Notebook
Winning & Sandbagging

To some degree, the term "sandbagging" always finds its way into any handicapped event. "Sandbagging" by definition is proactively posting higher scores than real, to gain an advantage in a golf tournament. Participants who use the term sandbagging in casual conversation are implying factual knowledge that a fellow golfer is a cheater.

Sandbagging does not occur at the Carl Spackler Open, but prior to the event. A participant who accuses a golfer of sandbagging or circulates rumors of sandbagging is implying he watched or experienced cheating prior to the event and ignored it.

The Carl Spackler Open is not designed to reward a golfer who plays better than his statistical averages. It is designed to recognize a single golfer who has played better than everyone else who are all playing against their statistical averages. To win this event, a golfer would almost certainly post scores that are not believable to anyone including himself. THESE UNBELIEVABLE SCORES BY DEFINITION WILL RESEMBLE SANDBAGGING.

Dress Code

Golf shirts along with bermuda shorts. T-shirts, jogging apparel or denim of any kind is prohibited. Only soft spike golf shoes are allowed on the golf course, practice green, and driving range.

DO NOT FORGET

The following is a list that you might want to bring along on the trip. These items will not be provided.
1. Shampoo
2. Golf Clubs
3. Cigars & Cigarettes
4. Sunglasses
5. Medical Tape, Bandaids, Sunscreen, Chapstick
6. Cash
7. Umbrella
8. Bug Spray or Absorbine Jr.
9. Golf Shoes (soft spikes)
10. Golf Clothes (the course requires proper golf attire. Please review dress code note)
11. Golf Gloves (extra for potential rain)
12. USB Charger
13. Phone Charging Cord
14. Golf Towels, plenty in case it is wet.
15. Golf Balls
16. Belt
17. Swimsuit.
18. Mow your lawn.
19. GPS Yardage Finder
20. Powder or Boxer Briefs to guard against chaffing.
21. Weigh Travel Bag for 50lb Airport limit.
22. Carl Spackler Open baseball hats.
23. Music Speaker

Handicapping

The tournament handicapping uses Poststats Points. These points are completely independent of Virtual Tournament handicaps. They will be set and printed a few days prior to the event.

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The handicap system is based on posted scorecards to the website, USGA Slope Rating, and yardage played. The USGA Slope Rating is a number (between 55 and 155) given to each tee box in America by the USGA. The number represents the difficulty to the average bogey golfer. The average USGA Slope Rating in America is 115.

Poststats.com uses total yardage played and USGA Slope Rating to apply a "course bonus" to each tee box in America. These bonus points are used to level the course difficulty and handicap each golfer participating in the Carl Spackler Open. The course bonus is not used at the Carl Spackler Open since all participants are playing the same course.

Each golfer is required to post 4+ scorecards to participate in the Carl Spackler Open. The handicap system and computer will use the last 15 posted scorecards regardless of year to determine a golfer handicap. The handicap system will omit the best scorecard and four worst scorecards from the previous 15 posted scorecards. It will tally the average number of birdies, pars, bogeys, double-bogeys, and triple-bogeys for each golfer. (Eagles are converted to birdies.)

The "personal profile" for each golfer has a date field for health setbacks. This field is used for heart attacks, strokes, broken legs, surgeries, and anytime past scorecards are not a representation of a golfer's skill level. The computer does not use scorecards prior to the date entered.

The goal of the handicap system is for each participant to score 60 points per round with their course bonus. For each golfer, the computer will use averages per round (birdie, par, bogey, double-bogey, triple-bogey) described above and cross check the database of 250 different "sets of points" for a set of points that will position each golfer to score 60 points. (Remember course bonus is not used at the Carl Spackler Open.)

The chances of one unknown high handicapped golfer dropping 30% of their strokes per hole over a 54-hole period is more than probable.

Poststats.com added "target points" to the handicapping system in the winter of 2007. The computer started raising point targets for the best golfers while still rewarding the high handicappers. The lower the stroke handicap, the more target points a golfer will receive. Golfers with a stroke handicap of +8 to +11 receive an elevated target to 62 points per round. Participants with a handicap +6 to +8 strokes are bumped to 63 points per round. Handicaps of +6 strokes have target of 64 points and +5 strokes get 65 points. Golfers with a handicap of +2 are targeted at 65 points per round. Jason Ridgeway presently has a negative stroke handicap and receives 67 points.

