Thursday, October 27, 2011

2012 Rule Changes



The R&A have released their rule amendments for 2012-2015. There are only a couple of note:
  • Definition of "Addressing the Ball." Before you were considered to have addressed the ball if you took a stance and grounded your club. Now, it's all about grounding the club regardless of where you're standing. So once your club touches the ground behind or in front of the ball, game on. Interestingly, this now means you NEVER address a ball in a bunker or a hazard (since you can't ground your club there).
  • Concerning a ball moving after address, I talked about the potential change in this post. They went through with the proposal, and you are no longer penalized if the ball moves on its own after address... provided it is "known and virtually certain that the player did not cause the ball to move." So I guess it's a judgement call now.

Friday, September 23, 2011

TPC Sawgrass

Last weekend I had the opportunity to vacation at TPC Sawgrass, playing three days of golf with my dad. I say that like I won a contest, but in reality we've been discussing the trip for three years and finally just decided to spend a lot of money for the experience before his golf skills start diminishing. He has actually played the Stadium Course twice before, albeit it was 25 years ago when it was much harder than it is now (designer Pete Dye was forced to eventually change much of the course due to complaints from the PGA).

There are actually two courses at Sawgrass. Obviously, the famous one is the Stadium Course, which you can watch PGA pros hack up at The Players tournament every year. The other is the Valley Course, also designed by Pete Dye but run by private members instead of tour players. The Valley Course hosts a Nationwide Tour event in October, so the rough was pretty high while we were there.

And how was the trip? Awesome.

The Stadium Course is by far the most beautiful course I've ever played. I'm not sure what marketing ploy has World Woods listed in the top 10 most beautiful courses in the world... but Sawgrass beats it. There is an insane amount of fairway bunkers and water, which create a stunning atmosphere but a nightmare for your golf score. It's definitely more of a "Florida feel" than the rolling hills of Brooksville. The entire facility is immaculate, and was even playable after the area got 8-10 inches of rain from a flash-flood on Friday.

#17 on Saturday morning after the flash-flood. I played it the next day and it was in near perfect condition.

It was also the first time I've ever had to use a caddy. The course assigns each group one "forecaddie," who does everything a normal caddy would except carry your clubs. They run off into the fairway, let you know it's clear to tee off, and then find your ball after you slice it into the trees. On the green he'll clean your ball, hold your clubs and even give you a read if you ask for it. It was a little uncomfortable having some dude always ask to hold my clubs (I'm used to just throwing them on the ground), but each guy we got was nice and made the experience fun.

Despite having the highest slope possible (155 from the tips), I didn't feel the Stadium Course was the hardest I've ever played. That honor belongs to the Jack Nicklaus Course (147 slope) at the Reunion Resort. If you played with us this year and witnessed Gorecki's 6+ hour round, you might agree with me. Sawgrass was manageable if you just played it safe and accepted the bogeys.

The fairways are really tight and are usually flanked by bunkers and/or water. A couple of tee shots require you to hit down a narrow gap of trees. For some reason though, my driver was going straight all weekend and I didn't have any problems.
Bottom line... I spent three days golfing for about the cost of a three day ski trip. Yes, it's expensive. But I'm very glad I can now cross that course off my "bucket list." And it was totally worth it.

Now I'll bore you with details of my rounds:

Day 1 - Stadium Course


I was quite nervous and it showed in the first three holes. The greens were very fast (not as fast as Riverstrand) and I found myself leaving a lot of uphill putts short. But they were the smoothest greens I've ever seen. The ball never awkwardly hopped when you hit it. After a great par on #4, I started to miss-hit a lot of my approach shots. At least I got par on the two easy holes on the back nine... but the par 5's killed me. I didn't really think about #17 until I was busy recording an 8 on #16. The island green is right in your face so you're just looking at it the whole time before you even finish the previous hole. My dad had the tee box and quickly pushed two shots into the water right of the green. I hit a 9-iron (everyone out there plays #17 from the tips) which I knew at the time wasn't enough club. I swore it was going short, but somehow landed in the rough short of the tiny bunker in front of the green... only clearing the water by a few inches. The caddy said in 5 years of working out there, he's never seen anyone hit a ball to where mine landed.

I had just enough inches...
I finished the round with a 97, two strokes off my personal goal. I was very happy to have broken 100 on my first try though. But there were three amazing stats about my round:
  1. I hit 12 of 14 fairways. I wasn't hitting them long off the tee, but they were going straight. It's a shame I only hit three greens in regulation, which speaks volumes of my iron play.
  2. I had only one three putt.
  3. I played the entire round on one ball. In fact, I took only one penalty stroke for an unplayable lie.

Day 2 - Valley Course

The Valley Course was also very nice, and reminded me a lot of Southern Hills. Since it's not as famous, I'll just list some fun facts:
  • Again, I played the entire round on one ball... but this time had no penalty strokes. I did have to take my shoes off and hit a shot standing in a lake once.
  • I had 7 pars and one birdie. But 5 doubles and one triple helped me inflate my score to an 88.
  • Like the first day, I only had one three putt.
  • We played this round the day after the flash-flood. Most of the bunkers were filled with water, but the rest of the course was surprisingly dry thanks to the drainage pumps running under the fairways and greens.
  • I was -1 on the par 3's, hitting every one in regulation. As Justin knows... I usually suck at par 3's.

Day 3 - Stadium Course


Back on the TPC! Redemption round! And I was in position to beat my dad for a third day in a row, which would earn me $50! So... I opened the round riding on the bogey train. But after a triple-bogey on #5 (where I hit 4 shots into bunkers), I relaxed and started to play some good golf. Six pars in a row followed, including an awesome par-save on #9 which is a bastard of a hole. I finally got a birdie on the par-3 15th and the thought of a sub-80 round crept into my mind. Unfortunately, #16 lurked on the horizon. Sitting nicely in the fairway 140 yards out, I skulled an 8 iron through the green and into the water. It was the first ball I lost all weekend.

I hate you, #16.

After the double-bogey on #16, I watched my dad put two more shots in the water on #17 before getting his third on. I took an extra club into the wind (it was about 15 mph in our face), and got an 8-iron to the back about 15 feet from the hole. Of course I left the birdie putt about a foot short, as the downhill slope to the water scared the shit out of me.

One problem with the 17th island hole, is that when it's over you don't really focus on the daunting 18th finishing hole. I found the fairway but chunked the next two shots, ending with a double-bogey and an 84. For the third round in a row, I only had one three-putt.

So that was my trip. Basically, I'm now ready to retire and just start golfing every day.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

When is the next outing?




This is the first weekend in months that I don't have golf planned. Someone should fix this!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Handicap Chart

Final chart of the season showing where the team handicaps stand today vs. the start of the season.  Everyone has pretty much leveled off, with the Asians' index actually increasing after the playoffs.

Any teams returning next year should be pretty accurate.  If/when we expand... we'll just have to do a "best guess" compared to the teams we already know.


Monday, August 15, 2011

To the Victors, Go the Cheese

The inaugural season of DPT Golf is complete, and we went out in a drunken stupor. World Woods was in great shape, the villas were awesome, and we didn't get any rain.We also traded a ton of cash with each other in side-bets, skins and cards.

Round 1 - Pine Barrens

The Asians took on the Whites (Robb/Ryan) in a match that didn't mean anything except side-bet potential. It turned out to be one of the best performances of the season for Robb/Ryan. Without any pressure of victory, they shot a 4-over 75 despite two double-bogeys. An eagle on the par-5 fourteenth helped the crackers beat down their handicap to dangerous levels. Meanwhile, the Asians stunk up the course. Final score: Rob/Ryan win 75-81 (gross).

#3 Reid/Geoff took on #2 Frank/Steve with a 5-stroke handicap. Ebony and Ivory started out strong, getting par on their first 6 holes, before the inevitable collapse happened. Going 6-over on the next 7 holes eventually created a tie game as the teams hit #18. Playoff holes seemed on the horizon, despite the brutal 5 hour pace that my group had to play behind. As we stood watching (and waiting) in the fairway on 18, we could see Geoff/Reid putting from off the green for birdie to win the match. Geoff missed wide (leaving a testy par putt). Reid stepped up and made a solid stroke... and the ball disappeared into the flag stick. Game over... everyone was stunned. Final score: Reid/Geoff win 73-74 (net).

