Who Says Lightening Can’t Strike Twice in the Same Place?

Friday must have been that proverbial “cold day in hell”. It was a day when not one, but two of the golfers fired natural eagles for net double-eagles. Sure, that was unusual, but what was even more unusual is that they came on the same hole . . . from the same group . . . from teammates competing for potentially lucrative net-skins. Jim Stamatis chipped in on #9 Lakes for his eagle. Gary Anzalone followed that draining his eagle putt. Both golfers shot net double-eagle and received no net skin – no gross skin. It’s sort of like kissing your sister. It might have looked exciting to the casual onlooker, but it really didn’t do a thing for you.

There was a three way tie for low net honors between Dennis Kildare, Mike Hickey and Mike Wentrup each shooting net 66. Gary Anzalone took home the low gross prize with a 76. There was a four way tie for second place.

Low Net

  1. Dennis Kildare, Mike Hickey and Mike Wentrup – 66

Low Gross

  1. Gary Anzalone – 76
  2. Mike Hickey, Dave Inman, Jay Yourk and Harold Hoeg – 78

View complete results.

As you might expect, a team that turns in two eagles finished DFL in the group game. The winning team was made up of Mike Hickey, Dave Inman, Bruce Partridge and Dan Hourihan. Rick Brown, Dennis Kildare, Don Coolidge along with their blind draw, Don Fruchtman finished tied for second place with the team Jay Yourk, George Stelmach, Howard Garr and Jim Steward. Kildare’s team won the scorecard playoff and left with second place money. Net skins went to Harold Hoeg, Bruce Partridge, Don Fruchtman, Dave Inman, Mike Hickey, Jim Stamatis and Rick Brown. Maybe it’s a good thing Anzalone and Stamatis walked on each other’s eagles. Skins would have been split so thinly as to not cover the cost of a lost ball.

Men’s Day – November 21st

The Wednesday Men’s Day group results remain a mystery. The club hasn’t sent them out yet. However, the Kildare Group playing within the group posted some good scores. At the top of the heap was Bill Petsas. He walked away with low gross and low net honors by shooting a 76 (net 65) to best the field. Dave Kopp fell a stroke back with a 77 (net 70) and ever lurking Dave Inman was two back at 78 (net 70). Bruce Partridge turned in a net 66, a stroke behind Petsas’ gem. Bruce had a pair of gross eights in his round to account for seven of the fourteen strokes he finished over par. Had he parred those two holes, his net 66 would have become a net 59. Not a bad day at the office. Dan Hourihan had a net 67 to finish in third place.

Low Net

  1. Bill Petsas – 65
  2. Bruce Partridge – 66
  3. Dan Hourihan – 67

Low Gross

  1. Bill Petsas – 76
  2. Dave Kopp – 77
  3. Dave Inman – 78

View complete results.

The Arroyo/Lakes combo yielded 19 birdies and no eagles. The toughest hole on the course was #9 Arroyo playing at an average of 6.19 strokes per player. Three of the six triple bogeys claimed on the day were on this hole. Perhaps golfers were inattentive as they lusted over the mass of Canadian geese wandering about. After all, Thanksgiving was only hours away.

Saturday – Riches, Monday – Rags

Monday, Gainey hosted at least two regular groups of golfers. One group, the “Minnesota Group” kept their scores secret. You have to wonder what they’re hiding. The other group, the ragamuffins, want to keep their scores (and their faces) secret. I’ve seen both and I can’t blame them.

The ragamuffins played a Modified Stableford – the traditional, correct one – with negatives for bogeys or worse. Lessons learned. Three out of the four teams finished with negative scores. Howard’s team, i.e. Howard Garr and Howard Jones, finished strongly positive and almost felt sorry for the other teams, but not so much as to refuse the winnings.

The rest of the competing teams fell so far into the abyss that a new member (welcome Russ Hagberg) purchased a round for the group in an attempt to keep the results secret. As a result of that quid-pro-quo, (I think that’s a new brand of golf ball), I have agreed to keep scores and faces secret. The photo to the right is of William Shakespeare, the guy that bought the round. The photo to the left is of Arnold Palmer, the guy that finished in dead last place and won the “Sponsor’s Trophy” for the week. For the other guys, they had to fight gale force winds (in their minds) frigid temperatures (in their memories) and a plague of locust (I think that’s from the Bible). Regardless of the reasons, they might want to consider the 1,000 typing monkeys on the works of Shakespeare trick. It appears they’d have about the same odds of shooting a sub-par round.

On the other hand, the sharks were out Saturday. The high rollers engaged in the $50 skins game. The big sticks beat each other into submission and only two skins were won. Incredibly, a birdie on the par 5 #9 Arroyo won $400. I birdied that hole today, and won a knuckle pump from my partner; whoopee doo. The other skin, i.e., the other $400, was won with a birdie on #2 Lakes. This is rated as the easiest hole in Scottsdale. A birdie on Men’s Day normally gets you a frustrated glance from 13 other golfers saying, “Yea? Me too.”  But Saturday . . . $400. Who say’s life is fair? Rick May (pictured) and Nick Rohen are $800 richer because the stars were aligned, the tea leaves did their thing and they made their putts.

