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2017 Newport Cup Matches at Talamore Resort (Pinehurst, NC)


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25 minutes ago, Phil McGleno said:

Matches would have been tied without the challenge balls?-Does everyone think having them was the right idea?

A lot of us thought beforehand if was kind of gimmicky. But after playing them, it was a good choice. And I am biased as well being we won both.

@kpaulhus and @mchepp said we caught them off guard when we gave them the yellow ball on #8. Everyone was assuming #17 or #18. Thumbs up to our captain for making that suggestion.

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Man it was a great time.  Really enjoyed the golf and company.  @coachjimsc and @cipher, I had an awesome time playing and patterning with you both.  Wish I could have helped you out a bit more but in the end, Blue was victorious.

17 hours ago, RandallT said:

I was bummed because I BARELY missed both yours and Phil's eagles. For his, I was just on my way to to the 2nd tee, since I just took photos of your group in the fairway. I was a bit above your green, but looking the opposite direction. 

I didn't miss either eagles.  Was on the wrong end of both.  :angry:

1 hour ago, phillyk said:

@NCGolfer, I really enjoyed our four-ball match at Talamore.  You had some great scrambling that day that kept me working hard.

Agreed...I enjoyed it as well.  My game from 150ish and in was on for the most part.  I was great watching you play.  You and @Pretzel take lines that I never dream of taking.

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2 hours ago, onthehunt526 said:

Tyler, the only way my bag weighs that much, is if Alina (my almost 4 year old), puts her toys/rock "presents" in my garment pocket. Usually my golf bag is around 35 pounds fully loaded.

That was my bag fully loaded with multiple pairs of shoes in a travel bag. It doesn't weigh that much when I carry it, though I imagine I'm usually on the heavier side there since I carry an umbrella and rain gear at all times.

I was posting based on the weigh-in at the airport on the way there and back, not my standing on a scale with my bag.

Overall though the whole event was a ton of fun, and I've got my fingers crossed to be able to play again in a couple of years! Great people, great courses, and great golf from everybody involved. I'll have to see if there are any decent pictures from the event, since I've been told by several people that my avatar looks a bit like a random old man!

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2 hours ago, Phil McGleno said:

Matches would have been tied without the challenge balls?-Does everyone think having them was the right idea?

I've been going back and forth on them.  (Consider that I'm probably biased against them because we lost both of our challenge balls, I'm kicking myself for not pulling the trigger on 13 when we started thinking about it for them, and I hit our ball in the water on 18.  Had I succeeded on one of those, we'd have tied, and on both, we'd have won)

With that disclaimer out of the way ... I think they were fun and different.  Not necessary though, because the day was plenty fun and interesting already.  It completely eliminated the possibility of us pairing @Pretzel and @phillyk, though, because then they'd have had to birdie a hole for the challenge.  Not that we were going to do it, but it certainly took away that option.

I guess I'm ultimately ambivalent about the challenge balls in relation to the overall competition.

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I would be interested to see any of the scorecards if people had them, or possibly GameGolf/stats on rounds from the individual matches if anyone used them?

Also, I hope the captains do a writeup of their observations again like they did for the 2015 Newport Cup, I enjoyed reading that and loved to learn observations from golfers much better than myself.

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Just now, Golfingdad said:

With that disclaimer out of the way ... I think they were fun and different.  Not necessary though, because the day was plenty fun and interesting already.  It completely eliminated the possibility of us pairing @Pretzel and @phillyk, though, because then they'd have had to birdie a hole for the challenge.  Not that we were going to do it, but it certainly took away that option.

I will agree that it made that pairing impossible, and I'm pretty unsure of how I feel about that one. I don't think Phil and I would have ended up playing with each other anyways, but it did mean we definitely couldn't have been paired together even if the opponents we both wanted were paired together (I know I wanted to play against @NCGolfer for the singles day, it would've been a really tight match if I had shown up to the course that morning, but it was still great fun). A bit of extra handicap adjustments had to be done whenever I or @phillyk were in a match, just because of the plus, but I think by Friday a solid system had been devised. 

