Another Post on Handicaps

“Most of us have scored 27 Stableford points on one day and 43 Stableford points on the next round – a range of 16 points!  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….There is no way to know on any given day the “exactly right” handicap for any golfer with the skill level of the average SMAF participant.”

Yes, I have to go back to that quote again.   When I first read it I thought it was one of the most stupid things I have ever read about handicaps.   THEN,  someone whom I consider to be quite intelligent told me this week that he agrees with the statement.

The purpose of handicaps is to try and make it as absolutely fair as possible for each participant to win on a given day.   Of course no computer program or data analyst is able to determine in advance who is going to have or not have a good round.   There are 2 handicap systems, USGA and CONGU — both have large manuals with all their rules.   It is their belief that if you follow their rules you will get a fair result based on how each individual plays that day.   You must follow their rules as closely as possible in order to get it exactly right on that given day.   Neither system is perfect but one or the other is accepted by nearly 100% of the world’s golf organizations.   (Note:  that is more than the 2000+ golfers that use BIRDIE).

The difference between 25.4 and 23.4 is 2 stokes.  I recently determined that if I use the BS-hcp I would get 2 more strokes than using the USGA handicap that I had posted.   As this is acceptable to the SMAF Administrators I did so.   The 2 more strokes were on holes #2 and #18 which on the 2 days I used this handicap I was lucky enough to par (for 4 points).  I also won the Stableford on Monday by 2 strokes.  A profit of 1560 baht in the skins game over the 2 days which was used to buy beer for those that competed without BS-hcps.  Of course I am not going to get par on #2 and #18 every day but even once every 2 rounds is still a nice advantage.  The fact of the matter is that the BS-hcps are usually a stroke higher for each member and if you throw in a Happy City or Waterford score you can get it up another stroke.

The Administrators keep bringing up “Fun and Friendly”.   I would advise them that in my 18 years of playing with various groups I have found there to be 2 issues that are fun killers.   One, is cheaters and two, is the perception that handicaps aren’t correct.   It is my observation that the Administrators think ignoring those issues make it more “fun and friendly.”

Here are my analogies. 

  1. USGA handicaps using SMAF only scores.   “The Crystal Clear Pool”  .  Only rounds played as SMAF competitions are included.  All other rounds don’t count.   Counting non-SMAF rounds is peeing in the pool.   One person is responsible for ensuring the integrity of the pool.  This worked very well for over 3 years with no conflicts.  Our handicaps were accepted on the rare occasions we played elsewhere.
  2. Chiang Rai Golfers — CONGU handicaps.  “The Public Urinal” .  As both Waterford and Happy City are not rated they are not able to maintain a pool.  Only those that use the urinal (play as CRG competitions) are included.   One person is responsible for ensuring that the urinal is flushed regularly and kept clean.  Their handicaps work well within the group and are close enough to be compatible with the SMAF handicaps.
  3. BIRDIE — supposedly the same as USGA handicaps.  “The Thai Toilet” .  All rounds that you play may be included even though Waterford and Happy City are not officially rated.  BIRDIE doesn’t tell us where they got the ratings from or even what the ratings are.   That leads several of us to suspect they just made them up.  The Santiburi rating is wrong.   Anyone playing without a BIRDIE handicap on a Chiang Rai course against someone with a BIRDIE handicap is at a disadvantage.  A Thai toilet is something we all avoid and use only when absolutely necessary.   Everyone in the group gets to use it and no one is responsible for seeing that the toilet even gets flushed.  It would work well within the group if it were absolutely necessary.  It isn’t.
  4. The World Handicap System that the new SMAF blog has announced for 2020.  It is possible that it will be the answer to all our problems.  As “This Is Thailand” I would expect that the Thai courses will not get rated and that we will not be any further ahead than we are presently. 

What to do now?