A Garrish Round Captures Low Net – Friday, November 16th

Howard Garr put his 15 handicap on top of a gross 78 to take low net honors Friday in a wild round on the Arroyo/Lakes courses. A bogey on the last hole was the only thing that kept him from shooting even par on the Lakes nine. Pat Collins and Mike Miller were unable to track Garr down each firing net 66 to tie for second place. Garr’s 78 fell in the 400 to one probability range, a good round by any standard.

Mike Miller didn’t even hear the footsteps of the second place finisher in the gross department. Miller carded three birdies to offset his three bogeys and turned in an even par round of 72. Garr’s 78 and a 79 by Pat Collins rounded out the top three gross scores on the day.

Low Net

  1. Howard Garr – 63
  2. Mike Miller and Pat Collins – 66

Low Gross

  1. Mike Miller – 72
  2. Howard Garr – 78
  3. Pat Collins – 79

View complete results.

Before concluding Garr, Miller and Collins were the only golfers competing, note that there were two eagles turned in for the round. Bruce Partridge chipped in on the usually unconquerable #9 Arroyo for his eagle. Howard Jones’ second shot to the par 5 #9 Lakes was pin high, but just caught the sand trap on the left edge of the green. His trap shot found the hole for the day’s second eagle.

The winning team coincidentally had the top gross finisher and top net finisher, Miller and Garr. Their teammates, Nick De Santis and Jim Speck contributed to their run away victory by shooting a net 69 and net 70 respectively. Skins went to Miller, Garr and Speck. They were kind enough to let Dan Hourihan, Bruce Partridge and Howard Jones have one each, but made them turn in eagles to hang on to the table scraps.

The average score on the day was 86.1 with the Arroyo side playing a half stroke tougher than the Lakes. It was an unusual day in that #7 Lakes was NOT the toughest hole for the field. The meanest hole title was shared by #6 Arroyo and #10 Lakes, each playing at even bogey. Someone said even I lost my ball on #6 Arroyo, but that’s not true. It’s not lost; I know exactly where it is.

Another Miracle from the Temple – Men’s Day – Kildare Group

When he catches fire, just stand back, watch and enjoy the heat. Joel Temple went low again. He followed his 37 on the Arroyo nine with a scorching four under 32 on the Lakes. His 69 took low gross honors by six strokes over Dave Inman’s 75. Temple’s 69 translated into a net 61 and low net honors as well.

Temple also shattered the record for the “longest odds” in the Golf Management Program. Only once since score records have been analyzed a thousand or so rounds ago has anyone broken the one thousand-to-one probability barrier. George Stelmach posted a round low enough for a 1,015 probability rating. Temple’s round set the record at 2,201-to-1. The probability rating takes into account the golfer’s handicap index, the course rating and slope and the actual score. It is based upon hundreds of thousands of golf rounds collected by the United State Golf Association. Breaking the thousand-to-one barrier is very rare. It happens roughly once every . . . duh, one thousand rounds. (Ten years of college wasn’t wasted on me!)

Low Gross

  1. Joel Temple – 69
  2. Dave Inman – 75
  3. Howard Jones – 77

Low Net

  1. Joel Temple – 61
  2. Dennis Kildare – 64
  3. Jim Stamatis – 65

View complete results.

There was another eagle. It shouldn’t come as a great surprise to learn it was fired on the last hole, #9 Lakes, by Joel Temple. There were a total of 19 birdies from 19 golfers. The average score was 84.3 on a cool day and a course in great shape. Two thirds of the field scored between 76 and 90.

The Fall Classic is in the Book

The first major tournament of the season went off in style and with plenty of excitement. The weather was cold, but many golfers were hot. Victory went to the team of Mike Wentrup, Bryan Noonan, Jim Schembri and Phil Goldman. With their win they now sit in the lead for the Gainey Cup.

The team of Rick Hurula (Go Green), Pat Collins, Jim Gabriel and Rick Shock finished in second place two strokes off the lead. Alex Currie, Chris Balakas, Jim Mantle and Dale Folstad were three back in third place. Joel Temple, Ron Dobkin, Dick Lockwood and Jim Woods were four back in fourth and Scott Thompson, Steve Bartha, Mike Forde and Al Cozzi took fifth place five strokes behind the leaders. The honor of finishing DFL went to Howard Jones, Jerry Whalen, Dale Fitzhenry and Jim Speck. Their late charge fell eleven strokes short. The problem seemed to be the two-man best-ball format. Apparently, were it not for Jim Speck, they would have had holes where there was no best ball, let alone two.

As a bit of a side show, there was a closest-to-the-pin competition on the par three holes. Mike Matz, Garry Warner, Jim Speck and Jim Mantle took home the prizes. We had the pleasure of playing in the group behind Mantle. I noticed he failed to putt out on #2 Arroyo so I tried to have him disqualified. Matt Anzalone explained to me that you don’t have to putt out if your tee shot lands in the hole. Yes, Mantle had an ACE to put the crown on a good week of golf. Such a show-off.

