Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Off-Season Outings

John and Dave have both expressed interest in continuing to play weekly. And they're in luck! Because a bunch of us have always done that.

Actual league play needs to take a break. We have a short one in the summer, and a longer one in the fall / winter. Breaks in competition create hype for the "next season." Plus, it gives me a chance to work on other stuff... and you a chance to take your WAG on a weekend vacation without missing a super important tournament at Countryway.

But weekly golf still happens. Throughout the year we collect vouchers, almost all of which I post on this site. So keep checking this blog for outing information. If you're going to Scotland next year... you NEED to keep playing regularly.

And for any new people wanting to join the league at the start of next season, they should be playing with other league members too (and reporting rounds).

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This weeks outing: 10am Sunday at River Strand. $39. I got one spot open. First to comment gets it. We can always add another tee time too if more want in.

Monday, July 25, 2016

2016 Ryder Cup Practice Round

Alright kids... who wants to take off work on this Friday (July 29th) and play a practice round at Grand Cypress New Course? I know this is last minute... but that's what sick days are for.

I contacted the course, and they can get us out at 9:39am for $49. No limit on how many we bring.

Comment ASAP!

DPT Masters - Summer 2016 Recap

Crazy end to a crazy season. I'm not sure where to begin. Usually I just comment on the weather... so it's a miracle that we had zero rain in Orlando despite teeing off at noon (an hour late).

The course was in immaculate shape, and it definitely contributed to the low scores. Greens were smooth and not running as fast as they usually do (9 on the stemp as opposed to 12). And because we played the 6,031 yard "Blended" tees, only the par 3s were daunting. As the wind picked up late in the round, the 14th was playing adjusted 210... with Buchert making birdie after hitting hybrid off the tee.

So what the Hell happened out there?

EVERYONE shot under par (net). Gary shot 48-36, making birdie on the final three holes, and that was only good enough to tie for 9th. Darren shot 81, one stroke off his personal best, and finished T6. Chandler (that's me!) shot a personal best 74, and lost by 8 strokes. Gorecki shot under 100 (gross) for the 2nd time ever in a non-Memorial event, and placed 3rd. Buchert had a 35 (gross) on the back nine to lose by 6. Five people owed pitchers for -10 (net).

And Dave... who only needed a 3rd place finish to win his first ever DPT Cup... shot a 78 (gross) with 40 putts to ruin his stellar season. His putter didn't make it to the 18th hole.

I'm keeping that grip unless Dave wants it back.
While Tall Mike needed a victory to even have a chance at a repeat championship... he absolutely destroyed the field, shooting a mind-blowing -18 (net). According to the USGA, the probability of Moostenbrink shooting that low (based on his current index) is 1 in 2,000+ rounds.

Gorecki's domination at Buffalo Creek last week was only a 1 in 874 probability.

Collectively, yesterday had to be the most "fun" the group has ever had playing golf. Perfect conditions with low scores is a very welcome change from the usual frustrations of the game. Big John commented that the course was almost "too easy," so he's either a masochist or suffers from Golfers Guilt... a condition where golfers are ashamed when they shoot under 90. As if rounds in the 70's should be avoided at all cost unless playing from the tips.

I can't stress enough that there is no shame in the "tee it forward" game. Lower scores are more fun, and rounds take less time. Having birdie (and eagle) putts make you want to play more golf. I wish the entire golfing world would drop the ego... and long hitters would play tees where they can over-power a course like Dustin Johnson does on the PGA Tour. I'll be posting some actual league data on this topic during the off-season.

However... I totally agree with John based on the collective scores of our league yesterday. When we return to ChampionsGate CC, we'll try the "Back" tees at 6,404. Only once have we played longer than that (not counting the defunct Tips tournaments). If anything, it'll be an interesting experiment and a harder test worthy of a Major.

So congrats to Tall Mike on his repeat title as DPT Champion! I honestly never thought he had a chance yesterday. In just two weeks time he'll be battling Dave at the 2016 Ryder Cup... so stay tuned for updates!

Shattered dreams and dented cups.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

2016 Driving (Car) Statistics

This time last year, I wrote a pretty interesting post about finding the most centralized bar location, based on our active league members at the time. The results pointed to the Hooters on Hillsborough.

As I've mentioned many times, I try to spread out the courses enough to not be a burden on any particular group of people. This is further complicated by course rates, where we can't play down in Bradenton in the winter without spending $80+ a round.