As for the challenge balls themselves, I go kind of back and forth. I like the extra layer of strategy that it adds (and the additional singles match points), but it did feel a little bit strange to play alternate shot in the middle of the singles matches in a format that made it feel more like your group against the course, instead of your group against the opponents. I think a solution to that change in mentality, if one is desired, might be to have the challenge ball be used on a hole where you think you and your teammate can score better than the two opponents you're facing. Play it as a one-hole match, in any format, where both teams play with a special golf ball and the winner of the hole gets a point (with each team having one challenge per group, so the same total points, just a different format). I think that would be a bit more fun and exciting since it's more in the theme of the match play competition and it gets you to plan around your strengths and your opponents weaknesses to determine the hole you want to challenge on. Just a thought, though overall I do like that more points were available on Saturday than there otherwise would have been.

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9 minutes ago, klineka said:

I would be interested to see any of the scorecards if people had them, or possibly GameGolf/stats on rounds from the individual matches if anyone used them?

Also, I hope the captains do a writeup of their observations again like they did for the 2015 Newport Cup, I enjoyed reading that and loved to learn observations from golfers much better than myself.

I have my scorecards in my GPS for when I played my own ball (so the alternate shot is not in there). I shot an 83 at Talamore, 80 at Mid-South, and 78 at Mid-South. I can post more detailed stats later, when I put them into my stats spreadsheet.

I think the captains are planning on posting something like that again. The official airing of grievances thread!

 

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7 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

I've been going back and forth on them.  (Consider that I'm probably biased against them because we lost both of our challenge balls, I'm kicking myself for not pulling the trigger on 13 when we started thinking about it for them, and I hit our ball in the water on 18.  Had I succeeded on one of those, we'd have tied, and on both, we'd have won)

With that disclaimer out of the way ... I think they were fun and different.  Not necessary though, because the day was plenty fun and interesting already.  It completely eliminated the possibility of us pairing @Pretzel and @phillyk, though, because then they'd have had to birdie a hole for the challenge.  Not that we were going to do it, but it certainly took away that option.

I guess I'm ultimately ambivalent about the challenge balls in relation to the overall competition.

I'm in the same boat.  I like the idea of a challenge ball, but it seemed odd that the other team would get the point if we couldn't par or better.  It wouldn't have mattered either way, we lost fair and square. It worked out that the challenge balls were, in essence, a tie breaker, which is cool.

13 minutes ago, klineka said:

I would be interested to see any of the scorecards if people had them, or possibly GameGolf/stats on rounds from the individual matches if anyone used them?

Also, I hope the captains do a writeup of their observations again like they did for the 2015 Newport Cup, I enjoyed reading that and loved to learn observations from golfers much better than myself.

I know I shot 73 at Talamore day 1 in best ball. Day 2 best ball, I didn't finish a couple holes, but I think it would've been 76/77 at Mid South.  Day 3 Mid South was a 69. We'll have more in depth reviews later, I believe.

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19 minutes ago, klineka said:

I would be interested to see any of the scorecards if people had them, or possibly GameGolf/stats on rounds from the individual matches if anyone used them?

Here’s one I took a picture of, this is our morning foursomes match Friday:

00572980-E421-4231-8F59-E895F6195F16.jpeg

I particularly liked how we were never more than one hole apart.

Edited by Golfingdad
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2 hours ago, Phil McGleno said:

Matches would have been tied without the challenge balls?-Does everyone think having them was the right idea? What do you do in a tie?

Since you asked. Let me start by saying I don't mind that the blue team won. Who won or who lost is fun to contemplate but isn't what the event is all about. It is about meeting people from all over the country with a mutual passion for golf, and then playing some. 

I think that the competition was excellent and the challenge balls were an unnecessary addition. The main problem I have is I battle this guy from the blue team for nine holes and that is worth the same as one swing. Kyle missed his drive on our challenge ball and I think the blue team lost theirs on 17, all occurred on a single swing. So I think making it worth an entire point devalued the singles match we were in. Maybe it could have been worth a half a point or a quarter of point not to devalue the 9 holes we played. 