As most of the membership are not presently in town I would suggest that we decide (each day) on the first tee which handicap we should all use (SMAF(USGA) or BIRDIE). The majority wins.   (Jokingly, I pick BIRDIE as long as I am winning.)   Once the majority of the members are here (perhaps 12 or more) then we take a vote and settle this once and for all.  I am not opposed to golfers maintaining BIRDIE handicaps if they feel they have a use for it outside of SMAF events.  I am just saying we had a system that was working and when done correctly eliminated all controversy.  The Dictators Administrators have decided that the members are too stupid to know what is best for us and haven’t given us a say in the decision.

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BS-hcps / Peer Review

Last week I wrote about what I thought of the BIRDIE handicap system which you can find here.  These handicaps I now refer to as BS-hcps.   They like to claim they have over 2000 subscribers.  A quick estimate is that over 50% don’t have 20 scores in the system.  Many don’t even have 5.   You can’t delete your name so there is no way of knowing how many abandoned the system and how many are really using it.

So repeating myself somewhat about what’s wrong.

  1.  Nowhere on the BIRDIE website do you get course ratings.  I have no idea where they got the ratings for Happy City and Waterford or whether they are anywhere near correct.   I know that the ratings they use for Santiburi are certainly incorrect.  Also, I can’t see YOUR Santiburi blue tee handicap which would be OK if I knew the their ratings but I don’t.   Therefore we all must accept what each other claims on game day.    Only the courses listed here have ratings.   The ratings for Santiburi on the TGA website are exactly the same as the Santiburi website and are the ratings I have been using for many years.
  2.   You can only make corrections if you catch your mistake quickly.   I didn’t check my scores until after I entered all of them — too late to correct.
  3.   I know from experience you can never get all members to comply with the rules and do it correctly.

Last Monday there were 9 participants.   Six used BS-hcps, I used the handicap posted on this blog and the 2 Australian visitors used their Australian handicaps which they update themselves.  Four out of the 6 that used BS-hcps played with handicaps that were one stroke above what is listed on this blog.  The 5 of us that didn’t play with BS-hcps were at a disadvantage.

The Administrators have decided that trivial irregularities shouldn’t be condemned so I think it is only fair that I play with a BS-hcp as well.   Yep, I have given in.   I now have an up-to-date BS-hcp.  I can now play with a 23 handicap from the blue tees at Santiburi instead of my correct handicap of 21.   Thanks Administrators!   It makes me feel like a cheat but what the heck.  You already said you think I use despicable, unethical, coercive tactics and have a stunning disregard for ethics.   Why shouldn’t I act as you perceive me?   I might find you are right and it is more FUN and FRIENDLY this way.   It certainly will be more FUN the next time I par the 2nd hole.

The Administrators tell you that the transition is going well so to confirm it for them I have done a peer review.  Obviously I have no way of checking scores from non-SMAF events.

Andrew:

April 9th:  recorded 92 – score was 90  /  Apr 5th recorded 2 scores (97) wrong and (91) correct

Brian:

No BS-hcp

Bruce G:

I question the accuracy of the May 14th score.  That said, it could be right and it is about to fall out of the last 20.

Darryl:

No BS-hcp

Egbert:

Feb 17th white tee – not blue,  Feb 10th after being informed of the error entered the correct score – couldn’t delete the wrong score.

Graham:

June 16th wrong score 95 not 96.   May 17th 95 not 94.  May 14th most likely an incorrect score,  May 12th 95 not 94.    One score not recorded at all.

5 Points:

All 12 adjustments are bogus.   You can’t make ESC adjustments to stableford scores.

Leo:

June 25th – Happy City white not Santiburi blue, June 14th– white not blue, May 17th 99 not 98, May 14th 93 not 89.

Les:

No BS-hcp

Marc:

Uses TGA – he has recorded all rounds he played with the group correctly.   TGA does the calculations correctly.  His handicap is correct.

Peter R:

No BS-hcp

Steve:

Missed 2 scores and Feb 12th wrong score 115 not 109

July 27th I don’t think it was from the gold tee but it wouldn’t matter if his 2 missing scores were input.

