Discoveries in the Laboratory of the Inferno Cup

Mad ScientistAfter an immensely successful Inferno Cup season, we reflect on our successes and our failures. When you coordinate nearly a thousand rounds of golf, only the severely delusional would expect perfection. However, in retrospect, we couldn’t have asked for a much higher level of success. Forty-seven golfers endured the heat of summer, monsoon rains, course closures, greens that rolled as true as a basketball bouncing in a mine field, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday play and a seemingly endless array of games and match formats – some tried and true, others on the cutting edge and experimental. Despite a few secret expressions of frustration (which were soon forgotten) by the event organizers, how much smoother could a fifty-three round tournament with four dozen golfers have run? We’re proud and pleased with its success. But to make the next Inferno Cup event even more successful, we’re looking back on what could be improved. We’ll keep you posted on what we’ll propose for future improvements. We already know of some that will appeal to nearly everyone.

Discovery Number One – The USGA Handicap System Works, But Only If You Let It.

After spending four years at Gainey Ranch Golf Club, I’ve heard every manner of bitching imaginable when it comes to handicaps. This guy’s cheating; that guy’s cheating. He always wins; I never win. After serving on the Handicap Committee for a couple of years, I discovered that much of the complaining was justified. However, I also learned most golfers truly don’t understand more than about half of the USGA Handicap System. I actually discovered that most of the Handicap Committee members didn’t (and still don’t) fully understand the Handicap System. As much as they pound their chests and boast about what they think they know, the reality is the system has not been properly implemented and applied in recent years. Continue reading “Discoveries in the Laboratory of the Inferno Cup”

The Inferno Cup’s Beautiful Ending

King BaileyIt was a storybook ending. The young prince slayed all the dragons and ascended to the throne. Bailey Ogrin added another jewel to his golfing crown by winning the 2014 Inferno Cup. He came into the final day with a comfortable lead, but he didn’t let up on the field. He and his partner on the day, Anthony Arvidson, blistered the course to win the day’s event and earn another 340 points toward his crown. Ogrin carded two eagles in route to a nearly flawless 66. Arvidson did his share by shooting a 67. Together they put on a golfing display that will long be remembered. Bailey is a true gentleman and no one is a more fitting and deserving champion.

The other top eight finishers collected their envelopes after a wonderful season ending meal. Chef Jeff again proved his championship standing.

The other money winners finished in the top three in the “average points per event played” category. Anthony Arvidson finished in third place with 140.3 points per event. Skyler Irvine took second place with 142.8 points per event. He was unable to attend the banquet and seemed stunned with his win when I ran into him at The Coffee Bean this morning and shared the good news. The $500 first place went to Matt Bintzler with an average of 147.9 points per event. Continue reading “The Inferno Cup’s Beautiful Ending”

Inferno Cup – Tee Minus One

Heard on the Course
Heard on the course – Broadrick goes low.

Jason Sample and Sandy Wiener teamed up to win the penultimate Inferno Cup match of the 2014 season. Both made significant moves in the Inferno Cup standings. Sample moved from 6th position into 4th spot with the final match remaining Friday. The move was worth $200 additional prize money. With a win on Friday, Sample could move into third place for another $200 gain. However, Scott Hull and Mike Nichols have no intention of losing to Sample in the final match. They’re right on his heels well within striking distance. Each is less than 100 points behind. Wiener’s victory moved him up five places into 33rd position. If anything, it cost him money. It moved him up far enough to lose one lottery ticket at the awards party Friday evening.

The performance of the day belonged to Heard Broadrick. Broadrick carded a net 69 and left the house with a second place finish and a pair of well-paid skins for his efforts. The players applauded Heard louder than Heard smiled as he collected the cash. Continue reading “Inferno Cup – Tee Minus One”

The End Time Cometh . . .

crystal-ballWith only two rounds left in the 2014 Inferno Cup and with over six thousand dollars in cash and prizes on the line, not one of the forty-seven competitors is out of the running. The awards fall into one of three categories – cash, more cash and merchandise. The top eight finishers go home with a pocket full of prize money. First place walks with $1,200.00. The second money race involves the highest average number of points won per event played. There is a five event minimum for these awards. In the merchandise category, our sponsor, Van’s Golf Shops, has generously contributed golf clothing, equipment and supplies. Here’s how the three categories are stacking up with only two events left to play.

