Monday, June 29, 2015

DPT Championship & Ryder Cup

Our next event will be at Fox Hollow up in Trinity on Sunday, July 12th. They're a private club that recently started allowing public rounds. All throughout the year they host FSGA and USGA events, and the pro told me the course is in excellent shape.

He also gave us a group rate of $45 plus tax, but our tee time is a little earlier than usual. First group out is 8:30am (the other option was noon and that's no good).

Since this is a Major, I'm not going to force you kids to play the old man (aka: correct) tees. Even though I still truly believe the shorter set-up (ie: Eaglebrook) provides us a better "PGA Tour" experience, where birdies and eagle chances are more prevalent. Instead we'll have a Major set-up with the longest yardage in league history.

The only person I know that's OUT is JW. However, I really don't like assuming any of you are in. Make a comment and let me know your plans.

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

The Ryder Cup qualifiers are set. As expected, Darren and Buchert are captains this year. I've already paid for the lodging, so everyone highlighted blue in the registration grid has two weeks to pay me $80. This covers TWO nights up at World Woods (Friday August 21st & Saturday August 22nd). We individually pay for the golf while we're there (Saturday and Sunday rounds).

You can PayPal me $80 at chandler.brown@gmail.com. Just make sure to select the "sending money to family/friends" option. Or you can pay me cash/check in person. After our next event on July 12th... I'm going to open it up to whatever alternates want to join. Pay up now to secure your spot.

Once all 12 people are official we'll host a live draft. It'll be a "snake draft" with Darren getting picks 1, 4, 5, 8 and 9. Buchert selects 2, 3, 6, 7 and gets stuck with the last pick. More on this later.

Fazioli Match Play Recap - Summer 2015

It took 21 events, but Irish Dave finally has his first ever league victory. He shot an impressive 78 on a course where blow-ups lurked at every hole. There were 19 double-pars... but also for the first time in league history we had two eagles! Dave overpowered the 7th hole to get the first one, and JW had a crazy hole-out from the middle of the 9th fairway (his first ever eagle!). While JW's deuce was a little lucky, what Dave did to the 18th hole to win the tournament was incredible. He pounded a driver basically past the water to a tiny landing area, before sticking his approach tight and closing out with a birdie. It was the only score of par or better in the league on the final hole.

JW played great all day, with only one true disaster hole. Sadly, for the second time in two events, JW lost to a miraculous birdie on the final hole. It's probably for the best as he's allegedly missing three of the final four events. Despite that, he's having fun playing golf... which is more than Chandler (hey, that's me!) can say. I've never seen so many people fighting to get beer from a +10 pitcher!

Outside of Dave's -8 and JW's -7 net scores, most of us were over par. Faz finished 3rd and Rookie of the Year Darryl impressively placed 4th.

As for the matches, Guest beat Big John on the final hole to win, allowing him to jump Reid to #1 in the standings. Buchert crushed Brendan as predicted. JW never trailed in his match against Chandler. Mike fell apart on the final holes to lose to Darren. Faz beat Geoff in the biggest blow out of the day (6&5). Despite reporting that Dave won... his birdie on 18 actually only tied Gary. And Darryl reminded his son that he can still deliver a good spanking

The standings are insanely tight, thanks to five different winners in the first five tournaments. Anyone in the top 13 spots can win our next event and vault into 1st place.

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

The second group this week finished about 30 minutes behind. For you Game of Thrones fans... I felt like we needed to follow them while ringing a bell and loudly chanting: "Shame! Shame!"

We'll try to put the perceived slower people in the later groups, but there are things everyone can do to help speed up play. If you're behind, try to watch where everyone's balls go on terrible shots to decrease the time hunting. Maybe instead of driving to your ball 280 yards down the middle of the fairway... head to the OB stake 100 yards out and help Gorecki locate his ball.

Also (and this is one a lot of you people could work on)... drop people off at their ball and then go drive to yours. No reason to sit in the cart watching someone hit, only to then drive over to your ball and restart the process. It's not a huge deal to walk a little bit after a shot. We don't need the cart within 5 feet of us at all time.

