Men's Tournament Committee Announces Event Changes
Keeping Up with the Times
After many years of status quo, the MSGA Men’s Tournament Committee is making some significant changes to the schedule, events, and registration process for our non-championship events in 2020. The MSGA feels strongly that these changes keep up with the times, employ recent changes by the USGA with rules and handicapping, and better utilize Golf Genius, the tournament software employed by almost every club in Maine.
As we roll out the schedule on March 1st, you will see changes in the timing of a few championships. The Mid-Amateur and Charlie’s Maine Open move to June and the Tri-State Matches move to October. We added a Senior Match Play Championship and moved the Senior Amateur to August. We are working on a new event for 2021 called a Tournament of Champions. More details on this event will be forthcoming. You will also see a more targeted approach to non-championship events. Timing of events and the selection of events will be moving to some different venues each year.
Lastly, we are adding a new category called “course-run events.” We will have six course-run events in 2020. These events will be on the MSGA schedule and they are MSGA events, however, on-site administration will be the responsibility of the host club. We hope this segment of our offerings grows each year.
For years, the MSGA has scheduled three types of non-championship events (Weekend, Mid-Week and Senior.) Each event was played from a single set of tees. Since both the Rules of Golf and World Handicap System account for play from different tees with automatic handicap adjustments based on where a golfer plays from, the MSGA believes the time is right to embrace these changes in non-championship events.
As a result, in 2020 the MSGA will be combining the three different types of events into one type of event. Each event will have senior and regular tees. Players aged 55 and older will have the option to play from either tee. This will result in the Senior Tour (14 events), Mid-Weeks (6 events) and Weekends (27 events) combining into “MSGA Play Days,” of which there will be 47 events.
Many might ask, “are you getting rid of the Senior Tour?” In name, “yes,” however we believe we are expanding opportunities for seniors to play across 47 events rather than just 14 tailored events. In the past, playing from a senior tee was only available on the Senior Tour. With the new format change, senior golfers will now be able to play from a forward tee in all of our MSGA Play Days.
The MSGA realizes this is a big change and feels that these changes will address many issues it is facing. First, it addresses our growing senior members by adding more events with forward tees without adding to the MSGA’s already crowded schedule. Second, it encourages seniors to continue to play Fridays or Saturdays. Maybe some seniors will return to Friday/Saturday events now that they can pick a senior tee.
Third, it addresses our non-seniors who were prevented from playing certain venues based on their age. Fourth, it allows us to find a distance appropriate for our both senior and non-senior golfers by adding two sets of tees to our events. Will this cause some issues in the team portion of the event? Yes, but there are many formats you can play as a team to level out the competition. Our plan is to assign the team formats for the season prior to issuing the schedule.
The Registration Process
While reviewing the registration process, the MSGA discovered opportunities for process improvement. Registering by paper in March for events April through August is an outdated process that we have decided to revise. AppointmentPlus is a booking module that we will use beginning in 2020. This will allow us to utilize a monthly rolling-registration process.
The MSGA will move to an online process that is transparent and operates on a first-come, first-serve basis for all golfers looking to play MSGA Play Days. On the 16th of each month at 6:30 AM, online registration will open for the next month’s MSGA Play Days. The registration window will remain open until seven days prior to the event. For example, on April 16th, registration will open for all May events. On May 16th registration will open for all June events, etc.
Permanent tee times, draw-outs and wait lists have been eliminated. As times become available due to withdrawal, teams not in will be able to select open tee times on a first-come, first-serve basis online. Lastly, we will be increasing the penalty-free withdrawal period from three to seven days, which will better serve host clubs and their planning.
The MSGA Tournament Committee is making changes that will improve the overall experience for all golfers. Many of the changes position the MSGA to keep up with the times. Although we realize these changes are significant and may need to be looked at from time to time, we think the timing coincides perfectly with changes in the Rules of Golf and World Handicap System.
MSGA PLAY DAYS PROCEDURE AND POLICY
Registration: Registration for MSGA Play Days will be online and on a rolling-basis through AppointmentPlus. On the 16th of each month at 6:30 AM, online registration will open for the next month’s MSGA Play Days. The registration window will remain open until seven days prior to the event. For example, on April 16th, registration will open for all May events. On May 16th registration will open for all June events, etc.
