Friday, December 30, 2016

The Rapture

Once I acquired our new "Ryder Cup" trophy, and spent a few weeks attempting to ruin it with various drill holes and chemicals, I needed to come up with a theme. The actual Ryder Cup was named after the physical trophy donated by Samuel Ryder.

Mr. Ryder was just a golf fan who didn't even play the game until age 50, but had the money to commission a trophy. Simple... sort of odd... but it's been around so long it works.

But we now have, for better or worse, "The Moses." There are a lot of great Moses related events to reference, like the time he became the first human to ever successfully converse with a plant. While it was on fire, no less. But the "Burning Bush Brouhaha" sounds a little too scandalous.

So we're going to take a slight Biblical side-step and call it "The Rapture." Here's a brief explanation for heathens like Faz:

The Rapture (first written about in 1830!) is a belief that during the 2nd coming of Christ, all believers will ascend to Heaven, leaving all non-believers left on Earth to await the end of the world. The idea has sparked countless "end of the world" prophecies, including the more recent and widely reported May 21, 2011 prediction by evangelist Harold Camping.

[Side Note: Harold wasn't "wrong." He suffered a stroke 19 days later and died in 2013 after falling in his home. Taking into account margin of error, it was a pretty accurate prediction of his final day on Earth. The rest of us, however, are stuck here.]

So how is this related to our event? Well... once a year the good golfers will be drafted into the competition, while the terrible golfers are left behind. It also rolls off the tongue:

Gary: "Hey, Gorecki! You going to The Rapture this year?"
Gorecki: "No, I didn't qualify. Probably because I don't understand that OB is a stroke AND distance penalty."

Sorry, Mike. Maybe next year.


As in previous years, qualifying will be based on your "Official Golf Ranking," locking after the 1st Major of the Summer season. To get on that list, you need at least 8 events in the previous rolling 18. This means even the rookies can qualify if they play in 8 of the next 12.

I'll start asking everyone for availability soon (August dates). We will also be moving to a 3 day event, playing one round per day starting on a Friday. We've been lucky in the past, but rain and darkness have almost ruined the first day every year. The plan is for an Ocala/Inverness trip in 2017, and will hopefully include Black Diamond... one of the best courses in Florida, and a place that won't find any of this amusing.

So play often... play well... and get selected.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The New "Ryder Cup" Trophy

I've been alluding to this for over a year, but the time has come to re-brand our annual team tournament. While it's structured after the famous USA vs. Europe exhibition, we need something specifically unique to us. And it should be consistent with our league name... as in... it shouldn't make any sense.

Over the past year I've been scouring the internet looking for a trophy. Once I found/built the hardware we're playing for, I could craft the story behind it. I also wanted a heavy, sturdy, mostly Darren-proof item. Something cast in bronze would be perfect. And it should make people scratch their heads when we bring it inside the clubhouse after the event.

There are a ton of random bronze statues on the internet for sale. Many of them are fantastic works of art, and quite expensive. I almost pulled the trigger a few times, but I found pieces coming from China had inconsistent prices and questionable quality descriptions. I couldn't chance wasting league money on something that wasn't as advertised. We run a tight financial ship over here.

So my journey continued. Aimlessly wandering around the web for what seemed like 40 years, desperately searching for the Promised Trophy. And then he appeared... residing in New Jersey... it's motherfuckin' Moses!

Hello.

Moses was the original superhero (or supervillain, to the Egyptians), and the embodiment of law, persistence, strength and unwavering blind-faith. He was an unstoppable killing-machine with a temper that would make the Hulk blush. Sure, Mo' only straight up murdered one person. But he used the powers and word of God to rack up a body count in the tens of thousands. All while living off psychedelic mushrooms.

Weighing 12 lbs. and standing 14.5" tall, "The Moses" also doesn't mess around. He can currently preside over the next 9 years of competition, at which point I'll need to figure out a new base. Lil Mo' will also live with, protect, and judge the shit out of the winning captain for a year. And all victorious team members will be immortalized on Mo's pedestal.

Behold.