In addition to golf skill, golfers who play the same course 70 percent of the time will be given an elevated target of 1 point. This change also came in 2007. These "home course" participants will be given 2 points if they play the same course 90 percent of the time. These golfers statistically slip when leaving their home course. The point upgrade allows the entire tournament field to handicapped equally and remove scoring based on extensive course knowledge.

Poststats.com added another target increase in the winter of 2009 as a step to decrease Top 10 volatility and reward participants for posting scorecards. They modified the same target increase in the spring of 2011. Golfers who post scorecards per year (365 days) including past events registered with Poststats.com will receive an additional target point. Point targets will elevate by 1 point for every 4 scorecards posted with a maximum of 5 target points added. Jason Ridgeway's point target jumps to 71 points (A player) and Rick Dosky's (D player) point target jumps to 62 points.

The statisical handicapping detail for each golfer is available online. Golfers can visit the homepage and click "HANDICAPS" in the lower menu. Then click on their name.

Scoring

The Carl Spackler Open is scored live, however allows both paper scorecard. The mobile website does not require access rights, however mobile scoring does require access. Brian Long and Greg Long can provide access rights to score the tournament.

Greg Garrett, Brian Long, and Greg Long will be managing 8,000 scores. PLEASE CONSIDER THE SCORING TEAM ON YOUR VACATION. Paper scorecards with Mike, Jay, or J.D. are the opposite of clarity. Do not chicken scratch or circle birdies.  

Paper scorecards should have a clear unique name, 18 clearly written numbers, and circled scores to indicate holes with long putt made. Turn in both scorecards when totals are identical.

Mobile live scoring changes 50-year old golf behavior. The cell phone does not strap on the golf cart steering wheel so think about the modified behaviors that will result.

1. Comfort. Carry small cell phones in your pocket or find a traditional space in the golf cart.

2. Battery Charge. Come to the golf course with full charge and your Spackler battery charger.

3. Share. Multiple golfers in your foursome can share the job and battery lives.

4. Integrity. Do not score birdies to grab attention with plans to change it later. Long-term integrity is paramount.

Mobile Website

The Carl Spackler Open will no longer manage communications with printing and distributing of paper. The event has an independent mobile website. m.poststats.com. This is the letter m followed by a dot. Then poststats dot com. The username and password are both case sensitive. Many phones auto capitalize the first letter when trying to enter a username. Be careful. BOOKMARK THIS WEBSITE ON YOUR PHONE. YOU WILL FORGET THE WEB ADDRESS.

The mobile website is simplified for the actual 96 hour event. It does not have pictures or news. It contains an address book, Leaderboards, scoring, rules, process, notifications, pairings, tee times, and schedule.

Do not test enter scores prior to actual play, however feel free to get comfortable with the information provided.

Pace of Play

It takes about one hour to play 18 holes of golf. The other 2.5 to 4.5 hours is "logistical positioning" -- getting to the next shots with the right equipment. Any golf tournament including the PGA Tour played by the rules (no gimmies, no fluffing, etc.) is not going to be completed in under 4 3/4 hours. Add hackers and add time.

The slowest group dictates the pace of play for everyone behind them. Any group that gets out of position -- especially early in the day -- will affect many groups after it.

The pairings are designed with "fun" as top priority and "pace of play" as a close second. Skilled golfers should educate and lead by example. Everyone needs to enjoy their round, but allow low handicappers to help move things along.

Raking bunkers for others, fixing divots for others, replacing divots for others, and carrying a pocket full of XL Top-Flites is being someone's caddy. It also is speeding up pace of play. Hitting your own ball first, putting out on occasion, and even putting out of turn while someone is raking a greenside bunker can do wonders for pace of play.

None of the above requires a fellow golfer to play faster between pulling a club from the bag and swinging it. It does imply as a foursome we will work together to play faster. Your foursome is playing slow if you cannot see the foursome in front of you.

Daily Personalized Agenda

The Poststats.com server will send a personalized email to all golfer accounts every morning. The agenda will be personalized to you. It will contain golf course, tee time, playing partners, partner contact information, cart driver, red tee, event itinerary, and other notifications.

The days of printed pairing sheets are over. Its is golfer responsibility to obtain information from their personalized agenda and mobile website.

GOLFERS WHO DO NOT RECEIVE THE AGENDA EMAIL SHOULD CHECK THEIR "JUNK" FOLDER.

