Club Championship stories

At my club in western NY, it was 36 holes stroke play one weekend, take top 15 with defending champion getting automatic 1 seed, then 2 matches per day the following weekend. It was a lot of golf.

Many years ago I came back from 4 down thru 12 in the final match and ended up making a 10 footer on 18 to extend the match, then made a 20 footer on the 4th playoff hole to win. The next year against the same guy in the final, I’m down on the back nine again, and he makes a hole in one on 14 to basically close me out. I could not halve that hole from 200 yds.


Stroke v match

In the UK it depends how old and posh your club is.

New clubs built post 1950 - stroke play

Old club formed ore 1939 - match play

Really posh club - foresomes

I don’t know why the British upper classes like foresomes so much but if you go into a club here and all the wooden boards say foresomes you know it’s super posh.


I won my club championship in 2018. I played in the final group with three of my closest friends. My index usually hovers around 3.0, they are all in the 0-1 range so I knew I had my work cut out for me. I played with a three stroke lead for the entire back 9 and didn’t implode which was cool. I couldn’t breath from the 8th tee through the end of the round. Two of the guys in my group were also in my class in high school and we played on the golf team together. They each had won 2 of the previous 5 years, so after my win the Thornton Academy class of 2010 had won 5 of the last 6 Biddeford-Saco Country Club club championship.

Not to be corny, but I have to say that while winning was cool, having the three people I beat out being my dear friends and also genuinely happy for me and giving me hugs was a truly touching moment. I am certainly the D player in our little clan and I’ve learned so much playing with them. They have made me a much better golfer and I consider those guys my teammates.

In 2019 the four of us won the Maine State Club Team Championship and the guy in our group who did not go to high school with the rest of us won his first club championship. Him and I were tied through 11 hols in the final round. On the 12th hole which is a dogleg right par 5 he hit his tee shot a bit short and not quite around the corner. He then proceeded to hit a 250 yard cut three wood around the trees and about 2 inches from the hole. One of the best shots I have ever seen.


My club has gone back and forth a little over the years with format. We all kind of agree that match play is a better format, but we also have kids, families, jobs, etc and logistically is can be hard to schedule matches. Years when we have done match play, some of the guys haven’t played because if we have at a minimum 8 player field with 1 match per weekend, that’s a commitment of 3 Saturdays or Sunday you have to make before signing up, and our best players just can’t do that with all the other stuff they have going on. 2 days of stroke play is just one weekend, which pretty much all of us can get away with.

This year we are trying something a little different. Saturday will be stroke play. Top 4 make match play. Semifinals on Sunday Morning. Finals Sunday afternoon.

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Three years in a row I’ve finished 2nd in my club championship… 36 hole event and for 3 years I’ve bucked my head and had the lead after the first day. No, I am not going to change and just like my Icarito bruther were going to blast through the tunnel on my hog and come out on top this year.


My club (USA) has gone back and forth between match and stroke play. Used to be a qualifying stroke play round and then the top 16 played match play…with the finals being 36 holes. This all happened over the course of the season…qualifying was like end of June and the finals would be end of August. That was a great format, wish we stuck with that.


For meeee, the best format would be a 36 holes (Sat & Sun) stroke play qualy and then the top 8 or 16 (depending on the ammount of low handicap players), match play the following weekends.

Trying to push this format in my home club but it’s full of old fashioned members that don’t like the idea of changing it.


This is how ours is set up end of June/early July 36 hole qualifier spread over 2 days with top 15 + defending champ advancing to seeded match play portion. Then all matches must be finished by the second weekend in August with the final match being 36 holes over 1 day with a break for lunch in between the 18s


Our championship is match. I played in it for the first time last year. Three matches

First match, got beat in 19 holes after blowing a 2 hole lead (he missed a 4 footer on 18 to close me out). Hit a monster on 19, standing over a 200 yard shot, knowing I’m all juiced up, I pull an 8 iron and it flies 196… clips the lip of the bunker and rolls into that fucking bunker. He hits long, into a tree. He goes first, punches it out to like 5 feet. One of the best shots I’ve ever seen. I take two out of the bunker and that’s all she wrote.


Second match, I was up 3 going into 15. Standing on 15’s green, looking like we’ll tie the hole and all of a sudden its the fucking storm of the century. Blew the horn, we all went in, so bad that they had to close the course for 2 days to clean up branches.

In the clubhouse they tell us we’re responsible for scheduling the rest of our match. Figure the guy will concede because who wants to deal with that shit? Doesn’t, of course. Finally, one weekend we finally link up, but he doesn’t want to miss his usual game. I just finish 18, played like ass, he’s on 12. “Meet me out her and we’ll finish up”. Great. So I have to make their 4 a 5, play him in front of his fucking buddies. We both par 15 (replayed the whole hole) and we’re standing on 16, our “island green” par 3. I hit it to 25 feet, he plunks one in the water. Says “I should have just conceded”. Plunks a second in the water, shakes my hand and I leave.


