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Dec 09, 2014 | 09:04 AM

Golf Ball Bandit

Lost balls are a fact of golf life, but not, generally, if you’re the proprietor of a practice facility. The folks at the Golfport driving range near St. Louis began to  scratch their heads when, over the last several months, tens of thousands of range balls began to disappear. Turns out, they were stolen,  by 27-year-old Nathan Brown, who on three occasions looted the range under cover of darkness, bagging a total of 42,000 balls (over $20,000 worth). Acting on a tip, police apprehended Brown who admitted to his theft. To date, only 2,000 of the hot balls have been recovered.

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Dec 08, 2014 | 09:14 AM

All In The Wrist

One of the joys of staying at a luxury resort is being able to leave the room with nothing more than your sunglasses, a good book, and the room key. Well, now you can leave the key behind at the Four Seasons Resorts Lanai—which you might know better as the Lodge at Koele and Lanai at Manele Bay, both being renovated and rebranded—and opt instead for a slim black wristband (above) that will open your room door electronically. Using RFID (radio-frequency identification), the band has a chip that will unlock your door, and very soon will allow you to charge food and drink to the room as well as spa services and retail purchases. DisneyWorld in Florida uses similar technology, allowing parents to put fixed amounts of money on a child’s wrist-worn account for rides and food. The band also helps locate kids who’ve wandered off or are taking the Pirates of the Caribbean ride for the sixth time.

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Dec 05, 2014 | 06:26 PM

Kidd’s Play

It’s been almost two decades since David Kidd first walked a site on the Oregon coastline where he would design the very first course at Bandon Dunes. Now the latter’s owner, Mike Keiser, has named him to create a second course at Sand Valley Golf Resort in Wisconsin. Kidd’s work, slated to be unveiled in 2018, would follow a Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw design that is expected to open in 2017 on the 1,500-acre property located three hours northwest of Milwaukee. “David identified perhaps the most interesting part of our site and has routed the golfer through it in a very exciting way,” said Keiser. “I truly am looking forward to working with him again.” That gap in time included new public designs by Kidd that were deemed to be confounding (The Castle Course in St Andrews, which opened in 2007) and sublime (this year’s Gamble Sands in Brewster, Washington). But the key to winning this assignment was Kidd’s use of a relatively new technology called Light Detection and Ranging (LIDR), which uncovered a V-shaped ridge under layers of vegetation at Sand Valley. “It jumped off the map when we saw it and was too bold a feature not to work a routing (see above) around,” said Kidd. “I’m very pleased we found it. Bill Coore did not have access to that technology when he did his routing for the first course, and neither did Tom Doak or the pairing of Ron Whitman and Dave Axland (Kidd’s competition for this assignment). I’m glad they didn’t.”

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Dec 05, 2014 | 06:13 AM

Dr. Ko

Just a few weeks ago, Lydia Ko won her third LPGA tournament of the year, plus a million-dollar bonus. So what’s next for the 17-year-old who was born in Korea and raised in New Zealand? College. Starting next year, Ko will attend Korea University in Seoul to study psychology while continuing to play the tour. According to Golf Channel, Ko’s agent, Michael Yim, said his client won’t have a problem keeping up with two kinds of course work. “She balanced school and golf this last year, getting all the schoolwork done she needed to graduate, and she’ll do it again.” Furthermore, Ko has talked about possibly going for a doctorate, which could take her as long as 1o years. Or... perhaps she’s already practicing a little psychology, trying to lull the other ladies into a false sense of security. Psych out!

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