Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Faz Stats - Spring 2016

Does anyone out there miss Faz's statistical updates? Well he crunched some numbers for the Spring 2016 season. And while he can't personally post them... he sent them to me for sharing.

Names in yellow didn't play enough events to count for these stats.

Click to zoom in.

Faz reports that Tall Mike's bogey average of 41% is the reason he won the league.

I also see JW improves by 3 strokes from front to back nine... so he should probably hit a few more range balls before the first tee. Or start drinking earlier?

John and Geoff need to start imagining all par 5s as "a very short par 4 followed by a short par 3." Most of the time a driver, 5-iron, wedge is all you need to get a GIR.

TPC San Antonio (Oaks)

This week the PGA Tour heads to San Antonio for the Valero Texas Open. So I'll go ahead and give my brief review of the AT&T Oaks Course, where a bunch of us just played in late February.

Underrated.

That's the best way to describe the Greg Norman design. Granted, it's a part of the TPC network, so by definition it's rated very highly. But the Tour plays it during the "Masters hangover period," which is after the biggest event of the year and a few weeks before The Players (arguably the 2nd biggest event of the year). Basically... unless you're a golf fan or a degenerate gambler... nobody is paying attention.

Greg Norman is notorious for building difficult and borderline "unfair" layouts. But I didn't find that to be the case with the Oaks Course. There aren't many tricks to it. You can easily see where you need to hit the ball from the tee boxes. And you'd better hit it there.

Approach on the par-5 18th.
Since all the trees on the property are relatively small compared to the towering pines and grandfather oaks we have here in Florida, it appears to be fairly open. But if you're one foot outside of the first cut... your ball will be sitting in loose rocks, deep grass and cactus. It was insanely frustrating to hunt for balls in areas that looked open.

Then you have the deep bunkers that protect most of the greens. Don't go in those either unless you know how to hit flop shots off sand. Oh... and the 16th is a par 3 with a deep bunker in the middle of the green.

Par-3 16th Hole.
Texas is currently getting massive rain and flooding, so this year the course might look a little beat up. But it's definitely worth the trip if you ever want a "cheap" PGA experience.

Pete Dye built the sister course on site, AT&T Canyons. It was also excellent, and I describe it as a "better" version of Southern Hills.

Monday, April 18, 2016

DPT Masters Spring 2016 Recap

If you told me someone was going to shoot 79 in extremely windy conditions at Esplanade, I'd say 1) you're making that up and 2) that person obviously won the event.

But then I watched a 25 handicap play almost flawless "bogey-golf" in those conditions to shoot 44 (gross) on the front nine. Tall Mike tried to make it interesting on the back, but continued to make smart plays, laying up when needed and managing the course to secure a season title and shared Masters championship.

For example, on the 18th hole in a terrible bunker lie behind the green, Mike played his 3rd shot away from the green. This led to a tap-in 6, which he knew would guarantee him at least a tie for 1st in the tournament. Course management will always be the easiest way for high handicappers to lower their scores.

Mike's solid play left little drama for the season title, since Darren and Reid started to falter on the back nine. One of them needed to finish 2nd to play spoiler.

So The Moose becomes the 5th ever winner of the DPT Cup. He'll get some cash thrown his way at a dinner location of his choice. And he'll forever be remembered as a champion, which is important since his back is going to give out by the time he's 40.

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We have a few weeks off before starting back up on May 15th. A lot of guys are traveling this summer, so they'll need to make the most of their limited starts. This also makes it easier for some of the more regular attendees to win the Cup (I'm looking at you, Reid). We're also losing Guest, who is moving to Colorado to grow plants. And Troy has officially established a handicap, so he'll be joining full time.

See you all then.

Friday, April 15, 2016

A Quick Lesson in Group Rates

I personally book all our tee times a week in advance, and negotiate a group rate when I can. Some places (like Lake Jovita) we don't play because they'll make me give a credit card, and will charge me for all of you people that don't show up.

This is one of the reasons next season we're implementing the "Gorecki Rule" (more on this later).

Anyway, Esplanade quoted us a rate of $45 per person for Sunday for 16 people. We had 14 signed up and I figured we'd get two extras. But... instead two people backed out today. No big deal, I'll just call them and let them remove one of our groups.

Unfortunately, that jacked the rate up to $64 per person. See... most courses don't really consider 12 a discounted group number.

I was able to talk him down to $59. It's a nice course and should be worth a little more than usual. But still... we're only as good as our attendance.

DPT Masters Preview

While only two of us are in the running for the season championship... there's still decent money up for grabs this week.

Tall Mike crunched the numbers... and he needs me to finish 3rd or lower to win the cup. If I get 1st... Mike must get 2nd. If I get 2nd... he must get 4th. Ties at the top will further complicate things.

But the rest of the eligible field will spoil one of our afternoons. Esplanade is wide open off the tee, and while there's water on almost every hole... it's NOT really in play. There's always a generous landing spot away from the lakes.

This fits the game of the high handicappers, and Tall Mike is getting the most strokes in the field while I get the fewest. Will he take advantage of those strokes and crash the Champions Dinner this summer?!?!?