The final match-up was #1 Bito/Gomez vs. #4 Justin/Chandler (getting two strokes). That lead was erased by hole four, and it was looking to be a grinding afternoon with the teams still tied after hole six. But then Bito/GoMex went on the bogey train, getting three to close out the front side. This prompted Gomez to say to his partner: "They're just going to par us to death." That was, in fact, Justin/Chandler's strategy... and they were able to put away the game with a birdie on the par 3 sixteenth. Final score: Justin/Chandler win 73-78 (net).

Round 2 - Rolling Oaks

The Asians and the Whites decided to play some game called "Wolf" for side-bets. So I'm not sure how that turned out, and their round can't be used for handicapping next season. But it sounded like they had fun.

In the "Third Place Game," Bito/Gomez took on Frank/Steve giving two strokes. There weren't any prizes on the line, but we had a decent amount of cash in skins and side-bets riding on the results. Frank/Steve shot a respectable 78 with a couple of birdies, but Gomez decided to drop the hammer. They carded two birdies and an eagle for a one-over 73... which also drops their handicap for future rounds. Final score: Bito/Gomez win 73-76 (net).

Finally, Justin/Chandler squared off against their nemesis Reid/Geoff for the championship. Ebony and Ivory were 2-0 against Ginger Brown, and had won a few other exhibition matches prior to the playoffs.  Their 5-stroke advantage seemed insurmountable after Justin got obliterated the night before (chugging Jager) and basically slept for about four hours. True to form, JC started with two bogeys and Chandler (Negative Nancy) pretty much gave up hope. Whenever the match seemed to get close, Justin/Chandler would shoot themselves in the foot off the tee  The final dagger came on #14, when a double-bogey from a bunker derailed all realistic hopes of winning. Final score: Reid/Geoff win 74-76 (net).

The winners each got a giant fucking wheel of cheese, courtesy of Irish John and Irish Dave at Kerrygold. I have no idea how they're going to eat all that cheese, but I'm sure they'll give it the ol' "college try."

Geoff & Reid. Earning some chedda'.

We drunkenly agreed to start next season AFTER football... so end of January or beginning of February 2012. We're also thinking of expanding to 8 teams... but more on that later. And we're definitely going to tweak some of the rules.

Over the next few weeks I'll do some analysis on handicaps, new rules, golf courses and off-season outings. Stay tuned.

Looking forward to cracking open our victory cheese wheels!

Friday, August 12, 2011

This Weekend

We all know people are hype for World Woods.  But... who's dope?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Advertising

This is so stupid.  But I was looking at Groupon today, and there's a deal for Magnolia Valley Golf Club.  But look at the picture they used for it:

This is the greatest moment of my life!
What the fuck is that?  First off... Magnolia Valley is flat and built in a marsh.  Second... those idiots are on a fairway, not a green.  And that expression is a little over-the-top for having just made a medium length putt on the fairway into a random hole.  I'm sure you'd get a free drop from the hole, but still.  This has to be the dumbest golf photo I've ever seen.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

How Not to Bogey a Hole

Justin and I won the J. Evans Invitational by 7 strokes.  However, our victory could really be attributed to #5 on the Watson course.  This par 4 is the number one handicap hole, and plays 406 yards from the whites (which we were teeing from at the time).  It was our one blow-up hole... and if we hadn't gotten extremely lucky our opponents probably would have played with more vigor.  Yes... vigor.

The illustration didn't really turn out how I wanted... but fuck it.

Justin = dark red
Chandler = orange
Un-used shots = dotted lines



Tee shot - Justin sprayed his to the right and hit a giant two-story house.  I faded mine into the fairway bunker.  Knowing that we couldn't reach the green in two from there, Justin decides to use his mulligan.  He sprays it into the same house.

2nd shot - We were only trying to lay up, but I pick the ball clean and blast it into the trees on the left.  Justin (knowing we only need to advance the ball 100 yards or so) manages to do the exact same thing.  I assume both balls are lost and decide to use my mulligan, which I top 10 feet into the same bunker.  At this point we decide it's better to take the penalty stroke from the lost balls instead of trying to hit from the bunker again.

3rd shot - Justin's ball is lost, but we actually find mine up against the trees and under a palm.  Using the "one club-length rule" that was in effect, we were able to move the ball backwards enough to hit it... although we were standing in the bushes and couldn't take a full swing.  Justin attempts to punch the ball out but instead hits it fat and "tickles it" 15 feet or so.  I decide to change from a wedge to a 6-iron and run the ball up to the green.  Instead, I hit the shit out of it and it screams toward the waste bunker.  Miraculously... the ball hits our opponents cart (represented by the double-decker bus) and stops just off the green in the rough.  If they were not parked there, we might have taken an 8 on this hole.

4th shot - My chip is on the green but far away and left a downhill putt.  Justin hits his too hard but we decide to use it due to the uphill read.

5th shot - Justin misses the 10-footer by a few inches, and I manage to roll mine in to save bogey.

It's always better to be lucky than good.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Playoff Week

It's playoff week... and I'm already tired of being at work.  Who's ready for a drunk weekend of golf?

Wait... that sounds like the weekend I just had.

I'm pretty sure everyone who went to Reunion had an awesome time, although it seemed a bit of a grid for me and Justin. We definitely did not expect to be one off the lead after the first day, or in the lead after day two.  And although it felt like we were choking on the last day, we managed to pull enough shots out of our ass to win by 7 strokes with a two over 218 (72-72-74).

So this weekend we head up to World Woods for one night.  Tee time on Saturday is 12pm, and Sunday is 10:30am.  I think I'm going to get up there early (10am) to get the villa keys, and go drop my stuff off.  The golf rate of $47 includes range balls AND lunch, so be sure to give yourself time to hit the range.  They'll bring your lunch out to the course if you want to eat after we tee off.

We have $120 in our budget to spend on ourselves.  We were going to buy some blazers (jackets) as sort of a traveling trophy... and force the winners to wear them to a league dinner... but that's fallen through because blazers are apparently expensive.  So since we're out of time, I can buy a keg and booze for us instead.  Or we could have a small cash payout to the winners... but it really wouldn't be that large.  Comment what you guys think we should do with the money.

As for food... bring a cooler filled with whatever you need for Saturday night.  Both villas have a propane grill, so we should have no problem cooking.  Also bring money for gambling, decks of cards, cigars, recreational items, etc.  Someone please bring a boombox that we can hook an iPod up to.  There IS a Publix and Walgreens very close by if we need it, but I doubt they're open late.

Here's a view of the villas from space:



It looks pretty secluded, so I doubt noise is a problem.  That's all for now.  Let me know any thoughts or requests.

Playoffs

Bring some cash for Saturday night poker, anyone have a bunch of chips?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Reunion Hole of the Day (part 2)

Today's hole is #15 on the Legacy (Palmer) Course.  We get to play this gem tomorrow... probably during an afternoon rainstorm.  It's a manageable par-5 that Duc and I reached in two during my first trip to Reunion.  But it all depends on where you tee off from.

Mmm... marshy.

"The tee shot on this mid length par 5 is very demanding but rewards a courageous shot over the water. Aiming farther right is the riskiest but more rewarding line off the tee, leaving the possibility of hitting this par 5 in two."

The Palmer and Watson courses have four sets of tees for us to bounce around on, so this hole will play 527, 487, 475 or 371.  But if you're hitting from the white tees your score is probably horrible enough to knock you out of the tournament on the first day.  As with yesterdays HotD, #15 follows an easy birdie-hole.  So there's a good chance you'll be on the black or gold boxes.

So let me tell you about that tee shot.  From the tips its about a 250 yard carry to the rough.  From the golds it's like 240.  There is no room for error for any right-handed golfer who slices or fades the ball.  And if you do make it to the fairway, you're hitting to a green that is about 40 feet above your head.

The hole really isn't that difficult... but if my team is hitting from the tips... I'll just sit in the cart and let Justin take care of it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Reunion Hole of the Day

Although work is kicking my ass today, it's kinda hard to concentrate when I'm looking forward to "Gorecki Whiskey Fest 2011" this weekend.  So let's start a new (and very short-lived) series called "Reunion Hole of the Day."

Today's hole is the anus.  Wait... wrong column... but very fitting (oh, the puns).

Today's actual hole is #16 on the Tradition (Nicklaus) Course.  Here is their "official" description:

"Check your yardage carefully! You can’t afford to miss it short. The signature sixteenth hole features a daunting carry over water to a shallow firm green protected in front and back by deep bunkers. Holding this putting surface will be a challenge. Leaving the green with a par or better will inspire you to finish strong."
Your dick is probably wider than the green.

How about an honest description...

