The Final Post

The following has been sent not only to all regular readers of my blog but to those who play regularly in Chiang Rai as well because I think you should all know. This is a one-time only email and I won’t be sending anything similar to you again.  It is also the very last posting on this blog.– Leo

Full Circle?

Back at the end of 2014 there were 8 Santiburi members. Those members that preferred a golf group went to play with CRAPS at Happy City or Waterford although CRAPS did play occasionally at Santiburi. Those that had bought their Santiburi memberships usually played in a group of 2 to 4 people at Santiburi on days when CRAPS wasn’t playing.

At the beginning of 2015 the 8 members got together and formed SMAF. They realized that it was in everyone’s best interest for all to play together about 3 times a week. I started maintaining the handicaps for the group. Shortly after the group started we took a road trip together which assisted in the unifying process. Having been in 3 golf groups that had imploded over the past 15 years I suggested that we put a little bit of structure in place to deal with any possible conflicts. I put together the “Code of Conduct” which was discussed and agreed to by all members. An email “An Invitation to Play Golf” was sent out to the entire golf community informing them of what we were up to and letting them know that they could play with us at any time.

A year later a local golfer (a non-member) mentioned to me that “SMAF was crumbling” because a founding member had left the group. I discussed this conversation with the group and we all agreed on the email that was sent to the golfer. We informed him that SMAF was not crumbling and we were playing as many rounds and had as many members as in the first year. We asked him to get his information straight before making public negative comments about our group.

Each year when Santiburi was crowded we continued to make our annual road trip to Mae Moh where we competed for the “Cockhead Trophy”. We invited the entire Chiang Rai golf community to join us for this event. Last year was again very successful and all had a good time. We believed in “Strength in Numbers”.

At that time it was UNTHINKABLE that:

-One member could flat-out refuse to play with another member. He wasn’t able to keep his personal disputes away from the golf course.

-The Code of Conduct was scrapped. “It is just a guideline”. This meant conflicts were not resolved.

-Two members could decide without consulting the others that they were changing the handicap system.

-Several members would not attend a city-wide competition that was partly organized by one of their members.

-The blog master would use the member’s blog to discredit another member without first discussing the issue with that member together with the group.

-A few members preferred not to support the group and would play at a different time of day.

All of the above was UNTHINKABLE but did happen this past year.

Of the 8 original members only Andrew and Marc are still playing regularly with SMAF. The following were once members: Brian J, Charchy, Graham, Joe, Jockey John, Josh, Leo, Merv, and Stacy. You can add 0Points to the list as I believe his membership also expired.

Who are still members that play competitively?

Permanent residents (6): Andrew, Bruce G, Jim, John P, Les, Marc, Garry

Another one bites the dust update (Mar 11/19)– I am told Andrew has left Thailand and sold his membership to Garry.

Part time residents (3): Darryl, Egbert, Peter

Non competing members (2) : Doc (seasonal), Tommy

Rarely if ever participating (4): Bruce K, Steve, Paul, Young

Friends (of the 11 listed on their blog) : (2) Colin and Ralph might combine for a total of 30 rounds, the (9) others might combine for very few rounds perhaps about five.

As I have shown on recent postings the participation numbers are way down from last year where there were 16 members playing together. For a few membership at Santiburi is a good value. For most others it isn’t worth putting up with the constant maintenance or playing with a group that no longer claims “all are always welcome.” If it isn’t fun, friendly or fair why would anyone want to join?

SMAF is crumbling! I don’t think I will get an email telling me to get my facts straight. I foresee in the future that the group will have gone the full circle and will once again be just 2 – 4 people playing on their own.

Update June 5/19 :   It is now one month since anything was posted on the “official” SMAF blog.   There hasn’t been a Santiburi score recorded on Birdie by a member since May 18th.   A grand total of 3 members entered a combined total of 11 rounds at Santiburi during May.  

Cheaters

(About tab) on this blog says “We recognize that we are not all experts on the Rules of Golf and that occasionally someone will inadvertently break a rule. As we are a friendly group we are inclined to not make an issue out of someone unknowingly violating a rule. If the majority of those present feel the rule violation could have made a difference then the penalty according to the Rules of Golf is applied. Outright cheating is defined as knowingly breaking the rules with the intention of getting an unfair gain. Outright cheaters will be told not to compete with us again.

I certainly have no problem looking the other way when 20+ handicappers make minor rule infractions. With many minor rule infractions it isn’t going to make a difference anyway. By all means “keep it friendly”. For some reason when the members created the “new” blog they chose to omit the last sentence about cheaters being told not to come back. Perhaps everyone is not aware that there have been at least 2 instances of someone pulling a Goldfinger in the past 10 years.