I appreciate the concept of finding ways to spice it up. It did add an element of gamesmanship and strategy that is fun. I just felt it had a very high value and then devalued the other parts of the event. 

If it ended in a tie as in 2015 it is a fitting end to a great competition. Mid South did have a very cool 19th hole, would have loved to watch the captains play it to decide the winners. I think we all would have enjoyed watching that.

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1 hour ago, klineka said:

I would be interested to see any of the scorecards if people had them, or possibly GameGolf/stats on rounds from the individual matches if anyone used them?

I believe we gave almost all the scorecards to @RandallT, though I don't know if he still has any of them.

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22 minutes ago, Pretzel said:

I believe we gave almost all the scorecards to @RandallT, though I don't know if he still has any of them.

First, I concur that you should not have a pic of @NCGolfer as your avatar. :-P I know I got a great pic of you at A6 as you hit put your 2nd shot on for a par 5- love the colors on that pic. That red uniform was a thing of beauty. Maybe crop it somehow? (I won't be offended it you don't use it) Here it is:

3AD469AD-7769-4162-9CCB-671FE25B0F60.jpeg

And yes, I collected them all, but last seen in Erik/Mike's room on the kitchen counter when I departed. I'm not trying to shovel responsibility off on them, but I wasn't sure they were ever needed again myself and I voiced that opinion. Little did I know people would want to reconstruct rounds from them.  If I were Erik/Mike, I'd likely have tossed them cleaning up the room.

For what it's worth, at least one card from every match was accounted for. I know that because I labeled them all as Thursday AM or whatever, and each batch had a 1/2/3 accounted for.

Secondly, here's the big board from the entire event (all rows unhidden):

Screen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.31.08 PM.png

Just thought someone might want to see it all at once, rather than individually as they were posted through the event (for less clutter).

Lastly, if someone ever googles "Webb friggin Simpson" (with the quotes) they will now get a link to this thread. Perhaps the only time in recorded internet history that that exact phrase has been used. 

https://www.google.com/search?q="webb+friggin+simpson"&oq="webb+friggin+simpson"&gs_l=psy-ab.3..35i39k1.5048.6700.0.7087.2.2.0.0.0.0.255.389.0j1j1.2.0....0...1.1.64.psy-ab..0.2.388....0.XDPE8zxVSSE

 

 

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5 hours ago, onthehunt526 said:

Tyler, the only way my bag weighs that much, is if Alina (my almost 4 year old), puts her toys/rock "presents" in my garment pocket. Usually my golf bag is around 35 pounds fully loaded.

When I pack for a trip I put as much as I can in my golf bag - extra clothes, etc. - especially if it's soft. Up to the 50 pound limit.

5 hours ago, Phil McGleno said:

@mvmac and @iacas-What did you do the whole time? Play behind them? How much work did it take to do this. I run a few monthly things and THOSE take a heck of a lot of work.- Can not imagine this.

We drove around and watched. Tweeted (@mvmac did more than I did here - big thanks there. I'm not used to Tweeting during my college events and wouldn't think of it as often as I'd have liked). Drove around. Observed. Looked for a lot of golf balls. Gave a few rulings.

No golf for us during the event. Just watching 90 holes. Organization of the event took several months, and we weren't done. Still aren't done, as you can imagine.

You should've come out to watch.

5 hours ago, Phil McGleno said:

What do you do in a tie?

It's just a tie. After playing 90 holes or whatever, to have the entire event come down to something like a single-hole playoff or whatever just doesn't feel right, particularly given that we'd have a hard time handicapping it.

5 hours ago, klineka said:

After seeing all the pictures from the course, I think my buddy and I are going to plan a long weekend trip down there in December and golf at both Talamore and Midsouth.

Lots of good golf in the area. Tell 'em you saw the matches and ads and all that here!