After a long day of getting your ass kicked, you now find yourself facing this bullshit par-3.  And the Jamie Evan's Invitational rules don't help matters, since the previous hole is an easy par-5 so you're more than likely going to be teeing off from the blue or gold tees on #16.

The gold plays 210 yards, blue 177 and white 158.  But the hole is up-hill to a very narrow green.  Anything short is either in the water or a larger bunker.  Hitting it long will land you in some jacked-up bunker(s) that look like a sandhill crane took a shit on Jack's initial design, and he just decided to leave it because he's rich and has probably only been to Reunion once in his life.

The first time I played this hole I was hitting from the gold tees into a 15mph wind.  I think I used driver.

Jack Nicklaus is an asshole.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Reunion Weekend

It's Reunion Weekend for 7 of the DPT golfers (plus Gorecki). It's going to be a crazy three days of golf, and will probably be quite windy and wet due to a tropical storm.


Regardless... I'm excited.  That is all.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ties in the Playoffs

Today's issue is how to handle ties in the playoffs.  Traditionally, scramble tournaments settle ties by either looking at the holes in order of handicap (hole handicap in this case) until a winner can be determined, or by comparing back 9 scores.  I like the back 9 approach better than the hole handicap approach, since it's more of a complete body of work.

There is a "practice course" out at World Woods.  But I've never played it, so I'm not sure if you have to walk it or not.  And we should probably have an official plan assuming we can't play any more holes.

Start the debate.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

(DPT Golf) > (All Other Leagues)

Here's the updated chart showing the cost of DPT Golf vs. TBCS (which is the only other team league we found in the area).



The final version of this will be slightly higher, due to us treating ourselves to a "stay and play" weekend at World Woods. But we'll have also played 10 full rounds on 10 different courses during the season.  What this doesn't show is that people who missed weeks weren't penalized financially.

The playoff tee times are now posted.  Only 5 people need to pay... so get on that.  Later I'll post a list of "amenities" in the villas.  I'm pretty sure they have a propane grill for us, so when I confirm that we'll start posting up what to bring.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Playoffs - Seedings & Handicaps

The DPT Golf inaugural regular season is over.  Bardmoor was a great course (especially for $25) so we'll definitely go back there in the future.  Here's how the playoff seedings were finalized:

Bito/GoMex pounded Robb/Gorecki, shooting a 2-under 70 despite having two 3-putts. Gorecki blamed the 6,579 yard course for being too long for his old man game.  Too bad World Woods and Reunion will be much harder. Final Score: Bito/Gomez win 70-79 (net).

Cong/Thanh threw down an impressive 76 on Frank/Steve, giving them hope at a miraculous playoff appearance.  Shooting 12 pars in the round gave the Asians a victory once Team Vape fell apart beginning on hole #12 (hmm...).  Final Score: E-Flo/Cong win 74-79 (net).

The match with the most at stake turned into a slug-fest on the back-nine, as Reid/Geoff made countless amazing shots and putts to earn a playoff spot.  Ebony and Ivory had a 5 stroke (net) lead at the turn... only to shoot 8-over on the back. Justin/Chandler couldn't quite capitalize due to bad butting, and only made up four of those strokes. This was J&C's third one stroke loss of the season. Final Score: Reid/Geoff win 77-78 (net).

------------------

Bito/Gomez earned the #1 seed with the scoring average tie-breaker over Frank/Steve.  E-Flo/Cong and Robb/Ryan were knocked out of the playoffs due to a 3-way tie for last place, advancing Justin/Chandler due to scoring average. Reid/Geoff actually earned their playoff spot, and are probably the most dangerous team because of their high handicap.

------------------

As mentioned previously, the playoffs will be challenging.  Rolling Oaks (125 slope) and Pine Barrens (123 slope) are both about 6,500 yards and very different styles of course.  We will be using "course handicaps," but we won't re-adjust after the first round.

If you recall in my Course Difficulty post, the USGA considers 113 an "average" slope. So to calculate the official Course Handicap, you take the slope of the tees you're playing on... multiply that by your handicap index... divide by 113... and round to the nearest whole number.  Both slopes at World Woods are similar enough that it doesn't affect any handicaps.

Rolling Oaks & Pine Barrens:
Bito/Gomez - 5
Frank/Steve - 7
Justin/Chandler - 7
Robb/Ryan - 9
E-Flo/Cong - 9
Reid/Geoff - 12

Whoever you're match up with... use this chart to determine strokes given.

------------------

Let's revisit the handicap indexes over the season (I say that like you have a choice):


It's important to remember that handicaps are not your average score... rather your average offset by the lowest you could possibly shoot.  However, I think if you compare the differences in the indexes, they're not too far off the averages anyway.  But you can easily see the groups of skill level, and also what happens when a high-handicap team goes low (Reid/Geoff in week 6).

More to come later today...

50% off Golf Groupon today.

Click for GolfHub.Com Groupon


Thoughts?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Playoff and League Fees

Alright people.  Time to pay for the playoffs!  You only owe me for the one night in the villa, and $10 for our league fee.  The league fee will be used on either alcohol or prizes for the winners (I'm still sorting that out).  Regardless, it'll all be spent on the league.  We pay for the golf separately before each round ($48... which includes tax, range balls and lunch).  Frank also gave us a coupon that we'll try to use which might knock off $10.  But we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

What you're paying for now:
Villa cost - $38
League fee - $10

You have a couple of options.  You can pay online here through PayPal... or you can pay me in person.  Either is fine with me, just make sure you do it.

If your name is E-Flo or Buchanan, then you have already paid me the league fee.  So use the drop-down menu to select your personalized option.





DPT Golf Playoffs


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Week 8

This Sunday we're playing our final week of the regular season at Bardmoor Golf & Country Club.  I've never been there, but I hear it's nice... and pretty difficult.  Playing from the gold tees, it'll be the highest slope rating we've seen this season (127).

The first group goes out at 11:12am... and before anyone starts whining about that tee time being too late (Bito) it was the first time they could accommodate all of us.  The Pro Shop lady gave us a good deal ($25 + tax) but wanted to stress we better show up with twelve people.  So E-Flo and Buchanan need replacements if you guys haven't found them already.

So what's at stake this week?  Well... if Justin/Chandler, Reid/Geoff or Robb/??? win they are in.  The Asians (Cong/???) need a win and some help.  Bito/Gomez need a win to lock up the #2 spot... but can still get #1 if they shoot low and Frank/Steve lose.  Frank/Steve are guaranteed #1 or #2.

Later this week I'm going to eventually discuss handicapping... and put up a PayPal link for you to pay for the villas at World Woods.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Things to buy.

For the last few days I have been Richard Kimble'ing around at all the local pawn shops. There are a fucking bunch. I haven't find it... YET. But I fucking will!

But at least I found something else cool. Today I stumbled on a cart bag in pretty good condition. I gave it a 2nd look, don't like my bag, I want a cooler, better organization, etc.

Being in the hood, I'm not sure they knew what they had on their hands. Priced at $90 was the bag, a full set of fairly new Cleveland Tour Action Clubs, a brand new Odyssey White Hot Tour Putter, 10 Sleeves of new balls, 2 new Gloves, about 20 new loose balls, about 20 used loose balls, 2 golf multi tools, and a "excalibur". I took some pics, I'm selling everything but the bag & the loose balls.


Each sleeve = $2
Each Glove = $5

35inch Odyssey White Hot Tour #2 = $60

35inch Odyssey White Hot Tour #2 = $60

Golf Multi-Tool Brand New = $5
Excalibur?? = $1 .... Barter for a blow-pop?
*Not pictured - Swiss Army style Multi Tool = $5

If no one wants this stuff, I'll take it up to T&D

Week 7 Recap

Week 7 was the defining moment of our inaugural regular season.  While the top two teams battled it out for a guaranteed spot in the playoffs (they both ended up clinching anyway), the bottom four struggled to stay alive in the hunt.  Ironically, every team is still mathematically eligible.  But the Asians need a miracle and a sub-par round next week to have any chance.

The Claw was as bad as we thought it was.  While conditions were nice, it'sjust too tight and unforgiving for us high-handicappers who spray the ball off the tee. So far this season, only Bloomingdale ranks harder in slope.  On #14 (that horrible par 5 known as "The Claw) my team got a "smart" bogey by going: topped 3-wood, pitching wedge, 5-wood, pitching wedge, putt, putt.

Oh... and TMZito tried to get us kicked out of the clubhouse due to some provolone cheese.  Good times though.  And it was also nice to have everyone playing for only the 2nd time this season.