Third round, playing for 3rd place, I’m up 2 on that same 16th hole. I miss a birdie, have about a foot left, maybe less, walk up and scoop it. Guy never gave it to me. I called myself on it and gave him the hole. He wins 17. All square. 21st hole, a hole I’ve never hit it right on in my life, but hit OB left all the time, I blast one way right into the trees. Try to punch out, hits a tree and comes back to my feet. Try a safer approach and it’s all over. I concede.


Cannot wait to play again this year. Fucking loved every second of it.


Hahahahaha what an ASS the one in the second story.

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Couldn’t believe it. He’s a nice enough guy, so I don’t know if it just didn’t cross his mind at the time or what, but then making me walk out to the 15th and join his group and everything. Just weird.


Oh, and they were riding, I was walking. So I walked all the way to 15, essentially played the whole par 5 by myself as they drove ahead, then walked into the clubhouse off 16. Hahahahaha. It was so dumb.

Club Championship is 3 days stroke play. Fun event, but you gotta go low to win.

Match play championship is another tourney. Top 16 indexes who enter are in the champ flight, then next 16 so on and so forth. No strokes anywhere but you are flighted.

you ever played with sean hussey by chance?

I haven’t. Is he from the area?

he lives on the course and is a member

Oh nice. I just looked him up in GHIN and it looks like he might play at Dunegrass which is just a couple minutes away. They also have houses on the course, and we don’t. Maybe he is a member at both courses? I’ll keep my eye for his name in case I get the chance to meet him! I spend some time at Dunegrass from time to time too.

Yeah, fuck that bullshit. My club’s definitely on the stuffy side (blazers in the clubhouse after 6pm) and used to have a “white socks only” rule.

However, in the latest edition of the Rules, that requirement has quietly been replaced with “socks which complement the player’s clothing”.

I’m all for keeping up appearances but some rules are idiotic.

I’m just extremely jealous of all these stories…would love to join a club and play regularly enough to play in the club championship (and ideally in match play)

I definitely have a few stories. Over recent years my handicap has fluxuated between 8-12 so I’m never playing in the championship flight. The clubs I belong to are duel membership and they previously had both a stroke play (Club Championship) and a match play championships. About 6 years ago they did away with playing both and now just rotate the club championship format between the two courses. Stroke play at one and match at the other, then the next year they flip it (Flip it!).

I play most of my tournament play at only one of the courses and in 2017 the club championship was 36 hole stroke play over two days (I won my flight the previous year in match play…another story for another day).

My work week leading up to the club championship was pretty eventful. I work in banking and we had a major software collapse on Monday that took the entire week to clean up. I basically woke up on Monday morning around 7:00 am and by the time I left the office on Friday around 6:30 pm I had worked 92 hours and slept 11. At one point I had been awake for something like 46 straight hours.

I make it home on Friday night and tried to take my then 10 year old daughter out on the golf course because I needed to play a little before the next day but I also wanted family time (I basically hadn’t seen them in 5 days). She declined because it was super hot out. So I made the only decision I could and told them I would see them in a few hours! Haha!

At the time I was around a 9 index and had finally that year broken 80 at my home course for the first time (my low score at that time there was 79). I was playing in flight 3 (which is really the 4th flight if you include the boys playing the tips in the championship flight). I don’t really remember a lot of the first round other than I just stayed away from the big number and when I holed my putt for par on 18 I had posted a 79. I am absolutely pumped. I look at the board and based on my score I would have been tied for 2nd in flight 1 and leading flight 2! Turns out after the next group finishes (also in flight 3) I am tied for 2nd in my flight…and 7 strokes back of the lead!!! Are you kidding me??? Friend of mine shot 72.

Round two goes pretty well too…my friend who shot 72 on Saturday made a 10 or so on the 7th hole (par 4). I think he shanked two balls in a row out of bounds from the middle of the fairway. I ended up shooting 82 and miss the playoff in the flight by 3 strokes. The other guy I was tied with after day 1 also shot 79 on day 2 and won the playoff. I basically would have had to shoot my career low round twice in a row just to make the playoff. The winner and runner up in each flight won shop credit. I finished third in my flight and got $0. Fittingly, had I been in Flight 2 I would have been runner up. Go figure…golf man…wild stuff.

We have 36 hole stroke for seeding, then top 4 gross championship match play. I’m in the same boat as some of you, 3 losses in the finals so far…maybe next year