SMI NewsBrief

by Jack Garrity (aka Mr. Smooth)….Monday, September 14, 2015

The 219th match in the Senior Men’s Interclub series was played today at St. Johns Golf & Country Club. The field consisted of 115 players representing 15 member clubs. Pat O’Neill, the club representative for St. Johns, was today’s Tournament Director. His club’s Head Professional, Brian Rogers, 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.”

St. Johns Scoreboard


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 (see below) against those made last month at Marsh Landing and the month before at Deercreek could make a grown man scratch his head. The Deercreek and St. Johns histograms are routinely spikey in relation to a best-fit distribution while the Marsh Landing histogram is relatively damped with its scores neatly spread from min to max. Consider these facts: the average player at Marsh Landing was spot on, scoring 36 points while the average players at St. Johns and Deercreek were 1.1 strokes over and 3.4 strokes under their point-quotas.


Seven teams climbed the leaderboard today relative to last month, with St. Johns making the biggest move—finishing thirteen places higher than at Marsh Landing. Hidden Hills easily retained first place on the season by adding thirteen points to its spread over Marsh Landing in second place. Five teams rose by one or two points on the season: Eagle Harbor, Long Point, Magnolia Point, St. Johns, and World Golf Village. 69 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, 70 percent of our players met their handicap index or better.

In five previous events at their home course, St. Johns had taken first place twice by nine- and seven-point margins. As for the other three times, they were in the Top Four with second, third, and fourth place finishes. 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.


Generally, a “big gun” helps his team into one of the top four places by scoring at least 40 points. Today 36 players scored 40 points or more; 19 of those were on the prize-winning teams including Sid Halsey WG with four birdies: he overcame 143:1 odds which may seem astronomical but only qualifies for 40th place on the all-time list.


Twelve different odds-breakers filled the twelve slots shown on today’s individual leaderboards (below). In all, 80 players in the 115-man field overcame the odds associated with their handicap indexes. Isn’t that fair or what?




On average, we pick up (that is, score zero) on 96 holes at each event. Today’s course forced 58 pickups which tied for 72nd place among 107 events on the all-time pickup list. Hole 11, a 353-yard par 4, forced seven pickups. Two holes, 5 and 7, recorded a single pickup.

Hole 18 tied for second toughest today; recall that it registered as the toughest hole in four preceding years: 2014, 2013 2011, and 2010. Lesson learned: the next time you play St. Johns, reserve your conservative strategy for hole 18.


Our performance database is based on 16,879 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 our latest Results Page, and Jock Ochiltree WG, who is linked on our latest Results Page. You can offset the annual cost of our website by clicking on one or two Google ads! Each click generates income. Our last Google check was worth $105.76.

by Barney Poston

The website has been successfully moved to our free hosting account at Everything appears to be working well and the site is getting better each month. The only expense we’ll have going forward is to pay for our domain name ( which is $15-$20 a year. I believe that payment is coming due in January 2016.

Once the website was moved, I realized that the old Google ads and search bars had not been moved with the website.  As of today we have $99.90 coming from Google but they won’t pay us until we pass the $100 threshold. We should make that goal during October. Then, I believe they’ll pay us in November. All we need is for you guys to click on an ad on occasion and make a few pennies for us. You don’t need to buy anything.

I don’t like the ads on our website but it is nice to make a little outside income. The income is probably not enough to justify the visual pollution on the site but that will be decided later. At the December meeting I’ll ask for a show of hands to see if you want to keep the ads on our site or forget them entirely. I do recommend that we continue with the two member ads (Ochiltree and Blinn) that we have on our site. They have supported us for a long time.

Have you spent any time on the Handicap Indexes webpage on our site? If not, you should. There is lots of information there. A new feature has be added this month, that is a column (+/-) that shows the change in each players index since the previous month. Much thanks to Jack Garrity for the technical support. The plus or minus signs indicate that your index went up or down. The number shows the amount of change. A dash  ̶  indicates that your index is not established (NE) or that you did not compete in the last event. A zero (0) indicates your index did not change.


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