Justin/Chandler vs. E-Flo/Cong - The winner of this match controls their playoff destiny, while the loser needs a lot of help.  Both teams got off to a slow start, with the whities stringing 3 bogeys together before settling down and the Asians getting double-bogey on the first two par 5's.  And then it got really ugly on the back side.  The paring was a combined 11 over on the first six holes, and Justin/Chandler clung to 3-stroke lead with three to play.  Chandler basically wasn't even contributing at this point, so Justin decided to stick his tee-shot 4 feet from the pin on #16 to seal the win with a birdie.  But E-Flo/Cong got revenge after the round, as their soccer team karate chopped Pete Carroll and team USA.

Uhh....
Final score: Justin/Chandler win 78-83 (net).

Robb/Buchanan vs. Reid/Geoff - The second match-up also featured teams that needed to win to assure some post-season golfing. With two strokes to start the round, Ebony and Ivory were in great position until they decided to shoot 5-over in the first five holes. Robb/Ryan had a three stroke lead at the turn, which quickly faded as they began the second half: bogey, bogey, bogey, bogey, double-bogey, double-bogey, bogey.  That's right... 9-over in a seven hole span.  Not to worry, however, as Reid/Geoff shot 7-over in the same stretch, with a nasty triple-bogey on #15.  This match was ugly, and yet down to the wire.  Final score: Robb/Buchanan win 82-83 (net).

Bito/Gomez vs. Frank/Steve - A preview of the finals, perhaps? Maybe not.  The best two handicapped teams are still... well... handicapped.  But a win would go a long way to lock up the top seed.  So what's better: old school glass bowl or the vaporizer?  As Frank would say... the vape is hype!  Allegedly Bito had one of his bad days as his team recorded three double-bogeys. Frank added some miraculous shots to Steve's steady play, allowing them to close out the game on hole #15 (picking up 3 strokes on that hole). Final score: Frank/Steve win 74-79 (net).

Tomorrow I'll post up week 8 details, as well as an explanation of how you turn a "handicap index" into a "course handicap" (which we will be using for the playoffs at World Woods).

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Playoff scenarios

It's crunch time. Only two weeks to go.

While no one can technically be eliminated this week. Eflo/Cong, Robb/Ryan, and Justin/Chan will be in serious trouble with a loss.

However on the clinching side. 3 teams can book their place in the playoff.

Frank/Steve - Win and they are in. If they lose they just need Eflo/Cong and/or Robb/Ryan to lose. Or a Justin/Chan & Robb/Ryan loss.
Bito/Gomez - Win and they are in. If they lose they just need Eflo/Cong and/or Robb/Ryan to lose. Or a Justin/Chan & Robb/Ryan loss.
Reid/Geoff - Win and they are in.

I didn't do ties, because we haven't had one yet. But the only teams a tie would be okay for would be Frank/Steve & Bito/Gomez, they would both clinch. Everyone else would still be in a precarious position heading into the final round.

Should be fun.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Week 6 Recap

Great week of golf... and I'm beyond shocked we didn't get any rain on Sunday.  The standings are a mess, with NO team clinching or eliminated from the playoffs despite only two weeks left in the schedule.

E-Flo/Cong vs. Robb/Buchanan - Gorecki filled in for Buchanan this week, and proved once again he is lights out... for the front nine.  I'm not really sure how he's going to survive the Reunion trip where we have to play three days in a row.  Anyway... with the Asians starting one stroke in the hole, it wasn't a good time for them to double-bogey the easy #1 (par 5) while Gramps & Young Blood laid-up for birdie.  By the time 13 holes had been played (right before Gorecki's nap), E-Flo/Cong found themselves down 3 strokes with five to go.  My team had the pleasure of watching Robb/Gorecki hit their second shot from 30 yards off the tee in standing water on the par-3 15th... which led to a 6.  I'm not sure what happened, but the whities went +7 on the last 5 holes to choke away the victory.  Regardless, it was some hot Ballic on Ballic action.  Final score: E-Flo/Cong win 77-82 (net).

Justin/Chandler vs. Bito/GoMex - One of the frustrating things about golf (there are millions) is how long the game is.  You can literally play consistently great for 3.75 hours... only to lose on the last two holes.  That's what happened to Justin/Chandler.  Getting two strokes at the start of the match, both teams showed rust with bogeys on #1.  Justin/Chandler were then able to sneak two birdies in the front nine, with only one other bogey to shoot even par and build a 3 stroke lead (net).  The next 5 holes were matched stroke for stroke by Bito/Gomez, and following a "lucky" bogey on #15 by White Obama & Casper it was only a two stroke gap with three to play.  That's when it all came crashing down.  Justin/Chandler missed a 6-foot uphill birdie on 16, scrambled to get bogey on 17 and hit two horrible bunker shots to get bogey on 18.  And during that time, Bito decided to make a 55-foot birdie putt on 17, and hit his tee shot less into the woods than Gomez on 18 to give his team a chance for par and the win.  It was quite demoralizing... but Bito stepped up and won the match.  Final score: Bito/Gomez win 71-72 (net).

Frank/Steve vs. Reid/Geoff - Bobby Boucher/Flay/Bottle Service stepped in this week to pound DPT into submission.  Giving an unprecedented 10.5 strokes... both teams were going to have to shoot well (relatively) to win.  In fact, Reid/Geoff probably had their best outing yet... but getting a double-bogey on #1 and bogey on #2 while Frank/Bobby birdied those holes immediately erased half the original lead!  The SuperBad Boys didn't falter until a double-bogey on #16... but still held on for a 1.5 stroke victory (net).  They also had an impressive 7 birdies on the round.  Final score:  Frank/Steve win 67-68.5 (net).

Next week we're going to try to get back on Westchase.  I'm waiting to hear from Buchanan on if his guy will set that up for us since we were rained out last time.  The make-up parings are killer and some of the tightest we've had all season.  Every match is a must-win.  Tomorrow I'll post up Bito's analysis, unless he wants to go ahead and do so today.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Embedded Balls

If you watch the "Big Break" (Reid made me start watching it due to his Jamaican brother going deep into the show) you may have noticed a controversial ruling about an embedded ball last week.  So let's clear this up for you fellow DPT Golfers.

First, the back story of what happened on the show.  Reid's boy hit his tee shot on a par 5 into a fairway bunker.  His second shot was crushed... directly into the bunker lip.  I'm sitting on the couch watching the show with the girlfriend, and I say: "That dude is toast. His ball is unplayable and with the penalty stroke there is no way he gets bogey."

All of a sudden, the show casually mentions how he's awarded a free drop outside the bunker.

I immediately lose my shit and start re-winding the episode.  How can I teach Ms. Alison the proper rules of the game, if the Golf Channel starts destroying the fabric of sports?  No, I'm not overreacting.

Let's look at the ball and the lie.

Actual image from the show.

Ok. That is one shitty lie.  I think Geoff had 3 of these at El Diablo. But how did the Golf Channel rule a free drop? Well, they claim the ball was hit so hard into the lip, it was sitting under the roots of the grass.  And no part of the ball was touching sand, therefore it was no longer in the bunker.  Since it was considered embedded in its on mark, a free drop was given.

Let's not get caught up on whether or not that ball is still in the hazard.  I'll take their word and assume it's not.  My problem is... you still don't get a free drop for the embedded ball.  Here's the USGA rule:

---------------------
25-2. Embedded Ball
A ball embedded in its own pitch-mark in the ground in any closely mown area through the green may be lifted, cleaned and dropped, without penalty, as near as possible to the spot where it lay but not nearer the hole. The ball when dropped must first strike a part of the course through the green. "Closely mown area" means any area of the course, including paths through the rough, cut to fairway height or less.
---------------

As the rule clearly states, you only get a free drop from an embedded ball in the fairway or any grass cut to fairway height.  The rule specifically mentions "paths through the rough cut to fairway height" because in PGA events where players don't use carts, they mow some of the rough to make a nice path for them.

See the path? Good for you.
The ONLY time you get a free drop in the rough is if your ball encounters an "abnormal ground condition."  The USGA defines this as: "any casual water, ground under repair or hole, cast or runway on the course made by a burrowing animal, a reptile or a bird."

Local rules also may apply, but 99.9% of the time that only involves a situation where a course doesn't want you to hit a ball out of their flowerbeds.  And such a rule is always listed on their scorecards.

Long story short... the Big Break fucked up.  A "free drop" should not have been given because the ball was not embedded in grass mowed to fairway height.  If you find yourself in the rough... you have to play that shit as it lies.  Or you can take an "unplayable" drop with a penalty stroke.

