by Craig Small
I’m feeling the urge to jump back into APBA Golf again after a short break and I’ve started planning for my next tournament. I’ve decided to make a few changes to make the process as pleasurable as possible. I’m going to keep the field at 16 golfers. At almost 2 hours per round anything larger would just become an ordeal for me and with football season upon us I’m going to have less time during the weekend to play. I love pro football and pretty much spend my Sundays glued to the television. The only time I have on Sundays would be in the morning before the games start and I already have that time reserved for catching up with my favorite television show, Dowton Abbey, which I watch through Amazon Prime Streaming on my Roku. I haven’t chosen yet but I’ve also decided to play the entire tournament at one location so the players can become more familiar with the course and make better decisions based on previous experience. I’m going to go with stroke play because, well, I just prefer it. After the first round 8 players will be eliminated and the remaining players will stick around to play the remaining 3 rounds. This way the players will be competing against the course, more than each other, at least until the final round.
I chose the 16 players basically by grabbing a bunch of guys I liked or admired and filling out the field with guys that I was interested in, for whatever reason. Some big names are missing but, as I said earlier, I want to make sure I enjoy myself as much as possible. I put the cards in a stack in no particular order (though it may not appear that way) and shuffled the stack a few times to come up with the pairings. In the first round the players will be paired together at random, after that it will be based on score. Here are the initial pairings:
Craig Wood and Bobby Locke
Gene Sarazen and Young Tom Morris
Phil Mickelson and Nick Faldo
Johnny Miller and Old Tom Morris
Tiger Woods and Ken Venturi
Harry Vardon and Billy Casper
Walter Hagen and Jack Nicklaus
Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan
As I said, there are some big names missing (Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, etc.) but they’ll be back in future tournaments. I’m happy with the field. I didn’t realize it as I was putting it together but players from pretty much every era of professional golf are included, which I love.
I’m very much old-school with my golf and I want to give you a peek into my mind as I prepare for Tournament 3. When I play APBA Golf I like to envision all of the players using persimmon woods with steel shafts. Hybrids are forbidden. For this reason every player will be using the same set of clubs: Driver, 4-Wood, 2-Iron, 3-Iron, 4-Iron, 5-Iron, 6-Iron, 7-Iron, 8-Iron, 9-Iron, Pitching Wedge, Gap Wedge, Sand Wedge and Putter. I chose the unconventional 4-Wood because I wanted to keep a consistent gap between clubs and it became a little more difficult to do that with the inclusion of the 2-Iron. I chose the 2-Iron because it’s a classic old-school club. I wish APBA had a options for clubs from different eras. I’d love to be able to break out a shot book for hickory clubs or 50s era clubs. That would be incredible but I know it’s asking a little too much.
It’s 30 minutes until kickoff so I’ve got to go. I may start the tournament some time this week but it’s more likely it’ll be next Saturday. I’m looking forward to trying some new players, including the master card rankings, and getting back to stroke play. I also can’t wait to get Bobby Locke back out on the course.
See you soon!