Young:

Missing 1 score

Paul:

Missing 1 score

John Park:

He has 2 BS-hcp accounts — June 30th 89 not 88, 8 missing scores (4 of which are on his 2nd account)

Bruce K:

Missing 2 scores from September 2017 which would get him over the 20 scores.

(For those members interested in the correct handicaps they will be published shortly after the July 9th round is played.)

Birdsh*t

On May 24th the Administrators (5Points and Graham) announced that SMAF would be transitioning to the Birdie Handicap system or if you wished you could use something similar.   At no time before the decision to change did they consult with the members and give us an explanation as to why nor did they give us a chance to object.   The next time I saw them I asked when they had an ABAGM on this topic.   They said that they decided to change and an ABAGM wasn’t necessary.   I asked why were we changing now and not when most of the members are in town.  Graham replied “WE CAN’T TELL YOU THAT”!   I then asked what they were covering up – the answer was so bad I dare not repeat it.  Did you read about any of this conversation on their blog?   Of course not.

About two weeks later I mentioned that both the Administrators had entered incorrect information into the Birdie database.    They never changed it.   Again there was no mention of this on their blog.

Last week they said “In general, the response to this change has been positive.” Yes, very positive.  In the one month since the announcement I count 5 out of 16 members have entered their last 20 scores. Of the 5, four have more than 2 errors in their input.   They keep telling us about the peer review.   Where is it?  Only after it was very apparent to me that the Administrators were not reviewing the data input I advised Egbert to make corrections which he did.

Most of us have scored 27 Stableford points on one day and 43 Stableford points on the next round – a range of 16 points!  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.    There is no way to know on any given day the “exactly right” handicap for any golfer with the skill level of the average SMAF participant.  If I read that right, it says handicaps for inconsistent golfers are meaningless.  In fact your handicap is supposed to indicate your expected score on your average good day.   Most days you will be below it, on a good day you will score above it.  To say it doesn’t matter that I have to give a fellow golfer an extra 2 strokes more than he deserves because we don’t know how he will play that day is absurd.

There are over 2,000 subscribers to BIRDIE in Thailand.  That is a major vote of confidence in the BIRDIE system.  We are told we are switching to Birdie because it is transparent.   Where did they get the ratings for Happy City and Waterford?  For that matter the ratings I have just found that the ratings for Santiburi are wrong.  We have always used the ratings from the Santiburi website.  As I write this Bruce’s handicap using exactly the same scores on Birdie is 6.5 yet by my calculations it is 5.7 – a difference of 14%.   Graham’s handicap on birdie is 19.3 yet by my calculations it is 18.4.    Unless someone can show me proof that the ratings that Birdie uses are correct I will assume they are wrong and therefore all handicaps they generate are wrong.

Let’s review what I have just said.   The members weren’t asked if they want Birdie.  Most of the members haven’t bothered with it.  Four of the five that did enter data didn’t get it close to 100% correct and the Birdie system is producing incorrect handicaps.   I’ve got to ask why in the world is this being pushed on us?   Oh yes, you’ve already answered that with “WE CAN’T TELL YOU THAT”!

He (Leo) has demonstrated a stunning disregard for ethics and a persistent inability to put aside personal animosities for the good of the group It appears to me that it is the Administrators that have a disregard for ethics by deciding what the members want without discussing it with them first.   Are we too stupid to be part of the decision?  It also appears that it is the Administrators that have an inability to put aside personal animosities for the good of the group.  After all, what is it that they can’t tell us?   Maybe they just don’t want me taking care of the handicaps.

I will be publishing the handicaps for all the members every 2 weeks.  All handicaps are peer reviewable.  All scores are recorded on this blog.  If anyone wants a listing of theirs or anyone else’s last 20 scores I will send it to them.  It won’t be as instant as Birdie but it will be accurate.   With me you get fair handicaps which will ensure SMAF competitions are FUN and FRIENDLY as they always were in the past..   Why accept Birdsh*t?

