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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 Managing Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected]

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Pingback: Golf club forced to close after pigs attack golfers – GolfWRX

  2. Speedy

    Dec 24, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Golf chum.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. joro

    Dec 21, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    Never heard of da bum

  6. 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.

  7. Rich Douglas

    Dec 20, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    Jerk.

  8. 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.

  9. 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..

  10. Jose Pinatas

    Dec 20, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    WTF…..

  11. 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.

  12. 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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Tour Photo Galleries

Photos from the 2022 Farmers Insurance Open

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45, GolfWRXers. That’s how many galleries of photos we have for you to feast your eyes upon from Torrey Pines. And if we do say so, it’s pretty impressive since the tournament starts a day early.

Enough gloating. We’ve got 25 WITBs — including Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, and Bryson DeChambeau. We have in-hand looks at prototype shafts, an incredible 1-of-1 sand wedge, new grips, and more. Oh, and we have nine general galleries for you to check out.

Check out all of our galleries from the Farmers Insurance Open, below. And when you’re done, join the discussion here.

General Albums

WITB Albums

Special galleries

Join the discussion here.

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Equipment

Most interesting photos from Monday at the 2022 Farmers Insurance Open

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GolfWRX is live from Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California, for the Farmers Insurance Open.

Once again, we have a wealth of WITB galleries for you to peruse, as well as plenty of general galleries from the range and putting green. We’ve got new grips, an in-hand look at Bryson’s driver, and more.

Check out some of the most interesting photos from Monday, below, as well as links to all our galleries.

Cameron Champ WITB has the new Ping i525 (LINK)

Bryson’s LAGolf Shaft in the driver (LINK)

Bryson’s WITB has the new Cobra LTDx Driver (LINK)

Phil’s new Rogue Driver (LINK)

2022 SuperStroke Grips (LINK)

Xander has the triple diamond “S” driver (LINK)

General galleries

WITB galleries

Pullout albums 

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Tour Rundown: 6 event extravaganza

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And just like that, we have five tournaments to report! 2022 is only three weeks old, but it may have just presented a blueprint for how the different tours could organize week-long celebrations of golf. What’s that? The Korn Ferry event in the Bahamas ran from Sunday to Wednesday, and the Tour Champions event competed from Thursday through Saturday. It’s unique and enjoyable for golf fans to know that a certain tours will decide matters on a different day each week. Indeed, there are logistics to be worked out, and certainly the availability of fans is greater on the weekend. Still, it represents rejuvenated thinking about how the golf universe might evolve, as the golf universe evolves. For many, the week felt like Santiago Tarrio in the moment below, but still, let’s move forward, to the first, full-field Tour Rundown of 2022.

PGA Tour: The American Express

Hudson Swafford had experience with closing the deal in the California desert. He won his first PGA Tour event over these courses, five years back. He escaped Adam Hadwin by one stroke that year. Now a more seasoned competitor, Swafford lit up the back nine of Pete Dye’s Stadium Course. In fact, he didn’t make a par until the 18th hole. Fortunately for Big Hud, the first eight holes of the inward half included five birdies and an eagle. Two bogeys served to make the finish closer than it was this year.

Lee Hodges and Paul Barjon led the event after 54 holes but, as neither had experience with this sort of pressure, each fell away on the front nine. Barjon dropped to 10th place after posting +1 over the last 18 holes. Hodges had 70 on day four, preserving a top-five finish.

Brian Harman matched Swafford’s Sunday 64 and, for a time, held out hope that he might earn tour victory number 3. Ultimately, he finished 3 back of the winner and 1 back of 2nd spot, tied with Hodges and fast-closing Lanto Griffin. Tom Hoge posted a second-consecutive 68 to claim second place over the third-place trio.

 

DP World Tour: Abu Dhabi Championship

It hasn’t been a good week for overnight leaders (reference Els below) on the world’s major golf tours. Scott Jamieson had carried the weight of being front-runner since his opening 63, and the burden eventually wore him down. Four bogeys in his first five holes on Sunday lead to an outward 40, and two more coming home mandated a score of 77 on his card, for a 10th-place finish. Jamieson’s adversity laid free the route to the championship table, and a number of players made every effort to reserve a seat.

Kicking himself (and not Delta Airlines) is Viktor Hovland. The Norwegian finished two shots out of a playoff on day four, despite writing down a triple and double bogey on his final-round card. Hovland opened the week with 64, but never felt balanced the rest of the way. He tied for fourth with a blast from the past, Victor Dubuisson. The Frenchman had not challenged for a win in a fair while, and to close with birdie for minus-eight was elating.