As for the Challenge Ball stuff, I'm going to be playing devil's advocate a bit. I'm up for changing it if there's an overwhelming consensus, if a better idea comes by, etc. I liked weighting the singles day a bit more, and it did that. It was still golf. It was a format we played before. And it created a moment, a point of pressure, even if the match (or the side) was already decided. It added a team element to what is a singles day, too.

I think the Challenge Ball was good. It was simple, and a way of saying "We don't think you two can par this hole." It was a way of offering up a Challenge, hence the name.

So I'll play devil's advocate a little. But I'm also listening to the feedback, too.

3 hours ago, Golfingdad said:

With that disclaimer out of the way ... I think they were fun and different.  Not necessary though, because the day was plenty fun and interesting already.  It completely eliminated the possibility of us pairing @Pretzel and @phillyk, though, because then they'd have had to birdie a hole for the challenge.  Not that we were going to do it, but it certainly took away that option.

It didn't take away the option. :-D @mvmac could have paired them together, and then they could have tried to birdie a hole, or lost the point. Conceding that one point would have been weighed against the benefits of playing them together, which… in singles play… are… what exactly? Nothing? So if there are no advantages to pairing them together… see where I'm going with that? :-)

3 hours ago, klineka said:

I would be interested to see any of the scorecards if people had them, or possibly GameGolf/stats on rounds from the individual matches if anyone used them?

I have a bunch, but it'll be awhile before I can get to them.

3 hours ago, klineka said:

Also, I hope the captains do a writeup of their observations again like they did for the 2015 Newport Cup, I enjoyed reading that and loved to learn observations from golfers much better than myself.

Yep. There's less here as the level of play was a bit better than at Moon Valley.

3 hours ago, Pretzel said:

I will agree that it made that pairing impossible

It didn't. It simply, worst case, made it likely you'd sacrifice a point.

3 hours ago, Pretzel said:

I don't think Phil and I would have ended up playing with each other anyways

Right, there's also that. :-)

3 hours ago, Pretzel said:

but it did mean we definitely couldn't have been paired together

Still not true. :-)

3 hours ago, Pretzel said:

As for the challenge balls themselves, I go kind of back and forth. I like the extra layer of strategy that it adds (and the additional singles match points), but it did feel a little bit strange to play alternate shot in the middle of the singles matches in a format that made it feel more like your group against the course, instead of your group against the opponents.

Nobody else could think of another way to put another "six points" of weight on the singles matches in a way that wasn't going to just bias it in favor of the sweeps (i.e. someone losing 3-0 would likely just lose 4-0 if you awarded a fourth point to the singles somehow).

There are tweaks we could make. If we keep the same basic concept, maybe we'll say that you can't choose a par three, and once one team (in the foursome) challenges another, they can't be challenged back on the same hole, for a bit more strategy. I add another idea below, too.

3 hours ago, Pretzel said:

I think a solution to that change in mentality, if one is desired, might be to have the challenge ball be used on a hole where you think you and your teammate can score better than the two opponents you're facing. Play it as a one-hole match, in any format, where both teams play with a special golf ball and the winner of the hole gets a point (with each team having one challenge per group, so the same total points, just a different format).

I don't care for that because one team would be wise to choose a hole where they stroke but the other team does not. And instead of playing only roughly 6 to 8 extra shots in a round (two holes per group), now each foursome is playing at least twice that (two holes per group, but both sides playing both holes now).

The Challenge Ball idea may be around in 2019, or maybe not. Maybe it'll be simplified, or changed. Maybe it'll be worth half a point, but each player can challenge their opponent to play a hole with the Challenge Ball and it counts toward both the Challenge AND the regular ongoing singles match. That wouldn't slow play at all.

It's also not at all a "team" thing.

2 hours ago, DeadMan said:

I have my scorecards in my GPS for when I played my own ball (so the alternate shot is not in there). I shot an 83 at Talamore, 80 at Mid-South, and 78 at Mid-South. I can post more detailed stats later, when I put them into my stats spreadsheet.

