Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Spring 2017 Masters

So Gorecki has been out in Orlando for work lately and trying to play a lot of nice courses on his "company dime." For as much shit as I give him, he's been actively talking to head pros about group rates. As you can imagine, everywhere in the winter is $120+... but the conversation isn't wasted since it could lead to decent rates in the Summer season.

His execution isn't always the best... but I do appreciate him looking for new courses and deals (same with Big John, Troy and Brendan who have all helped).

Anyway, Gorecki keeps texting me about a recent post on the blog dealing with "nicer courses" and spending more money for the Majors than we typically do. I recall speaking against it, rambling about being a "Man of the People", and I know John somewhat jokingly called me a "cheap ass" at Heritage Harbor (which is accurate). But Gorecki insists "everyone was cool with it." So let me go find this post and call out his revisionist history.

Oh... here it is. Allow me to recap:

My policy has always been to keep the Spring season at about $45 per round, and Summer at $35 per round. Outside of John calling me cheap, here are paraphrases of the comments regarding more expensive courses (in order of appearance):

Katie - Happy I'm looking out for the common man.

Gorecki - Assumes there wouldn't be any objections to more expensive courses "1 or 2" times a season. Says nobody should care since the league doesn't charge yearly fees. Also says if someone thinks a course is too far or too expensive, that's their problem and they should just skip the event.

[Gorecki's comment, especially after only one person has weighed in, is complete conjecture and nonsense. It's also elitist.]

Tall Mike - He likes the nicer courses we already play, and thinks it might be hard getting a big group to some of the more exclusive places. Also says he's fine doing whatever Chandler says.

Buchert - Accurately states we shouldn't play courses that allow denim. Which I guess would be Countryway and Buffy Creek?

Reid - Mad that Gorecki wants to move his tournament away from Pebble Creek.

That's the complete discussion. Two people (Chandler & Katie) said we should be cost-conscious. One person (Gorecki) said people wouldn't/shouldn't care about cost. Three people made comments about courses without taking a decisive side. Thirteen people didn't say anything about courses or price.

So now we have a round negotiated for the finals at 9am at Orange County National for $75 (normally $107!). There's only 18 members in the league... and we're capping it at 24... so this shouldn't be difficult to get on the same page going forward. I believe Katie is fine with it because she's coincidentally in Orlando that weekend (it's league policy to make sure the Masters only happens on a day all members mathematically in the hunt for the championship can attend). Nobody else weighed in so I went ahead and let Gorecki pull the trigger.

But I'm honestly not here to shit on Gorecki's terrible memory. I only care about the truth! And justice! So if we assume Orange County National is $80 after tax... and if I keep Reid's tournament (location TBD) at $40 after tax... our average rate for the 9 events will be... $44.67!

How is this possible? Because I'm a man of the God damn people. Greens fees this year in order of event (all including tax, last two estimated): $25, $53, $48, $26, $36, $57, $37, $40, $80.

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So the "too long; didn't read" summary of this post:

We're right at our price per round target for the season. The finals are in Orlando at OCN. Gorecki knowingly skews poll results in order to push his agenda. Tell all your friends.

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More exciting content to come later this week as I'm all hopped up on cold medication.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Fazioli Match Play - Spring 2017 Recap

Excellent day of golf, at what is probably our most fun event. Of course, some people had more fun than others. Four of the six matches went to the final hole, so we really played to our competition. This was evident in the most followed match of the day, when JW's comeback against Gorecki fell short on the 18th. Both of them would have been destroyed if they played anyone else.

But yesterday was all about "Backside John," who continued to show that lessons and practice can improve your game. His 42 on the final nine ruined the small chance Faz and Tall Mike had at keeping their season alive. Dave shot 77 (gross) to card another stellar round, derailed by one bad hole. And JW lost the "confidence picks" because he put too much faith in Darren.

We will officially have a new member at the Champions Dinner, as all former champions were eliminated along with most of the league. Realistically, the Men's Championship is a race between John and Dave... while Katie seems to have a strong hold on the Women's Championship. Gorecki is dominating the "Looks Over 50" division.

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Every league member has played in enough events (4) to participate in the Masters. But keep your registration up-to-date for the final two events, so we know how many spots to book. The finals will be held at Orange County National in Orlando... while Reid's event will be held someplace to be determined.