Dave will take the first official possession of The Moses on Week 1 of the new season. And next week I'll tell you about the other slight changes to the event.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

DFL Dinner

While everyone knows about the prestigious Champions Dinner that takes place twice a year, few know about the DFL Dinner.

After each season, everyone who has ever finished last place (with at least 4 tournaments played) meet at the local soup kitchen.

The most current loser gets to top his soup off with Tabasco sauce.

Surprisingly, no one has ever "won" the award twice:

2012 Summer - Bito
2013 Spring - Scuba Steve
2013 Summer - Ben G.
2014 Spring - Tall Mike
2014 Summer - Geoff
2015 Spring - JW
2015 Summer - Gorecki
2016 Spring - Big John
2016 Summer - Troy

Here's an inside look into the most recent gathering:

Haters gonna say it's fake.

Friday Golf

Got a 10:40am tee time at Southern Hills. Two spots open. Anyone around?

Monday, December 19, 2016

Ocala Review

Played Candler Hills and Stone Creek up in Ocala yesterday. Both courses were great, in excellent shape, and could be used in our "Ryder Cup" event next year. We were basically looking for a good "alternate shot" course.

Stone Creek was more traditional, with a lot of water hazards and a few giant oak trees planted in the middle of fairways. We teed it forward, and it still played a lot harder than it's 117 slope. All around a nice course, which we'll use if we need to.

But Candler Hills was a lot more "fun." It's insanely open off the tee, has zero water hazards, and giant greens which were in great shape. The layout is excellent with a handful of short par 4s. One is designed to be driveable by most of the league. The par 3s are difficult at about 170+, and there's a 560 yard uphill par 5 (670 from the tips) that requires you to hit 3 good long shots. It's just a mixed bag of everything. It reminded me of an easier version of Esplanade.

But that's not to say you couldn't put up a big number. The elevation change in the greens is more than anything we play on a regular basis. And there is OB on almost every hole if you hit it 30+ yards off the fairway. They also have close to 100 bunkers on the course.

Considering the difficulty of Black Diamond and Juliette Falls, this would be my first choice for alternate shot (notice how I didn't write "scramble").

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It appears all league members from the "computer generation" have finally figured out how to register for events. So remember to UPDATE your selections as your schedule changes. The list will update in real time  (just don't change the name you entered in the sheet).

When I book a course (usually a week out), I'll reserve a spot for all the IN people. For example, if I were to book Week 1 now, I'd get 4 groups for the 14 "IN" responses. This leaves two spots open for the "???" people. First come first served on those spots. Sometimes we'll have extra space, sometimes we won't. So it's important to keep your selection current.

In the future I see penalties handed out to people who are IN but then bail the week of an event. But for this season, we'll just see how it goes.

We're also going to lock league membership for the Spring 2017 season. If you're on the list today, congrats! You made it! Any new people are still welcome if space is available, but they'll be playing to establish handicaps for the summer.

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I got some more updates coming down the pipe this week, one of which will be the re-branding of the "Ryder Cup." But everyone has 13 days remaining before handicaps are locked for Week 1. So go practice!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Gorecki - By The Numbers

Gorecki has played 35 events, 36 rounds and 648 holes in league history. Let's break down his career "by the numbers." Thanks to Faz and his stats sheet for some of these.

742 - Number of views (as of this writing) on his obituary page.

595 - Number of holes played until he recorded his first birdie.

68 - Number of career pars or better (fewer than 2 per round on average).

50 - Highest strokes over par (gross) in an event (Pebble Creek in Spring 2016).

35 - Average (gross) strokes over par per round.

30 - Length in inches (2.5') of the gimmie putt he begged for, didn't get, and then posted about looking for sympathy.

9 - Number of events (26%) he finished DFL.

3 - Number of Long Drives ever won.

2 - Number of times he shot a gross score HIGHER than the course's slope.

1 - Number of strokes Gorecki attempts to shave every time he goes OB.

0.25 - Average number of Greenies per round.

0 - Number of times he's broken 90. Also, number of Sandies ever recorded. And number of women he feels comfortable around.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Weekend Recap

Off-season scouting continues.