I have come to believe few if any members have actually read the USGA handicap manual. (here) For that matter I am certain that the majority of the members don’t understand handicaps or the importance for following the rules.

From the handicap manual:

Two basic premises underlie the USGA Handicap Systemnamely that each player will try to make the best score at every hole in every round, regardless of where the round is played, and that the player will post every acceptable round for peer review. The player and the player’s Handicap Committee have joint responsibility for adhering to these premises.

An essential element of the USGA Handicap System is the Handicap Committee. Every golf club utilizing the USGA Handicap System must have a Handicap Committee to ensure the integrity of the USGA Handicap SystemThe Handicap Committee sees that scores are posted, all elements of the USGA Handicap System are followed, and the integrity of each Handicap Index issued is maintained.

Adjusted gross scores from all courses with a USGA Course Rating and Slope Rating made during an active season, both at home and away, must be posted by the player.

I don’t think the last sentence is at all ambiguous. You have to post all your scores. It is the rule and if you break the rule you are cheating. Those that don’t post poor scores and would rather lose money than play with higher handicaps are just as guilty. Perhaps spending the money at the driving range or taking golf lessons would be a better alternative. Earn the right to play with a lower handicap!

Those that aren’t posting all their scores and playing with handicaps that are higher than they should are outright cheaters. Playing with an extra stroke or two in a skins game is a huge advantage. To those that say “we are only playing for a small amount of money so who cares”, I say playing with people who cheat to win is unacceptable and the lower the amount of money the more contemptible it is.

To the member that thinks that shouting loudly makes you correct – “We don’t care about handicaps”. Handicaps are part of the rules which makes the game fair for all. Saying that you don’t care about the handicaps (which would include) manipulation is the same as saying that you don’t care if someone kicks his ball away from a tree. Someone playing off a handicap that is one higher than it should be is the same as giving someone a free kick. What’s next? “We don’t care about free kicks”.

Community Cup

The first Community Cup came about because other than the Canada Cup and the (then)  new Tony G Competition there weren’t any other community events.   You had to be a CRAPS member to play in the “Championship”, Captain’s Cup and Bernie Memorial.   I suggested to 0Points that he sponsor a competition and suggested the name “Community Cup” where similar to the Canada Cup all were welcome to play.

Last year 0Points had said there would be a 200 baht competition fee for the Community Cup.   Recognizing that the price at Santiburi for some might be a bit much I told 0Points that I would pay the competition fee for all.  It was 24 golfers –a total of 4800 baht.   I did it because I have always believed in the concept of community competitions where all should play a round of golf forgetting their differences for a day.   It didn’t matter to me that I was unable to participate and it didn’t matter to me that I was paying for some that I find extremely disrespectful.   To me it was for the good of the community.

Just over 3 months later I was one of the organizers for the Canada Cup at Happy City – the longest running community event in Chiang Rai.   0Points did donate 1000 baht but played with 6 other Santiburi members at Santiburi on the same day.   They boycotted the Canada Cup as they were unable to put away personal differences for a day.

Chiang Rai Golfers organized the Captain’s Cup in November and the Annual Championship in January – both times only 5 Santiburi members showed up.  It seems hypocritical that they have a community event but don’t support the other community events.

I will be away again this year but this time I certainly don’t see the point in financially supporting the Community Cup.

Reviewing their blog

Their blog does not allow comments from those that have a different opinion from the blog writer. Their blog never mentioned why banning cheaters was removed from the Code of Conduct. Their blog never mentions that it is imperative that all scores be posted. Their blog claims the change of handicap system was for peer review – then they stopped posting scores because an independent peer review was being done. Their blog never said why they stopped posting scores. In other words, Their blog fails to mention that cheating is acceptable and they do their best to cover it up. I have asked numerous times why not follow the rules and do it correctly. This has never been addressed on their blog.

The only time that their blog did post something negative about a member was to accuse me of having  a stunning disregard of ethics and using despicable tactics like coercion and blackmail. What did I do that was so bad? I sent an email to 2 members insisting that the handicaps be done properly so there wouldn’t be any cheating.

Moving On

Many years ago a friend in his mid-50’s announced after shooting an 85 that he was giving up golf for good. We were shocked!! He was good fun on the course. His explanation was that when he was younger he was a scratch golfer and now he didn’t enjoy playing anymore, because he couldn’t play as well as he did in the past. He no longer had the ambition to work on his game so he gave up. I didn’t understand the reasoning at the time but now, I do get it.