While in my mind I do an excellent job... it doesn't mean anything without scientific data to back up the claim. Plus, if anyone thinks they drive longer than most, perception is always going to be reality. So let's crunch the numbers!!

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There are two distinct groups of people. Tampa people (generally located in or near South Tampa), and Westchase people (wannabe South Tampa located in unincorporated Hillsborough County). Brendan recently sold his soul to Westchase, with Faz close on his heels. But Darren just left Carrollwood (poor-man's Westchase) to retire in Harbor Island (poor-man's Davis Islands).

For this experiment, I located a "fair" spot on the map for each group, based on current member's residences. I then used Google Maps to calculate the distance (in road miles) to each of the courses on the 2016 calendar, based on the fastest suggested route. I didn't care about time in traffic, since Sunday morning is an optimal driving time.
  • The Tampa group starts on the corner of Howard and Kennedy.
  • The Westchase group starts on the corner of Linebaugh and Radcliffe (basically the entrance to Westchase Golf Club).
Yes... most people in each group live a couple of miles from these starting positions. But we're only trying to get an estimated average within an acceptable margin of error.

The two outliers are Geoff and Reid, who might as well not even live in Florida. Usually you should just ignore outliers, which by definition are such a small percentage of the group they shouldn't affect policy. But those guys are original league members, and I was curious, so I ran the numbers from their actual driveways.

On to the data!

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It is amazing how close these numbers are. Reid is the unexpected winner, due to proximity of I-75 and Pebble Creek being on the schedule twice this year. "Tampa" has on average less than a one mile advantage over "Westchase." And Geoff, as expected, greatly benefits in the winter season when we play cheaper courses up north.

Now if only we can get Reid to pick a different course for the next Jamaican Open.

See you guys on Sunday at ChampionsGate Country Club.

Monday, July 18, 2016

DPT Masters - This Sunday - July 24th

Troy was able to get us on ChampionsGate Country Club, this Sunday at 11am. The online rate out there is $99. He got us on for $25.

Address is: 8950 Clifton Draw Dr., ChampionsGate, FL 33896

Give yourself PLENTY of time to get out there. The entrance can be hard to find and I got lost the one time I was out there.

Also note... and I can not stress this enough... THIS IS NOT THE OMNI RESORT ALSO CALLED ChampionsGate!

They are next door to each other. Do not go to the wrong course. Definitely car pool.

And bring your rain gear.

Gorecki Memorial - Summer 2016 Recap

Yesterday was the most Gorecki-esque event in league history. There was a lot of complaining, wild accusations, people bailing within days of the event, the scoring app messed up, and the greens were more punched than when Gorecki fails to rake the leaves in his yard.

While it's no secret that this league is not a democracy... it's good to remember that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. So if you have some concerns, you gotta speak up... and it helps to get a large group of people on your side.

That being said, Big John and Geoff attempted to overthrow the tournament and strip Gorecki of his title as "host." Their slogan was something like: "We aren't driving an hour to play this goat track!" But the fairways were in good shape at Buffalo, and the rough was decent and at worst slightly inconsistent, thus punishing (as rough should be). Yeah, the greens were punched... but I've seen much worse and they only charged us $15. It's not like Quail Hollow where they constantly let their greens die. Aerification is an unfortunate necessity, and the conditions affect the entire field.

Out of curiosity, make a comment if you agree we should just play Countryway in the summer for this event INSTEAD of Buffalo Creek. We aren't doing both. And we'll always play Countrway on Masters Sunday. So if you don't make a comment, I'm just going to assume you're voting for Buffalo. My vote is we keep Buffalo on the schedule (for reasons I'll talk about below).

Other complaints included: "Didn't we make a league rule saying Gorecki couldn't go out in the first group?" "Why does Mike always have to play with his dad? They don't even have phones that can use the leader board app!" "How many 5 foot gimmies is Gorecki's group giving each other?!?"

The pace of play yesterday wasn't an issue. It was just under 4 hours and the Gorecki group was waiting on many of the tee boxes. They weren't supposed to go out first, but Dave was still on the range and agreed they could. I can't write this post without mentioning that on the first hole, Gorecki Jr. had to drive from the green to the driving range because he left his phone (who takes their phone to the range?). And then on the 2nd hole... Gorecki Sr. had to drive from the green to the middle of hole #1 to grab a club he left behind. This is how stereotypes are solidified.