What is this world coming to?!?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Week 6 Preview

We have 3 weeks to go, and will undoubtedly have to play some of those in the rain.  I've reserved Northdale starting at noon for the discount rate of $21.

Steve is out, but will be replaced by the dreaded Bobby.  Buchanan is out and will be replaced by Gorecki.  I think E-Flo is out (unconfirmed) but I'll talk to Cong tonight about his replacement.  No team has been eliminated from the playoffs, so now is the time to turn it on.

See you guys soon.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Week 6 - Rain Out

Yesterday we had our first rain out, which tends to happen in the summer.  Course conditions at the time we cancelled were "cart path only," which indicates there was a lot of standing water.  Westchase is one of the worst draining courses in the area.

While the decision to cancel the week inconvenienced at least one team, 9 of the 11 responses from the league were to take the week off (which includes Bito who flip-flopped and decided to go to the pub all day).

But it's OK, shit happens. Since E-Flo and Buchanan made us push the playoffs to August, we still have the original playoff date open.  I've moved the match-ups from yesterday to July 24th.  I think E-Flo and Buchanan are out this day due to SCUBA lessons... so we might play on Saturday the 23rd instead.  Let me know if any of those dates are an issue for you.

Next weekend we have off due to the Fourth of July holiday.  So you have plenty of time to hit the range or take a break to forget all your bad habits.

In other news, four of us hit up Waterlefe last Friday for $25.  The course was awesome and definitely worth the drive to Bradenton.  I highly recommend it, but bring a lot of balls because there is water on every hole.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Course Difficulty

I've somewhat half-ass explained how the USGA calculates handicaps, but what about course difficulty?  Usually golfers just look at the yardage to determine what tees to play from.  Good golfers don't mind 6,700+ yards, while high handicappers prefer to stick around 6,200.  But that's not really the best way to go about it.

Course difficulty is determined by Rating and Slope.  Both numbers are found on the scorecard, and vary depending on which tees you play.

Rating is usually between 67 and 77.  This number is tells you what a "good score" is for a scratch golfer (someone with a handicap index of 0.0).  This Sunday we're playing at Westchase, which has a rating of 69.2 for the white tees.  So a scratch golfer would have a good round if they shot 69 (3 under).

But most people aren't scratch golfers.  In fact... the average amateur golfer shoots about 100 (yes, it's true).  The average official handicap for amateur golfers, however, is only 15.2 (mine has ballooned up to a 15 over the past few weeks).  The discrepancy between those two numbers exists because golfers who keep an official handicap tend to be able to shoot in the low 90's.

So it's kinda bullshit for someone with a 15 handicap to look at a number designed for a 0 handicap. That's where slope comes in.

Slope tells you the difficulty of a course for "bogey golfers" (people with a handicap of about 20).  The term "slope" references the actual mathematical slope of a line in a geometric graph.  The harder the course, the higher a bogey golfer's score will be ABOVE what their handicap index predicts.

Slope is a number between 55 (easiest) and 155 (hardest).  The average course difficulty is considered 113.  Let's compare some slopes (courses on our schedule are in bold):
  • Reunion Nicklaus Course (Gold Tees) - 147
  • Waterlefe (Back Tees) - 141
  • Southern Hills (Black Tees - where I just played a tournament) - 138
  • Augusta National (Masters Tees) - 137 (unofficial, as Augusta has never allowed anyone to come in and conduct a ratings test)
  • Bloomingdale (Green Tees) - 127
  • Dunedin County Club (White Tees) - 125
  • Westchase (White Tees) - 123
  • Pebble Creek (White Tees) - 122
  • Heritage Harbor (Blue Tees) - 117
  • Eagles Forrest Course (White Tees) - 116
So for those of you going with me to the Jamie E. tournament at the Reunion Resort... you haven't seen anything until we hit the Nicklaus Course.  I still get nightmares from the tips on #2, which I've had to hit from the last two years.

Anyway... if you're a high handicapper like me... look at the slope on the scorecard.  If it's below 120,  you should be in for an easy round.  If it's above 128... start drinking.

#2 at the Nicklaus Course

Monday, June 20, 2011

Handicaps and Match-Ups

We have some things to determine over the next few weeks.  Let's start with the easiest issue.

Bito/Gomez would like an opportunity to actually play against Robb/Ryan.  So I tweaked week 8 to give them that match-up.  In doing so, Frank/Steve now play the Asians in a rematch of week 4, but without Bobby dropping nukes on them.  I think this change actually makes the schedule better, giving E-Flo/Cong a chance to go up against the normal Frank Squad (assuming everyone can play that week).

-----------

Next is the handicap issue of Frank/Bobby vs. Reid/Geoff in week 7.  Here's the data we have:
  1. On the same course (Bloomingdale), on the same day, from the same tees... Frank/Bobby shot 67 while Reid/Geoff shot 89.  That's a difference of 22 strokes.
  2. If I take Frank/Steve's actual handicap data... and plug in a round of 67 at Bloomingdale... it drops them to 5.6, which is a difference of 8 strokes from Reid/Geoff's HCP.
  3. Frank/Bobby's gross average is 67 (one round of data) whereas Reid/Geoff's is 83 (five rounds of data), a difference of 16 strokes.
#1 is probably too many strokes since it's based on only one round.  #2 is probably too few since it's using a bunch of data for Frank/Steve with only one round of Frank/Bobby.  #3 is just a more accurate version of #1.

So I really don't know.  We can revisit it after we get one more weeks worth of data.  If I had to go on my "gut feeling," I'd say an accurate number of strokes would be about 11.  That way if Frank/Bobby shoot par, Reid/Geoff would tie with their average of 83.  And if Frank/Bobby go under par again, it forces Ebony and Ivory to go under their average.

But like I said... it's just a guess at this point.  So discuss, and try to get up to 70 comments this time.

    Week 5 Recap

    E-Flo/Cong vs. Reid/Geoff - Ebony and Ivory knew they needed to finally go low for an easy victory.  The Great Wall of Philipnam was already weary of their 4-stroke handicap, despite having a 6-stroke lead in gross average.  But neither team expected to suck to the tune of 82 and 85.  The Asians were somewhat consistent, carding zero birdies, 8 bogeys and one double.  Oreo Cookie, on the other hand, were all over the map.  Three birdies for them is impressive... but only three pars?  Neither of these teams' handicaps lowered after this week, which tells us two things: 1) they played bad and 2) we're getting close to having some solid handicaps set.  Regardless, it's never good when a team has to double-bogey #18 while watching their opponents bogey the same hole just to lose by one. Albeit, it probably was exciting.  Final score: Reid/Geoff win 81-82 (net).


    Justin/Chandler vs. Frank/Steve - Once again, we have two teams going in the opposite direction.  Before the match started, it appeared Justin/Chandler just needed to keep pace with Steve (who is a very talented golfer) to have a shot at victory.  But nobody expected Frank to play lights-out hype-diggity.  The few times Steve was in trouble, Frank would be in the fairway.  On an early par 3 when Steve was over the green, Frank stuck it 8 feet from the cup.  And later on #15, Frank vaporized a 3-wood 10 feet from the pin AND made the putt to give his team the first eagle in the league.  Justin/Chandler want to blame their loss on two inexcusable double-bogeys... but that wouldn't be an accurate conclusion.  Frank/Steve won because they had only one bogey on the day, and finished with a 3-under 69.  Not many people will beat that if they keep improving.  Final score: Frank/Steve win 68-77 (net).

    -----------------------------

    So we have three weeks left, and every team is still in the playoff hunt.  It looks like we won't need subs at Westchase this Sunday, something that hasn't happened since week 1.  I'm still awaiting official confirmation from World Woods on our playoff weekend.  Their event person is a bit... aloof.

    Anyway, below is a chart of the handicaps over time:



    This tells me a few things:
    1. Handicaps were pretty much right-sized by week 3.
    2. We were a bit off on Robb/Buchanan, but dead-on with Bito/Gomez.
    3. Justin/Chandler and E-Flo/Cong's initial handicap were very accurate in relation to each other.
    4. The movement you see in Frank/Steve is due to a) Steve missing a bunch of matches and b) Frank getting much better at golf each week.  The 69 they shot yesterday was quite impressive.
    5. Reid/Geoff are lagging behind the pack.
    It should be an interesting finish to the season.  Watch out for the Game of the Week on Sunday, when the top two teams (who have the exact same gross average) go head-to-head with only a one stroke adjustment.