Roommate Matching System

The Carl Spackler Open rooming list consists of lodging assignments for the event. It must be successful or the event dissolves. There is a system to assigning roommates and it is explained here. The system uses 'preferences' in a logical backward sequence to match up golfers, however there is a human element. This document will share the process, but also includes (1) protections for the roommate matching process and (2) explain why 'highest ranking preferences' do not dictate roommate assignments.


THE SYSTEM BY STEP
A working roommate matching system with 100 golfers will collect more than 500 ranked roommate preferences.

The first step is to generate a list of golfers who were not selected by any of their fellow registrants. The original referral for a golfer not receiving a preference will be contacted to see if he wants to add him as possible roommate. If that doesn't resolve the issue, golfers not receiving a preference will be offered a full refund and/or single occupancy at an increased cost.

The second step is to match up rookies with their primary preference.

The third and final step is to match up everyone else.

Our rooming list is not started until late cancellations are known, hotels are chosen, and Tuesday night reservations are made. This is generally 3 to 4 weeks prior to the practice round.


MATCHING EXPLAINED
Paraphrasing a common statement. "I have a man crush on John and John has a man crush on me. It's simple and we completed our options as such. Why in the hell are we not in the same room?"

Answer: "Preferences are not orders. You are not considering everyone else attending. The Carl Spackler Open must provide a solution for everyone."

Rookies are matched first. So 13 rookies will remove 26 golfers from the pool of available roommates. These rookies and their selection must have matching hotel reservations.

Then a database query is run to generate a list of popular roommates sorted by least popular person. (The most popular roommates are located at the bottom of list.) Roommates are matched in this order, but also use matching hotel reservations and selected preferences.

Power Drinking Pete, Snoring Sam, Crazy Curt, Weird Walter, Quiet Quinton, Chatty Christian are likely at the top in the unpopular portion of the list with 1 or 2 golfers who prefer to room with them. These golfers will be matched and placed on the rooming list. This sets off a chain of events that causes highly ranked matches to become void.

The matching system continues down the list of golfers when it eventually reaches the bottom. The bottom contains two dozen of the most popular available roommates, where flexibility is less necessary and roommate popularity increases.


EXAMPLES
Example #1: Nobody preferred Quiet Quinton as a roommate, who is a super cool dude. Everyone is focused on others and he receives no preferences. Quinton's referral is contacted to see if he is interested in rooming with Quinton. If not, Quinton is offered a full refund and/or single occupancy.

Example #2: Weird Walter was preferred by one person. Larry. Larry has Weird Walter on his list ranked 15th. Weird Walter has 10 preferences with Larry being 6th on his list. A successful rooming list must ignore Larry's Top 14 preferences and Christian's Top 5 preferences. Weird Walter is matched with Larry. A popular Larry is now removed from 42 preference lists.

Example #3: Charming Charles is cool as a cucumber. He is preferred by 45 fellow participants and 11 have him as their #1. Charming Charles likes everyone, but desperately wants to room with buddy Charismatic Karl. Charles plays defense and provides the bare minimum roommate preferences. He calls Charismatic Karl to ensure they match up preferences. The time comes for very popular Charles to be matched with a roommate, but none of Charming Charles?s preferences are available. They are already matched with Snoring Sam, Power Drinking Pete, and Chatty Christian. Charming Charles is contacted and asked to provide more roommate options, but ultimately is dissatisfied without Charismatic Karl. Charming Charles has a popularity issue that the system leverages. The Carl Spackler Open uses player pairings to address these situations. Charming Charles and Charismatic Karl would experience priority during creation of player pairings.

These examples can frustrate people and that?s understandable. However this is how the Carl Spackler Open has operated for 15 years. We do spend reasonable time looking for the best match. Golfers who do not like the system should not accept these parameters upon registration.


ROOMMATE PROTECTIONS
There are 3 roommate protections starting in 2020.

(1) The first was already explained regarding Weird Walter. (2) Single occupancy rooms are now being sold when available. (3) Our event has capital reserves and uses them to make problems go away. Please do not hesitate to contact a Captains Club member during your vacation with an unexpected roommate problem. (There has never been a problem reported that extended beyond obnoxiously unreasonable snoring.)

We encourage suggestions to better our roommate system, but prefer to discuss ideas between August and December. The system will likely be tweaked for 2021.