course: NFL playoffs, Oscar nominations and "lucky" Tara Reid

From sports to TV to politics (OK, so mostly the first two), we offer five hot topics that are sure to liven up your round of golf:

1. NFL Championship Sunday: The Super Bowl gets more hype, but this Sunday is so much better. First, the NFC Championship Game pitting Seattle and Green Bay. Then, the AFC Championship Game between New England and Indianapolis. It's funny that the ultimate team sport still relies so much on one position, but that's what we have here in arguably the four best quarterbacks in the NFL facing off. What won't be funny to viewers looking for drama is if the two games go the same way these matchups turned out during the regular season -- blowout wins by the Seahawks and the Patriots.

Related: NFL stars who love playing golf

2. Urban Meyer: This guy's a decent coach, no? Meyer joined Nick Saban as the only Division 1 college football coaches to win national titles at two different schools with Ohio State's drubbing of heavily favored Oregon on Monday night. And he did it with his third-string quarterback. Of course, it helps when that quarterback looks like the second coming of JaMarcus Russell (before he ate himself out of the NFL) and when your running back looks like LeSean McCoy 2.0. Oh, and speaking of Cardale Jones, somehow Meyer got him to return to school instead of entering the NFL draft despite the fact the Buckeyes will also return the two guys who beat him out for the starting job last year. Yeah, Urban Meyer is a wizard.

PHOTOS: The year in golf WAGs

3. "Sharknado 3": A couple weeks ago, I expressed my surprise that there's a "Taken 3," but Thursday's announcement of a "Sharknado 3" being in the works takes the cake. At least, the original "Taken" was a decent movie. Is there a luckier "actress" in Holywood than Tara Reid?

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4. Oscar nominations: These were released on Thursday and the big story was the lack of diversity in the Academy's choices. While that was certainly disappointing and alarming, where's the outrage about the lack of golf representation? Golf has always been snubbed by the Oscars. Two words: "Tin Cup."

PHOTOS: The Oscars shows its anti-golf bias once again

5. Golden Globes winners: I learned a lot from this awards show, mainly that I need to see "Boyhood" and that award shows are jokes. Kevin Spacey had never won a Golden Globe before? Jeffrey Tambour had never even been nominated?! What I already knew, however, was that Showtime's "The Affair" is a great show. In fact, I've been touting it since week one. Maybe I should forget about trying to make fantasy golf picks and start picking more future TV winners.

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Celebrity

5 things to talk about with your buddies on the course this weekend

From sports to TV to politics (OK, so mostly the first two), we offer five hot topics that are sure to liven up your round of golf:

1. NFL Playoffs: Sadly, Wildcard Weekend's biggest story was a blown penalty call that helped America's (least favorite) team top the Detroit Lions. The Cowboys should have an even tougher test this Sunday when they travel to Lambeau Field to take on the Packers. Green Bay, can you please beat this guy?

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If that game's not enough, Sunday will also feature the Broncos and Peyton Manning going up against his former team, the Colts, and the guy who replaced him in Indianapolis, Andrew Luck. Saturday's appetizer games of Patriots-Ravens and Seahawks-Panthers aren't bad either. This is one weekend where you wouldn't mind being snowed in.

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2. College Football Championship Game: On paper, a matchup pitting the Heisman-Trophy-winning quarterback versus a third-string play-caller seems absurd. Apparently, it's not if that third-stringer is being coached by Urban Meyer. Cardale Jones, who is only leading the Ohio State offense because the two guys ahead of him are injured, leads the Buckeyes against the Oregon Ducks and Marcus Mariota Monday night in the national title game. And lead it he has. In Jones' first two starts, Ohio State has scored 101 combined points against two great defenses in upset wins over Wisconsin and Alabama. Oregon's strength lies in its fast-paced offense. In other words, if you're a fan of seeing points scored, you may want to tune in.

Related: NFL stars who love playing golf

3. PGA Tour returns: They're back! Well, at least some of them. The 2014-15 PGA Tour season resumes (again) in Hawaii at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and there are SO MANY questions to be answered. Is Tiger really healthy? Will Rory remain the undisputed No. 1? Can close-call Rickie actually win a major? Can Jordan win an event that actually counts as a PGA Tour event? OK, so none of those questions can be answered this week, but the event is still worth watching -- even if it's just to see what nice weather looks like.

4. The Golden Globes: The past year has been a golden one for both movies and TV, and this Sunday is the start of 2015's award season to start honoring the best. I haven't seen "Selma" or "Boyhood" yet, but "The Imitation Game" seems worthy of taking best drama. On the TV side, there's not as much drama with HBO's "True Detective" being nominated in the "mini-series or TV movie" category. At least, us Matthew McConaughey fans won't have to go through another heartbreaking loss.

PHOTOS: The year in golf WAGs

5. The New York Knicks: Speaking of heartbreaking, my favorite basketball team has become the laughingstock of the NBA. After a recent trade to get golf fanatic J.R. Smith (and his contract) off the team and with Carmelo Anthony sitting out with an injured knee, the Knicks are sporting one of the worst lineups I can remember. Some guy named Langston Galloway was their best player in a blowout loss on Friday that was the team's 14th straight defeat. With a 5-33 record, it's time to enter full tank mode. Thankfully, this year's first-round selection is the only valuable draft pick former team president/franchise wrecking ball Isiah Thomas didn't give away.