We're off this week, so use that time wisely to make your WAGs happy. Or come play Southern Hills with me and Gary on Sunday. Comment if you want in.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Fazioli Match Play - Spring 2017 Preview

Lexington Oaks - 9:00am - $38

As a reminder, this is a regular stroke play event which will determine points and money. However, each of us are paired up based on current standings... playing an 80% handicapped match for a bonus 100 points.

Dave vs. Big John (14) - John's getting the most strokes of any match. Dave crushed John in their only previous match-up, 6&5 in Summer 2014. I hear the loser of this match is buying drinks for the winner until 8pm on Sunday. Dave's game is currently in shambles. John wins.

Gary vs. Troy (10) - Troy's first ever match play event. Gary tends to shoot in the high 80's at Lexington Oaks, which will be enough to defeat a newly rebuilt swing by Troy.

Reid (1) vs. Darren - Reid gets a single stroke. They've never officially played each other... so... Darren wins easily since he hits the ball straighter.

Chandler vs. Tall Mike (7) - Both players have been terrible lately. Chandler has only lost two matches ever. Mike averages 102 at Lexington which would put him right on the Pitcher Zone line. Chandler wins.

Gorecki (1) vs. JW - I don't want JW to quit the game of golf. He gets frustrated by bad shots, but I know he really enjoys the camaraderie of the league. So... for the benefit of everyone... JW will not lose to Gorecki.

Faz vs. Brendan (6) - Cellar match. Faz played well in his California "Ryder Cup" style event last weekend. He should put enough pars on the card to win... while Brendan gets zero mentions in the blog recap.

Monday, February 20, 2017

DPT Championship - Spring 2017 Recap

Dave and Katie were 1 and 2 in the standings heading into yesterday's Major, and they had a tightly contested match! Dave made a charge at the end, picking up 3 strokes on the back nine thanks to a birdie and a few good bogeys. When the dust settled, the two were tied!

Sadly for Dave, they were tied in gross score. Meaning Katie beat him by 26 strokes net.

In fact, nine people failed to beat her career best 95 (gross) yesterday. That's 60% of the field. Her win was due to a much improved short game, where she switched to left-hand-low putting without ever practicing it. Impressive victory on a very difficult course that was in perfect condition. And yes, her handicap is dropping another 2 points for the next revision. That will be a 5 point drop in just 60 days!

With a median net score of +7, the Palmer Course ranks as one of the hardest in league history. There were a lot of big numbers out there yesterday. So great job by John as well to get within shouting distance of Katie. Anthony also finished in the money, and Troy continued a vastly improved season by tying Dan in 4th. Meanwhile, JW lost a sand wedge in the woods, with a club toss that put Faz's Crescent Oaks toss to shame.

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Brendan Tracker: Brendan finished T11 and earned 5 points.

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Nobody is eliminated from winning the cup... yet. A bunch of people will be knocked out after next week, so you're running out of time to make a move! There's a bonus 100 points up for grabs for those who win their match at the Fazioli Match Play. And Katie is out of town so the standings should really tighten up! Tee time is 9am at Lexington Oaks. Cost should be about $37 after taxes. I'll post the match-ups and preview later this week.

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Gorecki Tracker: While I expected a nice, Gorecki-free event yesterday... he did take time away from his Costa Rica NAMBLA retreat to question if Katie should move back a set of tees. A curious thing to ponder during face-to-face naked tandem zip-lining with other men/boys. But let's see how the math works:

A course that plays 5,000 yards for Katie is the equivalent to a course that plays 6,600 yards for Faz, based on their reported club distances. Yesterday, the Red tees were an adjusted 4,995 for women. Our average men's length is 6,100 per event (yes, I track this).

Let's take a "long" par-4 for us guys, at 400 yards. Assuming Faz is hitting the ball well, he's going to hit driver and then 8 iron approach. If Katie hit driver/8iron, her ball will have traveled 310 yards. Meaning her tees would need to be 90 yards up from our tees just to have the "Faz Experience."

Two holes were about that distance yesterday (401 & 395), yet Katie's tees were only 72 and 53 yards up respectively. She needed to crush a driver, and then hit a 5 or 6 iron into an elevated green with severe undulations. Obviously she's at a disadvantage, but it's not unfair. Why? Because on those holes I had to do the same thing! I either need to rely on my short game... or I need to keep practicing to gain distance.

Long story short... Gorecki shouldn't worry about what other people are doing. Especially when he demanded to play from the old man tees SIX different times in his history. Or he just needs to come out and say the truth: he doesn't like that a girl has a career gross scoring average 4 strokes better than his. Stop hating women, Mike.

More to come later this week!