No. I'm going to win my 4th title. See you guys down there.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Summer 2016 Schedule

After the final tournament this week, we'll have 3 weeks off before starting up the next season. With the summer comes hotter weather, lower rates, punched greens, and lots of rain. We also play nicer courses, usually further south. I'm going to try to get us out east for once also.

Here are the Summer dates. Put these on your calendar.

Week 1 - Sunday, May 15th
Week 2 - Sunday, May 22nd
-Off Week for Memorial Day-
Week 3 - Sunday, June 5th (Major)
Week 4 - Sunday, June 12th
Week 5 - Sunday, June 19th (Father's Day... bring your dads?)
Week 6 - Sunday, June 26th (Major)
-Off Week for 4th of July-
Week 7 - Sunday, July 10th (possible hangover date for JWs birthday)
Week 8 - Sunday, July 17th
Week 9 - Sunday, July 24th (Major)

July 31st and August 7th will be make-up days if we have any rainouts. The Ryder Cup is August 12th-14th.

DPT Masters

Final tournament of the season... this Sunday, April 17th.

Will Tall Mike finally win the DPT Cup and join the Champions Dinner? Will someone mess up the scoring again, causing Mike to lose the title? Will Big John continue his hot streak of finishing in the points (currently at 1)?

We're going to Esplanade, located just outside of Bradenton. They gave us a group rate of $45, and I have 16 spots reserved. Tee time is 10:50am... so you'll have plenty of time to get down there and warm up (range balls are free).

We played there last season, but unfortunately only 6 guys were able to make it. Esplanade is a new course built a couple of years ago, and it's a pretty fun layout that is forgiving off the tee. They'll make it 100% private once their membership increases... but for now we can get on there fairly easily.

If you are OUT... let me know now. We need to try to bring 16 down there. I'm assuming Troy is in.

Gorecki Memorial Controversy!

Of course, a tournament with Gorecki's name on it would have some... issues.

When I load in scores after a tournament, I have a lot of "checks" built in to make sure there aren't any errors. I use the physical scorecards I collect from everyone, and the last step is to make sure they match the leader board app. There have been one or two discrepancies in the history of using the app... but they've never affected people in the money.

Until now.

After yesterdays round, Darren and I were talking about how we both shot 72. His physical scorecard (filled out by Gary) confirms he shot 72. But today I noticed the leader board showed he shot 74. The difference was on hole #7... the scorecard shows a par (3) and the app shows a double bogey (5).

I sent a text to Gary and Geoff to see if they could recall what he shot... BEFORE talking to Darren about it. Gary immediately confirmed that Darren made par, and said he 1 putted the green. Geoff recalled he (Geoff) made 6 and Tory made 5... but wasn't 100% sure of what Darren scored.

So before telling Darren there was a scoring issue, I asked him what he did on that hole. He said he hit it off the tee short of the left bunker. And then chipped to about a foot behind the hole. Gary made a comment that he'd give him the putt, but "Chandler was watching" from the group behind so they better putt it out. Darren made the putt for par.

So what happened in the app? My best guess is that Troy's 5 was accidentally entered for Darren.

Basically... this causes Darren to WIN the tournament yesterday by a stroke over Tall Mike.

And I guess we'll have to start checking the scores while we're at the course. I personally always verify that my physical scorecard matches the app when the round is over. But I don't do that for you fools until the next day.

Anyway... Sorry, Mike. You're still in great position to win the season but you owe Darren $40.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Gorecki Memorial

This Sunday, April 10th, 9am.

The pristine and hallowed ground that is Countryway Golf Club.

I got us a group rate of $18. Yes, allegedly we're paying a dollar a hole.

16 spots are reserved. Assuming Troy is in, we are FULL. If anyone on the list is NOT going, please tell me now so I can replace you.

Part at Gary's house immediately afterward. Bring drinks and your WAG.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Hangover Invitational - Spring 2016 Recap

Mailing this one in because I'm still kinda hungover.

Darren brought out the bags of sand today... finishing his round as the only player under par (net). Tall Mike takes the lead in the DPT Cup standings with a solo 2nd. Seven guys are officially eliminated from contention for the Cup.

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The bar was pretty fun. Good to see a lot of WAGs and friends joined us for the nonsense. There's been a lot of feedback about what to do with guys that, for whatever reason, can't make the bar. Should they still be allowed to play with a handicap penalty? In the past we've strictly forbidden it... but life does sometimes get in the way of a good party.

A couple of people just want the event to be removed... but just as many said they like getting everyone together for a night, and it's nice to get the WAGs involved since they're the ones who really suffer during the season while we're golfing. I mean... who's going to buy their brunch?!?

Handicap penalties could work... but they do kinda mess up the historical accuracy of our data. The easiest thing is to say, as Geoff says: "rules is rules." Show up to the bar if you want to play for money and points.

Regardless... the spirit of the event is to be our "season party." And while I don't necessarily like forcing people to attend... given the chance to not show up can easily be taken advantage (ie: Gorecki last season).

So if you have any comments on the matter... let them be known.

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Anyway... it's Masters week! We're playing Countrway at 9am on Sunday. Masters party at Gary's house afterward. I reserved 16 spots since we'll probably have a few guests. I know Buchert is OUT. Troy is IN. Anyone else... let me know now.