Get a GG man.

2 hours ago, phillyk said:

I'm in the same boat.  I like the idea of a challenge ball, but it seemed odd that the other team would get the point if we couldn't par or better.

Why? "We challenge you to par this hole." Pretty straightforward. If you bet someone, you get the winnings. Table stakes were a point.

It's a wager. A bet. A challenge. The points had to go somewhere.

Had they simply vanished we could have had anywhere from 0 to 6 points count. That's weirder, don't you think?

Also, had that worked this way… Blue would have still won 2-1 and 29 to 28. The Challenge Balls were sweeps: in the matches where Blue won or Red won, the other team also lost their Challenge Ball. So it would have been 2-1 instead of 4-2.

2 hours ago, mchepp said:

Since you asked. Let me start by saying I don't mind that the blue team won. Who won or who lost is fun to contemplate but isn't what the event is all about. It is about meeting people from all over the country with a mutual passion for golf, and then playing some.

I told @mvmac and he said similar things… that we didn't really care who won, but we hoped that it was close so that at least there was interest.

2 hours ago, mchepp said:

I think that the competition was excellent and the challenge balls were an unnecessary addition.

I wanted to weight the singles more and provide a different or unique thing. I think it did both of those things.

The only "dud" part of it, IMO, was that everyone picked 17 or 18 except one. On the bright side, that really ratcheted up the intensity and the meaning of the points. Especially if players were following Randall's leaderboards. They could see how close things were and how each point mattered.

2 hours ago, mchepp said:

The main problem I have is I battle this guy from the blue team for nine holes and that is worth the same as one swing.

See, I feel like that's a good thing. A way of really ratcheting up the intensity. A way of, even if you're already out of it or have already won your match, to still have something on the line. A way of creating a moment.

2 hours ago, mchepp said:

Kyle missed his drive on our challenge ball and I think the blue team lost theirs on 17, all occurred on a single swing.

To be fair, you had four other swings on that hole, @mchepp, and the other Challenge Balls had more than one swing that determined their fate as well. Red went 1-2, Blue went 2-1 when challenged. Red bogeyed 8 and lost a ball on 18 in the water. Blue lost a ball on 17. The others were won… which took at least 3 or 4 strokes. The only losses took 5, 2, and 1 swings. The wins took 4, 4, and 3.

2 hours ago, mchepp said:

So I think making it worth an entire point devalued the singles match we were in. Maybe it could have been worth a half a point or a quarter of point not to devalue the 9 holes we played.

It didn't de-value the singles matches. They were still worth the same three points. 18 points were available in singles on the final day, and only 6 for the Challenge Ball.

2 hours ago, mchepp said:

I appreciate the concept of finding ways to spice it up. It did add an element of gamesmanship and strategy that is fun. I just felt it had a very high value and then devalued the other parts of the event.

I respect your opinion, but disagree that six points out of 60 de-valued the rest of the competition.

2 hours ago, mchepp said:

If it ended in a tie as in 2015 it is a fitting end to a great competition. Mid South did have a very cool 19th hole, would have loved to watch the captains play it to decide the winners. I think we all would have enjoyed watching that.

This comment is a stunner to me… Talk about de-valuing the play of the previous days by the actual competing team members! I could think of nothing I'd want less were I a member of the team than to have someone ELSE decide whether I won or lost.

1 hour ago, Pretzel said:

I believe we gave almost all the scorecards to @RandallT, though I don't know if he still has any of them.

I have them all. It'll be awhile before I get to them, and of course, the scores aren't necessarily representative of anything, because you can pick up when you've lost a hole. Some holes were conceded on the tees.

