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Volume 6 No. 216


U.S. Open champion Andy Murray is "prepared to help fund a tennis academy on an earmarked site in Edinburgh, Scotland" according to the HERALD SCOTLAND. The 25-year-old and his mother were involved in talks with First Minister Alex Salmond "after the player’s emotional homecoming to Dunblane on Sunday, and the academy was the major subject on the agenda." Salmond said, “We had a positive discussion about their idea for a tennis academy, which is certainly in line with the Scottish government’s ambition to improve young Scots’ participation in sport. We’ll be exploring this with the Murrays and their team over the next two months, and we hope to make an announcement in this regard in the near future.” No further details except "the preferred location for the academy is on the site of the former Dunfermline College of Education in Cramond." Homes have been built on this plot, but 15 acres were reserved for sporting purposes as a condition of sale to the developers. Plans have now been drawn up for eight outside courts, eight inside courts, a cafe and a gym. It is hoped the facilities will help boost the “outreach programmes,” namely allowing children from deprived areas a chance to play the game. Money is available for the project with the Lawn Tennis Association and private investors strongly supportive of the plans. Murray has "pledged financial support as well as the considerable cachet of his name" (HERALD SCOTLAND, 9/18).

A Wellington, New Zealand scientist said that Dunedin's "house of horrors," the Forsyth Barr Stadium, "will continue to haunt visiting goalkickers as long as it remains under a roof," according to Mark Geenty of DOMINION POST. Scientist Brian Wilkins, who has written books on how atmospheric conditions assist a cricket ball to swing, said that it is no coincidence that New Zealand's only covered rugby stadium causes nightmares for some of the best kickers. He said that the lack of air turbulence under the Forsyth Barr Stadium roof "means any ball hit slightly off centre will deviate" farther than it would outside. Wilkins said that it relates to the lateral Magnus/Robins force, which "makes any spun ball curve when the air flowing around it leaves the surface earlier on one side than on the other." Wilkins said, "It's the smooth non-turbulent air [under the roof] which accentuates all these phenomena. It's only got to be a very slight rotation for it to take off and develop into a big curve" (DOMINION POST, 9/18). In Wellington, Richard Knowler noted that a top stadium administrator said that goal-kicking woes "had nothing to with the enclosed Forsyth Barr Stadium's mysterious breeze." Stadium CEO David Davies said that "it was too simplistic to blame the covered stadium, which has gaps at the bottom and top" that encourage grass growth and allows hot air to escape. There is a suspicion these gaps also "create a breeze, which makes it difficult for goal kickers." Davies said, "In my view it was just two kickers who were just off their game" (DOMINION POST, 9/17).

Design firm Schmidt-Curley has finished a complete remodel of Nanlihu Golf Club on Hainan Island in China, according to GOLF COURSE ARCHITECTURE. Originally designed by Taiwanese architect Wang Zong Qian, Nanlihu is located 45 minutes south of the capital city of Haikou, and sits next to the Nanli Lake. Schmidt-Curley partner Lee Schmidt led the renovation project at Nanlihu. The firm said that the redesigned course includes "significant fairway undulations, grass-faced bunkers and boldly contoured greens" (GOLF COURSE ARCHITECTURE, 9/18). Meanwhile, just north, Russia's Zavidovo PGA National officially opened as the first and sole Russian golf course licensed by the PGA of U.K. and Ireland. The course was designed by European Golf Design, an int'l golf design group founded by the European Tour and IMG. The project began in June '09 and took 14 months "of seasonal construction to complete" (GOLF INC., 9/18).