I have played Santiburi about 1500 times and have had 4 hole-in ones there – so, what motivation do I have to play Santiburi again? The other Chiang Rai courses have combined to amount to more than 100 rounds, and I estimate that I have played with over 150 different people on Chiang Rai courses over the past 12 years.
Before my back problems I was doing the majority of the work for SMAF. Golf became a job, rather than something I really enjoyed and I was losing interest. After my back problems (about 18 months ago) golf still wasn’t fun because my game wasn’t what it was. The conflicts with other members didn’t help either. I nearly quit SMAF in February, I did quit in March, was talked into coming back in May, only to leave when my membership expired in August. I haven’t quit golfing but I no longer take it seriously and now prefer a very informal round with those who want to play with me. I will continue to play with Chiang Rai Golfers as and when, and obviously will continue to support the major local competitions.  Soon I will going on a road trip to play a few of the many courses in Thailand that I haven’t played (or don’t remember playing) before.  Anyone that wishes that I join them on any local courses or a road trip only need to contact me and I will do so occasionally.

In other words, anything different appeals to me. Playing the same courses, with the same very few people over and over again doesn’t interest me at all.

As always comments both favourable and unfavourable are welcome and never deleted.

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Where Have All The Members Gone?

It never happened before but there was 17 days between SMAF events.  Their blog report says:  “Only 3 (unnamed) people showed up today.   The past few golf days have seen only a few of us making it to the course for various reasons.”  During the 17 days there was also a report that 5 Santiburi members did show up at the Chiang Rai Golfers 2 day competition.

On Aug 6th I wrote:  “SMAF started out 3.5 years ago with just 8 members.  A couple of days ago there were 17, now 16.  As memberships come up for renewal members will have to decide if putting out 110,000 baht and committing for another 2 years is worth it.  Will they want to continue to deal with the excessive course maintenance, bogus handicaps, and the 5Points dictatorship?   Only time will tell.”

During the first 8 golf days in January 2018 and 2019 there was a decrease in participation of 26%.

First 8 days Jan 2018 Jan 2019
5Points 4 6
Andrew 1 3
Brian 5 0
Bruce 6 8
Darryl 5 1
Egbert 5 5
Graham 8 0
Jim 0 4
John P 0 6
Leo 7 0
Les 2 6
Marc 4 2
Paul 6 0
Peter 3 6
Steve 0 0
Young 6 0
Doc 6 1
Members 68 48
Friends 3 4
Totals 71 52

The members didn’t record 6 of the 52 rounds for handicap purposes.

It got much worse from there.  The CRG competition was at the end of January so it is understandable why there were no SMAF results for that period.  Last year there were considerably more than a total of 3 (unnamed) people who showed up for the first rounds in February .   Feb 1 (16), Feb 3 (9), and Feb 5 (14) – then the road trip to Lampang where there were 11 participants.

0Points, The Specialist in Failure, failed to address the unanswered questions before deserting.  Not once did he suggest sitting down with me, the members and himself to clear the air.   To do so might have meant he would actually have to admit he was wrong about some things.   It is far easier to go on the member’s blog and attack my credibility with vague statements stating that I “lost all perspective” than to meet face to face and deal with the facts.  It is comical that he would brag that he is blissfully unaware and claim that he was leaving SMAF in great shape.

Recently a SMAF member started yelling at me while I was enjoying a drink at a bar.   “Why do you bother with your blog – no one reads it?”   (Really?  If no one reads it then why do you care that I write it?)   “Member X” thinks you aren’t right in the brain”.   (Why would you say that in a bar?   If the member thinks there is a problem with my brain I would be happy to discuss it with him.)  “We don’t care about handicaps.”  (No kidding!  SMAF has gone so far as to stop recording scores on their blog, doing regular blog reports and even mentioning who was there.  They are doing their best to see that members aren’t caught manipulating their handicaps.  Why does SMAF have a blog if it doesn’t say who was there, what the scores were or even who won?

Since that evening in the bar the SMAF member has seen me twice only to call me a “piece of shit” and a “poo pusher”.   In neither case was I disrespectful to him.  I would suggest to all members that having a member behaving like this in public doesn’t make your group look fun and friendly.

A tour group recently came to town and was advised by someone (not me) that SMAF was not worth their time. The message has got out – SMAF is not fun, friendly or fair.  You can hardly call this a golf group when only 3 members (who prefer not to be named) are all that show up in perfect weather during peak season.  The disrespectful member is correct about one thing – this blog has become a waste of my time.  My last posting will appear in the near future.

For your amusement A very short cartoon clip.

Unanswered Questions

The following email was sent out a couple of days ago.  Oddly enough it hasn’t been mentioned on their blog.