Friday, February 17, 2017

February 2017 - Handicap Tracker

There have been a lot of inquiries about Gorecki's "Handicap Tracker" posts, mainly.... where are they? How can we possibly know where we stand among our peers, if we don't have a table listing us in order of index? Especially one that shows our month-over-month change?

We all know the updates began during Gorecki's amazing (no sarcasm) improvement from July to December 2016. He dropped a league record, and mind blowing, 10.1 points in just six months. We also know those posts served no other purpose than for Mike to brag about his improvement. So let's check in and see how he's doing:

Oops.

Golf is hard. You find something that works, and then you lose it (or break something else). So... RIP Handicap Tracker updates. It doesn't look like you'll be making a return any time soon.

It also doesn't look like Gorecki will be "legally" allowed to play any courses in Scotland. And that "illegal" status isn't good since we're playing Trump Turnberry. The FBI will probably grab him in the middle of our round, ripping Mike away from the clutches of his father. Tragically destroying another family while the rest of us watch in silence. But hey... the pace of play should speed up!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

DPT Championship - Spring 2017 Preview

Not much to say about Saddlebrook, as I've never played it. The Palmer course, built by Palmer's corpse, is allegedly pretty good. Short-ish (5,970 adjusted) with an extremely difficult 133 slope rating from the white tees. Only a few long holes so the difficulty is probably due to water being on basically every hole, and dense treeline. Who knows. It'll be fun. I hear the sister course is a beast and not fun whatsoever.

Tips from Big John:
- Bring your own beer. Be discrete like you usually are... but you're not going to want to pay resort prices.
- Carpool too if possible. Park using the valet after dropping of your clubs. The pro shop will comp your valet ticket inside.
- After the round we should head down the street to a sports bar to eat and hang out. Again... better than paying for food at the resort.

It might be a little wet and still raining, so plan accordingly.

Prediction
Brendan is going to win this week.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

2017 Rapture Update

Here's the itinerary:

Friday, August 18th: Round 1, course TBD, 10am-ish
Saturday, August 19th: Round 2, course TBD, 10am-ish
Sunday, August 20th: Round 3, Black Diamond (Quarry), 11:00am

I'm looking at renting two AirBnB houses in Inverness. They'll both have 6 beds and couches, so we can take 16 with no problem. But we have two options, with estimated costs for the ENTIRE trip (golf, housing, taxes):

1) Check in Thursday night, allowing us to sleep in and not rush to the first course ($310)
2) Check in Friday after our first round, meaning we'd be leaving Tampa at 7am-ish ($265)

Again, the costs include EVERYTHING and will probably end up little lower. But for comparisons sake, below is a list of every Rapture so far, and the all-in cost of the trip:

2014 - Sebring (2 nights) - $190
2015 - World Woods (2 nights) - $180
2016 - Reunion (2 nights) - $331

Obviously the first two years were incredible deals, and ones we should return to in future years. But does anyone have any preference on adding an extra night this year? I'm not pro-rating for someone who doesn't take advantage of that extra night.

Let me know in the comments!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Hangover Recap / Other Haps

Buchert got a LONG overdue victory yesterday, with an excellent 75 (gross) on a course that plays much harder than the 108 slope suggests. While the conditions were better than expected, some of those pin placements were nasty. Buchert's win was his first in 26 attempts, snapping one of the longest streaks in the league. Let's check in on the current standings of events since last victory (if any).

JW - 33
Reid - 28
Brendan - 18
Faz - 15
Chan - 14
Darren - 10
John - 9
Geoff - 8
Casey - 5
Dan - 5
Katie - 4
Tall Mike -4
Gorecki - 4
Gary - 3
Anthony - 3
Dave - 1
Troy - 0
Buchert - 0

JW and Reid were in the mix yesterday, but Dub fell apart in the middle of the back nine, and Reid ejected early to make catching Buchert impossible. Hopefully they can break their streaks soon.

Big John played great yesterday, and would have won almost any other week. It's impressive how far his game has improved over a short period of time, thanks to some lessons and lots of practice. Just last December he couldn't hit his driver more than 120 yards. He was crushing it yesterday.

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Lots of great commentary on the Hangover event itself. It's one of our original tournaments, and definitely intended to be a season party. But under the original rules, we had SEVEN members who would have been DQd yesterday. So while I don't want to force people to hang out, it isn't really working. As Faz stated on Saturday, "either we have the event as intended, or we just scrap it."

He also made the point that people miss regular events all the time for various things. And even with a nine week season, it's not detrimental to your standings. Five of the nine champions did NOT play in every event the season they won.

