Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Week That Was, july 24, 2016

     Mike Keiser’s golf venture in Scotland has encountered an unexpected setback. Environmentalists in Dornoch contend that the 805-acre Coul Links property is home to an endangered fly, and they’ve petitioned local authorities to prevent Keiser and his partner, Todd Warnoch, from building their proposed Coore & Crenshaw-designed golf course. A few weeks ago, Keiser and his partners reported that their development efforts were “advancing nicely,” and they’re scheduled to have a public meeting about their proposal next month. So far, they haven’t commented on how the fly’s presence might affect their plans, though the situation must be bugging them.

     Royal Troon Golf Club changed its membership policy to ensure that it remains in the rotation for the Open Championship, but the mere presence of women won’t likely bring the event back to the historic venue in South Ayrshire, Scotland anytime soon. This year’s Open attracted only 173,134 spectators, nearly 3,300 fewer than it did the last time it was held at Royal Troon, way back in 2004. The Daily Mail suggests that high ticket prices led to the nearly 2 percent decline in attendance.

     A Hispanic painter has won a court battle against Donald “the Nominee” Trump’s world-famous resort in Miami, Florida. Juan Carlos Enriquez of the Paint Spot argued that the owner of Trump National Doral Golf Club had unfairly failed to pay him nearly $35,000 in connection with work done at the resort’s Blue Monster course in 2014, and a circuit court judge agreed. The ruling: Trump must pay $34,863 to Enriquez and cover $282,950 in legal and other fees that Enriquez had rung up. According to the Miami Herald, during the proceedings Trump’s lawyers tried to persuade the court that the Paint Spot had been “paid enough” for the work it did.

     Nine may be fine, but the European Tour thinks six is the true fix for what ails golf. In an attempt to make the sport attractive to young people, the tour hopes to stage six-hole professional events that would feature music played through loudspeakers during play, a shot clock to quicken the action, fewer clubs in each player’s bag, and, in the words of the Daily Mail, “elements of theater to add to the spectacle.” It appears that the show-biz elements would include non-traditional fashion choices, as Keith Pelley, the tour’s CEO, told the newspaper that the players “would probably be dressed a bit differently.” Here’s Pelley’s justification for the “radical new format,” as the newspaper calls it: “If you’re not prepared to change -- you’re not prepared to be innovative, if you’re not prepared to actually take chances -- then sports will fall behind.” Pelley aims to add the six-hole events to the tour’s tournament mix in 2018.


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