September 10, 2012
The Art of Scoring
TERRA ALTA, WV — Just after GIV in 2000, the founding fathers made a monumental decision for how the Champion and Green Jacket would be determined each year. The decision involved changing from a raw stroke scoring system to a modified stableford scoring system. The system was developed by Greg 'Slick" Long and his brother in the depths of Slick's basement in Dublin, OH. The founding fathers recognized that the scoring system needed a name, something simple, something catchy and most importantly, something that embraced all that Golfapalooza is. The choice was easy, MELC.
What does MELC stand for you ask? Well, that is easy. MELC stands for Clem. MELC was chosen to honor one of the greatest Loozers of all time, just ask him. Clem stood 8'6", weighed 400 lbs, had 1% body fat, could hit a golf ball 500 yards, bench press 225 lbs 200 times and run a 3.8 second 40 yard dash (rumor is he trained Usain Bolt). These aren't Paul Bunyon tales, Clem was Paul Bunyon, again, just ask him.
So now that the MELC system was in place, what impact would it have? The hope was that it would level the playing field and allow the average to poor golfer to win based on their individual performance. GV was a success. Founding father Brian "Butter" Flanagan strolled away with the inaugural MELC trophy. Butter was long considered an also ran to the likes of GStan, David '3 Wood" Miller, Slick and JT, yes JT used to have game, in terms of raw stroke scoring. It was clearly obvious that the average golfer now had the same chance at winning as the exceptional golfer.
Over the last 11 years, the MELC Championship has gone to 8 different Loozers, with 3 repeat winners, Butter (GV and GXIII), Kid Rock (GVIII and GIX) and Mr. Randy Watsonahhhhhhh (GVI and GXV).
So how has the system worked over the last 11 years? Besides the ocassional "sandbagger" comment, whatever that means, it has worked quite well. There are those Loozers that have taken advantage of the scoring system, elevating their game and constantly in contention for the MELC championship. Then there are those Loozers that seem to crumble under the pressure. So who has benefitted the most from the implementation of the MELC system? Well, it is Butter. Butter has managed to score 1,356 individual MELC points over the last 11 years. This is a 217 point lead over KGB, sorry no points for second place. Butter also leads all Loozers with at least 4 tournament appearances with a tournament average of 123 points per year, Slick slides into second with 113 points per year. And who can't handle the pressure? The 2 Loozers at the bottom of the pile are Guy (82 points per year) and JT (85 points per year).
So what does all of this mean for GXVI? It means that once again there is a wide open field of 33 Loozers. It also means get off to an early start if you want to compete. Hole 1 has given up the most MELC points, followed by 11, 13 and 2. the holes to watch out for that can be difference makers? 17 has given up the least amount of points, folllowed closely by 12. If you can score on these two holes, you might just have a chance.