Inman Climbs, Partridge Tanks, Jones Still Skinless

Partridge at the VFW
Partridge at the VFW

This week’s Inferno Cup battles were intense. Dave Inman continued to amass Cup points with a second place finish on Wednesday and another first place finish Friday. He even finished in second place Friday as the blind draw for the Hansen, King, Molever team. It’s looking like the only way to stop Inman is to make some “club adjustments” on his behalf when he’s not looking. There’s some income potential for cart king Dave Yarns. We’ll talk.

Bruce Partridge continues his meteoric descent toward the bottom of the list. On June 14th he sat comfortably in second place in the Cup standings. He has now worked his way into 24th place. Some say that’s because he’s not here, but that dog don’t hunt. I’ve played golf with him many times when he wasn’t here. In the meantime, he’s snuggled up to the bar in the Newport Beach VFW wearing gold epaulets on a tee shirt and telling stories about how he fought bravely at the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle of Verdun. It’s now clear that his only hope for a strong finish is to butter up the programmer. Hmmm, another income opportunity for someone.

Wednesday’s Cup match was won by the team of Dan Hourihan, Scott Thompson, Jim Gabriel and Mike Forde. Inman, Gary Graham, Jim Stamatis and Nate Sanders finished second. Skins were split between Mike Miller, Gary Graham, Harold Hoeg, Dave Inman, Joel Temple, Jim Gabriel, Jim Stamatis, Ron Dobkin and Steve King.

Friday found Dave Inman, Gary Graham, Ken Vlah and Dan Hourihan in the top spot. That’s back-to-back wins for Hourihan. He moved from 22nd place to 13th place in one week. It sounds like another club adjustment may be in order. Friday’s second place team consisted of Tom Hansen, Steve King, Loren Molever and their blind draw, Inman. Steve King, Pat Sheehan, Mike Forde, Phil Graham and Raoul Encinas captured a skin apiece while Jim Stamatis left the building with two.

Low Gross – Wednesday

  1. Dave Inman – 73
  2. Harold Hoeg – 76
  3. Joel Temple – 78

Low Gross – Friday

  1. Mike Miller and Kurt Saulnier – 78
  2. Gary Graham, Steve King and Dave Inman – 79

Low Net – Wednesday

  1. Dave Inman – 65
  2. Dan Hourihan – 67
  3. Harold Hoeg – 68

Low Net – Friday

  1. Gary Graham – 65
  2. Steve King and Kin Vlah – 66

We’ve passed the half-way point to the Inferno Cup  and Dave Inman sits atop the pile with 430 points. Jim Stamatis hangs on to second place with 400 points and the Commish, Dennis Kildare is tied with Jim Woods in third place with 380 points. Full standings are here.

Hansen Blew It!

Kurt Saulnier 20130726
Kurt Saulnier – Gross 67

After Wednesday’s round, Dave Inman was the honorary button man and pulled the trigger on the computer’s team pairing routine. He managed to put himself with players that lifted him into first place. Friday’s button pusher was long time Gainey Ranch member Tom Hansen. He exercised fine form when hitting the button, but the result was not what I was hoping for. After finishing in third place in the net group, Hansen’s button press moved me to close to the bottom of the list. Worse yet, he moved himself even lower on the list and he finished out of the point winners. Future honorary button men must do better.

Enough sour grapes. Who took advantage of our misfortune?

Woodsy! Jim Woods turned in his worst round in nearly a month, but ended up getting paired with Kurt Saulnier. Kurt was absolutely on fire carding a 34-33, 67 to lead the field in all categories. On the par 4 #3 Dunes, Saulnier hit drive and putter for an eagle two. He also eagled the par 5 #9 Dunes. His back nine wasn’t nearly as exciting. He put four birdies together with five pars for his 33. Saulnier ended up in first place in the Inferno Cup match, first place in the day-game, first place in the gross category, first place in the net category and he went home with two skins for his trouble.

Net Leaders

  1. Kurt Saulnier – 66
  2. Mike Nichols – 68
  3. Howard Jones – 69

Gross Leaders

  1. Kurt Saulnier – 67
  2. Bryan Noonan – 73
  3. Mike Nichols – 77

Dave Inman remains on top of the Inferno Cup leader board with 390 points. Jim Woods’ great performance (or was it Hansen’s great performance?) vaulted him past Dennis Kildare into second place ten back of Inman. Dennis Kildare and Jim Stamatis are tied with 360 points each.

Friday’s skins winners were Kurt Saulnier (2), Scott Thompson (2), Bryan Noonan, Mike Nichols and Jim Stamatis. And for those keeping track, yes, Howard Jones added to his birdie totals and still hasn’t earned a single skin. That’s 15 birdies without a skin. Where’s the complaint department?