Those stereotypes become fact when Gorecki Jr. says things in the clubhouse like: "I'm not going to record any of my rounds during the off-season. I don't want it to bring down my handicap!" That's cheating, Mike. Stop cheating and report your rounds. The feeling of improving at golf is more important than winning the league.

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OK, let's talk about the elephant in the room. Gorecki played some great golf, shooting the 2nd lowest (net) score in league history. He straight-up beat 3 people. He had zero double-pars and two birdies. If Mike can continue to improve, it's great news for the league.

JW was basically Phil Mickelson yesterday, a lefty who played lights out and had nothing to show for it. He bought a -10 pitcher and still lost.

Overall, Buffalo from the Gorecki tees played as easy as it did last year. The 11 league members had 13 birdies. Six people had career lows in league play: Reid, Gorecki, JW, Tall Mike, Troy and Dave (according to FazStats). The majority of you have to admit it's fun to put up a decent score and have birdie chances. This is why I'm fine with playing Buffalo once every summer season.

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Only two guys have a shot at winning the Cup. Tall Mike needs to win this Sunday, and Dave needs to finish T3 or worse. Troy is asking his contact at Champions Gate Country Club about getting us out there, so stay tuned for more info on Sunday's round.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

2017 Scotland Trip

Twelve of us are taking a Scotland trip in June of 2017. Below is a collection of write-ups for each course. Our itinerary:

Sun, June 11 - Depart USA
Mon, June 12 - Land in Scotland - Overnight in Glasgow
Tue, June 13 - Royal Troon - Overnight in Turnberry
Wed, June 14 - Turnberry - Overnight in Gullane
Thu, June 15 - Murifield - Overnight in St. Andrews
Fri, June 16 - [St. Andrews*] - Overnight in St. Andrews
Sat, June 17 - Kingsbarns - Overnight in St. Andrews
Sun, June 18 - Carnoustie - Overnight in St. Andrews
Mon, June 19 - [St. Andrews*] - Overnight in St. Andrews
Tue, June 20 - [St. Andrews*] - Overnight in St. Andrews
Wed, June 21 - Depart Scotland, Land in USA

*Rounds in St. Andrews are up in the air. Old Course daily ballot each day and potential overnight singles queue.

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Royal Troon

Royal Troon was founded in 1878 and had only 5 holes. It took about 10 years for it to be expanded to an 18 hole layout, and a 2nd course on property (Portland Course) was added in 1895. At least six different architects have altered The Old Course at Royal Troon, with the most recent changes taking place in 2014.

Overall, Troon gets mediocre reviews as a course. Most of the holes blend together, and the layout is the traditional out-and-back links design. The most famous hole is "The Postage Stamp" 8th, a 123 yard par 3 from the tips. Herman Tissies made a 15 on this hole in the 1950 Open... and Gene Sarazen made a hole-in-one with a 5 iron (at age 71!) in 1973. Just today, Rory McIlroy took 6 shots to get out of the right-side bunker in a practice round.

The 11th hole, named "Railway", is one of the toughest in Open Championship golf. It's a completely blind tee-shot from the tips, requiring a 240 yard carry over gorse. And it usually plays into the wind.

So while not the most memorable course in the rota, it's one of the most fair. Keep shots out of the wind and avoid the bunkers. Simple as that. Past Open winners at Troon: Arthur Havers (1923), Bobby Locke (1950), Arnold Palmer (1962), Tom Weiskopf (1973), Tom Watson (1982), Mark Calcavecchia (1989), Justin Leonard (1997) and Todd Hamilton (2004). Notes about the club: The handicap ceiling at Troon is 20.0 (but we're going to all be much lower than that). Shorts are not permitted inside the clubhouse. Phones must be silent on the property, and can't be used to make calls on the course or inside the clubhouse. Standard greens fees are £220 and guests can only play Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays with various restrictions on times and dates.

Final thoughts: I think Troon is going to be great for our initial exposure to Scottish golf. The first 4 holes are fairly easy, depending on weather conditions. The length is either 6,650 or 6,200. We will be requesting a forecaddie for this round, meaning one caddie helps each foursome and we pull our own carts. Watch the flyovers for each hole if you'd like a better feel for the course.