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    How I'm (Stupidly) Spending My Saturday Morning

    This is one of those things that I said "yes" to, but immediately started regretting.  As an early Father's Day outing, my dad asked if I would play in a golf tournament at Southern Hills.  He's a member up there so we've played the course countless times and have even entered and won (at least finished in the money) a few handicapped tournaments.  It's a beautiful track... but very tedious, long and can give you a headache on most days.  Whatever... always good to spend time with pops.

    Not so fast...
    1. It's at 9:30am so we're leaving at 7:15am.  I'm one of the worst morning people on the planet (other than my girlfriend).
    2. It's a full handicapped 2-man Best Ball format.  People always confuse "best ball" with "scramble." I don't blame them because the names aren't intuitive... but "scramble" is what we play in DPT Golf.  Everyone hits, you pick the best shot and hit from there.  "Best ball" is really "best score."  Everyone plays their own ball... you put the lowest score on the card.  So I'll actually have my own personal score for the round.
    3. It's from the tips.
    So issue #3 shouldn't really be a big deal, until you realize that Southern Hills is 7,557 yards with elevations from 60-250 feet. Whenever I play there I always laugh at how far back (and down) the tips are from the blue tees. So how long is 7,557 yards? Let's look at a handful of the most famous courses on the PGA Tour this year:

    Congressional County Club (US Open) - 7,574
    Atlanta Athletic Club (PGA Championship) - 7,467
    Augusta National (The Masters) - 7,435
    Firestone CC - 7,400
    Bay Hill - 7,381
    Innisbrook (Copperhead, here in Tampa) - 7,340
    TPC Doral (Blue Monster) - 7,266
    TPC Scottsdale - 7,216
    TPC Sawgrass - 7,215
    Royal St. George (British Open) - 7,106
    Pebble Beach - 6,816

    So of that list, which includes all four Majors this year, only the US Open (being played this weekend) is longer. And yes, I realize "longer" does not always mean "harder."  The slope tells you the difficulty of a course, and I'll post about that next time.  But "longer" is an issue for me since I've developed the yips over the past few weeks and can't hit a drive more than 150 yards.

    Here are some course highlights:
    #3 - Par 3 - 238 yards - Massive green with crazy ridges in it.  Anywhere you land is 4-putt zone.
    #6 - Par 4 - 478 yards - Tee shot is all up-hill. I rarely get there in two from the blues.
    #7 - Par 5 - 618 yards - Tee shot is probably uphill 75 feet.  Second shot goes downhill over 100 feet.
    #11 - Par 4 - 491 yards - Probably a 200 yard carry over a hazard and tee boxes to find the fairway. No way I finish this hole.
    #14 - Par 4 - 507 yards - Now this is just stupid.
    #18 - Par 4 - 481 yards - Tiny elevated green which is impossible to hit with the 3-wood I'll be using on my 3rd shot.

    So anyway, there is no "max" per hole in this tournament.  I might have to pick up a few times, but we'll see.  Start taking bets now on what I shoot.  I'm also pretty sure I can get anyone from DPT up there for $35 this summer.  We don't have to play the tips, so just let me know.

      Wednesday, June 15, 2011

      Week 5 - Preview

      Second half the season starts now!

      E-Flo/Cong vs. Reid/Geoff - Ebony and Ivory under-perform every week.  Their scoring average is 6 strokes worse than the Asians, but they're only getting 4 strokes in Dunedin.  On paper you'd favor the Slanties based on that statistic. But Oreo Cookie has to shoot close to 74 eventually.  And if that happens, there's no way our engineering friends can pull off a victory.  Prediction: Reid/Geoff win 71-75 (net).

      Frank/Steve vs. Justin/Chandler - Justin/Chandler under-perform every week as well.  In fact, with recent scores together of 74, 77, 78... they're technically getting worse.  Chandler's AND Justin's drivers imploded over the past three weeks, giving them a huge disadvantage on a course they've never seen.  Meanwhile, Frank has new found confidence after watching his substitute put on a clinic last week.  So... playing on Steve's home course and giving one stroke to Scooby Snacks? Doesn't look good for JC.  Prediction: Frank/Steve win 76-77 (net).

      Bito/Gomez vs. Robb/Ryan - Apparently everyone from this match can't play on Sunday.  Except maybe Gomez, who didn't really report back and is only rumored to have told Bito he was out.  Regardless, our first double-forfeit of the season might be costly come playoff time.  Prediction: no.

      Tuesday, June 14, 2011

      Dunedin CC Sunday




















      "Golf is an exercise in Scottish pointlessness for people who are no longer able to throw telephone poles at each other."


      "We borrowed golf from Scotland, as we borrowed whiskey, not because it is Scottish, because it is good"


      We will be playing at ye historic Dunedin Country Club on Sunday, June 19th, at 10:10 am and 10:19 am. The golf course is located at 1050 palm blvd., Dunedin Florida, 34698. Phone number is 727-733-2134. The fee for ye course is $32 per person plus tax.



      Bring yer whiskey drinkin hat and bloomers, and come to the hometown of such greats as

      "Willie" from the simpsons:

















      Fat Bastard:













      And everyone's favorite: Rowdy Roddy Piper
















      Now here's to you, here's to me,
      if we disagree, the hell with you, here's to me!




      Below is a link to the course website, and description of each hole.





      See ya at the course!
      Frank

      Monday, June 13, 2011

      Week 4 Recap

      Frank/Steve vs. E-Flo/Cong - To be a really good golfer, you need to be consistent. Frank's sub (Bobby) is a really good golfer.  He (with some clutch shots by Frankie) destroyed the Asians like Genghis Khan in the 13th century.  Thankfully E-Flo/Cong won't see Bobby again this season, so they don't need to build a giant wall for protection.  The match was actually pretty close after the front nine, with Frank/Bobby at -3 and E-Flo/Cong at even par.  But then it went downhill fast as the Asians took two doubles and a single bogey over the next three holes.  Final score: Frank/Steve win 67-77 (net).

      Justin/Chandler vs. Robb/Ryan - Gorecki had to fill in for Justin this week, so it was determined the match would be played straight-up with an adjustment after every hole.  Chandler finally had some decent iron play, while Slow-and-Steady-Gorecki used his driver on almost every shot (even once out of the sand, I think).  Robb and Buchanan... just wanted the day to be over. Shooting 12-over on #4 through #12 put them in a hole that seemed impossible to climb out of.  A late collapse by Chandler/Gorecki made this game closer than it really was.  Final score: Justin/Chandler win 85-87.

      Bito/Gomez vs. Reid/Geoff - The final match-up should have been pretty close, considering Bito/Gomez were giving 6 strokes to Reid/Geoff.  Nevertheless, Ebony and Ivory had no birdies and only three pars on the day, shooting a horrible 89.  Maybe it was hot?  Maybe they were hungover and tired from the Summer Sizzle.  Whatever the reason... it was ugly.  Bito/Gomez also didn't have any birdies for the first time this season, and shot a lackluster 80 for the victory.  Final score: Bito/Gomez win 80-83 (net).
      ------------------

      Cong brought up a good point that it seemed teams play their best against them.  So let's crunch the numbers.  Through 4 weeks... here are the average opponent's gross score of each team:

      Bito/Gomez - 84.75
      Justin/Chandler - 79.75
      Robb/Buchanan - 80.00
      Frank/Steve - 77.75
      Reid/Geoff - 81.00
      E-Flo/Cong - 71.50 (73.00 if you throw out last week's 67 by Frank and his ringer sub)

      So... he's 100% correct.  I'm not sure why everyone shoots low when they're up against E-Flo/Cong... but you kids need to stop being so racist.

      Thursday, June 9, 2011

      Week 4 - Preview

      Shit's getting crazy! I haven't been watching the NHL finals, but it sounds like our league is headed in that direction.  As in... people biting each other.  I'm excited!

      This week we have two people out:  Steve and Justin.  Frank has replaced Steve with Bobby Flay, who carries a damn good individual handicap of 6 (mine is 13.8 for comparison. Gomez is also a 6).  I've gone the other way, replacing Justin with Gorecki, who carries an individual goofy-handicap of 3.  He's almost gone pro in that category!

      **Note** Tee times were shuffled around due to Bito, once again, having other obligations.  So make sure you know what time you tee off.

      Justin/Chandler vs. Robb/Ryan - Justin/Chandler was going to have to give one stroke to the Sandbaggers... but Gorecki kinda threw a wrench into that.  So we're going to play this match straight-up.  Chandler has been playing like shit lately, while Gorecki hasn't been playing much at all (and is quite lucky to even be allowed out).  Robb is back and ready to pound some drives in the same manner that he pounds... nevermind.  Buchanan is in a slump, but Robb will pull him out of it in the same manner that he pulls out of.... nevermind.  Prediction: Robb/Ryan win 74-80 (gross, net, straight-up, whatever).