July 17th at the Scene of the Crime

Dave Inman at the top
Dave Inman at the top

It looks real suspicious! Wednesday’s field fought for Inferno Cup points with what is proving to be a very popular format. Playing partners are determined by pairing those with similar handicaps in the same groups. Actual teams are not determined until after the round is complete. Team pairings are done by the computer and each team is comprised of an “A”, “B” and “C” player. When teeing off, the only thing you know for certain is that you will not be paired with anyone in your playing group. They are the enemy.

The trick then is to play well yourself and hope for the best computer draw. With that said, consider Wednesday’s results. Dave Inman put a little distance between him and second place Dennis Kildare. Inman fired a 73 and his team finished in first place. He now sits atop the Cup standings with 390 points. Kildare’s in second with 350 and Jim Woods is on his heals with 340 points. Full Cup standings here.

Now here’s the catch – a suspicious catch indeed. The teams are set in the Member’s Grill following the round. It’s all done with the touch of a button on the computer. For the first time, one of the golfers asked if he could hit the button to build the teams. “Why not?” I said. I stood back and watched as the button was pressed and the teams instantly came to the screen with the team of Dave Inman, George Stelmach and Evan Carr solidly on top of the field. And who was it that hit the button? You guessed it; Dave Inman. It looks strangely diabolical doesn’t it?

Nonetheless, there were some solid golf rounds turned in with Bryan Noonan leading the field with a 68.

Low Gross

  1. Bryan Noonan – 68
  2. Dave Inman – 73
  3. Scott Thompson – 76

Low Net

  1. Dave Inman – 65
  2. Howard Jones – 66
  3. Bryan Noonan – 67

There were seven skins on the day. Nate Sanders continues his march toward the upper income brackets taking net skins on #8 Dunes and #2 Arroyo. Evan Carr also took a pair of skins with a gross birdie on #5 Dunes and a net birdie on #6 Arroyo. Sanders and Carr were kind enough to leave crumbs in the form of a skin each to Scott Thompson (birdie #8 Arroyo), Joel Temple (birdie #9 Arroyo) and Bryan Noonan (birdie #7 Dunes).

In the sour grapes department, Howard Jones has now played ten rounds in the two months since knee replacement. In those ten rounds, he has carded 14 gross birdies. Those 14 birdies have net him a grand total of zero skins. I’m beginning to believe life may not be fair.

The Race for the Inferno Cup Journies to Whack City

Haboob Hunts Gainey Ranch
Haboob Hunts Gainey Ranch

Following the bizarre round Friday, the standings in the race for the Inferno Cup find the Commissioner, Dennis Kildare himself, on top of the leaderboard with 350 points. On his heals like a carelessly discarded chew of bubble-gum are Dave Inman and Jim Woods with 340 points. Jim Stamatis and Mike Wentrup are lurking at the 300 point mark while Tom Hansen and Steve King are tiptoeing up the list with 290 points.

It’s interesting to note that if all Cup participants had played in the same number of events as has Commission Kildare and had maintained their points per round average, here would be the standings.

1. Nate Sanders – 442 (currently 15th)
2. Jim Stamatis – 433 (currently 6th)
3. Mike Nichols – 408 (currently 10th)
4. Dave Inman – 402 (currently 2nd)
5. Steve King and Bruce Partridge – 390 (5th and 18th respectively)

Our current leader, Dennis Kildare would be in tenth place. More play means better pay.

Our match Wednesday was a spirited affair with the team of Jim Gabriel, Jim Stamatis and Dennis Kildare just edging Tom Hansen, Dave Inman and Jim Woods. Score card errors and rule misinterpretations added some spice to the after-golf exchanges in the Member’s Grill.

To clarify one rule that spawned some controversy, note that the same player may not win both a gross and a net skin on the same hole. Hence, if a player with a stroke birdies a hole and the birdie stands up for a gross skin, he does not win both gross and net skins on the hole even though a gross win with a stroke all but guarantees him low net as well. However, just because a player has won the gross skin on the hole does NOT mean he is removed from the net skin competition on the hole; it simply means he may not collect the money.

In way of example, Player “A” birdies #2 Lakes. Player “A” did not get a stroke. He had a net and a gross birdie. Player “B” pars #2 Lakes and does get a stroke. His gross par obviously doesn’t win or even tie for a gross skin. However, Player “B” argues that after Player “A” won the gross skin with a birdie, his ball shouldn’t count in the determination of the net skins and that Player “B” should receive that skin. Perhaps the rule could be better stated by saying a player may not be “paid” for two skins on the same hole. Regardless, the intent was clear. Player “A”’s ball stays in the mix in determining net skins and therefore may cancel another net birdie even though he won (and was paid for) the gross skin. Winning the gross skin does not take a player’s ball out of the competition; it just means he doesn’t get double-paid.

