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Golf architect found guilty of smuggling illegal wildlife items, faces up to five years in prison

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Golf architect, Keith Foster, admitted on Wednesday that his now-closed business, The Outpost, had been illegally smuggling items made from exotic and endangered animals.

Foster’s shop, located in Middleburg, Va, had been selling the likes of crocodile skin wallets, giant sea turtle shells, blades made of sawfish, mounted brown owls and ostrich feather dusters. The 66-year-old confessed to the infringements, and as well as his shop having been closed down, he also agreed to forfeit $275,000 as well as 175 wildlife products.

Foster, whose famous course designs include The Quarry in San Antonio, Dark Horse GC in Auburn, Shepherd’s Crook in Zion and Coral Canyon in St. George, made no secret of the illegal items that he was selling, openly promoting them on both the shop’s website and Instagram account.

According to court records, Foster told the agent of his sawfish blades “In truth, I shouldn’t be bringing those in..I’m the only fool in the States that probably wants to risk it,” per a Washington Post report.

Foster also disclosed to the agent that his method of deviance involved hiding the illegal products in falsely labeled shipping containers when sending them back from abroad.

An employee of The Outpost, Lauren Rhodes, told the undercover agent according to a search warrant that the shop “only ever had one thing caught, which I think is pretty good.” But ultimately the shop was raided by the authorities and closed several months ago.

The golf architect pleaded guilty to violating the Lacey Act, a 1900 federal law that prohibits trafficking in illegal wildlife. He is set to be sentenced on March 8, 2019, and faces a maximum of five years behind bars.

(h/t Ethan Zimman on Twitter)

 

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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at gianni@golfwrx.com. Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Speedy

    Dec 24, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Golf chum.

  2. Cruella Daville

    Dec 24, 2018 at 9:40 am

    Whatever, we’re not talking about White Rhino horns here. Dude got screwed, but he knew he was playing with fire.

  3. Mario

    Dec 24, 2018 at 1:13 am

    I heard that the straw that broke the camels back was the Dalmatian Puppy coats that he was smuggling.

  4. joro

    Dec 21, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    Never heard of da bum

  5. Jamie

    Dec 21, 2018 at 10:56 am

    Death penalty? Start with yourselves for suggesting such. 5 years and never working in golf architecture again will suffice.

  6. Rich Douglas

    Dec 20, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    Jerk.

  7. Dave

    Dec 20, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    I’ve played Dark Horse a couple times. It demonstrated to me that this guy is a mean person. Just kidding.

  8. FiftyOneFifty

    Dec 20, 2018 at 7:53 pm

    I’ll take 2 sawfish jawbones, a sea turtle shell, couple elephant tusks, a rhino horn, and top it off with some lion mane fur. Cause ya know, I need that stuff, for my collections..

  9. Jose Pinatas

    Dec 20, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    WTF…..

  10. A. Ward

    Dec 20, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    Humanity will be judged by how we treat animals. This is shameful and he deserves jail time. We will never shop there again.

    • Mower

      Dec 20, 2018 at 8:59 pm

      Can’t believe this d-bag! If he has any tiger fur, he needs to be put down… like six feet down.

  11. Terry, this is not a Game

    Dec 20, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    5 years? Too bad it’s not the death penalty. Scumbag

    • David Lehmann

      Dec 21, 2018 at 12:05 pm

      DeathPenalty. Don’t even get that for Killing unborn Humans!!

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5 things we learned Friday at the PGA Championship

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The third round of the PGA is upon us, which means that Friday is in the books, and lessons have been learned. The front nine continues to produce more birdies and eagles than the back, so the golfer who saves strokes on the inward half will find an advantage over the weekend. A massive number of golfers tied for the 58th spot, which means that over 75 are through to the weekend. Four things were learned by this writer on day two of the 102nd PGA Championship, and you will learn them, too. As a bonus, the fifth thing learned today are the predictions made, in anticipation of a memorable Saturday at TPC-Harding Park.

1. The plight of the Englishman

England gave professional golf Harry Vardon, JH Taylor, James Braid, Ted Ray, Nick Faldo, Justin Rose, and Danny Willett. Their commonality is the major title. All won at least one. Another passel of flyers of St. George’s cross has been unable to gain membership into this organization, and they include some of today’s most known names: Lee Westwood, Luke Donald, Paul Casey, and Ian Poulter. All have exhibited tremendous capacity in team and tour play, yet the illusory major championship has continued to elude them. This week, Tommy Fleetwood and the aforementioned Casey find themselves inside the top ten through 36 holes.