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Turnberry

Our 2nd course on the trip is Turnberry, considered by many to be the greatest Open venue. In 1977, Tom Watson beat Jack Nicklaus on the final hole in what is now called the "Duel in the Sun." Greg Norman won his first Major in 1986. Nick Price won in 1994. And Stewart Cink had the most disappointing Major victory ever, beating a 59 year old Tom Watson in 2009 (in a playoff).

The course opened in 1901, with the hotel opening in 1906. The layout was changed multiple times, due in part to it being converted into an airfield for both WWI and WWII. Many of those changes were quite drastic, so the course legacy didn't take hold until 1977. There really weren't any famous individual holes like "The Road Hole" (St. Andrews) or "The Postage Stamp" (Royal Troon). And in 2014 it was up for sale and in dire need of new investment.

Well... some rich American who was desperate to get his name attached to a Major Championship bought the course. Over $100 million was spent renovating the course and hotel, re-opening 5 months ago to rave reviews (even by those who hate the owner). Bottom line... the changes were excellent.

Renown course architect firm Mackenzie & Ebert probably deserve all the credit. Here's an excellent video of what they changed (check out holes 9 through 11).

As long as the weather isn't completely terrible, I expect this to be one of the best courses we play.

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Muirfield

After our round at Turnberry, we drive across the country to Gullane. There we will get our first experience of rural-ish Scotland, staying overnight in a small inn near various pubs. We can't get too crazy, because the next morning we're playing Muirfield.

Muirfield is home to The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, which is the oldest verifiable organized golf club in the world. Their records go back to 1744 when they produced the original thirteen "Rules of Golf." It took about 100 years for the HCEG to pass over all authority for rules and decisions to the R&A at St. Andrews.

Eventually the Company commissioned Old Tom Morris to design a new course, which was finished in 1891. Muirfield immediately hosted The Open in 1892, which was the first ever tournament contested over four rounds and 72 holes (the standard today). Recently, the club was in the news for getting kicked out of The Open ROTA after they failed to vote in women members. But fear not... Muirfield is re-voting in early 2017 and will allow women members as soon as March. Upon doing so, they'll immediately be reinstated and will not miss any future Open events.

Speaking of The Open, Muirfield has hosted it 16 times. Notable winners are: Walter Hagen (1929), Gary Player (1959), Jack Nicklaus (1966), Lee Trevino (1972), Tom Watson (1980), Nick Faldo (1987, 1992), Ernie Els (2002) and most recently Phil Mickelson (2013). That's a pretty solid list of Hall of Fame golfers. Take a moment to look at highlights from the BBC broadcast in 2013. You'll get a sense of how tight and fast the course is, how deep the bunkers are, and how much better golf commentary is in the UK.

Reviews of the course are all over the map, with the prevailing theme being that the collection of holes is more memorable than any specific hole. The rough is allegedly the thickest of any Open venue, and the bunkers are to be avoided at all cost.

The club itself is to some extent like Augusta National... extremely old-school and difficult to join. However, almost all Scottish clubs embrace visitor play and Muirfield is no different. There are limited guest rounds on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which sell out a year in advance. Luckily, we were able to secure tee times. But there are a ton of quirks and rules we need to be cognizant of:
  • You must have your handicap card with you at all times, and it must say a number lower than 18. For the purpose of our trip, you really need to be down in the 16s to avoid any issue with index vs. course handicap. So keep practicing!
  • Groups are only allowed to be booked in multiples of four players, with a max of 12.
  • Fourball (stroke play) is allowed in the morning, but Foursomes (alternate shot) is the game of the club. If you tee off in the afternoon, you must play alternate shot. While it's tradition to play a morning round, eat lunch in the club, and then play an afternoon alternate shot round... we won't be going back out since we need to get on the road to St. Andrews. I've also read that as guests playing fourball, we'll probably be going off #10 in the morning.
  • We have a 9am tee time, and are allowed to show up no earlier than 7:30am. We definitely want to get there at that time to check in, warm up, and see the club.
Got everything so far? Because we aren't done yet:
  • You must wear a jacket and tie at all times in the clubhouse. And no shorts (sorry, John)! This means we show up in jacket and tie, change in the locker room to our golfing attire before our round, and then change back before lunch. We are eating lunch at the club which is considered one of the top experiences in Scotland. Their signature drink is kummel, some sort of liquor that will probably taste terrible.
  • Only white socks can be worn on the golf course.
  • Cell phones are not allowed to be used for communication anywhere on club property. You can use your phone to take pictures on the course if it's in "airplane mode." However, NO photos are allowed to be taken inside the clubhouse. They will kick everyone out, so don't even bother pulling out your phone when we're inside.
  • Pace of play is a very strict 4 hours and 10 minutes during our fourball (stroke play) round. Members playing alternate shot usually play 18 holes in 2.5 hours!
  • There is no pro shop, and you can only buy Muirfield merchandise at the pro shop of a course over a mile down the road.
It's hard to tell how over-exaggerated the stories of Muirfield have become. Tom Watson and Ben Crenshaw were once scolded for playing extra holes on a random Sunday evening. Vijay Singh's entire group was kicked off the course when he refused to hang up his cell phone during a round. The walk from the front iron gate to the club is over 200 yards, with basically no signs or indication where visitors should check in. It's almost as if the HCEG wants to seem imposing just to deter people. But by all accounts, that has drastically changed in the past 10 years, and they're making a point to be overly friendly now. I basically have no idea what to expect, which should make the unique and rare experience that much better.