Subject: 5pts Last Game

Hello

All Chiang Rai golfers, next Monday 21st Jan will be 5pts last game with the Santi members group before he returns to America. He is going to live in Florida and has already bought a house there and has sold his house here.

We are hoping that a few more people will turn out for this, we have a tee time 8.40am for 3 groups, there is nothing special planned at this stage but if sufficient numbers respond positively to this email then we may try to do something.  Also if we do get a big response then we may need more tee times.

If you want to come along please let me know by replying to this email.  Or perhaps you could just pop a long at lunchtime to say good bye to 5 pts.

If anyone has any ideas about what to do on Monday 21, then please suggest the idea.

5 pts has been a stalwart of the golf community in CR for the last 3 years or so, he has also promoted a competition known as the Community cup which we plan to have later this year on the day after the pro-tournament at Santi, it was a big success last year with Peter S winning. The exact date will be known once we know the date of the Singha CRai Masters comp, last year it was just before songkrang.

Regards

Bruce G

It was sent to 34 golfers but not me.  Perhaps there were worried if I did show up I might ask 0Points the following questions.

  1.  Why has the Members list on the Handicap page not been updated?  It contains one ghost as well as at least one whose membership has lapsed.   It might take as many as 20 seconds to update it.   It appears you are trying to make it look like you have more members than you actually have.  Why have the Friends listing at all?   Colin and Ralph are here for just a month or so and the others you will rarely see if at all.
  2. Why was it acceptable to print someone’s private (email) communication on the member’s blog without the sender’s permission?
  3. For the last 2 months of 2018 there were 17% fewer participants.  So far in January after 7 golf days there has been 32% fewer participants.   Over the years members have come and gone but the participation totals have always been steady or gone up.  Why do you say “I’m proud of our work, and I think we leave the group better than it was when we started.” ?   Why is fewer better?   Fewer suggests to me that  it is isn’t as fun, friendly, fair or welcoming as it was before?
  4. For the last 2 months of the year 24% of the scores weren’t recorded for handicap purposes.  So far in January 17% haven’t been recorded.   Why do you think this is better?   I know that you are proud of the fact that you are “blissfully unaware” but more than once I have suggested that SMAF have a handicap secretary (like most groups do) that records the scores for the entire group taking the responsibility from the individual.  It would drastically reduce errors and manipulation giving the handicaps more credibility.   Why hasn’t this been done?

Perhaps someone that does show up will ask 0Points, The Specialist in Failure those questions.

Do handicaps need to be correct?

To give this some context — remember these 2 statements by 0Points.

Most of us have scored 27 Stableford points on one day and 43 Stableford points on the next round.  When the range of likely scores is that wide, it becomes ridiculous to worry about whether a particular golfer’s handicap is 25.4, 24.8, or 23.4.  In technical terms, the “signal to noise” ratio is too great to fine tune the handicap to that level of detail.

and

The person who “dropped anchor” by avoiding getting 30 or over was well within his rights to do so.  Not a winning strategy long term.

I will refer to this golfer as “Tom” which is not his real name.   Tom was in my group at the city wide competition at Waterford last January 31st.   Tom is honest and someone that takes his golf very seriously.  We were one of the first groups finished and Tom handed in his score of net 72.   The scorekeepers (not the organizers) questioned his handicap.   Tom hadn’t been in Chiang Rai for about 2 or 3 years and didn’t have a local handicap.   After admitting that he didn’t have a verifiable handicap and confessing that he had 42 points a couple of days earlier the scorekeepers immediately cut his handicap and gave him a score of net 74.   The scorekeepers have a history with Tom so it wasn’t a surprise to me that they had done this even without discussing it first with the tournament organizers.  As it turned out someone did come in with a net 71 so Tom wasn’t screwed out of the win and wasn’t upset by it.   I brought this up with the organizers at a later date stating that it was wrong to cut someone after he handed in his score when it looked like he could be the winner.   It could have bit them in the butt.  There has been no point in mentioning this again UNTIL NOW.

The winner was someone that was recently referred to as a “serial trophy collector” (“STC”).  His handicap in November 2017 was 5 — Dec 6th it went up to 6 — Dec 30th up to 7 — and Jan 18th (just over a week before the tournament) it went up to 9.   He then played twice before the big competition.   Jan 27th (no skins game) and got 42 points.  Jan 29th (skins game) he got 38 points.  Why was Tom’s handicap cut for getting 42 points that week but not STC?   Do you think a handicap that went up 4 strokes in 20 rounds over 2 months didn’t make a difference to the competition’s results?

