Tiger Woods underwent his fourth back surgery in 40 months last week, and if he never hits another shot in competition, Woods should have an excellent fallback profession as a course designer.
TGR Design, Woods' course-design company, announced it signed a deal to build its first public-access course, called Payne's Valley, for Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, Mo., just south of Branson on the Arkansas border.
Woods has his name attached to 10 design projects in varying stages of development, ranging from championship courses to a course restoration and a practice facility.
Two Woods course currently are in play: Diamante's El Cardonal in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and Bluejack National outside Houston.
"I've always wanted to design a public course and I'm very happy that my TGR Design company will make a big announcement next week," Woods tweeted ahead of the Payne's Valley news.
Johnny Morris, owner of Big Cedar Lodge and founder of Bass Pro Shops, reached agreement with Woods on the deal.
Big Cedar Lodge is home of the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf event on the PGA Tour Champions that was played last week.
The senior circuit event plays on the Tom Fazio-designed Buffalo Ridge Springs course and the Jack Nicklaus-designed Top of the Rock, a par-3 layout.
Gary Player, who teamed with Nicklaus in the tournament last week, is opening another par-3 course at Cedar Lodge this month, and Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw are busy working on a second championship course, set to open in 2018.
Lydia Ko of New Zealand, No. 1 in the Rolex Women's World Rankings, is looking for a new caddie, again.
Ko recently parted ways with caddie Gary Matthews after only nine events, and he was the ninth caddie the 19-year-old Ko has employed during her LPGA Tour career.
"I wish her the best, but she's gone through so many caddies, she needs to wake up on caddie-player relationships," Matthews, who has worked for Masters champion Sergio Garcia of Spain and several other pros, told Tim Rosaforte of Golf Digest. "Otherwise she'll just keep doing it."
Ko tied for second in her last start with Matthews, the LPGA Lotte Championship in Hawaii, and recorded three other top 10 finishes in March, but also missed the cut for the second time in her career at the Kia Classic.
Matthews told Rosaforte that communication with Ko's management team, which includes her parents, was the biggest problem, but that he got along well with her.
"In all honesty, there is no communication in the whole camp," Matthews said. "You never know anything or are told anything. What was so strange for me, (he and Ko) worked unbelievably well in Hawaii, the communication and everything was just phenomenal."
Ko earned 10 of her 14 LPGA tour victories, including both major titles, with Justin Hamilton as her caddie, but Ko fired Hamilton in October. Ko went through seven caddies during her rookie season.
In the last year, Ko has made several changes, including the firing of long-time swing coach David Leadbetter in December, and now is working with Gary Gilchrist.
Leadbetter said Ko's parents run the show.
"They tell her when to go to bed, what to eat, what to wear, when to practice and what to practice," Leadbetter said. "And they expect her to win every tournament. They are good people who love their daughter and want the very best for her ... but they are naive about golf.
"And at some point, they've got to let the bird fly from the nest. I would often think, 'It's not easy coaching three people.'"
Ko also left Callaway and signed a contract to play PXG clubs in January.
The PGA Tour announced that the Web.com Tour's Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship in the Dominican Republic will move onto the PGA Tour schedule next season.
The tournament will debut on the PGA Tour on March 19-25, 2018, opposite the limited-field World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club in Austin, Texas.
That will give players who do not qualify for the match-play event the opportunity to play that week for a purse of about $3 million and 300 FedExCup points.
Grupo Puntacana, which owns and operates Puntacana Resort & Club, signed a four-year agreement to serve as the host organization, and the Tom Fazio-designed Corales course will remain the tournament site.
The Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship will be held for the second time on the Web.com Tour next month, from May 4-7.
"We are extremely pleased to have this unique opportunity to elevate an outstanding tournament from the Web.com Tour to the PGA Tour," said Andy Pazder, the PGA Tour's chief tournament and competitions officer.
The Corales course, which opened in 2010, plays along the cliffs, bays and coves of the Caribbean Sea, and also features inland lakes and coralina quarries.
Six holes play along the ocean, including the final three, known as the "Devil's Elbow." The 18th hole includes a forced carry over the cliff-lined Bay of Corales.
In last year's inaugural Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, Dominic Bozzelli claimed his first Web.com Tour title by four strokes. He later earned his PGA Tour card by finishing seventh on the Web.com Tour's regular-season money list.
Curtis Luck of Australia, the top-ranked amateur in the world, turned pro last week and played in the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio on a sponsor's exemption.
Had he turned pro earlier, he would have lost his invitation to Augusta National.
"I've been playing golf 10 years now, so I guess it's been a long time coming to be turning professional," Luck said. "I've had a really big six months. I've played basically professional golf purely for the last four months in particular."
Luck plans to use Orlando, Fla., as his home base this summer. He can receive a total of seven sponsors' exemptions in an attempt to earn enough money or FedExCup points to earn his PGA Tour card for next season.
In recent months, he has spoken with players such as Jason Day of Australia and Jordan Spieth in trying to plot his future as a pro.
"Scheduling just seems like it's crucial to get right," said Luck, who missed the cut in the Arnold Palmer Invitational in his only other PGA Tour event. "You don't ever want to be going into an event feeling like the best you can do is make a cut. You're out here to obviously chase wins and climb up the leaderboard as much as you can."
Luck, who captured the 2016 U.S. Amateur, the 2016 Asia-Pacific Amateur and the 2014 Western Australia Amateur and two other amateur titles, also played against the pros on the PGA Tour of Australasia and won the 2016 TSX Group WA Open by two strokes.
Luck shot 73-72--145 and missed the shot by one stroke at TPC San Antonio.
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland married Erica Stoll on Saturday at Ashford Castle in Ireland.
The 27-year-old McIlroy, No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, met Stoll, 29, when she was working for the PGA of America during the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah.
McIlroy barely made it to the tee on time, and he defeated Bradley 2 and 1 as the Europeans roared from behind in what became known as the "Miracle at Medinah" to defeat the United States, 14 1/2-13 1/2.
Had he missed his tee time and been disqualified, the U.S. would have won.
The Irish Independent reported that McIlroy celebrated his bachelor party last week in Miami Beach after finishing in a tie for seventh recently in the Masters, the only major he must win to complete the career Grand Slam.
The couple also celebrated New Year's Eve at Ashford Castle, where they rented the 83 rooms for the wedding at a cost of between $57,000 and $84,000, according to the Belfast Telegraph.
Stoll is from New York but was living in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., while working for the PGA of America when she met McIlroy.
McIlroy, who formerly was engaged to tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, plans to return to the PGA Tour for the Players Championship on May 11-14 at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.