SMI NewsBrief

By Jack Garrity, aka Mr. Smooth — Monday, January 11, 2016

The 223rd match in the Senior Men’s Interclub series was played today at Queen’s Harbour Yacht & Country Club. The field consisted of 116 players representing 15 member clubs. Bruce MacDonald, one of the two club co-representatives for Queen’s Harbour, was today’s Tournament Director. Jim Camp, the club’s Head Golf Professional, 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.” Bruce and Jim (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 that the staff at Queen’s Harbour went to prepare the course for our visit and to welcome us into their clubhouse. It all began with two signs posted at the main entrance—one sign (right) proving we were in the right place; another (left) setting a pace-of-play standard for the day (chuckle).

Our thanks, in particular, go to Jim Camp; to the Golf Course Superintendent, Chris Stringer; and to the Private Events Director, Kayle Parham.

And our very special thanks go to K.D. (below) for speeding her beverage cart around the course in search of hungry, thirsty senior golfers.


This was the second match of twelve 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.

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, 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!

It was a nearly perfect day for golf. Play started a bit later than the scheduled 9:00 am shotgun as the carts left the staging area at 9:05 am under clear skies with the thermometer at 39 degrees and a brisk 15 mph breeze; the first scorecard was returned at 2:25 pm by which time the temperature had risen to 51 degrees still under clear skies but the wind speed had dropped to 5 mph. The last card was returned at 3:05 pm and signaled the end of the scoring operation.


Each month we compete to determine the top four teams on the day; the winning teams’ players receive 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.

Charting today’s scores against those made last month at San Jose (below) suggests today’s course presented a sterner test. 29.3 percent of the players at San Jose beat their handicaps but only 6.0 percent of the players at Queen’s Harbour. Said another way, the average player at San Jose scored 34.2 points and 1.3 strokes over bogey while the average player at Queen’s Harbour scored 28.7 points and 7.7 strokes over bogey. Makes you wonder whether the USGA rating team bungled their job at one course or the other. Or both?


The following table compares the order of finish in last month’s event to the order of finish in this month’s event. Deercreek maintained its place among the Top Four; Eagle Harbor, Orange Park, and Sawgrass climbed ten places on the monthly ladder while Osprey Cove plummeted by ten places. In summary, seven teams rose and eight teams dropped.

During lunch, Tournament Director Bruce MacDonald presented merchandise certificates redeemable in the Queen’s Harbour golf shop to the top four teams in the monthly competition:

1st place Jacksonville $45 certificate to each player
2nd place Long Point $34
3rd place Orange Park $23
4th place Deercreek $14


Each year, we compete to identify an SMI Champion, which is the team with the most Stableford points for the season. The winning team takes custody of the Barney Post Cup and retains it for a year. In addition, the top six teams earn a share of the cumulative prize funds in cash. Last year, the year-end team prizes were, in order of finish: $700, $550, $400, $300, $250, and $200.

The following table shows how team standings on the season changed from last month’s event to this month’s event. San Jose and Deercreek maintained their places atop the leaderboard; World Golf and Long Point remained among the Top Six; Jacksonville and Orange Park climbed into the Top Six displacing Marsh Landing and Osprey Cove. In summary, six teams rose and six teams fell.


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


Six different odds-breakers filled the twelve slots shown on today’s individual leaderboards (below). In all, only six players in the 116-man field overcame the odds associated with their handicap indexes. Doesn’t that mean 110 players will lick their wounds and try again next month?


Birdies _2 Jim Ballway WG, Lee Fields DC
Wib Finch JG, George Halvorsen ML
Skip Lunsford JG
39 Today’s Total (2015 average=62.2)


Hole _3 Allen Witham HH
Hole _7 George Halvorsen ML
Hole 13 Charlie Romain SG
Hole 15 Fritz Skeen SG


On average we take 96 pickups at each event. Today’s course forced us to take 154 pickups, way beyond average! The all-time record, 225 pickups, was set at Ponte Vedra Inn on 12/10/2010. The least number of pickups occurred on hole 7 which was the eighteenth toughest in todays’ round; that is, the easiest hole with one pickup.


Hole in one: Leedom Kettell SG (1/23/12, 7/18/11)
Five eagles: Wib Finch JG
Three eagles: Ray Baughn EH, Tony Hubbard DC
Eight birdies: Mike Simpson HH, Bob Wildner MP
Seven birdies:
Bob Barclay MP, Lee Fields DC,
Wib Finch JG
Six birdies:
Wib Finch JG, Jerry Glowe JG,
John Grams EH, Bob Wildner MP


What: Third match in the 2016 Season
When: 9:00 am, Monday, February 8, 2016
Where: Country Club of Orange Park
A Bobby Miller design (1989)
5,843 yds, 68.5/123/91.2 (course/slope/bogey)
Who: Joe Pierce, Jon Ross, Co-Representatives
Charles Raulerson Jr, PGA, General Manager
Mike Simmons, PGA, Head Golf Professional
Title: In September 2014, Magnolia Point beat the home-team advantage by 25 points. Orange Park finished in seventh place. Magnolia Point completed the rout by topping the second-place team by ten points.


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

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. The current balance of our Google account is $34.47. Google will pay us only after our balance is $100 or more.

We recently renewed our domain name ownership for two more years. There was no cost to us since we had a balance at StartLogic after canceling our previous website hosting account. After applying our balance to the cost of the domain name we only owed 28 cents. A generous benefactor covered that shortage.

I have a check from Tex Blinn, one of our website sponsors, in the amount of $152. It is payment for one year for his two ads on our site. I’ll be dropping that in the mail to Dave Noble today.

For the record and in spite of what was mentioned above about a ‘perfect day for golfing’, most players would agree that the day was extremely difficult for producing good scores. It was as cold as a well digger’s behind and the greens were extremely fast. As evidence of the difficult conditions, out of 116 players, only three played well enough to reduce their handicap indexes while 50 player’s indexes went up. We don’t keep records of such things but surely the three reductions in a month must be a new standard.

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