OK guys, welcome to this week’s mailbag. As we close the book on another summer of Thursday Night Men’s League, I want to take the time to thank the fans who followed along all summer. As I said in my season ending presser yesterday, I'm really excited to wrestle with my index this winter and come out next spring at the top of my game.
Let’s get to this week’s questions.
I have a member-guest coming up and one of our club members has a guest in our flight who is pulling the ol "I play at a 9-hole shit course out in the sticks that doesn't have a GHIN calculator."
I've played with this dude before and he hits it 310, is handy around the greens and putts lights out. He is now pulling the "I play in a men's league on Thursdays and my club pro is going to just average my scores for August."
Randomly, he kinda reminds me of Stan Perry. If he comes in at a 10 but he really plays to a 4 what should I do? Thinking about walking in to the pro shop dumping my entire bag out, lighting the cash register on fire and throwing a fit until we get him to a more respectable 2 or 3 index. Your thoughts?
Ryan R. Jefferson City, MO
Ryan, this is a sad story that plays out over and over again in every member/guest tournament across the country. Your basic question is: How do you handle a sandbagger?
There are three types of baggers. The guy who enters scores higher than he shoots, the guy that misses putts on purpose and the guy who claims he doesn't have a GHIN number. Honestly I respect the hell out of all three of these guys. They are competitors and they play to win. Shop credit is a drug.
Let's be honest, you don't have the balls to get in this guy's face, the member who brought him's face or your club pro's face to get this guys index changed to where it needs to be. Very few people are willing to experience that level of confrontation.
So if you can't beat em, join em.
I'm going to make the assumption that you are well respected among the members at your club, use that respect and trust to your advantage. Immediately begin to start cramming bullshit scores in to the system. Load it up. Also, on the golf course, any shot that won't win you money needs to go straight sideways. Any putt that can't win or tie a hole, needs to come up woefully short and off-line.
As your index begins to rise, don't share it with anyone. Secrecy is the key.
When you show up on the night of the Calcutta as a 16.4 when everyone is used to you being a 10, stealing from your good friends will never be so easy!
Unfortunately, this method will force you to move from club to club every 18 months and your reputation will be in tatters, but the collection of "C" flight trophies on your mantle will make it all worth it.
Hope this helps.
The boys are planning a winter golf trip this year. We try to head south in the deep of winter for some fun in the sun. Do you have big winter golf plans? What are the best spots to escape winter and keep the game sharp?
Brent J. - Columbus, OH
Hey Brent. Great call. Getting out of the cold and into the heat is a smart move. As the weather gets colder, our games can get away from us.
In terms of best winter golf spots, you simply cannot go wrong with the elegance and class of the Florida Panhandle. Panhandle golf and nightlife are simply unmatched, domestically.
I once rented a bungalow in Panama City Beach for 3 days and 2 nights in 2002 and spent every day on the golf course. The weather was spectacular and the golf was even better. We played 36 holes everyday and spent every night cruising the strip for women. Life was good back then. I highly suggest north Florida for your outing.
Club Pro Guy,
You have put together a crack staff at the club. As a senior manager, I am tasked with finding qualified candidates for multiple job openings each year. The backbone of every business is its people. We can’t find winners every time, but I’m curious how you go about stocking your roster with the best and the brightest season in and season out.
Brett F. - Denver, CO
Brett, thank you for the kind words. I am lucky to have such a great staff behind me. We can talk about culture and leadership and synergy all day but the fact of the matter is that it comes down to character. The character of a person is ultimately what my decision making comes down to when it comes to hiring. That, and the absolute least amount of money someone is willing to take to do a job. There are only so many dollars to go around.
For example, my Assistant Club Pro Tristan Whiteside was working part-time at Golf Galaxy prior to being brought on. The prospect of going from $8.50 an hour to $35 per lesson minus range fees was a life changing moment for him.
Miguel Vega walked almost 2,600 miles in extremely dangerous conditions for an opportunity to lead the grounds crew at our club so I'm not about to question his character and dedication.
Then you have an Anastasia Adams, who tirelessly gives her very best effort to put the club’s best looking aesthetic foot forward on an intermittent basis. While she may have burned through her PTO in roughly three months, her effort and surgically-enhanced performance on the course is nothing short of spectacular. When an employee looks the part, it’s easy to look past some of their shortcomings and just appreciate their effort when they are present.
Thanks for the questions this week. As always, send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org