by Keith Avallone, PLAAY Games
Earlier this spring, I heard from Tom Usher, who has recently discovered our golf game. Tom wanted to play the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach (the site of the 2019 Open), with HISTORY MAKER GOLF. "As with ALL U.S. Opens," Tom e-mailed, "they grow the rough very high (at Pebble Beach) and make it close to impossible to make a par if you get in the thick rough." Tom wondered, what would be the best way to simulate very difficult rough conditions for a tournament? His first inclination was to perhaps ignore the MASTER and semi-MASTER qualities on all golfer cards. What did I think about that idea?
I told Tom, to increase the difficulty of the course the first thing I'd do would be to add the triangle symbol to all holes, which will make it tougher to save par if the ball finds a hazard. Then I think I'd increase every hole's difficulty level by one-half quality. So, a CORDIAL hole would be SEMI-CORDIAL, SEMI-CORDIAL would be NEUTRAL, NEUTRAL would be SEMI-DAUNTING, and so on. This would make the course much tougher to play, as many of the GolfCam Course (square) results could be assumed to have been shots affected by rough or hazard. With this two-tiered approach, you'd still see the golfers with MASTER quality "shine" during the tournament, as they should.
I asked Tom to let me know how the tourney went, and a couple weeks later I heard back from him. "I ran my U.S. Open at Pebble Beach and did use the triangles on every hole. Plus, all the semi-daunting holes became daunting. It worked great in simulating tough conditions." Awesome!
Tom went on to say, "The only thing I would do differently next time is entering the final round, give everyone maybe two more shots instead of using the far right side of the 3-round scoreboard table. So instead of starting the leader Watson at 209, maybe start him at 211 and push the field back two shots."
Tom sent along a final Top Ten leaderboard for his all-time great golfers finished his U.S. Open "tough course" at Pebble Beach. Here are the results...
1. Gary Player -6 for the tourney (final day 69)
2. Tom Watson -3 (final day 73)
3. Arnold Palmer -2 (final day 72)
4. Raymond Floyd -1 (final day 70)
5. Sam Snead +1 (final day 74)
6. Tiger Woods +1 (final day 72)
7. Tom Lehman +3 (final day 74)
8. Bruce Lietzke +4 (final day 75)
9. Jackie Burke Jr. +4 (final day 76)
10. Hale Irwin +5 (final day 76)
"The course did dominate action in the final round, which is what I wanted for an Open course," Tom writes. "As you can see, only Gary Player had a really good final round."
Since then, Tom has continued with his own All-Time Greats Legends Tour with the 10 HMG courses in his current collection. After 4 tourneys, here are his Tour leaders...
1. Arnold Palmer 51 points
2. Tom Watson 47 points
3. Jack Nicklaus, 45 points
4. Tiger Woods, 45 points
5. Lee Trevino 32 points.
Good stuff! Got questions? Comments? Let us know!