First PlaceBailey Ogrin has a good grip on first place, but Howard Jones can overtake him with strong performances on Wednesday and Friday. Ogrin is 219 points ahead of Jones. Jones’ current “threshold” is 120 points. In other words, Jones must win more than 120 points in an event before his point total can increase. The number of points available in any given match is a function of the number of players and the team size. But it’s reasonable to conclude that it will take a first or second place finish for Jones to earn points. If Jones wins Wednesday and Friday while Ogrin finishes less than first, Jones wins the title. If Jones finishes first and second, the race is too tight to call. As it currently stands, Ogrin is not scheduled to play Wednesday; Friday will be his only chance to pad his totals and with his current threshold at 181 points, it will probably take a first place finish to do that. Game on! Continue reading “The End Time Cometh . . .”

Into the Home Stretch

Jason Sample - this close to the top
Jason Sample – this close to the top

It’s been an interesting, competitive and exciting week for the Inferno Cup. On Wednesday the 17th, twenty golfers limbered up and were ready to tee it up. In came the rains. Hurricane remnants plummeted the course and twenty plus golf carts raced for the cart-barn. When it became apparent the wait to play could be somewhat lengthy, the pugilists left their carts and convened in the Member’s Grill. An hour and a half later, only the most tenacious golfers remained. Forty-percent of the field had retreated to the comforts of home. Continue reading “Into the Home Stretch”

Swan Song

Tom Swan takes the top spot
Tom Swan takes the top spot

Tom Swan caught fire Saturday and shot a fine 74 to top the field of Inferno Cup competitors. He was steady with fourteen pars, three bogeys and a birdie to earn 326.6 points and jumped seven places in the standings. With five matches remaining, Swan has moved into contention for the money spots.

The golfers played a modified Stableford on the Arroyo/Lakes course. Bill Petsas fell one point short of Swan. Loren Molever finished third. Continue reading “Swan Song”

Hot Time in the Old Town

Mike Forde played the 3-pars well when it counted
Mike Forde played the 3-pars well when it counted

Mike Forde and Anthony Arvidson teamed up to take first place in Friday’s Inferno Cup match. With the victory, Forde and Arvidson picked up more than 300 points and made significant moves in the standings. With six events remaining, two 300 point victories could move any one of ten golfers into the money. And thanks to Van’s Golf Shops, everyone in attendance at the season end event has a chance to go home with some booty.

In addition to the winners in the points totals, three competitors will split nearly a thousand dollars for the highest average point totals per round played. The golfer must have a minimum of five rounds to qualify for the prizes and that race is turning into an interesting one indeed. Rich McGee is currently in the lead with an average of 168.2 points per event, but he needs to play in three more to qualify. He has six chances remaining. Matt Bintzler sits in second place with 154.3 points per event in sixteen tries. Anthony Arvidson is in third place with 152.3 points per event. Continue reading “Hot Time in the Old Town”

T Minus Seven and Counting

Anthony Arvidson fires a 69
Anthony Arvidson fires a 69

Mike Forde, Jason Sample and Sandy Wiener all carded net scores of 68 Wednesday to capture low net honors. Anthony Arvidson won low gross. In the Inferno Cup team game, Arvidson and Rich McGee paired to capture first place by three strokes over Sandy Wiener and Kris Rosser. Skins were plentiful with a dozen holes donating a skin to the field. There was some movement in the standings for the Inferno Cup competition, but the top five contenders maintained their positions.