A very personal attack

For those that don’t see the other blog I sent the following email out to the Administrators (5Points and Graham).   The intent of the email was to get the handicaps done correctly and more importantly to get it done quietly so not to embarrass Graham for getting the handicaps all wrong.  It was intended as a private email which they call “despicable”.  They chose to publish it on their public blog and then attack me personally.    Of course that wasn’t despicable.   For some reason they edited out the names — I have chosen not to.  I have deleted one line because it was private speculation and not fact.   More on this very soon.

In the interest of fairness and trying to keep this friendly I feel I should warn you of what is coming.

The following members don’t have birdie accounts:  Brian, Darryl, Les, Marc, Paul, Young, Peter, BruceK

I have abandoned mine.    Steve has one but no scores have been added.

There are certainly good reasons why a few may want a birdie handicap but some of the members don’t need or want one.   They were completely happy with the way I was doing it and there were no issues about transferability or transparency.  As 90% of the members are playing 90% of their rounds in SMAF competitions at Santiburi it was never an issue about not recording games played outside of the group.   All group scores and handicaps are recorded on the blog.   There is nothing hidden and nothing can be manipulated.

I have gone back to the day when I passed everything over to Graham and have all handicaps up to date.   The major thing I noticed was that not one of the handicaps as calculated by Graham agreed with my numbers.   We both used the same scores off the blog.   How is that possible?   In the interest of accuracy I went back and double checked.   Mine are all correct.  Graham and I differ over 1 handicap by 3 strokes — hardly a small mistake.

When I first heard about your plan to change everyone over my immediate concern was you would never get 16 people to do it right.

Egbert who is a good soldier and follows orders now has 3 very different handicaps.   Birdie (25.4), Graham (24.8), Leo (23.4).

As of yesterday’s round I have 5Points (26.2) and Graham (19.1).   If you don’t have that, then you got yours wrong.

You’ve got 2 choices.   1)  Quietly go back to the way it was with me keeping the handicaps with only SMAF rounds.  Any member requiring a birdie handicap is welcome to keep it but it won’t be valid for SMAF.   I will assist anyone requiring information why their SMAF handicap is different from their birdie handicap but only if it is requested.  Every 2 weeks I will submit updated handicaps to you to post on the blog.   or  2) You can continue down the road your are travelling into a massive shitstorm.   I will email all members about the differences.  If they don’t want a birdie handicap then you don’t really have any choice but to let them use the one I will provide for them.   Won’t that be fun and friendly?

To make my motives absolutely clear.   How do you define a little bit wrong?    Is Egbert’s handicap that is out by 2 just a little bit wrong?   I don’t really want the job of overseeing the handicaps but unless someone is found that will ensure that it is exactly right I will continue to do it.   The members deserve exactly right.

Here is the Administrators’ response:

There is a lot to unpack here, and we’ll try to do it as succinctly as possible while making our points.

Leo objects to our transition to BIRDIE and is using coercive tactics to try to force us to reconsider moving away from the handicap system that he created and ran for SMAF in the past.

Coercive tactics are unethical, and Graham and 5Points are united in our opposition to their use.  We will not kowtow to Leo’s attempt to blackmail us into changing the transition plan.  Furthermore, we are resolved that Leo will never be allowed to occupy any leadership position in SMAF ever again.  He has demonstrated a stunning disregard for ethics and a persistent inability to put aside personal animosities for the good of the group — two qualities that are essential for leadership.  That said, he is welcome to participate with us.  Leo will not be banned.

But, apart from our stern disapproval of Leo’s despicable coercive tactics, let’s take a look at Leo’s argument against transitioning to BIRDIE.

Leo has advanced the following argument against transition away from his in-house system — SMAF members won’t/can’t update their scores or can’t be trusted to input them accurately, so their handicap will be wrong, and that will be unfair to other players.

