Newport Cup 2006 in Numbers

We had a great time last week at The Newport Cup. I made some new friends and took away a few numbers for this week’s column.

The Numbers GameThe second annual Newport Cup is over and the numbers are in. Unfortunately for myself and rest of the Blue team, our numbers were not large enough to overcome the Red team’s. They were led by a father-and-son combination that proved too much for the Blue Sand Trap staff member team.

This week in The Numbers Game I’ll talk about all things number related at the 2006 Newport Cup held in my home state of North Carolina.

Ranking the Courses
I gauged the feelings of the four courses we played last week. If I had to rank them on a scale of one to ten, one being bad and 10 being great, here’s what I think it would be.

Tanglewood Reynolds – 5
The Reynolds course is the shorter and tighter of the two Tanglewood courses. Some complained the layout felt like a county or municipal course (I pointed out to one person that Tanglewood was owned by the county) and was not up to the quality of other courses they were used to. The greens were also not as smooth as the other course, even Salem Glen’s sanded putting surfaces. That being said, the Reynolds course can be a bargain to play at around $30 in peak season.

Salem Glen – 6
I think that everyone liked the layout of the course and the general feelings were good. The problem is that the greens were in rough shape. Salem Glen had problems earlier in the summer and lost some portions of their greens and had put a good deal of sand down to promote growth. The greens actually rolled pretty well, but the sand was not visually appealing. I’ve played this course quite a bit and, when it is in good shape, can be a great course.

Greensboro National – 8
This course was in great shape from tee to green. The G2 greens were a bit frosty in the morning, but were smooth after a couple holes. Personally, I had trouble getting my line and speed down and couldn’t hole any long putts, but I won’t blame the greens… but that was more golfer error than anything else. The rest of the group really raved about the feel and look of this layout. The only negative for me is it’s location, which is about 25 minutes from a highly populated area and is a bit of a drive. Still, it is worth the haul.

Tanglewood Championship – 9
I call it my home course, so I have a bit a bias. That being said, I think most of our crew would agree that this was the best of the four courses. The greens were in fantastic shape and were rolling smooth and fast. Typically, this is the best time to play the Championship course, and it didn’t disappoint. I just wish that my game wouldn’t have disappointed. My worst round of the weekend came at the best course and one I was most familiar with.

The Bet
We decided to make one bet at the beginning of play. The game wasn’t skins or some other popular bet. We played a points game that I had picked up from some other guys earlier this year. Basically, it goes like this:

Each player is given points in the amount of their handicap (i.e. a 13 handcap starts with 13 points). Players are given points based off gross score:

  • -1 for double or worse
  • 0 for bogey
  • 1 for par
  • 3 for birdie
  • 5 for eagle
  • 8 for double eagle

The idea is that you should end up with 18 if you hit or come close to your handicap. In the few times before the Newport Cup that I used this points system it worked really well and everyone stayed within four points of each other even though we had a couple scratch players, a mid-handicapper, and a high-handicapper.

We paid five places (with 16 buying in) just so everyone would have a good shot of winning their money back. Blue team member Rafi ended up winning the bet with 85 points over five rounds (17 points per round). Red team members Dan and Josh, the father and son duo, took third and second respectively. Donald MacKenzie and I finished in the last two paid spots and got a little return on our initial investment. It was good to see a wide array of handicaps do well in this format. I was a scratch, Rafi played to a four, Josh a nine, Donald a 13 and Dan was a 16. Erik posted a nice leaderboard in his Newport Cup wrapup yesterday that I’ve stolen below.

I think this is a fun game to play and is fair to people of all handicaps. You should give it a try in your regular foursome.

