Ask anyone who has taken on the position as club president of a golf club’s men’s association and I’m sure they can tell you all sorts of bizarre and crazy stories. As president of my men’s association for seven LONG years, I saw more strange stuff and heard more bizarre whining and sniveling than one could ever imagine. Reality is truly more bizarre than fantasy.
One thing I encountered in my time as pres, and which I had to create countermeasures for, is what I call “club championship poaching.”
A few years ago, as we did every season, we held our club championship. It was an 18 hole gross tournament and the winner collects the championship prize money, trophy, and plays in the state’s “tournament of champions.” Quite an honor.
One week prior to this club championship a stranger joined the association. The association always needs new members, right? That player shot the low round of the championship, winning the trophy and collecting all the spoils that went along with it. It took one time for me to figure out the gig. A very good “plus” handicap golfer like this guy joins every men’s club the week of the club championship. They win, collecting the prizes, and also gaining points in the state’s amateur ranking system.
The following season, knowing that this guy or other guys like him would try to poach the championship, I instituted a “minimum rounds played” setup. In order to qualify for the club championship a member must have played a certain number of rounds in the league that season. I set the number at eight.
Sure enough at the end of the season during the week of the championship, this poacher and a couple of others signed up for the association! They also entered the club championship. Following the tournament they did not find themselves on the leaderboard, despite shooting what they thought was the winning score.
I informed them that the were not eligible and that any player who had been there for the majority of the season would have seen the minimum requirements for eligibility in the championship posted on the association’s bulletin board.
Thanks for chipping in some cash into the league’s coffers and adding to the championship prize fund buddies!
See you next year?
When I resigned as president and the new president took over the league, I warned him about these poachers. He put into place an even more strict policy, a minimum of 11 rounds to qualify for the championship. This year the club had three new signups the week of the championship and they played in it! I’m sure they’ll be thrilled when they find their names missing on the leaderboard.