We have several counter-arguments to this, to include that the BIRDIE system is peer-reviewable, meaning that everyone can see what scores a player has posted (and we also post the scores in our blog), so if someone’s handicap seems far outside what the golfer is known to play to, any one of us can go to the blog and compare his BIRDIE scores to the blog-posted scores, and know immediately if there is something amiss.  There are over 2,000 subscribers to BIRDIE in Thailand.  That is a major vote of confidence in the BIRDIE system.

But more importantly, most SMAF golfers (and most golfers in the Chiang Rai area, with the exception of a very few excellent golfers who play to single-digit handicaps) have golf abilities that result in widely varying scores.  Most of us have scored 27 Stableford points on one day and 43 Stableford points on the next round – a range of 16 points!  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.  To use Leo’s phrase from his e-mail, there is no way to know on any given day the “exactly right” handicap for any golfer with the skill level of the average SMAF participant.

On the other hand, for example, if a golfer we know shoots to a low-20’s handicap and now claims a handicap of 30, it is worth looking at the scores and determining if there is a reason for the sudden rise.  The fact is, most of us who golf together regularly have a good handle on what each other’s handicap range is, and the handicaps just don’t change too much over time.  When 5Points arrived in Chiang Rai over 3 years ago, he claimed a USGA handicap of 26.  Over three years later, he’s playing to a 28.  In reality, it would be better to characterize him as a “high 20’s” handicap.  Likewise, Graham has been stuck in the high teens/low 20’s all that time.  Leo has gone from solidly mid-teens to low 20’s but he’s had some back pain issues, so it adds up.  We all know what everyone’s handicap is.

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.  It is no way to address a perceived problem with the handicapping system.

A better way to deal with a perceived error in a player’s handicap, or if a player’s handicap has not been kept up to date, is to assign the player a provisional handicap that is in line with what we know the player usually plays to, until the error is corrected or the handicap is up to date.  That is the procedure we outlined in our original post announcing the transition, and that is what we will do.  We believe the need to use such procedures will be relatively minimal.  We will always encourage our SMAF participants to avoid errors and to keep their handicaps up to date.

SMAF is continuing our transition to the BIRDIE system.  We would like the support of everyone, but we recognize there are some who may not be completely satisfied with the new handicapping system.  We sincerely believe transitioning to an independent, portable, peer-reviewable system such as BIRDIE is far better than an in-house system that allows no insight into how the handicap is calculated.  We ask for everyone’s help in making the transition smooth — even Leo’s help.  We are willing to assist in any way we can to help SMAF participants create BIRDIE accounts and enter their own scores, including walking them through the process.  We expect all participants to commit to keeping their handicap up to date and accurate, and we will encourage all participants to do so – even Leo.  However, we will not swayed by unethical practices such as coercion and blackmail.

4) Too Many Questions — One Possible Answer

The side bet —  You and I are going out for a game of golf.   The one with the lower stableford score will pay the one with the higher score 100 baht.   The fine print clause “If either one of us has a really poor round (fails to score 30 points) then the bet is cancelled.”

Some SMAF members have been making that side bet for a long period of time.  Suddenly the really poor round clause has been quietly dropped.   If both members are trying to win what is the problem — why drop the clause?   Was Andrew “dropping anchor” last week not the first time this happened?

If I hadn’t been playing with Andrew or if Andrew hadn’t been so foolish to boast that he was going to drop anchor then I would not have noticed and reported it.   It is my opinion that the clause was dropped because I made an issue of it.

Why were those that had been participating in the side bet strongly defending Andrew’s behaviour as acceptable?  Why has the group defended his misconduct with “we think it was one bad golf day for the SMAF participant that can be dismissed like the bad golf days we have all had – and an informal poll of other SMAF members closely corresponds with our views on the matter.”?   If you have a bad golf day are you untitled to unsportsmanlike conduct?