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

Later today I'll post about our next event and Ryder Cup sign-ups.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Match-Play Info

Eaglebrooke has a range which is included in the fee. They also have a pretty solid chipping and putting facility.

BRING CASH this week. As mentioned before, three of us already pre-paid for your round. So you'll owe $30 cash when you arrive.

Remember that the regular stroke play tournament is still in effect and will determine cash payouts. Keep that in mind and feel free to deny any gimmie putts to your playing partners, even if you aren't in a match against them.

See you all Sunday.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Fazioli Match-Play Match-ups

For a moment, we had ALL 16 league members attending the tournament next weekend. The scheduled match-ups were great and we didn't need to find any fill-in players. But then Reid informed me he wasn't attending, making it the second week in a row the overall standings leader was absent. And every pairing changed as a result.

Below are the official groupings, match-ups and predictions (number of match-play strokes in parenthesis). You can also view the stroke play and match-play scorecards here.

Group 1

#10 Geoff (10) vs. #11 Faz - Going out first as the pacesetter, Geoff is scheduled to make his second appearance of the season. He's getting a lot of strokes, but is it enough to foreclose Faz's season? Or can Patito finally transform his ugly duckling game into a beautiful swan? Geoff has never played Eaglebrooke, while Faz has played it three times in his life: twice from the golds (shooting 85, 87) and once from the longer white tees (also an 87). Look for Faz to end his day atop the leader board, while Geoff will lose his most recent commission check.

#11 Faz (3) vs. #16 Dan - The Fazioli Match-Play almost always has an "odd man out," and this season it's Dan. In his second event he will take on Faz for the 100 bonus DPT Points. Faz won't earn any points for a victory, but he can keep them out of Mr. Rogers' neighborhood. Dan's DPT record has been DOA since he decided to start playing the tips every tournament in Spring 2014. Prior to that, he had never placed lower than 4th. So I'm booting him up a set of tees, which will shorten the course 300 yards without taking away any strokes. I predict a top 5 finish for Dan even if he loses his match to Faz. Which he probably will, because in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe, Mr. Rogers still thinks he's good enough to break 80 from the back tees.

Group 2

#13 Gorecki Jr. (6) vs. #15 Gorecki Sr. - It's taken 38 years, but will Gorecki Jr. finally become the man of the house? No. He won't. Even with a victory it's embarrassing to get 6 strokes from your retired father. I predict Junior wins the match, but both Goreckis finish out of the points. Away from their Buffalo Creek comfort zone, Eaglebrooke will beat up on the Wisconsin boys and leave a nasty rash. Luckily for Mike... Nurse Dan is in the group ahead of him.

#12 Gary vs. #13 Dave (1) - Gary's ancestors left Europe to find religious freedom. Dave's ancestors refused to budge during the great potato famine. As fate would have it, those decisions would lead us to this match-up hundreds of years later. An old guy in the New World versus a young guy from the Old World. Both can bomb the ball off the tee. Both are prone to wild hooks that will find water and OB at Eaglebrooke. And both exhibit a terrible short game from time to time. This match is a true toss-up. I'm giving the edge to Gary since he's seen the course. And also, America.

Group 3

#8 Darren vs. #9 Tall Mike (6) - As a result of the recent uprising, The Baron has been overthrown and now lives in a cellar on the outskirts of town. Tall Mike has moved in next door, deciding to trade in his freedom for the isolation of married life. On paper, whoever makes the fewest mistakes should win this battle. But the victor will be the one who discovers the perfect combination of vices. Can Darren find the right mix of beers and smokes? Can Mike blend together a winning formula of whiskey, pain meds, dip and practice swings? Actually... Tall Mike wins in a blowout because The Baron lost all the sand in his bags. Six strokes is too many to overcome when both guys will shoot in the mid 90s. I expect Mike to also finish in the top three of stroke play.