You can read a brief review of the course and clubhouse from 2012 here, and another decent review here.

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Kingsgbarns

When our lunch at Murifield is complete, we'll rush off to St. Andrews and check in Thursday evening. For the remainder of the trip we'll be staying at the Craigmore Guest House, just blocks from The Old Course (about 0.3 miles).

Depending on what time we check in, we should head to The Old Course starter shack and talk to the guy about walking on. As mentioned in my last email, the tour company will be entering us every eligible day for the ballot, which is selected two days in advance.

Since my last email, I did a lot of research on the St. Andrews walk-on process, also known as the "singles queue." The line starts forming at the starter shack every night, on average around 4am. However, there are plenty of stories of guys camping out at midnight. Everyone who wants their name on the list has to be present... so we can't hold spots. The starter shack opens at 6am, at which time they'll write down names in order of the line. After about 30 names, there's basically zero chance of walking on the Old Course. Once you're on the list, the starter will give you an estimated idea of when you'll be paired with a group of 2 or 3 golfers. Very rarely is there a cancellation where 3+ walk-ons can go out together. If you aren't around when your name is called, you get taken off the list.

But the Old Course aside, our first round in St. Andrews is Kingsbarns Golf Links, located about 20 minutes southeast of town. While it's not an official Open course, I fully expect it to be added to the ROTA eventually. It's already used alongside The Old Course and Carnoustie in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship on the European Tour. And it will host to the Women's British Open this year in August!

The course was constructed in 2000, and is ranked as one of the best in the world. A friend who played many of the same courses on our itinerary told me Kingsbarns was his favorite, and his group replayed it on their off-day (it's half-price to replay it during our trip).

Check out their website, the course looks amazing.

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Carnoustie

On Father's Day (Sunday) we'll be playing Carnousite, arguably one of the toughest courses in the world. Its most famous moment in history... Jean van De Velde ejecting on 18 when he only needed a double-bogey 6 to win the 1999 British Open. Even today it's difficult to watch.

Designed by Old Tom Morris in 1842, he also expanded it to the now standard 18 holes in 1867. Since then it has hosted seven Open Championships, one Women's British Open and one Senior British Open. The Open winners are a decent list: Tommy Armour, Henry Cotton, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Paul Lawrie and Padraig Harrington. They'll also host the Open in 2018, so it should be fresh in our minds while watching.

Reviews of the course all say the same thing: "difficult but fair." I kind of think that's a worthless assessment, and actually just means you're going to dislike it in good weather... and really hate it in crap weather. It definitely won't be as visually pleasing as Turnberry and Kingsbarns, and it seems people who love the course play it multiple times before finally appreciating the design.

However, it should be the best example of old Scottish links on the trip. St. Andrews Old Course was the original... but Carnousite was built after the R&A and Muirfield regulated the game. So this layout is what Scotland considered "golfing excellence."

Bottom line... this is not a round that anyone should care about their score. It's going to be horrendous, even in perfect weather. Just have fun and enjoy the walk.

