SMI NewsBrief

June 8, 2015

The 216th match in the Senior Men’s Interclub series was played today on the Slammer & Squire course (S&S) at the World Golf Village. The field consisted of 118 players representing 15 member clubs. Jock Ochiltree, the club representative for the World Golf Village, was today’s Tournament Director. His club’s Head Professional, Anthony Vaughn PGA, ensured the course was in prime condition and the holes were cut in SMI-friendly locations; that is, visiting teams were as likely as the host team to “hit the flagsticks.”

Under a waning gibbous moon, Jock and his club’s assistant professional, Scott Lampke, PGA (see below) set the tone for the day with their preround announcements. Anticipating an 8:30 a.m. shotgun, they launched thirty carts toward their respective starting holes ten minutes early with clear skies, 79-degree warmth, and light 3.5 mph winds. By the end of the round, the heat index had reached 91 degrees moderated by refreshing 14 mph breezes. The first scorecard was returned eight minutes ahead of our average 4h 42m playing time.

Alas, World Golf Village was unable to capitalize on the fabled home team advantage; they finished in 14th place, twenty-two points behind the day’s leader, Marsh Landing. In six previous events at their home course, World Golf had taken first place twice by 10- and 29-point margins, third place once, fourth place once, and fifth place twice. There’s little doubt that being the home team is an advantage but there’s also proof that equitable handicapping and a fair course are powerful offsets.

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TODAY’S COURSE

Each month we coordinate the course layout with the host club’s golf professional. As shown below, the layout prescribes hole-by-hole yardages, pars, and handicap stroke allocations. Now and then, our scorecard may differ from the over-the-counter scorecard handed out in the golf shop. Ours is the official scorecard!

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For this competition, our Tournament Director, Jock Ochiltree, sought to make things more interesting by moving the tees on hole 4 (Double Trouble) back to their blue length, 486 yards; this was 19 yards longer than what was printed on the official scorecard. To compensate, he advised shorter hitters to go around the water obstacle in front of the tees while longer hitters were free to challenge it.

Nominally, 19 yards more length adds 0.1 strokes to a course’s difficulty [USGA Handicap System manual, section 5-2g, Men’s Rating Adjustments]. One might conjecture that Jock’s advice was ignored since the hole played 0.3 strokes harder than our most recent time here in 2014. The performance dip is traceable to the poorer scores recorded in Flights B through D. Do you suppose the players in Flights A and E improved by heeding Jock’s counsel?

Marsh Landing and Jacksonville tied for first place on a best-of-six and best-of-five basis with Marsh Landing winning by two points in the best-of-four tiebreaker. Rick Bauerband ML led his team by overcoming 47:1 odds.

Charting this round’s scores against those made last month at Long Point, it appears our scores were mostly consistent but S&S created a few more outliers at the low and high edges of the field. Nevertheless Long Point demanded 2.7 more strokes on average than S&S.

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TEAM STANDINGS

Seven teams climbed the leaderboard today relative to last month with Deercreek making the biggest move—rising eight places. Hidden Hills retained first place on the season by a healthy 39-point margin. Marsh Creek replaced Queen’s Harbour (dropping eight places on the day) in fourth place on the season. 58 percent of our players pulled their generally recognized 36-point quota; note however that it takes 34 points to match 1:1 odds under our handicapping system.

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WINNING-TEAM LEADERS

Generally, a “big gun” helps his team into one of the top four places by scoring at least 40 points. Today 19 players scored 40 points or more; 11 of those were on the prize-winning teams.

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INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD

Eleven different odds-breakers filled the twelve slots shown on today’s individual leaderboards (below). In all, 34 players in the 118-man field overcame the odds associated with their handicap indexes. Isn’t that fair or what?

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PREMIUM SHOTS

Eagles      1   Hole 13: Dick Capatosta HH (Hole-in-one)

Birdies    3   Walt Altman HH, Ray Baughn EH, Bruce Brown MC, Ron Davidson JG, Lee Fields DC, John Grams EH (Only birdie on 18), David Mobley JG

69 Today’s Total (2014 average: 71.7)

CLOSEST TO THE FLAGSTICK

Hole 02       Walt Teasdale SJ      14′ 0″
Hole 07       Ray Baughn EH         11′ 7.5″
Hole 13       Dick Capatosta HH     0′ 0″
Hole 15       Bob Hubbard OP         0′ 2″

TOUGHEST HOLES

On average, we pick up (that is, score zero) on 96 holes at each event. Today’s course forced 77 pickups, tied for 28th place on the all-time pickup list.

Hole 4 was today’s toughest–it forced 16 pickups. The five “easiest” holes registered one pickup each: holes 1, 3, 9, 12, and 13.

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ALL-TIME TEAM RECORDS

Our performance database is based on 16,531 scoring records dating from 2002. The underlying statistics continue to show the league consists of five flights, designated as A through E. These flights are divided into 18%, 26%, 25%, 19%, and 12% segments, respectively.

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LIFE ON THE SCORING TABLE

Our keyless data entry system—bubble cards and scanner—performed as expected this month. Thanks to everyone who took care to match their written score and shaded bubble. Four scorecards contained errors that required post-awards ceremony corrections in order to true up individual handicaps and team standings on the season. In each case the player shaded a bubble that was one stroke more or less than his written score. Three of these corrections had no bearing on the day’s results since the players were not among the best of six on their teams. The other correction did not affect team standings.

Thanks to Jock Ochiltree WG and Ray Mantle QH for screening cards before they were presented for scanning. Eleven cards were corrected in consultation with players who failed to sign their card, to record gross scores, to match shaded bubbles with written scores, or shaded two bubbles on a particular hole. In addition the screeners revised fifteen cards with unshaded bubbles on one nine, one or two unshaded holes, or holes with a positive score but zero shading.

Despite those lapses, most written numbers were legible and the ovals were easily sensed by the scanner.

NEXT MATCH

What:             Seventh match in the 2015 Season

When:            9:00 a.m., Monday, July 13, 2015

Where:           Deercreek Country Club
A Robert Miller Design (1989)
5,933 yards, 69.6/127/93.1 (course/slope/bogey)

Who:              Dave Noble, Tournament Director
Thomas Maxwell, PGA, Head Professional

Defender:     Last time out at Deercreek, Marsh Landing was the runaway champion by 18 points over the second place team and 22 points over the home team which finished in fifth place!

FINANCIAL NEWS

Dave Noble DC, our league treasurer, filed his latest report in the table below. Please take note of two entries referring to advertisements posted by league members Tex Blinn HH, who is linked on our Home Page, and Jock Ochiltree WG, who is linked on our latest Results Page. You can offset the annual cost of our website by searching the web from our home page and clicking on one or two Google ads! Each click generates income. Our last Google check was worth $105.76.

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Jack Garrity (aka Mr. Smooth)

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