Wednesday, June 30, 2021

President's Message -- June 30, 2021

ASGA Is About Fun and Fairness to All Players, From All Tees

ASGA has been around approaching 45 years and many changes have come along that kept it thriving. Since the first board decided in the parking lot at Lions to form the association, we have striven to keep having fun and be as fair as possible to all members.

A few years back under the presidency of Don Pratt it was noted that many members nearing the age of 80 and beyond were hitting the ball a little "shorter" than before. It was then that the idea hatched that for these "older" players, when your handicap and your age totaled to 100 or greater, you could in fact play from the reds after requesting to the handicap chair and being approved. It was also thought that perhaps the red tee members or "100 Club" as it has come to be known should play against each other for flight purposes.

The fact is, playing in the same flights created a problem since there were fewer 100 Club members. Often flights were too small or large to be reasonably equal to the other members. A few years later it was decided to mix the groups by handicaps and let them compete against each other. Though, there was likely an equalization process available it was not incorporated into the program at that time. Effective with the next event played July 6, 2021 your board has approved moving to a the process that USGA strongly recommends be used when players and gender play from different tees in the same event.  I will highlight some of the things considered during the study before it was voted into being our process. This NEWS is longer than most but I feel you need to know, if you wish to, as to why we voted to change. I have included words from Bruce Jones, Paul Redden, Bill Burke, but can assure you the entire board was involved.

Bruce Jones, Website Chair, spent considerable time in researching our need to change to be fair to all and below is a summary from him.

"Under the Handicap system we use at ASGA, when players use more than one tee in an event (as we do at all events), a modification for each event is necessary to level the playing field. This applies to both men and women participants. The USGA accommodated this modification in their basic handicap calculation when they changed to the World Handicap System in 2020. We however choose to use the prior system, which uses a Course Handicap adjustment.

"Without this adjustment, men playing from Green Tees are at a disadvantage to men playing from Red Tees, and women are at a disadvantage to both.

"The Board voted in favor of making this modification to our course handicaps to align with USGA recommendations. For implementation, smaller tee groups usually have their handicap adjusted to the largest group. Effective July 6, our events will implement the modification. When you view the Latest Handicap Listing, the change will be incorporated into your course handicap automatically. 
Please note this does not affect your Handicap Index. 
"Here is a table that shows what the adjustment will be for our most-played courses.

Thus when playing Morris Williams, handicaps for Men playing Red Tees will be lowered 1 stroke from their former Course Handicap. Similarly, handicaps for women playing Morris Williams will be raised 3 strokes. This applies to team as well as individual events."

For further information:

Paul Redden, The Immediate Past President and former Handicap Chair contributed a lot of fact gathering on payouts under our previous process and concluded that though red players may have earned slightly more percentage of the time than others on some course it was reasonably balanced. He then recently went back and checked the new system and concluded with a phone call to me last evening the following statement and borrowed some of the USGA words to make the point.

 "Using the USGA Standardized process when multiple tees are used in an event will create fairness for all genders from all tees on all courses. "

Bill Burke, your Handicap Chair, has worked hard to keep your handicap up to date before each event. Bill uses the system at hand to do that as he like most of us does not totally understand the handicap process that creates the actual handicap. He feels the handicap will take care of itself and that is still going to be true. When you check your handicap before each event you should know all our being treated equal to get there and the process used to balance out difference of tees etc. is built into the total system for fairness to all.

Please let me summarize. Is ASGA about to become a totally USGA compliant group? Heck no! We can have as many clubs as we want, can move ball a dab if we want, can change balls in the middle of a sentence if we please, and many more senior rules. We do putt out and can be proud of that and the many USGA rules we do follow.  However, we have many members that could qualify from the red tees but don't choose to, many that hit their golf ball where and how it lies, and many other choices that are ok. These choices do not give them an advantage. However, without making this standardized process for hitting from multiple tees we create a slight unfair advantage and we choose to be fair to all genders and teeing choices that are allowed. The red tees (forward advanced tees) are here to stay and should be.

In the past I heard many say "some of the people hitting from the red tees can hit the ball farther than me." Believe you me that is true from the green/white or whatever we agree to in the future as we continue to stay healthier having fun playing golf and have our first "shot their age" with a score of 100 or greater coming sooner than you might think.  I still play from the green/whites and most of the time hit my second shot first.  When I move to the forward advanced tees at some point I expect that most hitting farther than me may still be the case. I will bet you one thing though, I will be having fun and the scoring will be as fair as possible.

This News has been brought to you on behalf of the ASGA Board of Directors and The Austin Senior Golf League,

Please skip on down and read a brief story about some of our past members.