STC had a regular side bet going with 0Points.   If one of them failed to get 30 points the bet was cancelled saving the loser 100 baht.   For the 10 rounds preceding the Jan 18th handicap calculation STC failed to get 30 points in 5 of the rounds.  For the 5 of the 20 rounds preceding the city competition there wasn’t a skins game — his scores were 80, 77, 80, 80, 75 — no skins, no bad rounds.  As I see it STC’s handicap went up 4 strokes in 2 months because of the side bet and the skins game.  STC’s handicap at the tournament was certainly more dubious than Tom’s.  For the first 2 years I played with STC I was in charge of the handicaps.   I stuck his handicap on 6 and didn’t need to raise it — he was winning consistently. 

The point of this posting isn’t to dump on STC.   He played with the handicap that was assigned to him, played within the terms of the side bet and played within the terms of skins strategy.  0Points, SMAF’s Specialist in Failure, doesn’t believe in the need for accuracy and threw out oversight of the handicap rules.  That is the problem.

A year ago the handicaps were kept by one person and were reasonably accurate but certainly not legitimate.   The flaw was the side bet and the skins game where it is best if you don’t try to get your best possible score on every hole.  The side bet which encouraged poor scores was dropped last March.  However, skins is still played — not every round as before but probably often enough to affect handicaps.

Some SMAF scores are not recorded accurately and almost a quarter of the scores don’t get recorded at all.   It got so bad that SMAF now hides the scores.  I said before the Tony G competition — “Only honestly will repair the damage of SMAF’s credibility within the community.  You will probably find that some honesty for once will probably shut me up for good.”   Now one of your members was labelled (not by me) a “serial trophy collector”.

There are golfers that play in city competitions for the social aspect of it and don’t care about handicaps.   There are others that enjoy the competitive aspect and expect it to be fair.   I know there are 2 or 3 golfers that didn’t play in the Tony G competition simply because they knew they had no chance of winning.   I predicted the winner before the first ball was hit.  It was that obvious. 

Previously I have suggested that one person be responsible for recording everyone’s score as well as go back to posting all the scores.  It hasn’t been done and no one has said why it is unacceptable.  Why doesn’t SMAF do it right and give non-SMAF members like Tom a chance to win the competitions?

Changes made by SMAF in 2018

Prior to this past year there were few changes.   When someone suggested a change (for the better) it was discussed openly among as many members as possible.   The details of the discussion were put on the blog in an unbiased manner so all would know what is going on.  In 2018, SMAF became a dictatorship under the rule of 0Points with Graham’s assistance.   “We do the work, we make the rules.”  Group discussions became a thing of the past and often the changes were hidden from view.   Here is a list of some of the changes.

January 2018:   Showing due respect to all Santiburi Members present at the golf course was no longer necessary.   Members are now allowed to refuse to play with any other member for any reason no matter how trivial.

March 2018:  “Anchor Dropping” is an acceptable practice.  If you can’t win a hole in the skins game it makes sense to wipe the hole.

The “new” Santiburi Members blog was created giving the dictatorship the right to only accept comments from those that agree with the dictator’s views.   The old blog that they abandoned was given to me to “do whatever I want with it”.

Cheating is no longer condemned.  The following was removed from the About/Code of Conduct — “Outright cheating is defined as knowingly breaking the rules with the intention of getting an unfair gain.  Outright cheaters will be told not to compete with us again.”

June 2018:  BIRDIE handicaps were introduced even though at first BIRDIE wasn’t calculating the handicaps correctly.

The dictatorship chose to use the member’s blog to publicly discredit another member after they were warned that the membership was going to be made aware of the discrepancies in the handicaps.

July 2018:   For the first time ever, SMAF didn’t mention a city wide competition in the coming events.   Seven members even made a point of boycotting the competition.   The dictator had previously written that he preferred not to play with any douchebags.

November 2018:   The member’s blog no longer posts all the scores (or money won/lost) in an effort to prevent peer review.   This opened the door for handicap manipulation to get much worse.   No one knows what the correct handicaps are.

0Points announces that he is resigning as the dictator and on the member’s blog publishes an attack on a former member.

Self promoting 0Points says:  “I think we (he and Graham) leave the group better than it was when we started.”

Really???

From Nov 1 – Dec 31 members failed to record 24% of their scores.   A couple of members handicaps are a figment of their imagination.

Rounds played by Santiburi Members and Friends Nov 1 – Dec 31, 2017 :   236

Rounds played by Santiburi Members and Friends Nov 1  – Dec 31, 2018  :  196

The last 2 months show a participation drop of 17%.