I admit I did hijack this blog.   I was shouted down at the lunch table and it was the one resource I had to make my points.   I had fully intended to give the blog back to SMAF once my points had been addressed.   I offered to post anything they wanted completely unedited and once they were given back the blog they would be free to do whatever they wanted with it including delete my post(s).   When they came up with the “one bad golf day” excuse I took a stronger stance which was get Andrew to apologise or you don’t get the blog back.   They considered that coercion (which it was) and they started a new blog.   They told me I could do whatever I wanted with this one.

Why not force the member who certainly was guilty of misconduct (that’s a polite way of saying broke the rules) to apologise?   Mea Culpa.   It would have ended all of this.

The only possible answer for all the questions is perhaps one or two other members had been dropping anchor — would that not be a reason for the way they handled this?   Those that dropped anchor or knew of other incidents and didn’t report it wouldn’t have been in a position to criticize Andrew would they?  I now suspect that dropping anchor had been going on for a while.

Although I have no proof that this wasn’t a solitary incident it would certainly explain why other members went through extremely bad patches and their handicaps went up.  They weren’t deliberately manipulating their handicaps but their handicaps could have gone up due to anchor dropping.   I have always defended SMAF handicaps and the skins game as being fair.   I can no longer say with 100% certainty that they were indeed fair.  MY PROBLEM is that I now believe the integrity of the group has been compromised.

SMAF’s probable response to the above is here.

MY PROBLEM is that after doing the majority of the work for 3 years to promote and build SMAF I was shouted down in a most disrespectful way.  This is not how we sorted things out in the past.

MY PROBLEM is that even if dropping anchor were acceptable that members would resort to such measures to get out of paying a 100 baht bet.   I don’t accept poor sportsmanship.  A bet is a bet.

I resigned but have been told that I am welcome back if I chose to do so.  Their new blog (https://smaf310022724.wordpress.com/)  says “come join us for a fun, friendly round of golf”.   When I announced that I was permanently leaving one member shouted out “GOOD”.    MY PROBLEM is that I don’t call that “friendly” or “welcoming”.

My PROBLEM is that I have too many problems with the way that SMAF has evolved over the past 6 months.   I have no desire to go back any time soon.

It is very likely that I won’t have anything further to say on this subject and it is likely there will never be another post on this blog.   Comments are open so feel free to say whatever is on your mind.   Nothing will be deleted unless it contains foul language.

 

2) Read the Rules

For those that aren’t aware the person known as “Anchor Dropper” in the previously postings is Andrew.   His actions are accurately described in Leo’s Resignation.

Anyone who has played golf long enough should know that golf has rules forbidding just about everything.   There has to be rules with regards to score manipulation.   On a quick look I found the USGA handicap manual says—

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.

 

4-1. Unfinished Holes and Conceded Strokes

A player who starts, but does not complete a hole or is conceded a stroke must record for handicap purposes the most likely score.

There is no limit to the number of unfinished holes a player may have in a round, provided that failure to finish is not for the purpose of handicap manipulation.

 

Andrew made it clear after the 10th hole that he was not going to get 30 or more points.   He clearly wasn’t trying to score points and he picked up twice before completing the hole where his “most likely score” was at least 1 and could be argued as 2.    He handed in his score with a 0 on both holes to end up with his target of 29.  This is clearly an infraction of the rules.

The Ad-hoc administration claim they are doing “damage control”.   Saying all kinds of nice things about me one moment and then kicking me in the balls the next.   They offer excuses for Andrew —  “the person who “dropped anchor” by avoiding getting 30 or over was well within his rights to do so.  It wasn’t Leo’s place to call foul when the player took an option that the rules of the side bet allowed. ”  After reading the rules above you can see that it is not true.

Another excuse — “we think it was one bad golf day for the SMAF participant that can be dismissed like the bad golf days we have all had.”    I was there.   He was not having a bad day.   He was having a not quite good enough to win day.   After the round it looked like a bad day due to his score manipulation.  Is the Ad-hoc administration suggesting that it is OK to cheat if you are having a bad day?

