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If you've ever been shut out of a tee time, you now have reason to rejoice. A record 509 golf courses opened last year, according to the National Golf Foundation. That marks the fifth consecutive year that the industry has christened more than 400 courses in a given year. Even better, 84 percent of the 1999 courses are accessible to the general public. The golf-rich got golf-richer, as Florida and California, already holding on to the number one and two spots respectively, each added 36 courses. And the growth doesn't show any sign of slowing soon. Another 936 courses were in some stage of construction at the end of 1999, with 790 scheduled to open this year. The record may be safe, however. The NGF points out that historically, about 60 percent of planned course construction comes in on schedule, equaling about 450 new facilities for 2000.

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