Registrations will open the 16th of each month at 6:30 AM. Registrations will remain open from the 16th and close seven days prior to the event (the end of the penalty-free withdrawal period).
Reminders will be included in the e-Revision newsletter on the 15th of each month.
A team captain must register for one and only one tee time. Please make sure to fill out all fields accurately when procuring a tee time, including name, phone number, and email address. Any reservations that are made where these fields are invalid or incomplete will be subject to cancellation by the MSGA and opened back up to the public.
Multiple members from the same team cannot register and subsequently withdraw after obtaining multiple times. Abuse of this system by teams will result in loss in playing privileges for all members of the team and be reported to the Tournament Committee and Board of Directors.
At this point, no fee will be collected at the time of registration. However, this could change in the future.
Team Captain: The Team Captain is a defined position in MSGA Play Days. Responsibilities include making online registration and selection of a tee time, fielding a team of four players, and ensuring withdrawals are timely when necessary.
Entry Fee: The entry fee for MSGA Play Days is $45 per person in 2020 (up from $40 in 2019). Pins and skins are optional and cost $5. Carts, if desired, are paid for by the individual directly to the course on tournament day.
Tee Times: Tee times are determined on a first-come, first-serve basis and the tee times will be selected during registration. Tee times will be selected by the Team Captain. Tee sheets are deemed “final” seven days prior to the start of the event.
Permanent Tee Times: After a careful review of the Permanent Tee Time policy that has been in place for decades, Permanent Tee Times have eliminated in 2020.
Host Course Tee Times: Each host course will be awarded two tee times for members. Please have your club professional call the MSGA to allocate these tee times.
Wait List: There will be no wait lists once an event fills up. The captain of a team that was unable to register for an event should check the tee sheet periodically for tee sheet openings created by withdrawals. See changes to “withdrawals” below.
Withdrawal: Withdrawal without penalty will be extended from three days to seven days prior to the event. Withdrawal for any reason inside the seven-day window will result in an amount due the MSGA for $80 (4 players at $20 user fee due the course). The collection and payment of the $80 will be the responsibility of the Team Captain.
If weather is dismal and the team withdraws and the MSGA determines the course is playable, the team is responsible for $80. The team captain has one week to clear the balance due or all tee times for the team will be deemed “open” times. Extenuating circumstances will be handled by the Executive Director.
General Format: Prizes for individuals, pins and skins will be determined based on ‘tee played’ rather than ‘day played’ as was done in the past in weekend events. Team formats will vary from the traditional ‘one gross/one net, inclusive’ format used in the past. Team formats such as Stableford, Quota, Chicago points and one gross/one net, exclusive will be formats for MSGA Play Days.
Specific Format Questions and Answers:
How will INDIVIDUAL prize pools be allotted? Prize pools will be allotted based on the tee you play. If you’re a senior who wants to play from the regular tees, you are competing in the regular event for regular event prize money. There will not be a pot for seniors who want to play from the regular tees.
How will PINS AND SKINS be allotted? Pins and skins will be paid based on the tee played. Pins will be paid out at a flat $25 per pin. The remainder will be allocated to the skins pool.
How will the TEAM prize pool be allotted? The MSGA will introduce some new games for team like 3 of 4 Stableford points, 3 of 4 Quota points, or one gross/one net, exclusive (can’t be the same ball). We can play one gross and one net, inclusive with a few modifications.
How will you award Player of the Year Points? Player of the Year points will be awarded to the top gross finishers from the back set of tees. Any players playing from the senior tee will be ineligible for Player of the Year points.
How will you award Senior Player of the Year Points? This one is tricky and a question that could have many options. Following much discussion, the Tournament Committee approved the following:
Senior POY points will be allotted only to senior golfers that compete from the regular tees.
(REVISED on March 26)
My team consists of two senior players and two younger players. How will that work in the team format? There is no problem if teams have players of varying ages playing from different sets of tees. Thanks to the changes in the World Handicap System that easily adjust players' handicaps from competing from different tees, players can peg it up from either set of tees and not have to worry about affecting the team whatsoever.