Number of non-members that showed up to play during the Santiburi New Year’s Eve promotion :  0   (no interest from the rest of the community)

A year ago insulting another member on the blog was unthinkable.   Road trips were “all are welcome whether members or not”.   All our scores with SMAF were posted on the blog and were included in our handicaps.  We stuck together as a group and supported all local competitions.  Is SMAF in better shape than a year ago?  The comment section is always open — you tell me.

 

 

 

Peer Review (Nov 1 – Dec 31, 2018)

Happy New Year.

Notes for the peer review:

  • Due to the fact that SMAF no longer posts their scores it is not possible to determine if the scores were entered accurately.
  • There isn’t a published policy whether scores from non-SMAF events should be included in the handicap calculation.   On the recent road trip one member entered his score, the others didn’t.   For the Tony G competition, some entered their scores, some didn’t.   Three members recorded scores on Dec 26th.   How many actually played on that day isn’t known because it wasn’t important enough to mention on the blog.  For this review I used only the names and dates listed on their blog.

Andrew — didn’t record scores for Nov 10, 13, 19, 26, Dec 6, 10, 22, 24, 31

Brian — didn’t record scores for Nov 13 and Dec 3

Bruce G — didn’t record scores for Nov 13, Dec 15, 22, 24

Bruce K — didn’t play

Darryl — all scores recorded

Egbert — all scores recorded

Jim — didn’t record scores for Dec 15, 17, 20, 31

0Points — all scores recorded

John P — didn’t record scores for Dec 1, 24

Les —  all scores recorded

Marc — didn’t record scores for Nov 19, Dec 20 (but it is possible that he recorded them using the wrong date)

Paul & Young — both didn’t record scores for Dec 3, 8

Peter — didn’t record scores for Nov 5, 29, Dec 1, 29

Steve — didn’t record score for Nov 17

Over the 2 months the  members played a total of 134 rounds of which 32 were not recorded (24%).

On the member’s blog the list of handicaps has not been updated.   There is 1 ghost.   Has anyone’s membership expired?  If so, they shouldn’t be listed as a member.

SMAF appears to have a lot of friends as there are 11 friends listed.   One is Thai with a provisional handicap that hasn’t been seen in months.   One friend suddenly left town owing his landlord a good sum of money — extremely doubtful we will see him again.   Three have confided in me that they have no interest in playing with SMAF again.   SMAF might see two of them 3 times (or less) a year.   One might actually be the member that “joins you infrequently”.   That leaves a total of three that you can really call “Friends” (play 5 rounds or more a year).    Even I have that many friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tony G Tournament — alternate report

Tony Gallagher was a stickler for the rules.  I will forever remember the day he told me that if you don’t play golf by the rules you are not playing golf — it is something else.

Knowing the Tony G Tournament was approaching my 3 previous postings were regarding suspect SMAF handicaps.  Of the 25 participants 8 were SMAF members.  Out of the top 6, 3 were SMAF members.

The winner whose handicap was mentioned in the previous posting played off a handicap of 8.   This is indeed his Birdie handicap for the white tees at Waterford.  Unfortunately he doesn’t recognize that a Birdie handicap and the handicaps that are used by Chiang Rai Golfers are calculated differently and his should to be adjusted when he plays with them especially from the white tees.   His score of 76 is consistent with the other two white tee scores he had playing with them in the past month (76, 78).  His mates congratulated him for his win saying “you deserved it”.   It’s true, he did.  He would have won if he played with a more realistic handicap of 5.

A SMAF member boasted to me that they have successfully stopped me from doing their handicaps.  He was extremely proud of the fact that I lost the battle to get their handicaps done correctly.    SMAF members may perceive that wrong is better than right, the rest of the community knows the truth.   Do they really think I can’t find mistakes even if they don’t post their scores?   I mentioned to the boastful one that he had 42 points last Saturday (he agreed).  I mentioned that he had recorded an 87 as his score (he agreed) .    That would be a handicap of 21 — he corrected me and said his handicap was 20.    Well that would make his score 86, not 87.   He explained that he had adjusted it because he had wiped a hole. WRONG!!!!  He obviously doesn’t know what ESC is and that you don’t adjust scores up.   I asked why he didn’t record his score from last Thursday.   He replied that it wasn’t a good score and he wanted his handicap to go down.    He must have had a lot of bad scores lately– the blog says he played on Nov 10, 13, 19, 22, 26, Dec 6, 10 as well as this tournament.   None of the scores have been recorded.   That also is WRONG!!!!  All scores must be recorded.   If you are embarrassed by your high handicap there is nothing wrong with declaring a lower handicap at the start of the day (unless you are playing a team game).   To be fair, unlike the “serial trophy collector” he didn’t use his Birdie handicap (20) and reduced it to 16 for this competition.   For that I have to give him credit.   He won a prize and he also deserved it.