#6 Chandler vs. #7 JW (12) - The Dub is getting one stroke for each expected beer he'll consume. But unlike a golden handcrafted brew slowly aged in beachwood chips... JW's game isn't very consistent. He has drastically improved each week, but he can't seem to avoid the blow-up holes. Last season, Chandler stomped JW with a perfect 10&8 while giving him 15 strokes at an easier course (Lexington Oaks). However, JW's morale has improved so the beatings will not continue. Chandler finishes higher on the stroke play leader board, while The Dub wins the match 2&1 despite a double bogey on the final hole.

Group 4

#4 Buchert vs. #5 Brendan (8) - Nobody is playing better golf right now than Buchert. All aspects of his game are sharp and he leads the league in gross scoring average (80.5). Brendan gets 8 strokes and can win if he plays bogey golf. The first hole is literally the only "easy" hole on the course, so Brendan should get an early lead. But it all comes crashing down on the 2nd hole, which requires an accurate tee shot before a forced carry over a swamp. Buchert should also have no problem going for three of the par 5s in two. Final prediction: Brendan gets beat badly. Nurse Dan fails to revive him. Gorecki Jr. builds Brendan a cat coffin. JW pours out one of his beers. Dave turns Brendan's grave into a potato garden. And Chandler runs out of terrible jokes for this write-up.

#2 Guest (1) vs. #3 Big John - Only one stroke in this match. The gift of gab versus an insatiable appetite. Playing in the final group means you're near the top of the standings and control your own destiny to win the Cup. Will Chris play himself on to the Champion's Dinner guest list? Or does John have big plans for a dinner in his honor? The greens at Eaglebrooke will be the fastest and most undulating we've seen all season. Don't put your money on a guy who historically has putting issues, even if he claims they're fixed. John wins and jumps ahead of Guest and Reid in the overall standings. He also blows out one of his knees during said metaphorical jump.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Eaglebrooke Preview

We are all set to play Eaglebrooke next weekend, Sunday, June 28th at 10am. Cost will be $30 cash... so make sure you actually bring dollar bills! Everyone's round has been pre-paid by three league members.

Darren and I went out to play a scouting round today, and it's in phenomenal shape. Fairways are lush, rough is thick, greens are smooth, fast and have some crazy undulations. We played it from the white tees, which at 6,316 (128 slope) would be the longest course in league history. Personally I didn't have any issues... but the track is extremely difficult with a lot of forced carries. Not to mention a ton of water and OB lining most fairways.

Long story short... there's too many BIPSIC holes out there for our high handicaps. And I'd much rather err on people shooting lower scores than making this "US Open" caliber.

Short story even shorter... I'm afraid Gorecki won't be able to shoot under 115.

So we're taking Jack Nicklaus' advice and teeing it forward to the "old man" gold tees. It plays an even 6,000 (124 slope), which is in line with our other tournaments. It's still a very challenging layout, and the long guys can pound driver on most of the holes (if they choose). Dan is also being pushed up one box to the blues, but that's because his handicap is the same there as it is the tips. It's time for him to stop hemorrhaging money and to actually compete in these events.

Tomorrow I'm going to do a write-up previewing each match. Try not to let the suspense kill you.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Gorecki Memorial - Summer 2015 Recap

Chris Guest became the 4th winner in as many tournaments this season, posting the impressive score of -10 at the Gorecki Memorial. It's also the 3rd pitcher bought this season for someone shooting double-digits under par. Buffalo Creek played as easy as expected, with the median net-score to par at -3 (easiest on record). If you made bogey or worse on a par 5 today, you were really losing strokes to the field.

Guest kept his round consistent with two birdies and a lot of bogeys. As he says, it seems he's fixed his putting issues. Buchert finished second with the low gross round of the day. And his 76 would have beaten the league average at Countryway! Reid rounded out the top 3 with an excellent 40 on the back nine despite a double-bogey on the 17th hole. He also takes the lead in the season standings.

The Baron peeked his head out of the cellar this week, only because Gary blew up on two holes to finish last with a +2 net score.