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St. Andrews

Let's start with the Old Course. It's the home of golf. Most people say they only appreciate it after multiple rounds. It looks like crap. And the 17th hole is one of the most tricked-up in the world. And yet, it's the most important course in golf. Here are a few other interesting notes:
  • Golf allegedly started there in 1552.
  • 45,000 rounds are played each year on the Old Course alone.
  • There have been 29 Opens played there. Notable winners are: Tiger Woods (x2), John Daly, Nick Faldo (x2), Seve Ballesteros (x2), Jack Nicklaus (x3), Sam Snead, and Bobby Jones (x2).
  • Old Tom Morris opened, and worked in, the golf shop in 1866. It's the oldest golf shop in the world.
  • Play on the course was actually reversed every week, and is still played "backwards" once a year today. Some of the bunkers make a lot more sense when you play it in reverse.
  • The Road Hole tee shot (#17) hits over large railway sheds next to a hotel. The sheds are replicas, and were added back to the course in 1984 to re-create the original blind tee shot.
  • The road behind the 17th green is in play, and you do not get relief from it or the stone wall.
  • The course is closed on Sundays.
To play the course we either need to win the daily ballot, or sit outside overnight and go out as singles. The following foursomes will be entered into the daily ballots for the Old Course: [Chandler, Gary, Scott, Dean], [Darren, Art, John, JW], [Mike, Darryl, Reid, Dave]. There are three days of ballots while we are in St. Andrews. 

Six other courses are also on the property. Here is a list and what I've read about them (cost to play in pounds):
  • New Course (75) - Built by Old Tom Morris in 1895, it's the second most popular course on property... but also not very difficult to walk on later in the day. There's a large portion of locals who will admit that this course is "better" than the Old Course. By all accounts, reviews say it's not "memorable," but very enjoyable.
  • Jubilee Course (75) - A favorite of the University of St. Andrews, this track was built in 1897 as a course for beginners and lady golfers. I'm sure it was a lot of fun, but due to it's prime water-side location, it was completely re-designed in 1988 and is now long and extremely difficult. If you want to be humbled, the locals recommend playing this course on a windy day.
  • Eden Course (45) - Opened in 1914 and considered one of the easier on property. It's not heavily played, so a good walk-on opportunity.
  • Castle Course (120) - About an 8-minute drive from St. Andrews, it opened in 2008 to mixed reviews. The views on the water are supposed to be excellent. The sea is visible from every hole, with some sections running along steep cliffs. But since it's opening the greens have been flattened 4 separate times. Apparently it was just too difficult and pin locations were impossible during high winds. Apparently this is still the case despite the renovations. If you want to shoot a big number and can get some local transportation... we might check this out.
  • Strathtyrum Course (30) - Built in 1993, it's fairly short, easy and not highly recommended.
  • Balgove Course (15) - Nine hole short course. I've read that instead of hitting the range, you should warm up here if you have the time. It'll better prepare you for the greens of the Old Course.

Registration Updates

The Gorecki Memorial is booked at Buffalo Creek this Sunday, July 17th at 9:20am. There is a range on site. Greens fees are $25+ tax, possibly lower.

With Buchert backing out, we currently have one spot open.

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Tell me now if you're in for the final event of the year, on July 24th. I'm looking at going to the new Champions Gate Country Club.

Monday, July 11, 2016

2016 Ryder Cup Draft Results

In what will definitely be the last year of this event being called the "Ryder Cup," we wisely drafted teams on the same night as the Hangover league party. Tall Mike and Dave did a great job in their first year as captains, even if Mike took about 15 minutes to select picks 4 and 5. Despite all of our chanting for "Gorecki! Gorecki!"... Tall Mike stayed focused (thanks to words of encouragement from Vicki)... studied his stats... and picked two people not named Gorecki.

Here are the draft results. Tall Mike's selections are in orange, while Dave's are in blue.

1 - Chandler
2 - Gary
3 - Buchert
4 - Darren
5 - Big John
6 - Geoff
7 - JW
8 - Brendan
9 - Reid
10 - Gorecki

Dave's team is loaded with "bombers," which I would consider Dave, Gary and Buchert in that category. I'd say Mike's team is more consistent, especially around the greens with Chandler, Darren and Reid. Darren and John are also probably two of the best putters in the league.

Handicap-wise, the average and median handicap for Mike and Dave's teams are (17.8 / 19) for Mike and (20.5 / 20) for Dave... with Mike having a much tighter range of handicaps.