Rafa Cabrera-Bello and Shubhankar Sharma closed well to tie for second post at nine under par. Each made birdie at the last to ascend to the runner-up station, but each was undone by a prior, late bogey. Fitting for the week was the winner’s plus-one, back nine score. Thomas Pieters posted eight pars and a bogey coming home. As the competition collapsed around him, those numbers were enough to give the Belgian his second tour title in three months. Pieters led by three at one stage on Sunday, but the Yas Links found a way to make this event a nailbiter. Nothing about Pieters’ game suggests that he is not a world top-twenty player, save the number of titles. Abu Dhabi was his sixth on the European Tour overall, and might finally portend the breakout season we’ve anticipated since he turned pro last decade.

LPGA: Tournament of Champions

Danielle Kang posted four rounds in the 60s, the only player to do so at the Tournament of Champions. Fittingly, she won the tournament. World number one Nelly Korda also had three, sub-70 rounds in the books before Sunday, while Brooke Henderson and others milled about in the waiting room, looking for an opening.

The first to jump up was Gaby López. Birdies at five through seven brought young López to the top spot, but four bogies against one birdie coming home relegated her to solo third position. Brooke Henderson, like Kang and Korda, a member of the three 60s club, played a solid final round, with zero bogies. The Canadian was able to muster just two birdies on the day, and her 70 left her two shots shy of the champion.

What was it that Danielle Kang did on Sunday? She survived the front nine with two birdies against one bogey, then caught fireworks on the inward half, with four birdies in five holes. Evan a 16th-hole bogey was not enough to derail her train, and she finished with 68 on the day, the low round of the final rotation. The victory was Kang’s sixth on tour, and her first since August of 2020.

Korn Ferry Tour: The Bahamas GEC is Bhatia’s first big pro win

If you attended the first two days of the Great Exuma Classic, and especially if you competed, you’d be justified in asking precisely what did happen on the weekend. Although the leader sat at minus-seven, everyone 11 strokes worse still made the cut. Odd things were happening in the Bahamas, and they got even stranger over the weekend. England’s Harry Hall was out front through 36 holes, but he was the only guy who struggled on Saturday and Sunday, it seems. Hall dropped three shots to old lady par, and fizzled to a tie for 19th place.

Up came a series of challengers, led by Corey Shaun and his Saturday 64. As quickly as he rose, Shaun also stumbled, closing with 72 and a tie for 3rd position. AJ Crouch moved all the way up from 23rd to 6th on Sunday with a 65, the biggest leap and tied for low round of the day. It was the other 65, posted by Akshay Bhatia, that will resonate for some time. Bhatia, he who eschewed college for the professional ranks, notched birdie on three of his final four holes to leave Paul Haley II alone in 2nd place. Haley closed 67-67-68, but was undone by his opening 74. He’s not guaranteed a spot on PGA Tour 22-23 just yet, but young Akshay did an awful lot to move in that direction.

PGA Tour Champions: Mitsubishi Electric

There was this playoff on Hawaii’s big island, to open the senior season, but we’ll get to it. Two guys (Vijay Singh and Stephen Ames) made birdie at the last hole, to miss the playoff by a stroke. Sound competitive? It was. The overnight leader managed minus-two on the third day, and dropped into a tie for sixth, three strokes back. David Toms posted 66 on the final day, to slide into the thick of things in solo fifth place. And then there was that playoff.

Last November, unheralded Steven Alker emerged from nowhere to win a Tour Champions event, besting Jim Furyk and Miguel Ángel Jiménez by two. On this Saturday, Alker appeared to press the repeat button, notching a 66 in round three to move up the board to 17-under par. The only man who could catch him was Jiménez, and the Canarian needed birdie at the last to equal Alker’s back-nine 31 and 66. And catch him, the Spaniard did. Jiménez ripped an approach to ten feet on hole 54 and drained the putt.

The pair returned to 18 for the playoff, and each golfer had a chance to win with birdie. MAJ missed from just over the back, while Alker pulled a sure-thing, eight-feet putt to the lip. The duo played the 18th one final time, and it was then that Jiménez secured his third Tournament of Champions with a routine par.

Bonus Coverage: Latin America Amateur Championship

The last amateur qualifier for the 2022 Masters tournament emerged from four days of competition at the late Pete Dye’s Dominican masterpiece, the Teeth of the Dog course in La Romana. Chile’s Roberto Nieves took a lead into the final day, and opened his round with birdies on two of his first four holes. The next 11 holes brought a double and three single bogeys, and a tumble to 6th place at minus-five. Four golfers reached minus-six, one agonizing stroke out of the top spot. Mexico, Brasil, and Argentina times two were represented in that foursome, with Mateo Fernandez de Oliva the low scorer on the day with 68. The top spot was reserved for UNLV freshman Aaron Jarvis, from the Cayman Islands. Jarvis posted 69 on day four, including a triumphant, back-nine run of four birdies against one bogey. Jarvis will be the first contestant ever from Cayman Islands to compete in the Masters.

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