Player Name R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 Total
Rafi Lenartowicz 20 23 4 17 21 85
Josh Premuda 16 21 12 14 17 80
Dan Premuda 12 16 15 17 15 75
Dave Koster 19 16 6 16 16 73
Donald MacKenzie 15 9 15 12 20 71
Ray Rojas 14 11 15 14 10 64
Cody Thrasher 6 12 4 14 23 59
Erik J. Barzeski 14 11 12 11 10 58
Jay Rasmusson 13 8 7 20 10 58
Everardo Keeme 10 10 13 9 16 58
Charles Campbell 13 9 11 10 15 58
Alan Olson 8 12 6 10 20 56
Jason Mischel 4 14 10 9 15 52
Eric Ringer 9 7 9 9 13 47
Jack Waddell 12 8 2 10 12 44
Matt Rudy 6 3 5 12 6 32

Random Numbers
To finish this off, I thought I’d leave you with a few random numbers and nuggets from last week’s Newport Cup.

The number of birdies I made in five rounds. Not good. My goal this year was to average over three per round. Less than two doesn’t cut it. I think Rafi made more than me. He played better, that’s for sure.

Due to the lack of birdies, this is how many putters I used last week. I tried out a Monza Corza on Sunday at Greensboro National. I liked it, but didn’t give myself many chances at birdies. The shortest one I had I rolled in. I think I only missed one putt under five feet… of course I only had about three or four that weren’t gimmies.

One Thousand, Four Hundred Forty (1,440)
Holes played this weekend by Sand Trappers and friends. We survived a few injuries and sore muscles, but everyone finished their rounds. Rafi, Erik, Ray, and Don Partch played in Myrtle Beach before the event, bumping the true total to 1,656.

Twenty Nine
Temperature, in degrees fahrenheit, my thermometer read Saturday morning when I got up. No frost delay.

Twenty Eight
Temperature, in degrees fahrenheit, my thermometer read Sunday morning when I got up. One-hour frost delay.

Players from Golf Gods that came and played. Jason and Jay made the trip down from Minnesota and were right at home in the frosty Carolina mornings.

Number of eagles throughout the tournament. It was made by Everardo by holing out on #11 at Salem Glen with a Sonartec t35 wedge.

The number of Southern Points Everardo netted for the eagle.

One Thousand, Two Hundred Eighteen and One Half (1218.5)
Miles driven (one way) by staff member Alan Olsen to get from Zimmerman, MN to Clemmons, NC. Now that’s dedication.

It was great meeting some new faces and also the old ones as well. Hosting (as best I could) the entire crew in my home town was fun and I’m glad we only had cold weather and not any rain on top of it. I had a great time and look forward to next year, where ever the Newport Cup may be held!

11 thoughts on “Newport Cup 2006 in Numbers”

  1. nice job (as always) Dave… I know the course rankings were based on majority, however I’d put Greensboro Natl. above the Tanglewood Champ. Both were nice, but Tanglewood was less player friendly – more trees in play, more blind shots – hard to enjoy a round unless you’re game is right on. Of course I am subjective, after scoring a 89 there, but I prefer “resort style” courses. Raynolds was very tough to play first time ever, just way too many mickey-mouse stuff – I felt like I’m on my home course 🙂 4 iron would’ve been handy on most of the holes!
    You did outstanding as a host,it was really fun weekend – thanks again!

  2. I knew Rafi would comment there. Greensboro National is, to me, nowhere near the course Tanglewood is. The simple presence of all those houses alone and the lack of ability to hit driver all that often (or even 3-wood off many tees) at GN knocks it down a few notches in my book.

    I like the ratings as is, and I think Tanglewood’s Championship course is one of the best tests of golf I’ve ever played.

  3. I agree Erik. I like Greensboro National, but think that Tanglewood is a very solid golf course…one of the best public courses in the state. You can’t just blast away. It requires a bit of course management and skill around the greens given how slick they can be. I just don’t think Greensboro National provides the challenge (you call it player friendly Rafi) that Tanglewood does and isn’t as appealing on the eye.

    The only complaint I ever hear about Tanglewood is that the bunkers are too thin or firm. The sand is different and you can bounce a wedge off of it easy.

    I’m curious to hear what the other Newport Cup contestants have to say…and how they would rank the courses.

  4. First off, Dave you are/were a great host. I had a great time in North Carolina and am looking forward to a follow-up trip.