Travis McWhorter

Memories of Past Members

Once a member of ASGA we try our best to not forget. Sam Mihalik, your Secretary for ASGA has worked hard to find obituaries on-line or in newspapers to match our past data base of members so we can provide a memory to our current members and respect for our past members. As we age one reason or another may result in our dropping ASGA Membership. In many cases previous playing partners will advise me or others on the board that someone has passed away. We often ask them to give us a memory or two to include in a tribute. The following three previous members came from research and we did not match a current member to provide that information so we have taken some excerpts from the article that Sam provided and hope this refreshes a memory for some of you of a previous golfing partner or friend. 

Travis McWhorter

 Hilario "Lee" Gallegos

Lee Gallegos

(Lee was a member through 2008)

Hilario "Lee" Gallegos, age 91, passed away peacefully on Wednesday June 23, 2021 in Austin, TX. He was born October 29, 1929 in McNeil, TX. He spent his life in Austin, TX where he graduated from Nixon Business School majoring in Accounting. He was a veteran of the Korean war and served in the USArmy. He was married to his loving wife Olivia Gallegos for over 64 years. Lee was known for being a waiter at two of Austin's finest restaurants, La Fiesta and Neuvo Leon. He loved people and waited tables until he was 80 years old.

Lee was an avid golfer and spent his extra time in the sun, out on the golf course. He could always be found walking the course, playing a round of 18 holes and cooling off in the clubhouse.

A visitation will be held on Thursday, July 1, 2021 from 6:00-8:00pm at Cook-Walden Funeral Home, Austin.

James Timothy "Tim" Roche
Tim Roche

(Tim was a member until 2009)

Native Austinite James Timothy "Tim" Roche died suddenly on Sunday, June 20, 2021. Tim was born in Austin on December 27, 1937. He attended McCallum High School, The New Mexico Military Institute and UT Austin. Over the years, Tim enjoyed the challenges of business ownership and the thrills of the oil business. He was an avid golfer and an enthusiastic UT sports fan.

Remembrances may be shared at


Pablo Ornelas Jr.
Pablo Ornelas

(Pablo is an ASGA Alumnus)

Pablo Ornelas Jr., born in Zapata, Texas on December 4, 1931, was called home to the Lord on June 10, 2021.

One of Pablo's greatest joys was being the loudest and proudest member of the Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of 1961. He wore his Aggie ring with such pride and was a devoted football fan to the end.  Pablo had a second joy, and that was the game of golf. He not only taught his wife how to play, but he passed along his love and appreciation for this great sport to his children. He relished sharing time on the golf course, watching them compete in tournaments, and even traveling the country to spectate. 

In his many years of professional service, he greatly enjoyed civil projects supporting Native Americans in Arizona and New Mexico, traveling extensively to Flagstaff, Gallup and Roswell. One of his career highlights was working on the infrastructure of the 1980 Winter Olympics, hosted in Lake Placid, NY. He retired in 1990.

Remembrances may be shared at    

Saturday, June 19, 2021

President's Message -- June 19, 2021

Handicapped Select Shot.  The Exciting Next Few Months.

Following the long Pandemic shut down for golf most of the emails I received related to "when will we get to play ASGA golf again, we are willing play anything?" Within a month of the start back date, I heard often "can't we play something besides individual?"

Recently we were given the green light to schedule a full variety of events. Shawn Higgins, your Event Chair, has added back some variety and next week (June 22) has even scheduled our first ever Select Shot (2 person Scramble) with handicaps to adjust your final team score. This has been requested many times in the past and using the approved formula for adjusting scores and setting flights we will jump in and see how we do. Remember this is 2 person Select Shot. Each person hits from the selected shot of the 2 each time until a ball is in the hole. Both players begin by hitting at the tee. You then record that one score for the team. Please write your team name using the last name and initial of each player teamed. You do not have to test your skills with the handicap calculation, that will be subtracted from your team's total score as the computer program will do that when the scores are entered into the system. If you want you can put 2 teams in a foursome on the same card.  That will help our entry person. Please have a scorer and an attesting signature on the score card.

When Shawn first approached me with this idea I was gung-ho. After all I have learned how quickly we get bored with formats. You will see a lot of fun things coming the next few months including playing the President's Cup again at our annual election, banquet/picnic. Stand by to be amazed!

However, just for the records everyone does not get bored so quickly. A couple have pointed out to me recently, "why do we want to use handicaps in the 2 person Select Shot?" We have not done that before. Give it a try you may love it and of course in a few weeks someone may ask, "Why can't we each take 2 shots on every hole?" Who knows maybe an Event Chair down the line will bring that on. One Person Select Shot anyone?

This News has been brought to you on behalf of the ASGA Board of Directors and The Austin Senior Golf League,

Travis McWhorter