The course was in decent shape. Maybe a little wet in spots... but the fairways and rough were nice. The "Countryway Haters Club" liked the course a lot, but depending on the schedule we might head back to Countryway in the Spring if we play on Masters Sunday. Outside of that, I'm all for playing Buffalo Creek again, especially in the summer seasons.

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


We're off this upcoming week for Father's Day. Enjoy it if you're going out of town.

The week after, June 28th, we're playing the Fazioli Match Play. It's our mid-season event, and one of the most important. Comment by next Friday if you're IN. If I don't hear from you I'm going to assume you're not playing.

The order of which you officially register might matter if we play Eaglebrooke (due to pre-paid vouchers). So don't miss out on cheaper golf because you're too lazy to contact me or comment.

Currently registered are: Chandler, Buchert, Reid, Guest, Gary, Darren and Faz.

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

There was some inconsequential movement in the Official Golf Rankings. Next week is the last time you can boost your standing for the Ryder Cup. However... the 12 qualifiers have basically been set for a few weeks. And nobody is going to surpass Darren or Buchert in the captain's spots. Start sucking up to them now if you want to be drafted higher than you deserve.

After the Match Play, everyone will have two weeks to pay for their spot. More on that next week.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Weekend Pairings

With exactly 12 people signed up, I'm going to cancel one of our tee times. Probably the later one so we can guarantee we finish before the rain.

Group 1:
Chandler
Dave
Gorecki
Darryl

Group 2:
Guest
Faz
Buchert
Brett

Group 3:
Gary
Darren
Reid
Tall Mike

See you all down there. 9:20am tee time. Get there early!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Ocean Course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort


Tee box of the par-5 2nd hole.

The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island is one of the United States' most unique golfing experiences. Many places advertise "links golf," but Kiawah is one of the few places that can actually offer the links setting. Unfortunately, Pete Dye didn't exactly build a links course. He built a Pete Dye course, and placed it on links property.

Dye's most famous course, TPC Sawgrass, is a masterpiece where you can really appreciate each individual hole as you go through your round. But The Ocean Course is a collection of 18 good challenges that leaves a lasting impression. And just as with Sawgrass, Pete Dye had to go back and soften it up multiple times after opening and hosting the 1991 Ryder Cup.

Par-5 2nd hole from the fairway.

To this day, it's still ranked by Golf Digest as the most difficult course in America. There are few trees on the property, which allows the constant Atlantic Ocean breeze to factor into every shot. On average you'll get 15 mph all day, every day. At times it can gust into the 40 mph range. And since each nine is literally "out" and then "in," every hole will play either downwind or back into it. This creates a situation where you could hit a PW into a green, but need a 3-wood into the same green the very next day.

On a normal links course, this wouldn't be a huge issue because you can run up low approach shots as long as you avoid pot bunkers. But in typical Pete Dye fashion, he severely elevated every green and lined each fairway with deep waste bunkers and towering sand dunes. Long irons won't hold some of the plateaued putting surfaces, and you'll be left with an insane putt up a steep slope or a flop shot. There's also no OB on the course, so if you hit it on the beach you technically need to go find it and play it.

Sand dunes by the 10th green. Good luck with that.

We were lucky to play the course in two different conditions. The first day was absolutely perfect, with no wind and overcast skies. The caddies remarked on how rare it was to be so calm, and the course was a lot of fun. Wide open hitting areas off the tee led to short iron approaches, which worked well with the elevated greens. I would play The Ocean Course all the time under those conditions, since you could focus on the actual layout instead of the wind. Gary was even a little disappointed and thought the course played too "easy."

He got his wish two days later when we played in 20-30 mph sustained winds. The experience was still positive but "fun" turned into "exhausting." A slight push-slice off the tee no longer found the rough, but instead fell 15 feet down into a waste bunker covered with marsh grass. I used a 9 iron to make par on the par-3 5th hole in calm conditions, but had to use 5 iron during our second round into the wind. Needless to say everyone struggled and drastically shot higher scores.

View from the tee on the par-3 14th, with the standard elevated plateau green.