We also picked pairings for all 3 rounds, by using the blind ordering process consistent with the actual Ryder Cup. This will save me a TON of time at the event, and might also get some good trash talking going since the singles pairings are known well in advance.

You can view the entire pairings on the official 2016 tournament page.

Feel free to add some commentary on the match-ups.

I believe Reunion is going to charge everyone's card the final payment this week, as we are now only a month away. I'm probably going to go play a practice round (or two) at Grand Cypress once the season ends. I'll post that up on this blog in case anyway wants to join.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

JW Hangover Invitational - Summer 2016 Recap

For the 2nd time in league history, Tall Mike won an event, only to see his victory taken away by a scoring error. Which happened in his own group, involving his own scorecard. At least we caught it inside the clubhouse before anyone ran off with league payouts.

Dave was the real winner, thanks to a killer closing stretch of holes in the rain and lightning. He shot 36 (gross) on the back nine to edge out Tall Mike and Brendan by one stroke.

His victory puts him in a great spot to win his first ever DPT Cup, due to a commanding lead over everyone except Tall Mike. About 2/3rds of the league were officially eliminated from contention today, so one of the following people will win the season: Dave, Moostenbrink, John, Geoff or Gary. Three of those guys would be new to the Champions Dinner!

Other items of note:

- Dave regained the top spot in the Official Golf Rankings. Not that it means anything now, but it will for the 2017 Ryder Cup.
- Thanks to Brendan and his buddy Dan for getting us out on East Lake Woodlands. The course was surprisingly not as brutal as I feared... although our scores were pretty terrible. Probably due to the lack of sleep and hangovers.
- The pub crawl last night was a lot of fun. Everyone who was in town showed up, and we had a lot of WAGs attend as well. Next season we'll probably head far, far out of Tampa... to some distant land called Westchase.

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We've had a ton of new guests playing this season, so I need to explain how we've traditionally handled new additions. They need a minimum of 5 scores to get an official handicap. While those scores don't necessarily need to be with us, we've required almost all new golfers play multiple rounds with us prior to joining.

It lets them get comfortable with our rules, meet current players, and (most importantly) makes them commit to showing up a bunch of times before I go through the process of building profiles. We've had a lot of people say they want to join, but then stopped playing after one or two rounds (remember E-Flo??).

Troy played in 6 events with us before he joined... Katie is at 4 currently... and even Dave played in 3 (tree?).

Faz and I also discussed not adding any new members after week 3 of a season. We only have 9 events, and doing so could ultimately be unfair to those near the top attempting to catch the leader. We even restrict certain active members from playing in the final event (DPT Masters) for money and points for this very reason.

So anyway... it looks like we should get a bunch of new full-time members in 2017... and that will be awesome! Katie, Anthony, Robbie and Casey all say they want in. I'd also love to see Crum get away from his family more often! But for our remaining Summer 2016 events, new players should come out as much as they can to help establish their handicaps and get to know everyone.

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Speaking of new people... I need to know ASAP if Robbie, Anthony or Crum are playing next Sunday. We're calling to book it tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Gorecki Memorial Registration

Tell me now if you're OUT for the Gorecki Memorial on Sunday, July 17th.

It's summer, so we're heading back to the old-man tees at Buffalo Creek. The last time we played there, two people shot in the 70s (gross) and the field (10 people) combined for 12 birdies. Eight of those were on par-5s! Isn't golf more fun when you make more birdies than triple bogeys?!? Because the field did that as well.

Anyway, tell me now if you're in or out. Right now the only OUT I have are: Dan and Darren.

UpdateI got 9 on the list for the Gorecki, and 2 out. That leaves: Geoff, Troy, Buchert, Brendan, Dave. Where you guys at? I'm assuming we'll end up with more than 12 so the plan is to book 4 groups.

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On Sunday at East Lake Woodlands... get there early. Yes, I know many of us will actually be hungover. However, we've never played here before, it's a private club, and we need to make sure we get all checked in and are not pulling up at our tee time. Do it for Brendan. Even though he'll probably be one of the guys that sleeps in too late and misses the round.

See you Saturday!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

This Saturday

9pm at Molly Malone's. 304 E Davis Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606

Followed by a tour of Davis Islands' 4 other bars. Bring your significant others if you'd like.

Tall Mike and Dave will also be selecting the Ryder Cup teams.

We currently have one spot open for golf on Sunday at East Lake Woodlands.