March 2017 ERMGC Newsletter

Encinitas Ranch Men's Golf Club Newsletter

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From the President

Encinitas Ranch Men’s Golf Club 2016 in Review and the Year Ahead

Men’s Club Members,

2016 was another successful year for our club. Our member roster at year-end listed more than 320 persons. We have managed our budget efficiently and we are in a sound financial position heading into 2017.

Our weekend tournament participation in 2016 increased slightly compared to 2015, with the exception of the Member-Guest event. Participation in that event in 2016 was down from the previous year, due to a last-minute snafu with scheduling at the golf course. We had no choice but to abandon our plan for an afternoon shotgun in July and reset the tournament for a morning shotgun in August. Regrettably we disappointed many of you who had made plans to participate in this showcase Men’s Club event. We have made certain that the Member-Guest will return to the traditional afternoon shotgun format in July this year.

Wednesday “Sweeps” participation continues to grow. New members and long-standing ‘regulars’ are attracted to these weekly competitions, and we routinely fill the tee times allocated to the Men’s Club. We often see 50 or more sweeps players in any given week.

The pace of play in Men’s Club events continues to improve. In collaboration with golf course management, we instituted a carefully crafted Pace of Play Policy in 2013 designed to improve the golf experience for club members and golf course patrons. Up to that point, some rounds in our events were taking up to 5 ½ frustrating hours to complete. Slow play discouraged member participation in our tournaments and generated frequent complaints to professional staff by public patrons. Through diligent enforcement of policy and regular communication with club members, we now routinely play rounds in 4 ½ hours or less. Everybody wins.

In 2013 we initiated the year-long “Points Cup” competition designed to encourage regular and consistent registration for our weekend tournaments. Top finishers are invited to play in a limited-field bonus event in December. Last year this program continued to spark interest and helped boost tournament participation by Net Flight players. The Points Cup appears to have little or no impact on Championship Flight participation, and will be discontinued for Championship Flight in 2017.

Participation by members with low handicaps is an area of concern. For several years we have seen a decline in participation by members who elect to play at scratch in the Championship Flight. We believe this may be attributable to any or all of the following:
• If the Champ Flight field is small, the prize fund is small and incentive to play is diminished. Unless a player wins the flight, he won’t even cover his green fees.
• Some of ERMGC’s better players also belong to private clubs, where monthly dues inspire loyalty.
• Players at this level often compete in SCGA, CGA, and USGA events; ERMGC tournaments are less attractive by comparison.
• These players seem to prefer individual stroke play formats and will often avoid events such as better ball, alternate shot, Stableford, and others.

The largest Championship Flight fields we attract come at our two “major” tournaments: The Poinsettia Cup (May) and the Club Championship (August). Even then, we are not drawing more than eight players.

In recent practice, if we have fewer than five register for Champ Flight, we will give those players the option of competing in A Net Flight or withdrawing from the event. Players often choose to play, but feel that they are at a competitive disadvantage because they may be giving as many as 10-12 strokes to others in the A Net field.

We believe the club is healthier if we can attract and maintain scratch players on our roster. We will be experimenting with various concepts designed to improve participation from our better players. One possibility is to subsidize one or two award places for LOW GROSS scores even while playing in the A Net Flight. Another idea is to offer an individual stroke play format in Champ Flight, while other flights are playing a different format. We will evaluate at the end of the year and determine if any of these ideas served our purpose.

The Southern California Golf Association continues to be a terrific partner to member clubs like ours. We literally could not function without the platforms that they provide. To mention just a few: they maintain handicap indexes, provide tournament setup and scoring software, collect membership dues on our behalf, maintain member records, and conduct first-rate competitions open to our members of all abilities. The SCGA is often recognized as the best run and most innovative state golf association in the entire country.

The SCGA has recently introduced the Associate Member program which is bringing many more golfers into closer touch with the game. The SCGA has reached out to players who are not already club members to offer them an Associate Membership with existing clubs like ERMGC. The AM level of membership provides handicap services and other benefits, but does not include eligibility to participate in our Men’s Club competitions. To date, the SCGA has registered more than 140 golfers to the ERMGC Associate Member roster. It will be up to us to determine how we might engage these new members in our club activities, or even raise some of them into full membership with eligibility to play in our competitions.

Your board of directors continues to work hard to provide well-run competitive events, quality opportunities for golf fellowship, and other valuable services. We can always use help, and if you are interested in serving on the board, please let us know.

Dick Beckman
ERMGC President

Tournament News

Tournament: 2017 39er Tournament, March 19.

Registration ends Tuesday 3/14.

Sponsored by:

FORMAT: This is an individual stroke play tournament with a points-based format similar to a Stableford. Every player starts with a score of 39 and then subtracts his course handicap from that. Further points are subtracted at each hole based on the gross scores recorded (see points table). The lowest score wins.

Double Bogey+: 0 points
Bogey: 1 points
Par: 2 points
Birdie: 4 points
Eagle: 8 points
Double Eagle: 10 points

To register for this tournament go to: Registration

SKINS: $10 Entry. Skins will be based on each flight. A, B, C Net Skins.
Money will be collected at check in time. CASH only. To be eligible you must pay before your round starts.

2016 Defending Champions

  • A Flight:Dale Clark
  • B Flight: Paul Latchford
  • C Flight: Donald Western

Tournament Results

Tournament: 2017 February 2 man Scramble

Sponsored by:

The Men's Club would like to thank Shadowridge Golf Club for sponsoring the 2017 ERMGC 2 man Scramble Tournament.


A Flight

  1. 1st Place - Dale Clark / Eric Diaz
  2. 2nd Place - Dennis Aiken / Jim L Brakas
  3. 3rd Place - Andrew Boes / William Howell

B Flight

  1. 1st Place - James Wagner / Stephen Johnson
  2. 2nd Place - Gregory Barney / Milo Hama
  3. 3rd Place - Ronald Peterson / Mark Grassi

C Flight

  1. 1st Place - Don Lucarelli / Donald Dea
  2. 2nd Place - Mike Schmitt / Thomas Appleton
  3. 3rd Place - Lou Kessing / Bob Wilkes

Wednesday Play for ERMGC Members

If you want friendly golf competition and have a chance to earn gift certificates to purchase items from the Golf Shop, sign up for a tee time between 7:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. on Wednesdays. You may sign up as a single, with a friend, or a group of four. All sign-ups must be members of the Men’s Club. All participants pay an entry fee of $5. Each participant signs up for his appropriate flight and tee.

Every golfer can win a gift certificate redeemable at the pro shop for placing in their flight.
In addition, every player has an opportunity to win a $10 gift certificate for being closest to the hole, or having the long drive in their flight.

The following are flight parameters for tee assignments:

Flight Tees Index Score
Championship Blue Open to All Gross
A Net Blue 10.0 and lower Net
B Net Green 10.1 to 15.0 Net
C Net White 15.1 and higher Net

Visit our website for additional information on ERMGC Wednesday Play.

Hope to see you on Wednesdays. Support your Men's Club and hone your golf skills through friendly competition.

Rich Busby – Wednesday Play Chairman