August 17, 2015
The 218th match in the Senior Men’s Interclub series was played today at Marsh Landing Country Club. The field consisted of 117 players representing 15 member clubs. Ray Cabano, the club representative for Marsh Landing, was today’s Tournament Director. His club’s Head Professional, Ryan Mikesell, 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.”
Shortly before 9:00 a.m., Marsh Landing’s grounds crew escorted thirty carts toward their respective starting holes with the weather promising us a golfer’s delight! The skies were clear with absolutely no prospect for rain. When a waxing crescent moon rose at 9:28 a.m., the thermometer stood at 82 degrees then climbed gradually to 90 degrees which was moderated by favorable breezes from 5.8 to 9.2 mph.
In five previous events at their home course, Marsh Landing had taken second place once and first place otherwise: twice by four-point margins and twice by blowout margins of twenty-one and twenty-four points. In this case, there’s little doubt being the home team is an advantage but it’s also true it’s not an overwhelming advantage: equitable handicapping and a fair course are powerful offsets.
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!
Charting today’s scores against those made last month at Deercreek was a puzzler: if memory serves, the histogram is usually spikey in relation to its best-fit distribution but today’s spikes were highly damped and the scores were neatly spread across the expected range. One explanation is that every player found the course suited his handicap. At Deercreek, the average player was 3.4 strokes short of his quota; the average player at Marsh Landing was spot on.
Seven teams climbed the leaderboard today relative to last month, with Magnolia Point making the biggest move—finishing eight places higher than at Deercreek. Hidden Hills retained first place on the season although its 23-point margin was trimmed to three points. Deercreek and Jacksonville were the only teams to rise on the season, by one place each. 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. Accordingly, 55 percent of our players met their handicap index or better.
Generally, a “big gun” helps his team into one of the top four places by scoring at least 40 points. Today 25 players scored 40 points or more; 12 of those were on the prize-winning teams including Lee Fields DC who made seven birdies to tie for all-time second place (partial list near bottom). Among those not on one of the four winning teams, Ed Arroyo OC pulled 51 points to move into a tie for all-time third place.
Eleven different odds-breakers filled the twelve slots shown on today’s individual leaderboards (below). In all, 63 players in the 117-man field overcame the odds associated with their handicap indexes. Isn’t that fair or what?
CLOSEST TO FLAGSTICK
On average, we pick up (that is, score zero) on 96 holes at each event. Today’s course forced 77 pickups which tied for 69th place among 106 events on the all-time pickup list. Hole 8, a 475-yard par 5 forced 12 pickups, the most on any hole today; no pickups were recorded on hole 15, a 339-yard par 4.
ALL-TIME LEAGUE RECORDS
Our performance database is based on 16,764 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 19%, 26%, 25%, 19%, and 12% segments, respectively.
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)