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Torch Song

The immortal words etched in the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty—GIVE ME YOUR TIRED, YOUR POOR, YOUR HUDDLED MASSES—do not apply to the people joining Liberty National Golf Club. With an initiation fee of $500,000, private ferry service from Manhattan and striking views of both the skyline and the grand lady in the harbor, LNGC will join the ranks of the nation's most exclusive clubs when it opens, aptly, on July 4, 2006. The membership, initially limited to 175, includes former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. The course, a windswept par seventy in Jersey City, New Jersey, and the centerpiece of a $150 million project financed by Reebok CEO Paul Fireman, stretches to 7,413 yards. Designed by Bob Cupp and Tom Kite, it will certainly be a stiff enough test to host a major—Fireman's foremost goal—but whether it can accommodate the huddled masses attending such an event is another question. Call 201-333-0531 or visit libertynationalgc.comPaul Rogers

Memberships Available

Shadow Isle (Jerry Pate, 2004) Colts Neck, NJ. Fully appointed clubhouse; swimming, tennis and fitness facilities. 732-625-9211; $150,000 initiation fee.

Hudson National Golf Club (Tom Fazio, 1996) Croton-on-Hudson, NY (45 miles from Manhattan). Limited number of national memberships available. 914- 271-7600; $40,000 initiation fee.

The Golf Club Scottsdale (Jay Morrish/Dick Bailey, 2003) Scottsdale, AZ. 480-443-8868; $110,000 membership deposit.

Butch Harmon Buyer's Guide

Swing guru Butch Harmon no longer accepts new private clients (existing ones pay $600 an hour), but at butchharmon.com he does offer other ways to avail yourself of his expertise. You might start with his book (Playing Lessons, $15) or his video series (Ultimate Golf, $50) and then progress to his training aids. You can put on his Right Grip practice gloves ($40) and his Right Link elbow contraption ($50) and attach his Laser Trainer ($90) to your club. For putting, don a pair of his Pro-Aim goggles ($60), align using his Putting Insight system ($25) and hone your stroke along a Putting Arc ($36). For fitness, swing the Speed Stik Butch recommends ($100) and work out on the Butch-endorsed Explanar Home Training System ($799). Sore from all that practice?Slip on a pain-­relieving Butch Harmon Balance Bracelet ($80). It would also be cool if you wore a Butch Harmon Nike hat ($21; $31 for an autographed version) and a Butch Harmon Nike shirt ($40). Then, once you're playing to scratch, sign up for his eleven-event minitour, the Butch Harmon Vegas Tour ($25,000 in entry fees). If you win big there, Butch just might decide to take you on as a private client.

Numbers Game

Commercial minutes per hour during CBS broadcast of the 2005 Masters: 4

Commercial minutes during the final hour of CBS Sunday broadcast of the 2005 PGA Championship: 17:31

Mothers currently active on the LPGA Tour: 26

Post-childbirth wins by them: 25

Number of those wins by Juli Inkster: 17

Course designs credited to A.W. Tillinghast: 272

Tillinghast courses ranked in the world top 100: 8

Same stats for Pete Dye: 100, 7

For Jack Nicklaus: 286, 2

New Hampshire residents per stand-alone driving range: 48,000

California residents per range: 302,000

Stand-alone ranges in Wyoming: 0

Sources: The New York Times; LPGA; Tillinghast Society; Golf Magazine; Alice Dye; nicklausdesign.com; Golf Research Group

The Tartan King

First the Scottish Treasury put Jack Nicklaus on a £5 note. Now the Scottish Tartan Authority has officially recognized Arnold Palmer plaid. The red, yellow, white, green and black tartan design was developed from the logo on the classic Palmer umbrella and may henceforth be used commercially solely by Arnie and his heirs. Currently the only product with the pattern is a tartan-lined leather travel slipper ($68, with a travel pouch and umbrella, available at Nordstrom and other department stores), but more items are planned for the future, including golf shoes. —Jonathan Lesser

One Big Book

If you plan to order a copy of Golf: A Tribute ($5,460; Booksinspired), start clearing a place in the den now. At two-feet high and nearly five-feet wide when opened (see below), the book's size is unprecedented in golf literature. In all literature, really, save perhaps for St. Peter's book of names at heaven's gate. We felt a bit like we'd stepped into heaven ourselves—or at least onto the turf of the Old Course—when we opened up the tome. The Belgian publisher, Booksinspired, sent large-format landscape photographer Kurt Deruyter across Europe to capture the look and feel of twenty-five of the continent's finest courses, including St. Andrews, Muirfield, Wentworth, Ballybunion, Les Bordes and Valderrama. Only 3,000 copies of the 248-page book will be produced, each bound by hand in fine ivory or burgundy leather, signed by the photographer and a pro golfer and accompanied by a display stand and two prints chosen by the customer. The text is in English, but you won't spend much time reading, not with those mesmerizingly ­expansive photos drawing you in. For information, call 011-32/2503-5105 or visit bookinspired.com. —J.L.

Q&A

To avoid hassles at airports, I prefer flying with only carry-on luggage. with golf clubs that's impossible, but I've heard it's easy to ship your golf bag ahead. what do you recommend?

A number of companies specialize in preshipping luggage, including golf clubs and other sporting gear. All provide convenient pickup, tracking and guaranteed delivery times.Among the best are GBS (866-744-7427, golfbagshipping.com), Luggage Concierge (800-288-9818, luggageconcierge.com), Luggage Express (866-744-7224, 866shipbags.com) and Sports Express (800-357-4174, sportsexpress.com). The truth is, however, that for the actual transport of your bags these companies use the standard delivery services, and booking directly yourself with Federal Express, UPS or DHL can save you money. Shipping a golf bag overnight from Chicago to Phoenix, for example, ranges from $179 via Federal Express to $206 at Luggage Concierge. For two-day delivery, prices range from $143 to $154 and for ground from $25 to $56.

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