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News & Tours

Tiger Woods' reported former island (yes, island) in Sweden is for sale and it looks incredible (Updated)

To paraphrase Justin Timberlake's Sean Parker portrayal in "The Social Network," just having a sweet house isn't cool anymore. You know what's cool? Having a sweet house on your own private island.

But alas, when that private island is in Sweden and you're no longer married to a Swede, you're priorities change. As a result, the 62-acre plot of land in the middle of Lake Malaren is on the market. And it's all yours for 45 million kronor, or the equivalent of $5.6 million.

Related: Golf's all-time biggest breakups

According to The Telegraph, Vladi Private Islands is selling the property. Here's the full listing on a Swedish realty site, Fastighetsbyran.

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"This island was owned by Tiger Woods, but after his divorce (to Elin Nordegren) he doesn't need an island in Sweden any more," said Sabine Rollinger of Vladi Private Islands.

The ultra-secluded location includes a luxury villa, a lawn that's plenty big (25,000 square meters) for a golf hole (and comes with six teeing grounds), a hunting cottage, a pool, hot tub, stables, a private harbor and plenty of untouched woods. You can either get there by boat or small plane. And yes, the property also comes with its own landing strip.

Photos: Our favorite backyard golf holes

The island, which is named Stora Rullingen, is located about an hour away from Stockholm, the country's capital -- either by car or boat. Convenient! Here are some more stunning photos:

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UPDATE: Swedish golf blog Der Exilgolfer is reporting the island was never owned by Woods despite what what the employee of Vladi Private Islands claimed. Unfortunately, that makes the story about the property a lot less sexy, and we apologize for the confusion. On the bright side, the island is still real and it's still incredible.

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Celebrity

5 things to talk about with your buddies on the course this weekend

From sports to TV to politics (OK, so mostly the first two), we offer five hot topics that are sure to liven up your round of golf:

1. NCAA Playoffs: At least, we don't have to worry about Jack Nicklaus having to choose between rooting for his alma mater or his family (like that was actually a tough choice) anymore. Jack's Buckeyes upset Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, while Florida State and Jack's grandson, Nick O'Leary, got blown out by Oregon on the first day in college football playoff history. Wow, what a novel concept to have a playoff to determine the natural champion! Well, better late than never. Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota and the Ducks will be a heavy favorite over Ohio State in the title game on Jan. 12. He's also the country's favorite college football player after putting an end to the Jameis Winston era at FSU.

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2. NFL Playoffs: Pro football's postseason is well established and wonderful -- even if it means the end of the NFL RedZone Channel. The featured game of Wildcard weekend features the detestable Dallas Cowboys (Yes, I'm a Giants fan, but is any non-Cowboys fan rooting for Jerry Jones?) hosting the equally detestable Detroit Lions and Ndamukong Suh, who has a nasty habit of stomping on other players. Maybe you'll think of him in a different light, though, when you check out this wonderfully random photo of Suh, Warren Buffett and Kathy Ireland putting indoor:

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Nope, he's still pretty tough to root for.

Related: NFL stars who love playing golf

3. AP Male Athlete of the Year: Another end of the season award, another snub for Rory McIlroy, who finished tied for third with Derek Jeter. Baseball still rates a lot higher with the voters than golf. At least, winner Madison Bumgarner, also SI's Sportsman of the Year, and runner-up Clayton Kershaw also had historic seasons (regular season in the case of Kershaw). But Jeter? The guy basically spent the entire season making ceremonial appearances and collecting retirement gifts.

4. AP Female Athlete of the Year: Mo'ne Davis was a fantastic story over the summer, but was this 13-year-old Little League star really the female athlete of the year? The voters could have gone with one of the usual suspects like Serena Williams, but what about Lydia Ko? Just four years older than Davis, one could argue Ko is the best in the WORLD at what she does. We're officially launching our campaign for her in 2015.

PHOTOS: The year in golf WAGs

5. "90 Day Fiance": You know what's the funny thing about being forced by your fiancee to watch certain TV programs? Sometimes, you wind up really enjoying them. Such was the case with TLC's "90 Day Fiancee," which tracks a group of people in the U.S. on K-1 visas -- meaning they have 90 days to get married or they have to return to their home countries. This show was fascinating, especially the one couple in which the man, Mohammed, was clearly just going through with the marriage to get his Green Card. OK, so my first New Year's resolution might be to cut back on the reality TV. . .

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Celebrity

5 things to talk about with your buddies on the course this weekend

From sports to TV to politics (OK, so mostly the first two), we offer five hot topics that are sure to liven up your round of golf:

1. "The Interview": In an unprecedented move, Sony decided to pull this new Seth Rogan-James Franco comedy about assassinating Kim Jong Un after being hacked and threatened. The FBI has confirmed the threats came from the North Korean government, but many people are still upset the studio (and big movie theater chains) caved to the demands of those angry about the film's message. We're more upset North Korea didn't care as much about the release of Bubba Watson's latest music video.