Fleetwood was the first to solve the back nine this week, with four birdies for 31. He was out in 33 strokes, where he had his lone, day-two bogey, and currently sits in 2nd position, at minus-six. Fleetwood’s closest brushes with major glory were 2018 at Shinnecock Hills, where he came 2nd at the US Open, and 2019 at the Open Championship, where Shane Lowry relegated him to another runner-up finish. Casey has two handfulls of top-ten finishes in the big four events, but has rarely challenged, late in the day. His trend is subtle but positive: 68 on day one and 67 on day two. The three-time US PGA Tour winner made more birdies on Thursday, but had a bogey and double count against him. On Friday, his work showed the type of consistency that will serve him well over the weekend. Three birdies against zero bogies brought him to minus-five total. If Casey or Fleetwood can play 36 holes the next two days in minus-six, he should find himself in the thick of things.

2. Haotong Li returns to the spotlight

There was a time, mid 2010s, when Haotong Li was on short lists to break through and win multple times, perhaps even a major. Li broke through at the China Open in 2016, then jumped up another level at the Dubai Desert Classic in 2018. The breakthrough stopped there, at least for a couple of years. Now, it’s 2020, the world has turned upside down at least once, and Haotong Li has the lead halfway through the PGA Championship. Much like his career to date, day two was a tale of of two halves. Over the first ten holes, Li logged five birdies; for the next eight holes, he held onto par and finished the day at 65 for a two-shot lead. No matter which of the six who sit a pair of strokes behind he plays with on Saturday, Li will have to reckon with his own potential and the magnitude of the moment.

3. In the hunt

Haotong Li can be forgiven for hearing the echoing footsteps of two former PGA champions, Brooks Koepka and Jason Day. Also at his heels are Justin Rose (US Open champion) and two of the hottest golfers on the planet, Tommy Fleetwood and Daniel Berger. From this vantage point, Koepka is the greatest threat. I might have written biggest, but that is currently Bryson #BigBangTheory DeChambeau. Concerns about his knee injury have gone away, and the four-time major title holder has the a known look in his eyes. Koepka went round in 68 strokes, and will play with Justin Rose in the third-last pairing. After them will come Berger and Day, with Fleetwood and Li as anchors.

4. Guys we will miss

The 36-hole cut came at one over par, and nearly 80 golfers moved on to round three. As for the rest, home they go. Catching trains and planes out of San Francisco are Rickie Fowler and Marc Leishman, two golfers always at the top of the predictions list, but yet to inscribe his name on a major-event chalice. Zach Johnson went from 66 to 76 and is down the road. Tyrrell Hatton and Joaquim Niemann are also checked out of their respective hotels, as are former PGA champions Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner, and Jimmy Walker.

5. Prediction Time

Most likely to seize the 3rd-round lead: Koepka

Most likely to drop out of the top five: Rose

Most likely to drop out of the top ten: Li

Most likely to jump into the top five: Xander Schauffele (currentl t11 at minus-four)

Most likely to jump into the top ten: Hideki Matsuyama (currently t15 at minus-three)

Biggest round three surprise: Lanto Griffin, but we don’t know why

Golfer who will slowly fade away: Day

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5 things we learned Thursday at the PGA Championship

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The Schefflers and the Schauffeles, the Kaymers, Koepkas, and Cauleys. It’s a dream leader board for an audiologists, this round one tally of the scores from Harding Park and the 102nd playing of the PGA Championship. Only once before has the PGA been the season’s first major championship. That was in 1971, when the event was held in February, at PGA National. With a west-coast, host course, the PGA finishes each night from eight to ten pm in all the other USA time zones. Chances are, you’re reading this quite late in the evening. No matter, it won’t put you to sleep. We learned five things today at TPC-Harding Park, and we are happy to share them with you.

1. Day and Todd share the round-one lead

Jason Day and Brendon Todd have a share of the opening-day lead at five under par. They aren’t clear by much; a mixed bag of nine golfers lurks one shot back, at minus four. Day is a former PGA champion (2015 at Whistling Straits) while Todd has been one of the hot golf stories of the wraparound season. He has two wins to his credit, and could have twice that many, with more luck and grit on his side. Day made the most of his day, with five birdies against zero bogies. Todd had seven birdies on the day, but a pair of late bogeys kept him from the solo lead. Day will see the course in the afternoon on day two, while Todd will tee it up early. As greens get bumpier by the minute, smart money is on Todd to remain near the lead. Day will need putting fortune on his side in the Friday PM.

