Video: Tony Robbins And Fish-Friendly Golf Balls

H/T to Christopher Powers at for catching this Business Insider video piece on Tony Robbins. Besides getting to see what kind of second homes motivational speaking and Mercedes voiceovers will pay for, it's a great chance to see Albus Golf's "fish balls" put into use.

We saw them a few years ago pre-Abu Dhabi championship for a contest between Fowler/McIlroy/Rose and Stenson, but this piece actually shows us how the balls react once in the water. Very, very cool!

Report: Rio Olympic Course Boosting The Environment

Dan Palmer at Inside The Games says documents released by the State of Rio de Janeiro Department of Justice indicate that the Olympic golf course is boosting the environment.

The course was long assumed to be a virtual toxic waste dump, but that was when the locals were envisioning a turf nursery and before they started testing the waters.

Documents released by the State of Rio de Janeiro Department of Justice reportedly say the course in Barra da Tijuca has "contributed to the growth of local vegetation" in the Marapendi area.

The document is in Portugese, so I'm still working on a translation.

WSJ: "IRS Tees Off on Golf Courses’ Green Tax Claims"

Thanks to everyone who sent in Richard Rubin's WSJ story on the IRS going after courses taking deductions for conservation areas that may not exist.

As we know, some courses genuinely provide an environmental safe haven for critters and greenery thanks to the native design philosophy and sensible maintenance practices. It sounds from the story as if the IRS is looking to target those serving a less vital purpose, though it's hard to tell from one story. Especially since the story is accompanied by a photo from the IRS's expert showing Canada geese on a course questioned for its conservation easement deductions.

Regarding the main easement break, Rubin writes:

Known as the conservation-easement tax break, the rule lets people claim a charitable deduction for giving away the right to develop land they still own and can use. The measure has encouraged protection of millions of acres of pristine land. It has also spawned litigation requiring judges to wade into dueling testimony from ecologists and appraisers.

Judges have, among other things, lowered the value of preserving the historic terra cotta facade of the Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans and told a Virginia landowner that building 30 houses instead of 62 didn’t count as open-space preservation. One case, though, did permit a Michigan couple to claim tax breaks for protecting a famous bald eagle roosting spot.

The cases involve few people and plenty of money. In 2012, the most recent year for which data are available, 1,114 taxpayers took an average deduction of $872,250 based on the rule, according to the IRS, for a total of slightly less than $1 billion. Numbers like that can pique an auditor’s interest.

"153 Golf Organisations unite to focus on sustainability as a core priority"

The International Golf Federation that spearheaded golf's return to the Olympics is broadening its scope by issuing a statement today announcing sustainability as its "core priority." You can read the statement in PDF form here.

"The future will present many challenged but the IGF and its member organizations are working to ensure that many more generations will enjoy golf and the facilities on which it is played."

A couple of screen grabs of the fine print:

We were doing so well until the last jargon dump of an item. Go on...

It's pretty exciting to read this kind of focus on the future and desire to shrink the footprint of golf courses. But this is all utter nonsense if the distance the ball travels is not reduced via some form of regulation. Otherwise, the game will continue to spend money on new tees, more rough, faster greens and bigger properties.