    Personally I would rank the courses the same exact way Dave has. I give Tanglewood-Championship the slight nod because there are no houses to cloud the view. Condition wise these were also the best of the weekend. Even if the greens at Salem were in better shape I still would rank it lowest on the list just because I didn’t like the layout as much (Although my eagle on 11 gives it some sentimental value)

    My two best rounds were at Tanglewood-Championship and Greensboro National. Partly due to playing with Dave and he was the best yardage book I’ve ever had. 😉 Also those two courses just fit my eye the best and both were a solid challenge and made me think my way around the course. Playing smart seems to be the best approach to my game and these courses do just that.

  5. I can live with Dave’s rankings of the courses, even though I obviously got along with GN better than I did with Tanglewood Championship.

    Overall, Tanglewood was a little better. It was probably the toughest course I’ve ever played, and the 101 I shot showed that. Still, if I would have been striking the ball well, I could have shot in the 80s. It was tough for me to give a full opinion of it because my mood was less than spectacular.

    I actually enjoyed the Reynolds course more than Salem Glen, but once again, it’s probably because I played better. I liked the short yardage and the interesting holes.

    I’ve shot a few rounds in the 70s, but my 81 at Greensboro National was easily the best round of my golfing life. It was a tough course and narrow in places, but it was still fairly easy to hit driver a lot.

    And it’s not like you had Tanglewood and GN ranked far apart. A 9 and an 8 are both pretty darn good.

    I’d give Reynolds a 6 as well along with a 6 for Salem Glen.

    And you were definitely a great host. On a sidenote, you should have put the number 3 or 4 on your list for the number of balls I dumped in the water at Tanglewood Championship on par-3s alone. :-\

  6. Dave – You are a great host! Can’t wait for next year. I think the rankings are spot on. I had my best round at Greensboro National (after some lessons from Jack & Erik) but the housing is a distraction and took away from the course.

    Tanglewood Championship is a great course and deserves the top ranking. I really enjoyed the layout(of course having Dave telling you were to aim and how to play the holes helped out as well). 🙂 I definately want another shot at this one as I played poorly and want to redeem myself.

    Salem Glen is decent and that’s about it. Nothing stood out to me (except Josh hitting a drive on 18 that is still in orbit somewhere).

    Reynolds was well, tight. I had plenty of practice on punch out shots and that’s about the nicest thing to say (it still gets a 5 due to some really interesting holes).

    All in all, a great grouping of courses.

  7. Dave,

    You’re a great host and thanks for setting up the Newport Cup. I concur with you that both Tanglewood Championship and Greensboro National were far superior to the other two courses. In the future, I’d recommend that all five rounds be played at these two courses.

    P.S. Both Josh and I were disappointed that we didn’t have the opportunity to play a round with you.

  8. Both (TC and GN) have their pluses and minuses. I think I’d rather play Tanglewood everyday and play GN off and on. I’m just jealous that Dave lives there. 🙂

  9. What’s Rafi talking about “a 4-iron would be fine”? He doesn’t even carry a 4-iron … anymore. Somewhere in Myrtle Beach, it is rusting in a drainage pond. 🙂

    Dave: Looks like I owe you $10. Did you redo the numbers on the overall bet, since we’re not tied anymore?

  10. Dave… again thanks for being the gracious host. Awesome with the weather reports and course notes.

    Tanglewood Championship I think was clearly the best test of golf. While very well maintained, it suffers a bit from its public ownership and heavy play. But it’s a course that could host a tournament at any level, and I guess has. It’s also a course I would consider “old style” with no houses and a more walker-friendly layout. A couple holes were reminescent of the Bethpage courses.

    Greensboro National was a very pretty course, albiet bordered by MacMansions. But I thought the homes nowhere near as obtrusive as Salem Glen. I think from the tips it would give players like Erik, Dave, Rafi and Josh all they could handle. But being modern, it was designed for carts. And I kind of don’t like that. It reminds me of many newer, high-end daily fee and semi-private layouts. They’re great fun to play, but maybe not amongst the ranks of great courses. Tanglewood Championship may be.

    Finally, I think Dave’s scratch handicap at Tanglewood Championship means a whole lot more that were he a member at any of the other courses we played.

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