2. Stars collide on leader board

Horses for tournaments might be the mixed metaphor of day one. Brooks Koepka, the defending champion, and Martin Kaymer, the 2010 PGA winner (also at Whistling Straits), sit in the nonagon at four deep. Major champions Justin Rose and Zach Johnson join them, along with a quintet of untested aspirants. Of the pentagon, the most interesting story is William “Bud” Cauley. An amateur contemporary of Rickie Fowler and Dustin Johnson (and their teammate on the 2009 USA Walker Cup side) Cauley suffered through injuries while his mates established their careers. Finally healthy, Cauley would be an even bigger, comeback story than the recently-injured Jason Day.

3. Bryson, of course

It figures that the fellow who avails himself best of the 2019 rules changes, would be the first visible beneficiary of the I broke my club and I can replace it change. Indeed, the large man of Physics #BigBangTheory leaned the wrong way on his driver and snapped the shaft off at the hosel. Thanks to the largesse of the USGA and R&A, Bryson is now able to replace the club mid-round. He reached minus-four twice on the back nine, before bogeys at 14 and 15 dropped him to minus-two.

4. Tiger’s day: a little of this and a little of that

El Tigre made five birdies on the day. That’s a good sign. He also made three bogeys. That’s a bad sign. TPC-Harding Park does not look like the type of course where a few under par will win the Wannamaker Trophy, so the recovering cat will need to get that oft-cited A Game back and quick. If anyone can, it is he. With four prior wins in the PGA, it is kinda-sorta his tournament, when he wants it to be. It has been 13 years since he won back-to-back titles, and a home-state course might be the thing that moves his needle.

5. What happened, Justin?

Last week’s winner, and current World Number One, Justin Thomas, had two double bogeys on the front nine, and fired a bumpy 71, one over par. If JT doesn’t reach deep and go low on Friday, he’ll have the weekend off. He’s not alone in the black figures, among top golfers. Last week’s other winner, Richy Werenski, also signed for 71. Webb Simpson, Tyrrell Hatton, Phil Mickelson and Patrick Cantlay joined them in the struggle zone. The constellation is large, but it doesn’t include all the stars. Stay tuned on Friday.

 

 

 

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Equipment

Tiger Woods officially using new Scotty Cameron putter for 2020 PGA Championship

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After much speculation, we can now confirm that as of 8:33 AM local time at the 2020 PGA Championship being played at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, California, Tiger Woods put into play a new Scotty Cameron Newport 2 Timeless Prototype.

It is an interesting move considering he has used his trusty Scotty Cameron Newport 2–with site dot alignment—for 14 of his 15 major wins (the asterisk 1 of 15 belonging to another Scotty Cameron putter—a Newport Te I3 “Terrylium” for his first Masters win in 1997).

The biggest changes that make this new Scotty Cameron different from his old reliable are

  • Weights in the sole to allow Tiger to fine-tune the head weight and help him on slower greens.
  • This is not the first time we have seen Tiger with a putter that has sole weights in tournament play. The first was when he used a TaylorMade Ardmore 3 at the Quicken Loans National July 2018.
  • He also experimented with a similar putter to the one he is using this week at the 2019 Open Championship at Royal Portrush but never put it into play (see below)

An increased length change of .25″, although small, is a big deal considering he has used the same specs for more than 2 decades. The known specs of the new Scotty Cameron Newport 2 Timeless Prototype are listed below.

Loft: 3.75 degrees
Length: 35.25″ (finished with grip)
Lie: 70 degrees
Head weight: TBD (presumably heavier than his 327-gram gamer)
Grip: Ping PP58 Blackout

Thanks to Ben Everill at PGATour.com for passing along this from Steve Stricker in his press conference Wednesday, which Stricker suggested the adjustability and the longer length of the Timeless are motivating factors for the change.

STEVE STRICKER: Yeah, I asked him about the putter switch. It’s basically the same putter with a little bit more flexibility in the putter. He’s able to change the weights around a little bit, but the length is the difference. He’s got a little more length on there, and that’s just so he can practice a little bit more without back pain. That’s what excites him the most is that he was able to put in a lot of time with this putter, and watching him putt, it looked exactly the same to me. He rolled the ball great.”

Specs of his long-used Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS

tiger-scotty-847

Specs

(note: with the age of the putter these specs may be +/-)

Loft: 3.75 degrees
Length: 35″ (finished with grip)
Lie: 70 degrees
Head weight: 327 grams
Grip: Ping Man (Black Out)

 

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