Woods crash hampers wealthy neighbors privacy

By Associated PressDecember 1, 2009, 6:18 pm

WINDERMERE, Fla. – The professional athletes, bold-faced celebrities and corporate moguls who live in Tiger Woods’ neighborhood favor it less for its clay tennis courts and Arnold Palmer-designed golf course than for its 8-foot security wall and platoon of private guards.

Among the many Isleworth amenities – sprawling outdoor sculptures, picturesque lakes, an 89,000-square-foot clubhouse – the one its well-to-do residents value most is its privacy. That’s been harder to maintain since Friday, when the world’s top golfer and most famous athlete smashed his Cadillac SUV into a fire hydrant and a tree as he pulled out of his driveway in the middle of the night.

Woods’ crash outside his multimillion-dollar home near Orlando has drawn a media mob to the exclusive 300-family community, or more specifically, to its gated checkpoints. Visitors can only get past the Spanish-tiled gatehouse at the main entrance if a resident gives their name to a guard. The white-shirted guards in quasi-police uniforms then check visitors’ IDs to verify names on the list.

More than a dozen television trucks were camped outside the entrance Monday as almost 100 reporters, photographers and TV crew members filmed residents’ comings and goings. TV helicopters hovered overhead.

And the media are likely to stay until they get answers to where Woods was headed at 2:25 a.m. and what caused the crash. Woods, who briefly lost consciousness and was treated for cuts and bruises at a hospital, has issued two short statements through his Web site and has declined to talk with the Florida Highway Patrol.

In his statements, the famously insular golfer called the accident embarrassing and asked the public to respect – what else? – his privacy.

It’s the second time in three months his community has made national news. In September, a prominent developer having money problems was accused of fatally shooting his wife in their home, which was once owned by Palmer.

Bob Ward is charged with second-degree murder in the death of his 55-year-old wife, Diane. He has pleaded not guilty and is free on a $100,000 bond.

In a state that boasts locales like Miami Beach and Key West, there are ritzier, more exotic spots than Isleworth, which sits on old orange groves amid the central Florida swamps.

Yet since the neighborhood’s development in the 1980s, it has attracted sports stars and celebrities by the dozen. Former and current residents include Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway and Dee Brown from the NBA; baseball star Ken Griffey Jr.; Andre Reed of the NFL; former Wimbledon doubles champion Todd Woodbridge; and actor Wesley Snipes.

So many PGA golfers live in Isleworth that the neighborhood fields a team each year to play in a tournament against a rival luxury neighborhood in metro Orlando. Isleworth’s Tavistock Cup team this year included Mark O’Meara, Stuart Appleby, Darren Clarke, John Cook, J.B. Holmes, Charles Howell III and Woods, among other pros. Florida doesn’t have a state income tax and there are nearby numerous world-class courses where they can practice.

Pro athletes are specifically attracted to Isleworth, where new homes range from $1.5 million to $8 million, “because of the security and the class of the whole place and its accessibility to the airport,” said Joyce McClane, a retiree who was one of Isleworth’s earliest residents. She bought a lot in the neighborhood with her husband in 1987.

For Kyung Hee Yoon, the appeal is security. She and her radiologist husband bought a $2.5 million home five years ago after moving to central Florida from New York. Having celebrity neighbors such as the PGA’s Appleby was almost an afterthought, she said.

“It is actually not really a big deal,” she said. “I sometimes see (famous) people but it doesn’t bother me. They’re just treated like neighbors.”

With its golf course, tennis courts and camp for kids, Isleworth’s country club is the nexus of the neighborhood’s social life. Sometimes the celebrity athletes get special treatment and can play golf when the course is closed.

“It’s just a perfect life,” McClane said. “We’re very fortunate.”

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


Masters victory


Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


Man of the people


Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


Departure from TaylorMade


Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


Victory at Valderrama


Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
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Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.