1 hour ago, RandallT said:

First, I concur that you should not have a pic of @NCGolfer as your avatar. :-P I know I got a great pic of you at A6 as you hit put your 2nd shot on for a par 5- love the colors on that pic. That red uniform was a thing of beauty. Maybe crop it somehow? (I won't be offended it you don't use it) Here it is:

How about using this as your avatar?

red-logo.jpg

It's even red. :-)

</smacktalk>

1 hour ago, RandallT said:

And yes, I collected them all, but last seen in Erik/Mike's room on the kitchen counter when I departed. I'm not trying to shovel responsibility off on them, but I wasn't sure they were ever needed again myself and I voiced that opinion. Little did I know people would want to reconstruct rounds from them.  If I were Erik/Mike, I'd likely have tossed them cleaning up the room.

I still have them.

1 hour ago, RandallT said:

Lastly, if someone ever googles "Webb friggin Simpson" (with the quotes) they will now get a link to this thread.

I get two results to different topics, FWIW. I think Google may have picked up one of the sidebar "recent topics" or "recent posts" or something.


To be clear on the Challenge Ball stuff:

  • It was perfectly fair, and everyone knew the rules going in. We determined the Challenge Ball thing pretty early on. (I'm not saying anyone is saying it's unfair or anything.)
  • It was 10% of the points, and didn't devalue anything. I disagree strongly with that, enough to make it its own bullet point.
  • I think it worked pretty well. I liked that it added something different, created a pressure moment, and allowed a player who had already won or lost to still have something to play for. I think it achieved the goals I had for it.
  • I think it can and will improve a bit for 2019. I think something similar will exist in 2019.
  • I'm playing a little devil's advocate. It wasn't perfect, and I respect that people will have different opinions.

BTW thanks to @RandallT I found the original post where I thought of this and it dates back to… February.

On 2/2/2017 at 3:13 PM, iacas said:

I'd love to hear what other ideas y'all have. I'm open to anything. I'm even open to the idea of giving each team a yellow golf ball (maybe an optic yellow Get Sum) and saying that it's worth 1 point - before anyone tees off on a hole you play that ball alternate shot and if you make a par or better (gross) you get the point. If you bogey or worse the opposing team gets the point. That way it's truly an "extra" point that adds a little "team" aspect to one hole per round without complicating the handicaps or anything like that.

Just a thought.

The only change made to that was to make it net instead of gross.

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

Get a GG man.

The only "dud" part of it, IMO, was that everyone picked 17 or 18 except one. On the bright side, that really ratcheted up the intensity and the meaning of the points. Especially if players were following Randall's leaderboards. They could see how close things were and how each point mattered.

Hmm, GG is something that never really interested me too much, but maybe if there's another $100 sale on it. The strokes gained stats could be interesting, although it would probably be pretty depressing to see how bad my putting actually is.

On the challenge balls, there really wasn't many other great options. 17 was the toughest hole on the course at Mid-South, in my opinion, with a long approach and a tough green. 18 was also tough, in that it was the rare hole that demanded an excellent tee shot and an excellent approach. @Pretzel and I briefly considered 6 with the water carry, but decided against it. A lot of the other good holes were ones where people got strokes (i.e., 12 and 14). 8 and 16 could have been other good ones, but we liked making someone execute a 190-200 yard shot and then 2 good putts to make par.

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35 minutes ago, DeadMan said:

On the challenge balls, there really wasn't many other great options. 17 was the toughest hole on the course at Mid-South, in my opinion, with a long approach and a tough green. 18 was also tough, in that it was the rare hole that demanded an excellent tee shot and an excellent approach. @Pretzel and I briefly considered 6 with the water carry, but decided against it. A lot of the other good holes were ones where people got strokes (i.e., 12 and 14). 8 and 16 could have been other good ones, but we liked making someone execute a 190-200 yard shot and then 2 good putts to make par.

That green was truly brutal, so even if someone managed to hit a good approach onto the center of the green (I think it played 205 that afternoon?), it would've been a tough 2 putt considering the back pin position.

For those who weren't there, on Thursday there was a middle pin position. There's also a very severe slope to the green that has a ridge right around the middle of the green, and I hit a putt that stopped and turned around about a foot or two short of the hole (Phil had hit the approach to the front of the green). The putt then proceeded to roll back beyond the point where I hit the first putt. It was really a pretty severely sloped green, meaning pars there were really good even without playing alternate shot.

