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?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Week 1 - Recap

Bito/Gomez vs. Frank/Steve - In what was supposed to be a battle between the two "best" teams in the league, this match was all over the place.  Bito/Gomez started 6 strokes in the hole due to handicapping and at the turn had only made up one of those shots.  Frank/Steve would have to try very hard to lose their lead, especially after recording a par on number 10.  But then this happened:  double, triple, single, double, single, single, single, single bogey to finish the last eight holes.  In that span Frank/Steve shot 12-over to post a nasty 48 on the back nine, losing by a net 4 strokes.  In fact, they had the worst gross score (86) of the field.  GoMex was able to drag Bito to victory!  Final net score: 76-80.

Justin/Chandler vs. E-Flo/Neil - The second match featured our first replacement player of the season: Cong.  Since he is immensely better than Neil, we re-calculated the handicapped based on his estimated score of 90.  This dropped the number of strokes Justin/Chandler had to give from 8 to 2, but that didn't prevent the wheels from coming off early as they opened up with bogey, double bogey.  Eleven pars followed, which wasn't enough to match Cong's iron-play or E-Flo's luck (every tree he hit bounced his ball into the fairway).  Final net score: 74-73.

Geoff/Reid vs. Robb/Ryan - There were enough sandbags in the final paring to prevent the Katrina disaster.  Even though we all felt Robb/Ryan's handicaps were a little high, I don't think anyone expected them to post the low round of 74.  That includes a 2-under 33 on the front nine, before cooling off with a 41 on the back.  Nevertheless, Geoff/Reid opened with a horrendous 9-over on the first 6 holes!  Final painful net score: 84-68.


We got VERY lucky with conditions as Pebble Creek is the worst draining course in the area.  However, the fairways were dry and only two greens were saturated.  Despite it getting windy on the back nine, it was a beautiful day for golf.

As far as handicaps are concerned, I think the first two match-ups were perfect.  However, I'm making some tweaks to the base handicaps which ultimately affect the USGA numbers for week 2 (slightly raising Gomez and Steve while lowering Robb and Buchanan). The challenge in future weeks is going to be substitutions.  So we'll just provide our best guess and as long as both teams agree on the first tee, that's what we'll go with.

Excellent first week, and we'll resume play on Memorial Day (May 30th).

Friday, May 13, 2011

Week one is finally upon us... AGAIN

Well it's finally here... Sunday we'll know where each of us stands as a golfer, a man, and as a shit talker.

I'd like to wish everyone luck in our first outing and I hope that we ratchet up the shit talking on this blog. I'll show you how:

Reid and I a going to play the sand bagging, girls' golf lesson taking, beer-brewing, 88-shooting suckas on team 105. Regardless of their suspect "average round" I'm sure my island partner and I will pull out a win and send them home crying or as the Cobra Kai say, we'll "put 'em in a body bag... yeeaaH!"

And, who's in charge or organizing the gambling for this league? Bito, Frank? Let's get some side bets or pools going.

Geoff out!

Hopefully "the man" won't censor me and try to keep my people down this time!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Estimated Cost

**All tabs on this website are up to date and ready for the start of the season.**

Frank commented yesterday that his team is going to be very cost-conscious and also might not be able to play hungover.  I can't really help him on the latter issue (I rarely play golf not hungover), but let's look at the former issue.

We established the league because the only other team competition we could find in the area (Tampa Bay Club Sport) isn't convenient and is basically "expensive as shit."

How expensive is shit?  Well... kopi luwak is a coffee made from roasting beans that have been shit out by an Asian Palm Civet.  In the United States these shit-beans sell for up to $600 per pound, and one specific variety in Vietnam sells for $3,000 per pound.  No shit.

This thing...
...shits these things...
...and makes this thing.

Anyway, our current schedule calls for 9 weeks and a total of 10 rounds (8 regular season and a two round playoff weekend).  If over half the teams aren't available for Memorial Weekend or post-Summer Sizzle, this could easily be reduced.  Regardless, our goal is to have our average outing cost LESS than $36.  But let's compare that to playing in TBCS:

That's not a typo.  Playing in the TBCS league costs you $300 out of pocket, which equals $85.71 per full round of golf... assuming you don't miss any weeks!  In DPT Golf, if you miss a week it won't cost you monies.

So there you have it.  Golf has never been a "cheap" hobby... but we're not about to start scheduling rounds over $40.  I'll be hunting for deals each week as long as the league stays active and doesn't cancel too many matches for bullshit reasons.  The entire point is to play more while challenging each other to improve our games.  We only have about 20 years to get ready for the Champions Tour.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Hernando Oaks

http://www.hernandooaksgolfclub.com/?page=113993 --- Link to Survey
http://www.golflink.com/golf-courses/course-reviews.aspx?course=1753056 --- Link to Reviews/3d course map.

Would anyone be interested in playing at Hernando Oaks Country Club for one weeks game?
I havent looked into it, but they say if you fill out a short survey, you receive a free round of golf. You I believe need to pay for a cart, but would probably only be like 5 bucks. If you guys are interested, I can look into it further. It is an hour away from Tampa, but would be cool to try a golf course in a different area, and if it's free, it's worth driving an hour I think.

Rules of Golf - Part 2

First week is this Sunday! Pebble Creek at 9:30am.  Don't be late.

Let's take a look at some famous disqualifications:

Roberto De Vincenzo - 1968 Masters
After shooting a final round 65 and tying for the lead, Roberto believed he had earned a spot in a playoff against Bob Goalby for the Masters title.  However, his playing partner (Tommy Aaron) accidentally marked a 4 on number 17 when he actually had a 3.  He wasn't technically disqualified, but since he signed the scorecard the higher number stood and he missed the playoff by a stroke.

