Friday’s golf was as bad as Wednesday’s golf was good. They lit it up on the Ambiente course Wednesday, but it was the heart of the dark ages on the Padre course Friday. We needed one blind draw, but nearly everyone tried out for the part playing and putting as if blindfolded. The average score was more than six strokes higher than the previous match’s average. For those who believe Padre is easier than Ambiente, think again!
Nonetheless, it was a great day for a walk. Here are some of the people I found in my meanderings. It was great to see one golfer get off the injured reserve list. Pat Collins played his first round in more than three months. Welcome back.
As usual, a click on an image enlarges it and puts you in the slide show mode.
Some great golf yesterday! Jack Summers carded a gross 79 and wasn’t within ten strokes of the lead! Chip Nelson shot a strong 68 (isn’t that redundant?) while Hans Birkholz and Mike Smothermon each recorded 75s. Lee Mitchell was right on their heels with a 78.
But the round of the day was turned in by Ron Dobkin who fired a net 63 to take low net honors (and a lot of money). That should come as no surprise when considering that his partner, Hans Birkholz, turned in a net 64.
The day was punctuated with Mark Van Ark’s gross eagle on the par four fifth hole and Mike Smothermon’s gross eagle on the par five seventh hole. Lee Mitchell came close to negating Smothermon’s eagle, but his putt couldn’t quite find the bottom of the hole.
The shot of the day came from Dobkin who was in golf hell far to the right of the eighth green. He hit his second shot rather “thin” (that’s today’s understatement) and it rocketed across the green at head-height like it had been fired from a missile launcher. Before taking out the patio door on a house by the course, it hit a golf bag near the cart path high above the green. The ball bounced off the bag and began a circuitous route toward the green. It arrived on the green, began a sweeping break and rolled steadily toward the hole. It rolled to a stop at “tap-in” distance, but didn’t fall for birdie. Some guys just can’t catch a break.
Not everyone had such good fortune. Mike Allison’s approach shot on the fourteenth hole narrowly missed the pin… and the green… and the fairway… and the rough… and the golf course. The picture shown here is his attempt to extricate the ball from the outback. I’ve titled it “Allison in Blunderland”. There are many additional pictures for your viewing pleasure shown below.
(Click on any photo to enlarge into “Slide Show” mode.)
Those of you that have weighed in on the conundrum of slow play will be pleased to know we’ve settled on the recommended solution. It’s a hybrid of one of the survey choices and a proposal submitted by one of our more creative golfers. This innovative solution is the synergistic product of the collective mind of our golf group not unlike the “invisible hand” of Adam Smith’s capitalism. As you’ll see, it’s also rather Darwinist in both its application and effect.
Survey responses were nearly evenly divided between assessing penalty strokes to the offending group’s players and creating a public rating system for golfer’s pace-of-play history. I have invested a significant amount of time creating a computer generated “Pace-of-Play Ranking” system. Rankings will periodically be posted to the “Match Sign-Ups” page. I’ll be happy to share the mathematics behind the rankings upon request, but suffice it to say, they will become more accurate as system familiarity increases.
The chosen solution to the slow play problem is to use the rankings to choose the players that will be put in the lead groups. The players in the group behind them will be obligated to hit into them whenever there is an open hole in front of the lead group. Golfers in the lead group will be obligated to wear clothing color-coded to reflect their standings in the ranking system. “Slow” players must wear yellow while “very slow” players will wear “red”. “Extremely slow” players will wear black.
Players in the following group will get points for actually hitting the designated slow players. Points awarded will be higher for striking the players wearing darker colors. The points then may be used to discard the number of holes on their scorecards corresponding to the number of points earned.
The feeling is that this will provide slow golfers an incentive to pick up the pace in order to survive. This will be known as the “Adam Smith Effect”. It will also make the overall golf group collectively faster as the slower golfers are culled from the herd. This shall be known as the “Darwin Effect”.
You may see some of our slower golfers wearing helmets rather than traditional golf hats. You may also see them hitting the ball and moving faster.
I’d like to thank David Allen for his work on bringing this excellent free-market solution to the fore. I’d also like to thank all of you for playing faster, limiting your search times (when you’re not pushing the group in front of you) to the 2019 Rules mandate of three minutes.
I’d also like to thank everyone for chanting the mantra … “Just hit the damn ball”.