So we're reverting to mandatory attendance. Just consider it a 1.5 day event. No exemptions, if you can't make the night before, then you can still play golf but not for points or money. We do a good job bouncing around to different locations, so sometimes you're going to have a $25 Uber ride like I did Saturday.

We're changing the required time to 8pm-Midnight, so that should help some of you older people. If you don't/can't drink, just come hang out. If the doctor or judge says you're not allowed to be around alcohol, then we'll probably give you a pass. But we're a small enough group to make this work.

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John has booked us this week on Saddlebrook (Palmer). It's a course I've never played, but allegedly one of the best in the area. We have 5 tee times starting at 9:06, cost is $50 plus $5 if you want to use the practice facility. I may go play it Saturday at noon for the same price if anyone wants to join.

More information to come later this week!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Odessa Brewing Company

Who's NOT coming that's playing in the event?

Geoff has to watch the kids so he'll make it over late and do some catch-up. JW might make it over. Reid is out (not sure about golf... he seems confused). Anyone else? Most people coming over at 7pm for dinner first?

In two days we'll be sitting at a crowded bar that has zero parking, paying full price for food and drinks despite being "friends" with the owner, and will probably be asked to leave before 1am. Get excited people!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

JW Hangover Preview

Rogers Park. This is what happens when you people appease Gorecki. First he gets his way on Rule 3.1, which ironically DQ's his dad for the season. Then he gets his way on picking the Hangover bar. And now we're forced to play a course of his suggestion because he whined so much about hosting his tournament at Countryway.

Good rule of thumb: when Gorecki opens his mouth to speak, just say "no."

Dave is probably one victory away from an insurmountable lead. Catching him seems about as difficult as putting a man on the moon. But our great country has done so six different times: Apollo 11, 12, 14, 15, 16 and 17 (don't worry about what happened on 13). So who will step up and rip the championship away from his cold, Earthly hands?!?

Prediction
Katie is going to win again this week. Her handicap is still pretty high and the course isn't filled with penalty strokes. If she plays smart, bogey golf... nobody else stands a chance. Geoff finishes 2nd with a round in the low 90s. Faz and Chandler battle it out for DFL and both buy pitchers.

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After much discussion and complaints in previous seasons that the Hangover bar should not be mandatory, now some of you people are pretending that you didn't take that stance and want it to be mandatory again. I'm not falling for it. Show up this Saturday night at Odessa Tampa Bay Brewing Company, and immerse yourself in the world of aging housewives. Speaking of, bring your WAGs.

And don't do so because it's mandatory... do so because we're a fun group of people and it's nice to go out and be social twice a year. We have too many people to force attendance, but we don't have too many to socially shame those who bitch out.

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There are 16 people who have reported IN for the Rapture on the weekend of August 18th. Black Diamond is already reserved for that Sunday. Next step is to book a couple of houses on AirBnB.

While I don't have a problem bumping up the field to 16 people... we're still going to go through the qualifying process. There's plenty of time for someone to back out or Faz to get back in (hopefully he does). Rankings will LOCK after Week 3 of next season. So keep an eye on where you stand and keep that weekend open. Remember, we're playing FRIDAY through SUNDAY, August 18-20.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Gorecki Memorial Recap / JW Hangover Update

Gorecki Memorial Recap

Well a league record in overall attendance and tying record of league member participation was witnessed on Sunday. So was it the course selection that drew such a high turnout or the excitement/desire to become a Gorecki Memorial Champion? Hmm

The morning started out with a surprise unveiling of a tournament champion trophy along with introductions of each player at the first tee including references of those past champions.

For a course that everyone associates with being "too easy". Stats (credit Chan and Faz) prove otherwise:
- Of the 16 league participants, only 4 members finished the day scoring under par (net).
- There were more double pars scored (18) than birdies (12) on Sunday.
- Hole #14 is the 4th hardest Par 4 played among all of the league courses we've visited*. Only a single birdie (Faz) and two pars (Dave & Chandler) were recorded by the entire group on Sunday.
   *played more than 36 times by league members  
- Only one league member entered the pitcher zone. No additional commentary needed.