David Robertson - 1985 British Open Qualifier
In a qualifying event for The Open, Mr. Robertson decided to test out a new putting strategy.  He would race up to the green before his playing partners, pick up his ball and drop his marker in a more favorable spot.  It took about 14 holes for multiple players to summon rules officials.  Robertson was fined the equivalent of $30,000 and banned from the pro tour for 30 years!

Craig Stadler - 1987 Andy Williams Open
Craig "The Walrus" Stadler does NOT like dirty pants.  In fact, he was so worried about getting mud on his pants, that he used a towel as a rug while hitting an awkward lie.  The infraction went un-noticed until a viewer at home saw highlights on TV, making this the first time ever that a fan called in a violation.  The broken rule states you can not "build a stance" and should have cost him two strokes.  But since he already turned in his scorecard, Stadler was disqualified after finishing second place (costing him $37,333).
The Walrus... fucking up.
Stadler cutting down the same tree in 1995 (invited to do so by Torry Pines).

Camilo Villegas - 2011 Hyundai Tournament of Champions
Referenced in Part 1 of this series... UF grad Villegas forgets that you can not remove lose impediment that might affect a ball's path.  Thankfully, some dude on Twitter alerted the PGA and they DQ'd his ass.

Padraig Harrington - 2011 HSBC Championship
Also referenced in Part 1 of this series.  Paddy nudges his ball after placement on the green.  If he immediately just re-marked it, and then re-placed it, there would be no penalty.  But a viewer at home noticed the movement and got his Irish ass kicked out of the Middle East.  There was no "black gold" at the end of Harrington's rainbow that weekend.

Read more disqualification stories here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Rules of Golf - Part 1 (Recent Changes)

(Don't forget... first week of our season is May 15th.  Tee times will be booked a week in advance, so be sure to talk to your partner before then and make sure they're going to show up... ie: Gomez).

In order to get some more content on the site, I'm going to start blogging about golf in general.  This is Part 1 of an open-ended series on the rules of golf.

St. Andrews... they make the rules.
One thing I enjoy about the game of golf is the abundance of rules.  It's such a convoluted sport despite having a genuinely simple concept, and every situation is covered.  There are so many rules, players are basically expected to police themselves throughout a round.  And the harsh penalty of disqualification for any infraction keeps the game honorable at the professional level.  Amateurs, on the other hand, cheat all the damn time.

The first set of rules were recorded around 275 years ago, so the rationality behind a few laws has been lost in the sauce.  Naturally, as the game evolved, many people began pushing for updates and tweaks.  Here are two recent changes/proposals... and why I hate them:

Change to Decision 33-7/4.5
This change of interpretation was effective April 7th, 2011, and followed the disqualification of Padraig Harrington in Abu Dhabi.  Basically, Paddy was on the green removing his marker when his thumb barely touched the ball.  The ball itself was only nudged and did not actually move from its current position.  After a viewer from home called in the infraction, officials reviewed the tapes and Harrington was disqualified for turning in an incorrect scorecard (he should have marked down a two-stroke penalty for touching his ball without re-placing it).

Most golf fans were in an uproar due to 1) a viewer reporting the infraction 2) the ball didn't actually move and 3) Padraig is such a nice guy.  So what did the sport do?  They decided that if a player wasn't aware an infraction took place (Paddy claims he didn't know he touched the ball) then they can adjust their card after it has been turned in and avoid disqualification.  This doesn't affect ignorance, however.  You will still be disqualified if you didn't know the existence of a rule (see Camilo Villegas and Dustin Johnson).

First of all, I trust Harrington wasn't aware he touched his ball, just based on my perceived notion of his integrity.  But this change invites dishonest golfers to use the "I know about the rule, I just didn't know I fucked up" defense.

Look at Brian Davis in April of 2010.  During a playoff he called a penalty on himself for grounding his club in a hazard. Nobody around him saw it, and they had to verify the infraction on video replay.  The penalty cost him the match and $415,000!  This incident might make Davis one of the classiest athletes in history, but the reality is he didn't know if anyone else saw him ground his club.  However, he sure as Hell understood he could be disqualified from the playoff if he didn't cover his ass (he took home $615,000 for second place).

Go back to the Padraig Harrington incident that prompted a rule change.  Under the new interpretation, a USGA Rules Official now must determine if Paddy was aware his thumb touched the ball.  What if a golfer has nerve damage and can't feel anything in his finger tips?  Does he get more leniency?  If you ground your club in a hazard, isn't it in your best interest to just say: "oh I didn't notice?"  Golf does not need "judgment calls," and therefore this new change is bullshit.

Proposal to change Rule 18-2b
Today it was announced golf will review, and probably change, the rule that gives players a one-stroke penalty if their ball moves after address.  This happened to Webb Simpson last weekend at the Zurich Classic, when his ball was moved by wind... or God... or whatever as he stood over it to tap in a par putt.  Even though Webb didn't cause the ball to move, the penalty ultimately cost him the victory and $460,800 (he still took home $691,200 for second place).

Nobody really knows why that rule was created in the first place, but I have an idea:  it's probably due to one of Bito's ancestors constantly addressing the ball before it had completely stopped moving.  If the ball comes to a brief rest at the top of a large incline... why not run up there and try to hit it before it rolls down?

Anyway, the new change will not penalize a golfer if it is clear the ball's movement was not caused by the player.  I'm actually OK with this, but again, more judgment calls for the Rules Officials to figure out.  Golf needs to be "black and white," not filled with "grey areas."  Therefore, this proposed change is only semi-bullshit.

Next time, I'll talk about some of the craziest disqualifications in golf history.