Keith did a lot of work to make this competition happen.  For those that haven’t organized a local tournament it has been best described as “like herding cats”.  People dropping out at the last minute can really complicate things.  Those that show up late to the first tee or awards presentation just adds to the frustration.  It isn’t fair to the organizer or the other competitors to have to hang around and wait for those that can’t be punctual.

The last person to arrive at the first tee was late.   He was last seen by many of us riding in his cart making a strange noise something like this (link).   Late and making an ass of himself at the same time.   No one was impressed.  I wonder if his caddie had a good day.

To cheer you all up I have a very catchy tune from 1956.  (link)

Everyone I spoke to enjoyed the day.   I hope you give Keith your thanks and encourage him to do it again next year.

 

 

 

Perception #3

0Points has written “We all know what everyone’s handicap is.”  Nobody knows the handicaps better than I.   I can look up any member’s handicap on any given date.  In Part #2 I showed how one member’s handicap had gone from 5.6 to 7.9 over a period of a few months.  It was 6.0 on Nov 3rd the last day SMAF published it’s scores.

I was going to do the same thing with another member.   His last published score was Aug 9th and at that time his handicap was 15.5.  It is currently listed as 17.7.   As this is one of my so-called “perceived enemies” it might be interpreted as a hit piece if I were to say any more.   Trying to be as constructive as possible in today’s post I won’t waste your time and mine going into detailed analysis.

Many in the city are aware of the questionable accuracy of SMAF handicaps.   What do you think the reaction will be if a SMAF member wins this Wednesday’s city wide competition?  Suppose I can show that the person’s handicap has gone up just enough for them to win?  How will the winner be perceived?

Going back to the beginning of all this.   0Points and Graham decided without having an ABAGM to change the handicap system.   We weren’t told exactly why.   My perception is that Graham was in over his head trying to manage the handicaps.   He and 0Points decided changing to Birdie was a good option.  

At the time I said that it was very unlikely that you could get all the members to enter all their scores accurately.   As well a few members might try to game the system as it was being opened up to corruption.   Time and time again I have shown that to be correct.  The official SMAF response has been “Don’t listen to Leo” or it doesn’t matter if the handicaps are out by a stroke or two.

Currently, rather than correcting errors SMAF has decided to hide the results from everyone allowing the corruption to get even worse.

The solution:   Read the Code of Conduct that is published both on the official blog as well as this one.   The Code of Conduct which 0Points has dismissed as guidelines were put there specifically to avoid any controversy and conflicts.   Who is the Commissioner?  Who is the Fairness Specialist (Handicap Secretary) and who is the Organizer of the Day?  When was the last ABAGM?   What was discussed?   Where is the report?

The goal in switching to Birdie was to make your scores more transparent.  SMAF has done the opposite.   I have previously suggested that only your handicap secretary input only SMAF scores into Birdie and post all the results.   This eliminates any corruption.   If that is not acceptable, say why.   If you feel that corrupt handicaps are better, say why.  However in doing so don’t travel to baffle me with BS like signal to noise ratios or saying that I have despicable tactics, a stunning disregard for ethics and have lost all perspective.

Only honestly will repair the damage of SMAF’s credibility within the community.  You will probably find that some honesty for once will probably shut me up for good.

Have an ABAGM, discuss it, and come out with an official statement.   

As always, you can call me if you need any information and assistance.   Also, comments are always welcome and never deleted.

 

Perception — Part 2

About a week ago I gave a perfectly good way to handle handicaps.   The handicap secretary collects the scores and inputs them into Birdie for all members.   Only SMAF scores count and all SMAF scores are posted on the blog.   (Basically the way it was done up until a few months ago.)

SMAF prefers to allow all members to enter their own scores.  As I have shown time and time again there were omissions and inaccuracies.  It got so bad that SMAF stopped publishing the scores in order to cover up all the errors.  Does anyone think that a few months from now anyone will believe a statement that the handicaps are all correct now.   If anything when you cover up something you ultimately make it worse.   No one is watching so you are free to enter anything you like.   You may now enter correct or incorrect scores (or omit the ones you don’t like) from unrated local courses, away trips and practice rounds.  0Points is most insistent that this is better yet never provides any evidence as to why.

The other flaw with SMAF is playing numerous bad holes in the skins game is a good strategy.  Skins does not encourage you to shoot the best score possible.