Heritage Harbor was... well... Heritage Harbor. A tricked up difficult course that's cheap in the winter. The greens were decent but really soggy/spongy for some reason. At least they held, unlike Cypress Creek which is in "time out" until those conditions improve. I reckon we'll hit up the HH if we're in a pinch for a local place to play.

I try to keep the greens fees around $45 per round in the winter, and $35 in the summer (non-Majors). Big John thinks we're being "cheap" and wants to play nicer courses every week, but with 19 active members of all different financial situations, it's not reasonable to do so. Remember, I'm a man of the people. I'm not the leader you want, but the one you deserve.

So in the winter, we're gonna play some shit.

Speaking of shit, I caved in and played Mangrove Bay with Mike "Still Doesn't Understand How OB Works" Gorecki. He wants to play his tournament there from the old man tees next season since a lot of people complained about Buffalo Creek. And apparently Gorecki is in the "anti-Countryway" camp.

The course itself is in much better shape than Buffalo Creek. Greens, fairway, rough... everything. It's also much closer for everyone, especially the Westchase people. But the track is insanely easy, and from the old man tees it's even shorter than BC (5,726). A bunch of the tees were about 5 yards behind the Katie Tees.

I'll let Mr. OB come on here and give you his "The purpose of the tournament is...." speech. But feel free to add to the discussion.

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This week I'm headed up to do the final scouting for next year's "Ryder Cup." Gary, Darren and allegedly Tall Mike are joining... leaving Tampa sometime around 6am. Should be fun.

Be sure to report your scores if you play anywhere.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Sunday Group Update

Have 2 groups for the following people this Sunday:

Chandler
Darren
Gorecki
Faz
Brendan
Big John
Casey
Reid

9am-ish at Heritage Harbor. NOT Heritage Isles. Don't go to the wrong course.

Monday, December 5, 2016

November Handicap Tracker

Man, look at all the blog posts saying "Gorecki, where is this month's handicap tracker??" Settle down, it may be a few days late but its here. Glad to see my efforts are appreciated though. Kind of like Chandler and this blog he created, and maintains, and updates, and does fancy graphs, spreadsheets, and now registration response forms. Good Lord, you think he does all this while NOT on company time?? (Darren??)

Anyways, looks like some "new" members officially qualified as DPT members and now carry a handicap. And timing couldn't have been better because without Katie's HC entry, I would've found myself back in the cellar as JW and Geoff have a lower HC by ONE TENTH of a point! I'm sure Dub has enjoyed taking my money on some low gross HC bets we've made during the past couple of exhibition matches. Makes the game more fun and also keeps us motivated to keep taking lessons, practicing, and playing rounds during the off season. And after reading that Katie beat 4 league members on Saturday in GROSS, I can't see her HC staying in the thirties for very long.

Not only did the bottom end of the tracker see movement, the top did as well with Dave dropping a whole point this month! He leap frogged Dan who has a whole 2 rounds recorded over the past 6 months. The league has rules on getting a handicap established, is there a rule where he's in danger of getting dropped? 

Outside of those mentioned above not a lot of shuffling of handicap "rankings". More drops and no changes in handicaps than increases this month so props to the improver's.

Only 4 weekends left to play until next season commences.. get your sandbagged errrr low rounds sent in!


Weekend Recap & More Practice Rounds

Good day out at Lexington Oaks on Saturday. The weather was absolutely perfect, and the course was in pretty good shape. Based on my "napkin math," Geoff and Darren played well shooting even par (net). But Katie shot a 43 (gross) on the back nine to go -4 (net). It was a driving clinic, with her striping every tee shot 200ish down the middle, and on one hole driving the green and needing to apologize to the guys in front of us.

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I'll be playing hurt on Sunday morning somewhere. Around 9am, somewhere not too far out of town. Comment if you want in.

Also comment if you want in on the December 18th trip to play 36 holes up in Ocala. It's the final part of our "Ryder Cup" recon mission. I know Gary and Darren are in so far. I gotta book that on Sunday, so speak up now.

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Finally, we only have SIX people who need to fill out the registration form for next season. Be sure to do that or I'm not going to save a spot for you week 1. If it worked for 13 people, you can only blame user error and failure to read the directions if you're having issues (Tall Mike).