SMI NewsBrief

July 13, 2015

The 217th match in the Senior Men’s Interclub series was played today at Deercreek Country Club. The field consisted of 118 players representing 15 member clubs; one player did not finish the round, dropping out after nine holes. Dave Noble, the club representative for the World Golf Village, was today’s Tournament Director. His club’s Head Professional, Tommy Maxwell, 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 crescent moon, six percent visible and two days before it became a new moon, Deercreek’s crew launched thirty carts toward their respective starting holes under clear skies with the prospect of absolutely no rain. However, spots of overnight rain remained here and there.

One such spot was on the bridge along hole 18 where one of our carts landed in the waterway as shown below. What led to the disaster? The bridge had 2 by 12s that tend to guide golf-cart wheels in the direction of travel. But the wheels managed to pop out of these channels, slip to the left, topple off the bridge, and land in shallow water with its driver, Gary Scheidemantle WG, hanging on relatively unscathed while his cart mate, SMI celebrity Odie Skeen ML, managed to bail out before his side of the cart took a soaking. Both players finished the specified round.

Kudos to Deercreek’s pro shop for responding with towels, shoes, socks and antiseptic and treating a few scrapes and a bruise on the back of the driver’s left hand. Both occupants recovered quickly, finished the round, and returned good scores despite the lapse on hole 18.

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!

Of interest, today’s layout raised some hackles despite the fact that league rules specify the host club use “USGA-rated tees closest [to but] under 6,000 yards.” For more than a year, there’s been a tendency to set course length nearer to 5,600 yards. The issue of length is a matter of active debate among our club representatives. Herewith is a sample of comments heard in regard to today’s layout.

  • …the length of the golf course yesterday was way too long. I had two players go down with heat exhaustion. I understand that the soft fairways from the daily rains contributed to the length of play but we should have seen this one coming. 5,900 yds in July with 95 degrees and 100% humidity is too much for seniors. We could get someone hurt. My opinion.
  • …it’s odd that the clubs and balls are both longer but our players ability to play 6,000 yds seems to be diminishing. We have some low handicap players who don’t want to go shorter than 6,000 yds, but, overall, I think we need to be at 5,600-5,700 yds to accommodate our players’ physical capacity.
  • Yesterday was brutal. I found myself reaching the greens of most of the par 4 holes in 4 strokes. I know I am weak, but three strokes are usually enough to get me to the fours!
  • I found it to be absurd that the SENIOR interclub is playing a par 4 whose length was 424 yds with a very narrow area to lay up to on your second shot and a green fronted by water.
  • …the course was wet and slow. More importantly, it plays as a Par 71 which makes the 5,900 yards play more like 6,100 yards at Par 72. In hindsight (which is 20/20), maybe the white tees should have been considered. They would have been 5,538, playing like 5,738.
  • We have as many low handicappers as any club and we concur that the length/wet conditions was a stretch for ALL players.

Warts or not, everyone played the same course with fairly calculated handicaps. Now get this!

World Golf Village had a banner day, rising 14 places over last month’s performance on their home course. Plus Orange Park and Queen’s Harbour recorded similar jumps, rising 10 and 9 places, respectively. How can you blame the course when worst go to first and others follow suit?

Charting this round’s scores against those made last month at Slammer & Squire, today’s scores were a bit skewed. Deercreek experienced a few more outliers at the high end of the field and less outliers at the low end. For some of the reasons enumerated above, Deercreek punished the field with 4.3 more strokes and 1.5 less points on average than did S&S.

TEAM STANDINGS

Five teams climbed the leaderboard today relative to last month with Orange Park making the biggest move—rising four places. Hidden Hills retained first place on the season by a healthy 23-point margin. Queen’s Harbour replaced Magnolia Point in third place on the season. 47 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.

WINNING-TEAM LEADERS

Generally, a “big gun” helps his team into one of the top four places by scoring at least 40 points. Today 14 players scored 40 points or more; 8 of those were on the prize-winning teams.

INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD

Twelve different odds-breakers filled the twelve slots shown on today’s individual leaderboards (below). In all, 51 players in the 117-man field overcame the odds associated with their handicap indexes. Isn’t that fair or what?

PREMIUM SHOTS

Birdies

3   Ray Baughn EH, Gary Osteen OP

2   Drake Batchelder MC, Hugh Boggs OC
Gary Sauer ML, Dave Vince HH

43   Today’s Total (2014 average: 71.7)

TOUGHEST HOLES

On average, we pick up (that is, score zero) on 96 holes at each event. Today’s course forced 169 pickups in 7th place on the all-time pickup list.

Hole 9, a 361-yard par 4, was today’s toughest—at 32, it forced the most pickups. At 18, hole 4 caused the next greatest number of pickups.

NEXT MATCH

What:             Eighth match in the 2015 Season

When:            9:00 a.m., Monday, August 17, 2015

Where:           Marsh Landing Country Club – An Ed Seay Design (1986) – 5,878 yards, 69.6/126/93.0 (course/slope/bogey)

Who:              Ray Cabano, Tournament Director, Ryan Mikesell, PGA, Head Professional

Defender:     Last time out at Marsh Landing, the host club edged Queen’s Harbour, Magnolia Point, and Jacksonville by four, six, and seven points, respectively. They were 42 points better than the last-place team that day.

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.

 

 

Jack Garrity (aka Mr. Smooth)

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