Nonetheless, Wednesday’s match found nine skins paid. Three skins went to Scott Thompson. One each went to Ken Vlah, Dave Inman, Jim Stamatis, Mike Wentrup, Nate Sanders and Jim Gabriel.

Friday’s match was a wild one punctuated with plenty of excitement. Individual net formats always produce their share of excitement. But just in case there wasn’t enough, we threw in a good old fashioned haboob followed by a rain shower. When the dust storm hit, most golfers made a beeline to the Member’s Grill to wait it out and rinse their dust parched mouths with cleansing elixirs. Nearly an hour later, we were back on the course heading for the finish line. The rain was hard enough to wet us down and cool us off, but not so hard we couldn’t finish the round. It was actually quite refreshing even if it did drive scores up a bit with wet greens.

Tom Hansen came out on top for the day firing a net 67. Howard Jones, coming back from surgery, finished in second place with a 69. Steve King edged out Jim Woods and Ron Dobkin via scorecard playoff for third place at even par 72. Dave Inman garnered two skins. Wentrup, Woods and Dobkin ran with one a piece.

July 5th – What Happened to the Dry Heat?

Bryan Noonan Member-Member
Bryan Noonan lights it up

In a spirited match Friday, temperatures were up as was the humidity. Midwesterners may scoff, but we had to endure humidity of nearly 20%. It seems to have made some of the guys a bit crotchety, but it was a dry crotchety. And like all weather patterns, this one will blow over and the sun will shine again.

Club Champion Bryan Noonan was on fire and carded a 68 to take low gross honors. Dave Inman and Eric Nielsen tied for second place with 74. Inman’s net 66 captured low net with Dennis Kildare and Bryan Noonan a stroke back in second.

It was a real dog-fight for the top spot in the team game. Mike Forde, Dennis Kildare, Mike Nichols and Eric Nielsen finished on top with the team of Steve King, Bryan Noonan, Ken Vlah and Jim Woods breathing down the necks.

Nine players divided skins money with Noonan claiming three. Mike Wentrup went home with two. Scott Thomson, Dave Inman, Steve King and Loren Molever each captured a skin a piece.

Dennis Kildare and Dave Inman share the Inferno Cup top spot. Mike Wentrup and Jim Woods lurk close behind.

Inferno Cup – A Change at the Top

Jim Gabriel dancing on the green

After the July 3rd match, we have new leaders in the race for the cup. Dave Inman has moved into first place with 270 points while Dennis Kildare leap-frogged the leaders to move into a tie with Mike Wentrup for second place with 250 points.

Inman and Kildare rode a horse named Gabriel to get into the lead finishing on the first place team along with Steve King. Jimmy Gabriel carded a net 63 and ran away from the field. His closest competitor in the net division was Joel Temple, six strokes behind. Gabriel had net birdies on holes 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14 and a net eagle on 16 (#8 Lakes). That’s a net hole-in-one.  Gabriel was pleased to buy net drinks for everyone in the Member’s Grill. (A “net” drink is free after the recipient pays for it.)

Joel Temple took low gross honors with a 77. Kurt Saulnier was one stroke back. Harold Hoeg finished two strokes behind. Gross score results.

Skins were worth $50 each and went to Harold Hoeg, Mike Wentrup, Scott Hull, Dave Inman, Jim Gabriel, Jim Woods and Nate Sanders. The skin earned by Sanders, a net two on #3 Lakes, was very noteworthy. His gross score was so high that the scorekeeper went through two pencils writing multi-digit numbers and “X”s, yet he went home with a profit. I’m averaging more than a gross birdie per round in my half dozen rounds since my return from surgery, yet I haven’t won a single skin. Sour grapes? Yes, and they’re fermenting.

Go Ahead – Look Behind the Curtain

Here’s a little web site trick for those interested in digging up data for matches past. You can retrieve actual score information, match and skin results and Inferno Cup standings on a given day by typing a key phrase in your web browser’s address line. Let’s assume you want to see the scores that were posted on the first day of the Inferno Cup competition, i.e. May 31, 2013.

Type the following into your web browser’s address line:

In the same manner, you can retrieve the actual match results for that day’s competition:

To call up listings of the scores for a given date, type: or

By now, you’ve got the trick. In each case, type in the web site domain name, i.e.,, followed by the name of the report you want (Match, GrossScores, NetScores or InfernoCupStandings). Follow that with the date the match was played (expressed as a four digit year, two digit month and two digit day). Finally tag it with “.html”. Hit the search key and the information is at your disposal.

In many cases, you can find historical data from long before the kick-off of the Inferno Cup, however, NetScores and GrossScores were replaced with simply “Scores”.

See you on the tee box.