SMI NewsBrief

By Jack Garrity, aka Mr. Smooth — Monday, December 7, 2015

The 222nd match in the Senior Men’s Interclub series was played today at the San Jose Country Club. The field consisted of 116 players representing 15 member clubs. Bill “The Bas” Basney, the club representative for San Jose, was today’s Tournament Director. His club’s Head Professional, Todd Bork 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.” Bas and Todd (l-r) handled the preround announcements and launched 30 carts onto a first-class course. Great job all around!

We are very grateful for the extra mile San Jose’s staff goes to prepare the course for our visit and welcome us into their clubhouse. Our thanks, in particular, go to General Manager, Rocky Staples; Head Professional, Todd Bork PGA; Golf Course Superintendent, Clayton Estes CGCS; Clubhouse Manager, Willie Manigault; and Catering Director, Nicola Dilley.

And our very special thanks go to Lauren (below) for speeding her beverage cart around the course in search of hungry, thirsty senior golfers. And a hundred huzzahs for Bill Basney and his team in providing a free keg of beer at the 19th hole!


Jock Ochiltree WG took the action photo below which shows a risky shot by a fellow competitor in his group. If Jock could walk on water—there is a rumor—we might have had a front view of Rick Cottey SJ’s masterful play on the par-5 hole 17. Dunking his tee shot near the bank, Rick blasted out of the water by a foot, returned to the fairway with his next stroke, advanced short of the green, chipped to inches, and tapped in for a bogey. In Rick’s situation, most of us would have given up on the water ball and prayed for a double bogey at best after taking a drop or hitting again from the tee.


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

Charting today’s scores against those made last month at Deerwood (see below) suggests today’s course presented a sterner test or hosted a more talented field. Take your pick! You might consider these facts: 36.8 percent of the players at Deerwood and 29.3 percent of the players at San Jose beat their handicaps. Said another way, the average player at Deerwood scored 34.6 points and 0.5 strokes over bogey while the average player at San Jose scored 34.2 points and 1.3 strokes over bogey. Could the Donald Ross greens at San Jose account for the difference?


Today’s event was the kickoff match of twelve tournaments planned for the 2016 season. The season will climax in our yearlong contest for the Barney Poston Cup on November 14, 2016 at Deerwood Country Club.

In the monthly event, we compete to determine the top four teams on the day; each of the winning teams’ players receives a golf-shop merchandise certificate. In addition, at each par-3 hole, the player who lands closest to the flagstick receives a sleeve of golf balls donated by the host club.

It was a nearly perfect day for golf. Play started at the 9:00 a.m. shotgun under overcast skies with the thermometer at 60-degrees and a light 8 mph breeze; the first scorecard was returned at 1:37 p.m. by which time the temperature had risen to 71 degrees and conditions had changed to partly cloudy skies and wind speed rising to 12 mph.

The following table compares the order of finish in last month’s event to the order of finish in this month’s event. World Golf maintained its place among the Top Four; Marsh Landing climbed ten places on the monthly ladder while Eagle Harbor plummeted by nine places. In summary, six teams rose and eight teams dropped.

Tournament Director Bill Basney awarded merchandise certificates redeemable in the San Jose golf shop to the top four teams in the monthly competition:


Generally, a “big gun” helps his team into one of the top four places by scoring at least 40 points. Today 13 players scored 40 points or more; five of those were on the prize-winning teams.


Eleven different odds-breakers filled the twelve slots shown on today’s individual leaderboards (below). In all, 34 players in the 116-man field overcame the odds associated with their handicap indexes. That’s as fair as it get!




On average we take 94 pickups at each event. Today’s course forced us to take 93 pickups, pretty much on average! The all-time record, 225 pickups, was set at Ponte Vedra Inn on 12/10/2010. The least number of pickups, one each, occurred on holes 7 and 13 which were the eighth and fourteenth toughest respectively in todays’ round.


The following table provides four ways to judge the relative difficulty of the courses we play. If you’re inclined to set your target score by the USGA course rating (CR), know well: that mark represents the playing difficulty of a course for a scratch golfer. If you’re more like a bogey golfer—that is, with a course handicap of approximately 20—you’d do better to set your target score by the USGA bogey rating (BR) which reflects the playing difficulty for a bogey golfer.

The USGA does not provide a rating for an average SMI golfer. No surprise! The table below shows two ways to establish an SMI game rating (GR); base it on the number of strokes we’ve actually taken or the number of points we’ve pulled in past contests. Under the Order of Difficulty heading, you’ll note that CR/BR are not reliable predictors of GR. You’ll also note that a stroke-based GR doesn’t necessarily align with a points-based GR. Why? Most likely, it’s due to the fact that most handicap stroke allocations are keyed to play from the back tees and to match, not Stableford, play.



Dave Noble DC, our league treasurer, filed his latest end-of-month report in the table below. A nice cash reserve heading into season 16!


By Barney Poston

Our domain name,, is expiring Jan 5, 2016.  We will renew that for one or two more years at a cost of $16.99 per year.

The Results archive page now includes a list of past champions.  Images of those champions will be added as time permits and if a picture is available.  Have a look.

While you’re on our website, take a few moments to click on one or two Google ads! Each click generates income that helps to offset the annual cost of our web site.  We recently received a check from Google for $119.82.  Our current Google account balance is $15.41.


The USGA has new rules which are effective Jan 1, 2016.  Thanks to Dick Fruechtenicht, LP, for providing this link to a video which explains the rules changes.



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