      Frank/Steve vs. E-Flo/Cong - This match is hard to predict.  On one hand you have a ringer substitute for Steve, Frank with Smithkey's bag of heroin and E-Flo with a declining golf game.  On the other hand you have Cong back in the line-up, a more than likely chance Frank/Bobby will be hungover and the constant sound of safety patrol whistles all match.  Frank's group has to give the Asians one stroke, so it should be a close match on paper.  But I'm keeping all these stats on the internets, and thus do not use paper.  Prediction: Frank/Steve drop Fat Man on Nagasaki winning 73-79 (net).

      Bito/GoMex vs. Reid/Geoff - Bito/Gomez went low last week, shooting a season record of 72.  So they now have to give 6 strokes to Ebony and Ivory, who are winning despite shooting high scores (84, 78, 77).  Based on that trend I see Team Oreo recording another 77, which forces Bito/Gomez to shoot 70 to get a win.  That's not in my crystal ball.  Prediction: Reid/Geoff win 71-74 (net).

      Tuesday, June 7, 2011

      Playoffs Are Set

      I appreciate all the response from the league.  Everyone (except Cong) responded, and all but Buchanan can play either weekend.  While the majority preferred the July dates... Buchanan couldn't make it.

      Since we're so accommodating, we're going to play August 13th and 14th just so he can be there.

      World Woods!  Get excited.  Two villas, each holding 6 people.  Playing one round on each course.  Both days include lunch and range-time.  $132 total after tax!

      The top four teams will be in the playoffs.  The bottom two teams will play each other for fun and whatever side bets they want to make.  More than likely my team will be in the bottom two so we can get shitty.

      There will also be a 3-week (or so) layoff between the last week of our season and the playoffs.  While at first I wanted to avoid this, it might actually be good to give teams time to get super serious like Geoff and Reid (jk?)

      We can only take 12 people, and no subs are allowed in the playoffs (top 4 teams).  While everyone is allegedly going, Smithkey is the first outsider to express interest so he'll be in if anyone drops out.

      Mark the days on your calendar so you don't double-book yourself.  I'll post up a PayPal link later so you can get me money for the trip, as well as your $10 league fee.  I think we'll use this fee to bring a keg up for our villas (unless you all have a better suggestion).

      Monday, June 6, 2011

      Golf on Sunday

      Hey guys... need some feedback.  The original plan on Sunday was to go play Bloomingdale which is right by Missy's house.  We have to play somewhat early since Reid and Bito have a soccer playoff game to attend at 5pm.  So we can start after 10am for $35.


      OR... Gorecki has reserved us tee times starting at 10:30am at Club Renaissance for $30 (usually $60).  I haven't played there in like 10 years, but it should be a nicer course.  So comment what your preference is.  Thanks.

      **UPDATE**
      We're officially booked at Bloomingdale for $35 + tax.  Tee times are 10:18am, 10:25am, 10:32am.  See you there.

      Oh... I got a $2 off coupon so make sure you get that from me before checking in.

      Sandbagging


      I think its pretty clear which teams are trying to be as legit as possible about the scoring based on the handicaps given at the begining and where the handicaps are now. A team who thinks they are experienced in the game, one who can call others out for not playing the game correctly should know first hand the value of providing accurate information at the beginning of any tournament. Its easy to misjudge on the course but inexcusible to give a high handicap to start. So before we start pointing fingers we should all know where we stand as a golfer.

      Now, lets drink some beers and shoot some good golf!!!

      Sunday, June 5, 2011

      Week 3 - Recap

      Bito/Gomez vs. E-Flo/Duc - In the first match-up of the day, the Asians kept it in the family with Duc filling in for his brother Cong.  While they may look similar, they do not share the same skills on the course.  The two point handicap was adjusted to four and seemed to be accurate until the 7th hole.  At that time, E-Flo/Duc went: double, double, double, single, single bogey over the next five holes.  Meanwhile, Gomez got hot and Bito steadily contributed on almost every hole.  They can't add, however, as they incorrectly tallied their opponents front-nine score.  But no biggie.  The ass beating was inevitable.  Final score: Bito/Gomez win 72-83 (net).

      Justin/Chandler vs. Reid/Geoff - This match featured four players who have played together all year, but are going in opposite directions.  While Ebony and Ivory are vastly improving their game, Ginger and White Obama are in a horrendous slump.  Justin/Chandler are having trouble finding fairways and greens, and possess what might be the worst short game in the league.  Only Justin's hot putter is keeping them in games.  Reid/Geoff limited their blow-up holes to win straight-up, while dominating based on handicaps.  Final score: Reid/Geoff win 72-78 (net).

      Ryan/Smithkey vs. Frank/Steve - The final group had our first semi-controversy of the season and emphasized the only downfall to our handicap system: substitutes.  With Robb out of town, Buchanan picked up Smithkey as a replacement.  Since all players weren't really familiar with each other, it was initially decided to play straight-up and adjust the handicap at the turn.  Smithkey started out really cold (and really hungover), so with Frank/Steve up six they decided to give four strokes.  Instantly, like a professional hustler, Smithkey went to work and started dominating the match.  Frank/Steve quickly realized they were a bit too generous on the adjustment, and after the match was over a final tweak was made giving them the win.  During a post-round Founder's Meeting, it was decided to just count the match straight-up and implement a new adjustment rule (detailed below).  Final score: Frank/Steve win 76-79 (gross).

      New Adjustment Rule
      It's important to keep flexibility in the league, so we must continue to allow substitute players (except in the tournament).  However, replacements do not help establish accurate handicaps and become quite difficult to determine a fair scoring weight during a round.  The suggested method is to make a guess and re-adjust after the front nine if the scores seem out of whack.  The league doesn't really care what you do... just as long as everyone agrees.

      We don't want anyone to lose a match and feel like they were cheated.  When a team loses... they should feel like they could have won if they didn't play like complete shit.

      Everyone must keep in mind that we all technically suck at golf.  With the exception of GoMex... all league players are high-handicappers and very inconsistent.  Just because a team shoots two under on the front, it doesn't mean they won't go 10 over on the back.  Teams should be very conservative in setting and re-adjusting handicaps when substitute players are involved.  The last match of the day saw Frank/Steve trying to be generous so they wouldn't destroy Ryan/Smithkey.  They wanted to keep the match close to make it more fun, but they failed to consider that they could blow-up on the back nine.

      Starting in week 4, we'll make an official rule about the re-adjustment of handicaps.  When there is a substitute player, both teams can agree on a handicap and then adjust it after the front nine.  But once an agreement is made about that adjustment, it can't be changed.

      Just use common sense out there.  We're all friends so we shouldn't have any problem making agreements.  The handicaps get more accurate with every week.  And we're also starting to see how some of our subs perform.

      Anyway, the course was in good shape and it was a nice day of golf.  Next week we should be playing at Bloomingdale, but I'll send out info on that after I figure out when Bito and Reid's soccer game starts.

      Tuesday, May 31, 2011

      Week 2 Recap

      Bito/Gomez vs. Justin/Chandler - This match was a slug-fest of brilliant shots (all by GoMex) encased by shitty ones.  Bito was poised to show the world his contributions and actually helped on 17 shots (21%), some of which covered up Gomez spraying balls into the woods.  In fact, their team rattled off 5 birdies in the first 15 holes, but were still 3-over due to some horrendous double-bogeys. Standing on the 16th tee box, Bito/Gomez found themselves one stroke down (net) which could easily be overcome during the last three holes.  Justin/Chandler were relying on their "we don't need no stinkin' birdies" strategy, and had recorded a boring five bogeys and ten pars.  And then this happened:  Gomez hit it over the par-3 16th while Bito found the green, albeit a mile away in the dreaded 3-putt zone.  Failing to escape "the zone" put Bito/Gomez on ice, falling two shots down with two holes to go.  The pressure finished them off as Bito hit his tee shot on #17 into a lake and Gomez pulled his out of bounds.  Another double-lost-ball on #18 sealed the deal, as Justin/Chandler daintily pranced their way to the clubhouse with 13 pars and zero birdies.  Despite Bito/Gomez's impressive 5 birdies... their 4 double-bogeys were too much to handle.  Final score: Justin/Chandler win 74-80 (net).