0Points has previously stated “To call someone a “cheater” or a “sandbagger” over one, two or even more handicap strokes, or to condemn a handicap system over such trivial irregularities, is antithetical to our stated purpose as a golf group:  To play golf and have fun.  It gets in the way of us achieving our goals. ”  0Points fails to recognize that one, two or even more handicap strokes makes a difference to the outcome.  It is hardly a trivial irregularity.   The primary purpose of any golf group should be to play fair and have fun.

I am not going to call someone a “cheater” or a “sandbagger” but answer the following questions.  Who has got their name on the most trophies in the past 3 years?  Who has won the most money at skins?   Who defended anchor dropping as acceptable?  Who stopped posting the scores on the blog?  Who’s handicap (May 6th – just before the Birdie announcement) was 5.6 and is now 7.9?  Who participated in 5 November skins games and shot 83 (Nov 29th), 86 (24th), 87 (19th), 82 (17th), 82 (10th) and in the 2 city wide Stableford competitions shot 76 (Nov 22nd) and 78 (15th) playing off a handicap of 7 or 8?

I have absolutely no evidence of any wrongdoing by the member.   That said, under the current system how can you be sure there isn’t any wrongdoing?  It’s all about perception.  0Points, the Specialist in Failure, admits to being “blissfully unaware”. Perhaps “conveniently ignorant” is more accurate as he advises all not to listen to me.  Questions such as the ones above never get asked when you do away with the skins game, publicly post all scores and correctly maintain the handicaps.

 

 

Perception — Part One

The one thing about 0Points is that when he writes something he makes it sound true even when he has no facts to back it up.   It’s all about perception.  If you baffle someone with enough BS to make it sound true then it must be true.

His repeated attacks on our group can only be characterized as shameful, especially the recent post in the immediate aftermath of Graham’s passing that masqueraded as remembrance but only served as an opportunity to once again attack his perceived enemies.”  Tell me 0Points, do you really think I woke up in the morning and thought how can I attack my perceived enemies today?   Oh, I know, I’ll write a remembrance to Graham.   You just won’t accept it was just that … a remembrance to Graham.  I posted a picture of Graham and I having a laugh together.   If there are any immature adults that took offence to me handing Graham a picture of 2 cartoon characters it is no concern of mine.   Explain to me what are “perceived enemies”?   You make a couple of individuals sound a lot worse than they really are.   Can a person that you claim has lost all perspective have perceived enemies?

He is simply a bully like all the bullies from the playgrounds of our youth.”  Once again 0Points makes a statement without backing it with any facts.   Here are some facts:

  • 0Points took part in the verbal gang bang of me on anchor dropping day.
  • 0Points and Graham when asked why it wasn’t necessary to consult with the members before changing to Birdie said “Because we said so”.
  • It was made very clear to me a long time ago that I was not allowed to question 0Points authority.   Any time I tried to resolve anything I was rudely shut down.  Opposing opinions are not allowed on his blog.
  • After I warned 0Points that I was going public with the errors in the handicaps he responded by using the member’s blog to discredit me.   He used words like blackmail, coercion, unethical, despicable.
  • His farewell notice says I am unbalanced, shameful, got an axe to grind, advance a war, and made repeated attacks on the group.

I ask you who do you perceive is the bully?

It is easy to stand on the sidelines and sharpshoot or otherwise criticize the work of others.   It is harder to be constructive and provide feedback that helps improve the group.”  He is correct.  It is easy and he has just done it.  There was nothing constructive in his criticism of me.   Over and over I have explained that skins are not fair and the handicaps aren’t being done correctly.   As he claims to be blissfully ignorant he conveniently never noticed the many times I advised on how easy it is to do correctly.   A week ago I posted “Goodbye 5Points” which gave a simple solution to correcting the handicaps.  At the time I offered to help.  Previously I was maintaining the handicaps until forced to stop.  I have been as constructive as possible.

Everyone should be keeping their own score and the score of at least one other in their group.”   Seriously??? A golf group with members that can’t even accurately record their own scores and do it so badly that they stopped publishing their scores are going to check up on at least one other?  “which is the true essence of peer review” — More words that sound meaningful but after reading them again you think “huh, what?”.

Re-phrasing 0Points signal to noise statement.   We are a group of inconsistent golfers who play well one day and not so well on others.   We are capable of winning any day we play very well.   As such our handicaps don’t need to be accurate — they only need to be what others will perceive is fair.  “We all know what everyone’s handicap is.”   In the next posting I will show how dangerous that can be.   How others perceive the group’s integrity both individually and collectively is far more important than 0Points has imagined.