Their other form of damage control is to make me the villain.  They claim I am doing this just to take a shot at Andrew.   It is no secret that he and I have issues.   However, what he said after the 10th hole offended me.   It was extremely poor sportsmanship over a piddly sum of 100 baht.  I felt if I didn’t report the incident it could happen again.  I have insisted that if ANYONE else had done this I would have reported it just the same.  After the round I brought this up at the lunch table and was shouted down.   It wasn’t a very productive discussion so I used other resources that were available to me.

The best form of damage control is honesty, not excuses.   Admit there was an error of judgement and apologize.   Once Andrew has apologized to his playing partners and the other members I would have no choice but to shut up.

For reporting cheating at CRAPS I was penalized so severely that no one dared report cheating again.   I sincerely hope this is not the road that SMAF is taking.

In closing I would like to thank all those who have quietly supported me.  It is appreciated.

(Comments for this posting have been disable.   If you have something to say that will move this forward in a positive way email me and I will post it.)

1) Leo’s Resignation

I will start with what I witnessed.   A few members had a side bet of 100 baht on their game.   If anyone plays poorly and fails to get 30 points the bet is cancelled.   One member after wiping the 10th hole declared that he didn’t care anymore.   He wasn’t going to get 30 points so he wouldn’t have to pay 5Points.   On the 13th hole he hit a poor tee shot, followed by another poor shot into the bunker on the right at the dogleg.   That put him about 275 yards away from the green on a par 5 – he picked up his ball and walked off the hole after only 2 shots.   Walking to the 17th hole he announced that he couldn’t get more than 2 more points for the rest of the day.   If he didn’t get closest to the pin he would wipe the hole.   He hit the ball a bit long and to the left.   Hit a poor chip, followed by another chip onto the green, then instructed the caddie to pick up the ball while he was on the green about 15 feet from the pin in 3.   He didn’t get 29 points because he played poorly, he got 29 points because that is what he manipulated his score to be.

What was wrong with that?   He wasn’t playing within the spirit of the game and it was extremely poor sportsmanship.  I was told to shut up and not say anything because I wasn’t part of the side bet and it was no concern of mine.   Did I not have a responsibility to inform the others of what I witnessed?  If he gets away with it once do you not think he would do it again (and again)?   Changing what should be 32s, 33s and 34s into 29s will affect his handicap.  If allowed to continue then it is the concern of all members as they are playing with someone who has manipulated his handicap higher.

What kind of a LOSER goes to such effort to get out of paying someone 100 baht?

He is the only one to refer to our home golf course as a “goat track”.   He contributes very little.  How many times has he played at a different time on our golf days because he prefers to play with others and not with our group?   For 6 months he refused to play with another member (me) – the only one to do such a thing.   I thought all personal differences weren’t to be brought to the golf course.   He constantly criticises the organisers particularly the Fairness Specialist who is doing a great job.  None of this ever happened before he joined us last August.

Our blog says that all are welcome to play friendly, competitive golf.   I haven’t found it to be friendly this past 6 months.    I WAS always polite to him and would give him a cheerful “hello” whenever I saw him.   All I ever got from him was an ogre’s grunt.   Why should I have to shut up and accept his rudeness and disregard for fair play?   I have to tolerate his and his friend’s rudeness away from the golf course.   I come to play golf to get away from their bullshit – not to get more of it.

Recently I have been told (more than once) by the Organiser Of The Day that he has had enough of this.   Does he think I haven’t?   I have no desire to continue playing with SMAF.   I am willing to play with any friendly golfers on any day of the week preferably at 9:30 or later (at Santiburi).  Please feel free to contact me at any time if you are looking for a game.

Road Trip

We will be celebrating going into the 4th year of Santiburi Members and Friends by taking a road trip to play Mae Moh.   It takes about 3 hours to drive from Chiang Rai to Mae Moh/Lampang.