Par-3 17th from the tee box. Probably the most iconic hole on the course.

There are a handful of other courses on the island, but nothing compares to The Ocean Course. It was also my first time playing with a walking caddie, which was a wonderful experience. If you ever make a bucket list of American courses, The Ocean Course should definitely be on there.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Schedule Change - July

It's been brought to my attention that a large portion of the league won't be able to play July 19th OR the 26th.

Now normally for individuals, we need to just stick to the schedule as it is. Especially since people plan around it, unlike Big John with the Ryder Cup.

But if 6+ people are all out... then we have make-up weeks we can use.

Please take note of the current schedule. We'll do our best to make sure anyone mathematically in the hunt for the Cup gets to play the final tournaments. Even if we have to play AFTER the Ryder Cup weekend.

Until then... consider the first 6 tournaments officially set in stone.

DPT Open - Summer 2015 Recap

Southern Hills remained a high-handicappers paradise, with 5 of the top 6 players receiving 20+ strokes on their round. But in general, everyone played exceptional. All but two league members finished under par (net), and the highest gross score was a 94. Faz will have to tell us if we ever had an event where everyone broke 100 (probably in the early seasons).

The Baron watched his subjects revolt as he finished dead last in the cellar with a 92 (gross). He has won this event, on this same course, three times with the same score or higher. Chandler shot a career best at Southern Hills and still managed to only finish T4. And Tall Mike won the Open last season with a 93... but placed one off the lead this time with a 90.

People are improving. Handicaps are falling. It's really nice to see the progress.

JW had a commanding lead most of the day until the course finally wore him down on the last four holes. It's hard to say he "choked" when he still had one of his best rounds ever. But Big John literally stole the victory by making birdie on the 18th hole, one of the most difficult on the course. John picks up his 2nd career win and his first Major title.

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

This week is the "Gorecki Memorial," and for the first time we'll be playing on a full size course. But don't expect to be wearing out your driver. The Gorecki tees at Buffalo Creek play a whopping 5,795. We better see some eagles out there. Tee time is on Sunday at 9:20am. There is a driving range if you want to warm up.

These people are OUT: JW, Brendan, John.

Let me know if anyone else won't be making it. Brett is also going to make his league debut, challenging Darryl for Rookie of the Year honors.


Thursday, June 4, 2015

_____ Skins Game - Stats & (Un)interesting Facts

As Chandler already mentioned, Reid ended an incredibly long win drought on Saturday and managed to tie the (as of two weeks ago) second lowest net score in league history with -10.  You don’t often see a guy shoot 84 when they’re +11 combined on the par 3s and 5s but Reid absolutely destroyed the par 4s by playing them in +1, something Buchert did as well.


Other Highlights
Faz was even on the par 3s and won all 4 greenies in the process.  Chandler was even on the par 5s and was the only guy to make 5 on the 7th hole, which played to a 7.417 average and was the toughest on the day.

We made 13 birdies as a group, which is technically not a league record since a field of only 9 players made a total of 15 birdies at Countryway in the Spring ’13 season.  But in terms of birdies made on a real golf course it was very impressive seeing as how we made a total of 16 in the first four events combined last season.


Lowlights
Chandler played the par 3s in +7 helped by making two max 6s, something he hasn’t done since Plantation Palms on March 17, 2013.  In fact, he’s only made two max 6s in the last two seasons combined.  Pretty funny that they’ve both come on the 17th hole at Brooksville Country Club.

As a group we made 15 double pars, which is not a record but it’s certainly not good.

Consistency award through two events goes to Gorecki Jr.  He’s managed to make double bogey or worse on 75% of his 36 holes played so far.



Snapshot History of the DPT Open at Southern Hills

Season
Winner
Score
Runner(s) Up
Score
Summer '12
Geoff
69
Gary
72
Spring '13
Darren
71
Chandler/Faz
73
Summer '13
Darren
63
Geoff
69
Spring '14
Gary
69
Chandler
70
Summer '14
Darren
66
Mike
68
Spring '15
Mike
66
Darren
67