      E-Flo/Cong vs. Robb/Ryan - The Asians went into this match confident, knowing that their people are excellent wall builders.  Robb/Ryan were to be given 6 strokes, but E-Flo/Cong just neatly and methodically stacked those sandbags to form a barrier against the impending storm.  It didn't take long for the tsunami to wash away all their hard work.  Somewhere during the round, all parties agreed that zero strokes should be given.  Robb and Ryan are like some sort of Power Ranger duo: harmless and over-animated by themselves, but form some ridiculous 80-foot robot of death when put together.  For the second week in a row, they carded the low round and bitch-slapped a lower handicapped team back to the driving range.  It's probably time we call in Mothra to help defeat them.  Final score: Robb/Ryan win 73-75.

      Frank vs. Reid/Geoff - When Frank failed to secure a partner, we were forced to test out our solo rules.  Before the round we tweaked them, allowing him to take two mulligans a hole (even on the green) and gave him six strokes.  The hope was that he'd shoot in the low 80's and hang with an Ebony and Ivory team that can't quite seem to put their game together.  But then this happened: Frank's short-game.  Over a span of five holes (#2 - #6), Frank shot: bogey, bogey, double, double, quad for a +10.  The fact is... playing solo (unless you're GoMex) is just too difficult.  Final score: Reid/Geoff win 78-86 (net).

      This week I'll be looking to install some sort of waiting list process.  If you're not in the league but want to play on one of our published dates, you can sign up on the list.  When someone has trouble finding a partner, we'll have a good idea who is willing and available to play without having to conduct a massive search.  Stay tuned for that.

      Thursday, May 26, 2011

      Week 2 Preview

      Let's talk some shit, about some shit.

      Bito/Gomez vs. Justin/Chandler - Over the past two weeks, Gomez has been trying to get me to raise their handicap. He thinks giving me and Justin 4 strokes is suicide and suggests we give them 5 instead.  After week one I inflated Gomez, so the only thing left to do is raise Bito to above a 105 average in order to change the base.  I probably should do this seeing that they use way more than 75% of GoMex's shots.  But any change is still going to require them to give a couple of strokes.  It's only week two so our estimates are as accurate as they can be with such a small data set. While Gomez can shoot a 72 on his own, Bito is too heavy this week and too distraught about the impending Man U. loss.  Prediction: Justin/Chandler win 71-74 (net).

      E-Flo/Neil vs. Robb/Ryan - The baggers' handicap plummeted 9 strokes from week 1 to week 2, yet they're still getting three strokes from the non-whites.  While this seems ridiculous on the surface after their low-round 74 in week one... their back-nine 41 tells the story.  Robb and Ryan played out of their mind two weeks ago and will soon be right-sized.  The wild-card is Neil, who has yet to respond to any emails about the league and surely doesn't read this website.  Prediction: Robb/Ryan win 77-80 (net, assuming Neil plays).

      Frank/??? vs. Reid/Geoff - Steve is probably out this week, so the result hinges on who Frank brings (he might be playing solo using our mulligan rule).  Reid and Geoff have played together a ton lately, yet are still getting an astronomical 6 strokes from the statistically worst team in the league.  But again... that's only after one week and Frank/Steve played like shit (shooting 48 on the back).  I think Ebony and Ivory are due to finally play like they golf all the time, and the stroke advantage is enough to overcome Team Scooby Snacks.  Prediction: Reid/Geoff win 74-78 (net, assuming Frank ends up giving four instead of six strokes).

      Monday, May 23, 2011

      Week 2 - Tee Times

      Tee times for week 2 are booked at Heritage Harbor, Monday the 30th (Memorial Day).  I have printed coupons that should get us on the course for $18.  Everyone has responded they will be there except Steve (who's still confirming) and Neil (who never replies to anything).  Almost every day I'm told about someone who wants to be in the league and is willing to play as a replacement.  But replacements screw up our handicapping process... so make sure you keep your teammates in line!

      Group 1 - 11:15am - Bito/Gomez vs. Justin/Chandler
      Group 2 - 11:22am - E-Flo/Neil vs. Robb/Buchanan
      Group 3 - 11:29am - Frank/Steve vs. Reid/Geoff

      Wednesday, May 18, 2011

      Course and Golfer Map!

      Alright, this gem comes from conversations I've had with Frank (isn't that usually the case?) about locations.  In the interactive map below, I'm showing the approximate location of each golfer's house and the courses we may be playing.



      View DPT Golf Season 1 in a larger map

      As you can see... we're somewhat spread-out with Frank and Steve in Dunedin... and Neil in Sarasota. 

      How about some course reviews?
      • Pebble Creek - Reid and Gomez's "home course," and the worst draining course in all the lands.  Thankfully, we played here week one and the conditions were much better than expected.
      • Heritage Harbor - Hopefully we'll be playing here week 2 for $18.  From the white tees this is a relatively easy course, so teams can go low.  I played out there a couple of weeks ago and it was in nice shape.  Definitely a steal for $18.
      • Northdale - Geoff's "home course."  They re-built their greens a year ago, and are still probably in the best shape of any public course in Tampa (tied with USF).  It's a medium difficulty course from the whites with a decent amount of water.  It's also very cheap to play... which means it gets a ton of traffic and can be slow.  But you can't beat it for the price, so we should roll the dice! Actually, a few of us got stuck behind the Beef O' Brady's tournament once... and got free beer and liquor our entire round from the Beef's girls.  Best golf outing ever.
      • Westchase - Buchanan has the hookup to this semi-private club.  It's challenging and well taken care of, but stays wet after rain.  Regardless, we can get out there for about $30.  Suck on that TBCS... which pays about $42 for nine holes at Westchase!  Our trip to WC will be in July.
      • The Eagles - Home of the first three years of the Leif Nissen tournament.  They have two courses which are great for scrambles, but can be quite flooded in the summer.  However, it's inexpensive and close to Frank so we will probably play out there in June during a dry week.
      • Chi Chi Rodriguez - This course sucks.  Last time I played out there was New Years Eve three years ago, and it was a 6+ hour round after a 1.5 hour delay from over-booking.  The course was also in horrible shape and the layout is maddening.  I'm not sure I'd subject the league to this debacle.
      • Dunedin Country Club - Frank and Steve's "home course."  I've never heard of it, but I'm always willing to play somewhere new.
      • Babe Zaharias - Justin's "home course."  It's your typical city-course, which can be in bad shape depending on the time of year.  I don't mind playing here but I think Rogers Park has a better layout.  Don't get me started on Rocky Point though... never going there again.
      • Mangrove Bay - A city-course in St. Pete, which will be convenient for Buchanan after he moves.  Although it can be a little crowded (like most city-courses are), it's always been in decent shape and the layout is nice.  It was also named in the "Top 100 Most Women Friendly Golf Courses" by Golf for Women Magazine in 1999.  You know... 12 years ago.
      • Bloomingdale - I propose we play here the morning after the Summer Sizzle (June 12th).  A few of us are already planning on camping out at Missy's house, so we can wake up and head a mile down the road for hungover league play! Comment how "awesome" or "stupid" this idea is.  The course is cheap and very difficult.
      • Buffalo Creek - We'll call this Neil's "home course," since it's about as far south as I'll suggest we play.  It's a Manatee County course that is wide open and surprisingly fun.  The league should probably throw Neil a bone and go down there once, but only if he starts showing up regularly for our matches.  The drive down there is all interstate so don't whine too much.
      • Summerfield - A nice challenging course for $26 or less.  It's another good "down south" option for us.
      • Hernando Oaks - $20 to play if you go fill out this survey in May.  Make sure you do this!  I haven't been up there in awhile, but I remember it's decent although filled with old people who play slow.  Again, for $20 we might as well roll the dice and make a day out of it.
      • World Woods - The two best courses we'll play this year... maybe.  The PGA lists it in the Top 10 World's Most Beautiful Courses.  I'm not sure about all that... but both tracks are amazing.  Since we need two rounds for playoffs, I suggest we play June 23rd and 24th, staying one night in a villa.  Their stay and play package would cost us $117-$126 per person for the two rounds and one night stay.  We need to book this soon (I'm currently emailing with their property manager), so please comment if you think this is a good playoff idea.  It would be a drunken guys weekend and we can get hookers (just kidding?).
      • Old Head Golf Links - Ever since a neighbor played this course a few years ago, I've always wanted to go. It's probably the most stunning course I've ever seen pictures of.  In writing this blog post, I noticed it was also on the PGA list for most beautiful courses in the world.  For only €200 ($285 USD) we could enjoy the round of a lifetime.  Oh, we also need to get to southern Ireland.  So who's with me?