Members coming for sure:  Graham (+1), Leo, Brian (+1), 5Points (+1),  Paul and Young, Egbert, Peter R (+1).    Non-members coming for sure:  Jim (+1),  Jockey John (+1) — That’s a total of 10 golfers with 6 wives.   We will accept up to 12 golfers so if you decide at the last moment to play, please check to see if there is still room for you.

Mae Moh is rated as more difficult than Santiburi.  We will be playing the course from the white tees using our Santiburi blue tee handicaps.   Young will also have 1 stroke added to her (red) handicap.

Schedule:

Tuesday, Feb 6th — A few members will be taking their wives to Lampang and spending the night.

Wednesday, Feb 7th — Most members will be leaving Chiang Rai in the morning and meeting up with those that left Feb 6th at Mae Moh.  Tee times start at 1 PM.  Please see Leo when you arrive.   Most will be taking buggies on the course.   DO NOT PAY YOUR GREEN/CADDIE/CART FEES until you have checked in with Leo.   He will be collecting the money from you and paying for all at once.   After golf there is nothing planned at the golf course.   You may take a shower at the course or wait until you get back to your hotel.   The skins will be done at the group dinner at the Riverside Restaurant.   Our dinner reservation is for 7:30 PM.

Thursday, Feb 8th — We have tee times starting at 9 AM.   Lunch will be in the clubhouse,  the skins game will be finalized, and the competition winner will be announced.   After that, most will be returning to Chiang Rai.

Hotels:

4 or 5 golfers  (and their wives)  will be staying at the Wiengthong Hotel.   It is 1000 baht per day (superior room) including breakfast.   The deluxe room is apparently exactly the same — a little more money and on a higher floor.   It is a good place for the wives to hang out while we play golf.  You need to contact the hotel directly to get the 1000 baht rate.   Mention you are with the golf group.   054-225801

http://www.lampangwiengthong.co.th/index.htm

Leo recommends the Hop Inn (Lampang City Center).   This is a new hotel chain in Thailand.  Very clean, standard rooms, good wifi, no breakfast.  For a place to sleep and shower it is very adequate.  Price 650 baht per night.

http://www.hopinnhotel.com/hotel/lampang/

Of course, if you prefer somewhere else feel free to stay there.

Cost of golf:

Mae Moh green fee is 500 baht + 200 caddie.   Optional (but recommended) carts are 300 baht sharing.  (Total 1000 baht per day)

We will be playing our usual skins game both days.  Participation in the skins game is optional.

As always everyone is welcome to play with us.

If you are planning to join us please reply by email as soon as possible so we can get a handle on the numbers.   Also, let us know if you have transportation or if you require transportation.   If you are bringing your wife let us know that as well.   Email : basilpuppydog@hotmail.com

Dennis DiCesare – R.I.P.

Dennis

Photo from the Canada Cup Golf Tournament — July 14, 2017

Dennis was a long time resident of Chiang Rai.   In recent years he didn’t play much golf but those that got to play with him always had an enjoyable day.  A true gentleman that will be missed  by those that knew him.

Services for Dennis were held at Wat Chetuphon in Denha on Saturday, August 9.   The following photos were taken at the funeral.

Funeral2Funeral1Funeral3Funeral4

Santiburi 1 Year Membership for sale

Leo has sent in the following.

I am selling my Santiburi membership which expires on August 5, 2018 (about a year from now).  It has a current value of 55,000 baht.    This will be a blind auction.  You get one bid and whoever bids the most before 6 pm on Thursday gets it.   Any bids below 40,000 will not be considered.  If you are interested please send an email to my email address with your offer.   If there is anyone that doesn’t know my email address you can  click on the contact button at the bottom of this posting.

For those that aren’t aware — I have issues with my spine and will very likely be undergoing spinal surgery in the next couple weeks.  It is very likely that I won’t be playing golf again for at least 3 months, probably longer, possibly never.

I would like to thank those that have commented or sent me an email wishing me well.   I would like to say a special thanks to Santiburi member Dr. Egbert who sent me some helpful information.

For those that need some golf amusement I came across this.  It’s 4 years old but worth watching.