There are seven Inferno Cup matches remaining before the champion is crowned. Continue reading “T Minus Seven and Counting”

Big Bust – Bailey Goes Boom – Boy Balloons Badly

Club Champion Bailey Ogrin followed his scorching 67 of Friday with a disappointing 68 on Saturday. He bogeyed two of the easiest holes on the course including #2 Lakes and only had four birdies and an eagle to offset them. Out of poor Bailey’s last six rounds, five have been in the sixties. He has had thirty-two birdies and three eagles in that stretch. To put that in perspective, it is exactly the same number of sub-par holes as Jim Gabriel has had in his last one hundred seventeen rounds dating back to June 1, 2012.

Rickie Currens cards a net 63
Rickie Currens cards a net 63

Despite his outstanding performance, Bailey lost Saturday’s round by five strokes to Rickie Currens. Currens fired a net 63 to capture first place in the Inferno Cup competition and pick up 326.1 points moving him from 24th into 16th place in the standings. Rickie is now in the thick of the race and has a legitimate crack at climbing into the money, but he’ll have to play an extra round or two to gain the points needed to get there. Ogrin did take second place and strengthened his grip on the lead for the Inferno Cup title. Patrick Sheehan edged Matt Bintzler by a stroke to hold on to third place.

Low Net

  1. Rickie Currens – 63
  2. Bailey Ogrin – 66
  3. Patrick Sheehan – 71

Low Gross

  1. Bailey Ogrin – 68
  2. Kris Rosser and Mike Nichols – 78

It appears the great putt giveaway of last week came to an end this week. Scores were back into the realistic range with the average gross running at 85. This is pretty close to where the laws of statistics say scores should fall. It appears only “legitimate gimmies” were awarded. Is there such a thing?

vans-logoOnly eight rounds to go and still two dozen golfers with a good chance for the money. And thanks to our sponsor, Van’s Golf Shops, everybody has a chance for some great prizes.

Regime Change in the Inferno Cup

BaileyBailey Ogrin was sitting in first place in the Inferno Cup Standings on July 25th. Howard Jones took over the top spot in the next round and held on to it for six weeks. As of this Friday evening, Bailey Ogrin is once again on top of the heap. He fired another gross 67 to take first place in the day game along with his partners, Jim Funk and Tom Hansen. They edged Kris Rosser, Scott Hull and Pat Collins by a single stroke. Bailey’s torrid 67 included seven birdies and two bogeys. He rounded the turn with a 32 on the Arroyo course and finished with a 35 on the Lakes side. Other notable rounds on the day included a two under par 70 by Kris Rosser and a net 66 for Ken Vlah.

Low Gross

  1. Bailey Ogrin – 67
  2. Kris Rosser – 70
  3. Tom Swan – 77

Low Net

  1. Bailey Ogrin – 65
  2. Kris Rosser and Ken Vlah – 66

Toughest hole on the day? The par four #1 Arroyo – average of 5.3 strokes per player. Easiest hole on the day? #18 (#9 Lakes) – averaged under par (4.95 strokes per player). It gave up 14 birdies and an eagle.

There are a total of nine Inferno Cup events left in the season. There are still two dozen players that have a realistic chance of finishing in the money. A handful of those players have yet to reach the fourteen round quota; those players get full credit for any points earned in their matches until they exceed their quota. Pat Sheehan, Tom Swan, Gary Graham, Skyler Irvine and Rick Hurula all stand to gain handsomely with each successive match until they hit fourteen total. More than a dozen players are clumped together in the thick of the fight where every point will count. Only about 500 points currently separate sixth place from sixteenth place. One win can earn a golfer over 300 points. The more of the remaining nine matches you play, the better your chances of clawing your way into the money. It’s almost a certainty that it will come down to the last match.

Understanding your “threshold”: Remember that only your top fourteen point totals count toward the championship. That could mean you win an event and pick up 300 points, but with only 200 points counting toward your total. In way of example, assume you’ve played twenty matches, but the fourteenth highest point win was 100 points. When you win 300, it knocks the fourteenth highest point total into fifteenth position and off your list. You pick up 300, lose 100 and net 200. For those wishing to see their point threshold as of September 5th, click here and scroll down to find your detailed record.