Related: Our favorite golf movie scenes

2. "Homeland": Maybe this Showtime series can cover a similar type of cyberterrorism on Hollywood in its next season. If you gave up on this show after a disappointing third season, we don't blame you, but you really need to start watching again. Season 4 has been so good (Hopefully, we're not jinxing Sunday's finale) it deserves some sort of comeback player/thing of the year award. And CIA operative Peter Quinn has become the biggest badass on TV. We're convinced he could have handled this whole situation with North Korea by himself.

3. "Taken 3": Liam Neeson is another tough guy who could help us take on North Korea, but "Taken 3"? As in a third "Taken"? Seriously? Hollywood really is running out of good ideas.

Related: NBA stars who love playing golf

4. Rajon Rondo: After years of being on the trading block, the Celtics finally moved their talented guard to the Dallas Mavericks. As if the NBA's Western Conference wasn't stacked enough. Spurs, Warriors, Thunder, Clippers, Grizzlies, Mavericks, Rockets, and Trailblazers. FOUR of those teams will not make it out of the first round of the playoffs. Meanwhile, Golf Digest might be able to round up a pick-up team that could contend in the East. Speaking of fellow, um, colleagues. . .

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5. Kate Upton: The Golf Digest cover model was named People magazine's "Sexiest Woman Alive." Congrats, Kate! We're all so proud of you here! But please come back to the office soon. Those reports aren't going to write themselves. . .

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Celebrity

Video: Manny Ramirez whiffs two more times...on the golf course

Manny Ramirez, former perennial all-star for the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox, struck out 1,813 times in his long career, 16th on the all-time list.

So perhaps we should not be surprised that he is seen here whiffing a few more times, though the game is golf and the ball is stationary. The occasion was the recent David Ortiz Celebrity Golf Classic, his annual charity event in the Dominican Republic.

Hey, it’s a hard game.

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Celebrity

Larry David talks about being moody on the golf course, the controversial Seinfeld finale and the awful New York Jets

Larry David's love of golf hasn't gone unnoticed. The 67-year-old has teed it up with President Obama and has chatted with David Feherty on the Golf Channel. The show he helped create, Seinfeld, referenced golf quite often throughout its nine seasons. ("Was it a Titleist?")

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Bill Simmons interviewed David for a recent BS Report podcast, and David offered some quintessential Larry David-esque golf wisdom:

-- “Playing well makes you play poorly.”

-- "Last weekend I was playing great, then I tried to match what I was doing and I REALLY fell apart. It was awful."

-- "I'm not good company on the golf course. I'm intense, I'm focused and I'm not all that charming...I'm so moody."

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David seems quite charming to us!

David also talks about that widely disliked Seinfeld finale: "I got so much grief from the Seinfeld finale, which a lot of people intensely disliked, that I no longer feel the need to wrap things up."

And, of course, Simmons and David wrap up their chat by talking about the awful New York Jets: "Good luck with your Jets," says Simmons, "I hope you lose this weekend." "Ugh, I hope so, too," says David.

A tormented soul, on the golf course, in the workplace, and as a sports fan.

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Celebrity

5 things to talk about with your buddies on the course this weekend

From sports to TV to politics (OK, so mostly the first two), we offer five hot topics that are sure to liven up your round of golf:

1. The Royals meet The King: Prince William and Kate Middleton attended an NBA game -- well, if you count arriving midway through the third quarter as attending an NBA game -- and met Lebron "King" James after. It was a cute story until everyone started making a big deal about LeBron potentially "breaking protocol" by putting his arm around Kate to pose for a picture. Calm down, people. They're just people, too.

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2. Johnny Football: Johnny Manziel will make his much-anticipated first NFL start when the Cleveland Browns host the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. Manziel is replacing quarterback Brian Hoyer, who after a good start to the season has been playing like, well, Brian Hoyer of late. Good luck, Johnny. We don't want rumors of a Golf Digest cover jinx to start circulating.

Related: NBA stars who love playing golf

3. Roger Goodell: Imagine you make a big mistake. Then you try to cover up that big mistake. Then you lie about trying to cover up that big mistake. Then you get caught lying, but don't face any repercussions. And you keep your job. A job that paid you $44 MILLION last year. Imagine?

4. The Golden Globes: This year's nominees were announced on Thursday and we're fairly happy about them. HBO's "True Detective" is in the "TV movie or miniseries" category so it -- and Matthew McConaughey -- will sweep everything and Showtime's "The Affair" was nominated for best drama while co-star Dominic West (McNulty from "The Wire"!) is up for the best actor award. Great news, but no "Veep" for best comedy? What a joke.

Related: Our favorite golf movie scenes

5. MLB winter meetings: There's plenty to talk about from the annual get together in San Diego. Did the Cubs overpay for Jon Lester? Will the flurry of moves by the Dodgers and Red Sox pay off? Will the Yankees sign Max Scherzer? Will the Mets make any moves of real significance? OK, scratch that last question. Even the Royals -- the people and the baseball team -- spend more of their own money than the Mets.

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