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Competitive Golf in Utah

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, January 9th, 2018
Categories: Golf
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I’ve played some competitive golf here in Utah and even won two club championships.  That number should have been three, but unfortunately I had a strange situation where in one club championship I shot the lowest solo score of the day but still lost. By winning a club championship players are allowed to compete in the Utah Golf Association Tournament of Champions, which was extremely fun and challenging.  That event is full of Utah golf tournament winners and club champions from courses all over the state.  Playing with other competitors of such a high skill level was thrilling and I hope to do it again.  All I have to do is win another club championship.  Mark it down.

Meadowbrook Golf Course Aerial - click for more

Meadowbrook Golf Course Aerial – click for more

Handicap

My larger state tournament resume is pretty small, partly because  I’ve been in somewhat of a handicap “no man’s land” zone at a two-handicap for most of the past few years.  Being a two handicap puts one into the “championship flight,” playing gross against players whose handicaps range from my range to the plus threes and fours. In other words, players who typically shoot three or four under par. Some are even scholarship players at BYU, the University of Utah or other smaller schools.  That four-under score might be typical for one of those college players, a.k.a. flat-bellies, but that’s the best score I’ve ever shot (68), and I only did that once.  A two isn’t going to beat a plus-player very often, especially in the pressure of a tournament situation and tournament setup.

The other aspect to consider is net tournaments. I’ll beat a 10-15 handicap player gross every day of the week, but when we are talking about net tournaments I almost don’t have a chance.  Plus, as sad as it is to say, many of those 10’s are really 3’s.  So net competitions are seldom an option for me, a low single digit.

Salt Lake City Amateur

I have played in the Salt Lake City Amateur many times, and some other bigger state tournaments. Best finish in the Salt Lake Amateur was 2nd, and I’m very proud of that.  The last couple of years I have not done terribly well because of lack of playing and the handicap creeping up.

This past year’s amateur was a bit frustrating. I was actually hitting the ball very well, but had some control problems with my irons. The irons were very inconsistent distance-wise, and in some cases I was hitting shots 30-40 yards long. It turned out the new irons I was playing were very strong in the lofts, so clubs like 7-iron were playing more like a 5-iron. It’s nice to work these things out in a tournament.

Utah Open?

One tournament I’m thinking of competing in this coming year is the Siegfried and Jensen Utah Open. The tournament is held at Riverside Country Club in Provo, Utah, a course I have yet to play. The format is a four day gross with a cut after the 2nd day.  Last year’s cut was three-over-par.

Being an “Open” means pros compete in it.  Amateurs compete in it as well, though if they take cash prize money they would have to turn pro to claim it.  The first prize for professionals is typically $20,000 and usually the winning score is typically well into double-digits-under-par.  Last year’s event was won by amateur Patrick Fishburn who carded TWO 63’s en route to a final score of 26 under par. Unreal. That was nine shots better than the next competitor, the winner of the pro division!  Low pro was Zahkai Brown who was also the 2016 Champion. Zahkai came in at 17-under-par, one shot ahead of PGA Tour pro Zach Blair.

Tough competition.  Why play in it? I know I would likely miss the cut. The benefit to playing would simply be the experience of the event, but with a $200 entry fee that experience comes with a price tag. That’s why I haven’t pulled the trigger on playing in the event, yet.

Local Men’s Associations

I’ve been in four different men’s associations on and off over the years, Meadowbrook (photo), Bonneville, River Oaks, and Mountain View. I’ve enjoyed those very much. This coming year I plan to compete in two leagues, River Oaks and Bonneville.  My two club championships are at River Oaks.  Perhaps 2018 will be my third.

 


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