With 36 total players signed up for Thursday Night Men's League this year, I expect a wide open battle for the league crown. Thanks to the league's new title sponsor, On Point Ball Markers, the purse for this years league has risen dramatically. There is now $300 in shop credit up for grabs for a men's champion and $160 in shop credit available if a woman happens to win the league. That's up almost 15% over last year!
Even though there are 36 players committed, I didn't want to waste everyones time on dead weight, so my Power Ranking is only of the Top 20 players. Here we go!
1. Club Pro Guy - This is fairly obvious. I'm a professional golfer, I have the experience of playing on tour, and I'm the defending champion. Unless and until somebody knocks me off, I'm the guy to beat.
2. Gwan Kung2 - I haven't seen her play yet, but the fact that she's from South Korea immediately vaults her to #2 in the rankings.
3. L'Jarius Cotton III - He's got all the talent in the world and has made huge strides since going to single length irons. But his index has dipped all the way down to a 9.2. Is that too low to contend in league play? We shall see.
4. Barry Clayman - Despite traveling back and forth to Omaha a lot for work, Barry has been playing a ton of golf. He got a new set of Ben Hogan irons from 'Play It Again' Sports and has been putting on laser shows ever since.
5. Chas Dustin - Wouldn't normally have Chas ranked this high but he just went 89-90-87 at a member/guest in Wichita to get his team into the horserace. At a 19.4 index, that's golfing your ball.
6. Edna Frank - She constantly bitches about her gastrointestinal issues but she can still overpower a golf course, which is critical in league play. Can she bomb and gouge her way to a league title or will her well documented short game issues hold her back?
7. Dan the UPS Man - He has the talent to win this league but his delivery route often causes him to show up late and miss tee times. If he can somehow convince his supervisor to let him off a little early on Thursdays.....watch out.
8. Harmony - Her flexibility and her fearlessness gives her a chance to be a great, but is she willing to put in the work on the range to become a more polished player? Only time will tell.
9. Jerry Schaefer - The talent is there but he'll never win with that ego handicap.
10. Jill Dareberry - Formally known as Gil Dareberry, 16 year league veteran "Jill" transitioned to a woman earlier this Spring and will be making her TNML debut playing from the ladies tees. Will the length still be there post estrogen injections? That's the big question as we head into league play.
11. Vikram Kothery - For a guy who didn't leave his house for 14 straight months during the pandemic, you wouldn't know it by his golf game. He's fired 3 straight rounds in the high 80's and looks to make a major move this year.
12. Cathy Spunt - Always a top contender in TNML, Cathy's stock has dropped significantly after revealing she had minor surgery for endometriosis just 2 weeks ago. Will she be healthy enough to compete by August 5th? I wouldn't bet against her.
13. Bill "Dickey" Dickerson - Six short month's after attending a Dave Pelz short game school in Palm Springs he's chipping one-handed and putting with his eyes closed. Oh, and his drinking problem is still completely out of control. Five years ago he was competitive in this league, now he's a punchline.
14. T.J. Kirk - After spending three months in government confinement for being at the capitol on January 6th, T.J. is back and has somehow developed a little baby fade to go along with his already deft short game. He's a long shot, but he gets it up and down from everywhere and his handicap is in a really nice bullshit range.
15. Miles Butt - You can't win this league by accurately and meticulously posting every score throughout the year. Sorry Miles, nice guys finish last.
16. Shelby Clayman - Her game has leveled off but that's been secondary lately. The last few times Barry has gone to Omaha for business, Shelby has invited me over to drink Sauvignon blanc on their back deck, which means the night usually ends with me popping a couple wheelies in their master bedroom. Barry has no idea.
17. Jerry Brownlow - How many Keystone Lights is it physically possible for one guy to drink in a night of league play? I have a feeling Jerry may answer that question this season.
18. Kyle Cupcheck - Kyle brought his son (Piper) to every league night last season and it drove everybody nuts. Nobody liked that kid. From his annoying fist pumps every time his dad holed a putt all the way down to his orange Puma flat billed cap, the kid is a tool. Hopefully he's back in school this year post Covid, but who knows. If Piper does show up, I've instructed Darrel and Carl to keep him on a very short leash.
19. Judy Beckett - (Sigh) Judy and her motorized pushcart are back. It's 7 net 5 SZN.
20. Tim Tinglehoff - Tim just joined the club but sneaks in to the top 20 based on the fact that he has 2 alignment sticks in his bag. That tells me he might have some game. But we'll have to wait and see.