The next Gainey Cup major is the Holiday Classic on December 1st. Sign up in the pro-shop.

Gainey Profile – #7 Lakes – The Nemesis

It should be a simple par 4 hole. From the tips it’s only 410 yards. With a slight dog leg, it actually plays a little shorter. For the big hitters, it’s a drive and a sand wedge. Then why does it eat golfers alive?

For every birdie it gives up, it dishes out 57 bogeys or worse. The average score on “The Nemesis” is higher than bogey. It is nearly as high as the average score on the Par 5, #9 Lakes. On one recent day the hole played at an average score of 5.85 strokes.

Just because it has water the entire length of the hole on the right side, just because a safety shot to the left stands a great chance of ending up in cavernous sand traps, just because long knockers can hit it into the water that runs along the left side of the fairway past the traps, just because a stream runs in front of the green, just because the green is rounded by sand traps and just because the green is tricky to even the master putter – some people think the hole is tough. Sissy, I say. Get a grip and hit the ball.

“The Nemesis” isn’t the only name that comes to mind. It could just as easily be called “The Butcher”, “The Monster”, “The Executioner” or “The Cliff” because that’s where many a good round has fallen to its death. The only thing that can be said for certain is that it takes a lot of balls to play #7 Lakes.

Don’t Shoot Him; You’ll Just Make Him Mad – Men’s Day – November 7th

Jim Mantle may have been short-changed Monday when he shot the low net and still came up empty, but he corrected the injustice Wednesday by winning it all. He and his playing partner, Dale Folstad, deposited a 69 to take home first place and $200. Scott Thompson and Bruce Partridge shared second place honors with Steve King and his anonymous friend, Blind Draw, each carding a 71. Fourth and fifth places went to Phil Graham and Blind Draw (I wonder if it’s the same guy that played with King or a different guy that just looks the same) and the team of Joel Temple and Jim Woods.

Low Gross was shared between Bryan Noonan and Mike Miller at 73. Dale Folstad and Jay Yourk shot 61 and 64 for first and second respectively in the net division. Gross skins ($50 each) went to Gregg Hayutin (2 Arroyo), Don Roblee (6 Arroyo), Rick Taylor (1 Lakes), Dave Kopp (3 Lakes), Bryan Noonan ( 7 Lakes) and Jim Stamatis (8 Lakes). Net skins ($50 each) were won by Phil Graham (3 Arroyo), Don Roblee (6 Arroyo), Mike Matz (7 Arroyo), Bruce Partridge (2 Lakes), Ron Dobkin (6 Lakes) and Bryan Noonan (7 Lakes).

Complete Men’s Day results.

Within the Kildare Group, Jim Woods won low net with a 66. Mike Miller and Jim Stamatis were right on his heels at 67. Mike Miller grabbed low gross honors with his 73. Dave Kopp and Scott Thompson were five strokes back at 78. Team game winners were at 119 were Scott Thompson, Mike Miller, Bruce Partridge and Skyler Irvine. Jim Woods, Dennis Kildare, Dave Inman and Joel Temple finished at 122. Third place was taken by Howard Jones, Vinny Sollitto, Brian Laks and Tom Hansen with a 124.

Complete Kildare results.

The normal Kildare Group skins game was not played because the club handled skins on this date. Wouldn’t you know it? I would have won six skins. All six were cancelled at the club level, (but I know their names).

Dis-Mantled – Monday, November 5th

On any other day, Jim Mantle would be celebrating his win. His net 68 Monday was good enough to win low net honors. He was steady and consistent with nothing worse than a bogey. Unfortunately for Jim, the game Monday was best net score on each nine. As a result, he finished no better than third and took home none of the pot. Mike Forde won front side honors with his net 34. Sandy Wiener’s net 31 garnered the prize for having the best back side. I’m sure his wife appreciates that. Dave Inman and Gary Reibman finished second on the front and back respectively.

View complete results.

Big Brother is Golfing

With human nature being what it is, everyone forgets to post a score from time-to-time. With a periodic lapse of memory, no one can be accused of malice or deceit. However, these lapses should tend to follow the fundamental laws of statistics. Scores above a handicap shouldn’t have a higher probability of being posted than those substantially below.

The computer program we’ve been using to record and analyze scores, calculate match results, skins, etc. continues to evolve into an increasingly powerful tool. It now has the capability to match scores with those recorded via the GHIN system for handicap calculations.

The program has been endowed with a set of statistical triggers that suggest postings may not be as reliable as they should be. It then compares postings made in the GHIN system to those recorded through the MGA. If there is a statistically significant difference in those scores, you may have scores posted in your behalf through the GHIN system and your official handicap will reflect those postings.

If you discover your handicap has changed unexpectedly, you may have had your missing posts entered. It doesn’t mean you’re a crook, a cheat, a bandit. It doesn’t suggest your mother doesn’t love you or that you’re a candidate for the next remake of “The Monster from the Black Lagoon”. It doesn’t mean you’re ugly, odiferous, or cranially challenged.

It does suggest you should perhaps pay closer attention to the scores that are and are not posted. It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature and it’s not nice to carry a handicap that doesn’t truly reflect your recent golf performance.