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42 minutes ago, DeadMan said:

Hmm, GG is something that never really interested me too much, but maybe if there's another $100 sale on it. The strokes gained stats could be interesting, although it would probably be pretty depressing to see how bad my putting actually is.

It's $84 on Prime right now, FWIW. No reason to get the LIVE if you don't want to use the GPS feature.

You might surprise yourself.

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I'm still recovering from my golf marathon, but I'll write just a little bit now.  First and foremost, this was an absolute blast, thanks to the huge effort of the organizers, @mvmac and @iacas, to the sponsors, to the staff at Talamore and MidSouth, and to the attitude and efforts of all of the players.  I was lucky enough this past week to play with every one of my teammates (when I count my pre- and post-tournament fun rounds), and against every player on the West team except for @Golfingdad.  Ten matches total for the 2015 and 2017 Newport Cups, and I haven't been in the group with him once.  Fortunately, I've been able to play with him in Palm Springs a couple of times.

I loved the matches, from watching @Pretzel and @phillyk bomb it almost off the planet, to watching my partner @bkuehn1952 sink every putt inside 10 feet (keeping the pressure off of me), to seeing @mchepp try to grind me to dust, one crumb at a time.  I enjoyed the mix  of personalities, the wide range of ages, over 40 years from top to bottom, the huge variations in our golf games.  I'm REALLY happy that the top end of the ages was victorious in the end.  I'm absolutely amazed that the end result was this close once again, although it may just be an indication that we all have reasonably accurate handicaps.  

As someone mentioned earlier in this thread, a few of us blue team players talked about the challenge balls on Friday night, with most of it being less than completely enthusiastic.  As it turned out, however, I thought the challenge was pretty exhilarating, really ramping up the pressure.  Of course, my match on Saturday with @mchepp was nothing but pressure to start with, I'm not sure I needed to ramp it up any more.  You know, for us old guys, a heart attack on 18 tee wouldn't be a good thing.  

Enough for now.  Once again, my thanks go out to @iacas and @mvmac, the sponsors, the venues, the players, and especially to @RandallT for keeping my lovely wife informed.

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49 minutes ago, DeadMan said:

On the challenge balls, there really wasn't many other great options. 17 was the toughest hole on the course at Mid-South, in my opinion, with a long approach and a tough green. 18 was also tough, in that it was the rare hole that demanded an excellent tee shot and an excellent approach. @Pretzel and I briefly considered 6 with the water carry, but decided against it. A lot of the other good holes were ones where people got strokes (i.e., 12 and 14). 8 and 16 could have been other good ones, but we liked making someone execute a 190-200 yard shot and then 2 good putts to make par.

Our opponents had a challenge ball handicap of 8, which really limited the options even more.  We ruled out the first few holes just because since it was a brand new concept, we wanted to kind of feel things out - not to mention, concentrate on our own matches - for a bit before we considered it.  It didn't actually come up again until after the 9th hole where we stopped for a drink and had a conversation about strategy.  On the back nine, 12,14,16 and 18 were not options because they got a stroke.  11 was a fairly simple par 3, so that was out, and 15 was a par 5, so was out as well, too easy to recover from a mistake.  That left 10, 13 and 17.  10 was pretty straightforward like 11 but with a tee shot thrown in, otherwise nothing special, so it came down to 13 and 17.  We had pretty much decided on 13 at this point while sitting on 10 tee waiting to tee off.  By the time we got to 13 tee, though, Brian had hit a couple really good hybrid approaches on the previous couple of holes so we chickened out.  That was a mistake.  It was 425 yards, so even with a piped Jerry drive, and Brian's best approach, I don't think they'd have got there, which eamns they'd have had a fairly tough up and down for par.  Choosing a tough par 4 like that would require both players to each make two good shots, instead of the par 3 which just required them to each make one good shot.

In a match that was literally decided by one of these balls, this could have made the difference.

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