Other highlights include:
- Everyone but one non league member made it across the pond on the 97 yard Hole #1 and others (Reid) made sure their ball cleared the hazard (and the green and the adjacent fairway).
- Our first league hole-in-one was (thought to have been) witnessed on Hole 16 lasered at 87 yards by Dictator Chandler Brown. Peasant Mike Gorecki screamed in jubilation and as the two celebrated, outsider Brian Litman (while on his cell phone off the tee box) looked at us confused on why we were so excited. Only by Litman's angle could you see the ball settled directly behind the flag stick. Gary almost received a new nickname of Nostradamus Reincarnate as he made the the prophecy of an ace possibly happening on this day.
- Speaking of prophecy's. Chandler had the inclination to pre-post a rule about OB on hole #13. I know of at least one league member whose ball entered this OB territory and with the rule modification saved him from recording a double par. Sooo thanks I guess?
- For the first time in Gorecki Memorial history, there was a tie for First Place between Troy "I tweaked my swing"  and Dave "I wear denim to golf" at -3. The two were both so anxious to take home the Championship Trophy it was settled that Troy will enjoy it now through Master's Sunday (4/9) and Dave will inherit the hardware from then until the next Gorecki Memorial event (mostly likely scheduled for 6/4)

So congrats to the new champions who get to add their name to the record books of this always eventful and "memorial" event....

Spring 2017 Champions
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JW Hangover Update

This week's tournament stop finds us at the JW Hangover Invitational. Westchaser's rejoice as the league has picked Tampa Bay Brewing Company in your neighborhood! Well sort of as even though this establishment claims a westchase (tampa?) address, they're across the street from the OLDSMAR flea market. We have a large elevated table reserved in the main bar area starting at 7pm so those that want to come for dinner can arrive then. FYI there's also an outdoor beer fest happening that evening on their property so they'll probably be directing you where to park but head in to the restaurant NOT the fest.

Then on Sunday we have 4ea foursome tee times set for Rogers Park starting at 9:30 am. Rate is $34pp and they're offering a discount rate for range balls for $2.50 for those looking to to work off that hangover. The course is pretty much wide open and forgiving and with a slope of 108 this will be the "easiest" course the league has ever played. That should help balance out the gauntlet of tougher courses we've played earlier this season.

Please RSVP for Saturday evening and include your WAG's so I can complete the reservation with the restaurant. Thanks and see ya then!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Gorecki Memorial Preview / Rapture Dates / Hangover Bar

Back to Countryway! 9am on Sunday, and there's no range. That doesn't mean show up at 8:50am. I still need to collect money and whatnot. I'm told the fairways and greens are decent... while the rough still looks like Afghanistan.

$10 entry this week. But bring a little extra cash. There are 11 par 3s so the greenie count will be high.

Local rule this week: On the left side of hole 13 is OB stakes, which exist so you don't hit drives on to the 14th tee box. Ignore those stakes. If you lose a ball over there, it probably went into the lake, take 2 club lengths and a one stroke penalty. ALL OTHER OB STAKES AND ROADS SHOULD BE PLAYED AS OB. Just not the ones to the left of 13.

Prediction: Buchert wins this week. Chandler (hey, that's me!) finishes dead last. Five pitchers bought!

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I try to adhere to an unspoken rule where we don't put more than one guest per foursome. The more league members in the group, the more the integrity of scoring is upheld. We have allowed it a couple of times... and this week might be one of them. I booked an extra group, and Litman wanted to challenge Gorecki for $10 (as previous discussed). Well now Gorecki wants to bring his buddy Perillo, aka: the worst golfer in league history. So we either need to kill the Litman bet, or someone needs to jump on the grenade and play with the Special Olympic group.

I'll jump on the grenade, because that's what strong leaders do.

If anyone objects with me babysitting, then I'll put the groups back to normal, pairing Gorecki/Perillo with Brendan and Faz.

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Just about all currently qualified members have responded to The Rapture dates. Troy, Casey, Anthony and Dan still need to do so... if we're going to possibly bring 16 people.

However, based on the grid, I contacted Black Diamond about the first three weekends of August. The pro is willing to take our group, but said the Quarry Course is being aerified July 31st, and will be closed for other maintenance that following weekend. So we can either play on greens that are 14 days recovered, or 21 days recovered.

Combine that with the fact that almost everyone is available the weekend of 8/18... and we have our official date. Put it on your calendars now and don't book anything. You'll also need to take that Friday off. While the qualifications won't be locked until after Week 3 of next season... I'm still going to need to book two more courses AND find us housing well before we know WHO is going. The more you people stay engaged, the easier it is to make those decisions.

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We're due to go up near Westchase for the Hangover Bar. Please start making suggestions, and don't tell me you can get us an $80 pony keg like Gorecki did last time.