Mount Pleasant in Comparison and Contrast

I. Here is a comparison of two tournaments, the 2003 Maryland Amateur Stroke Play Championship held at Mount Pleasant Golf Course, and the 2003 Maryland Open held at Beechtree Golf Club. The championships, each consisting of three straight days of competition, were held on six consecutive days beginning on July 4th. Ideal weather was no factor in either tournament. The scores of the eight amateurs who made the cut in both events are analyzed. In the Open, 42 players made the 36-hole cut of 149, eighteen of whom were amateurs. In the Amateur, 72 golfers made the 36-hole cut of 155.

These are the numbers for the courses:

Course Length Par Slope Rating
Beechtree 7,023 yds. 71 142 74.9
Mt. Pleasant 6,726 yds. 71 121 72.0

And the scores of the contestants:

Golfer MD Am./Mt. Pleasant MD Open/Beechtree
Kirk Lombardi (2) 72-69-69=210 (1) 66-69-69=204
Phil Fairbanks (T11) 75-71-72=218 (7) 68-75-70=213
Chad Perman (T13) 74-73-72=219 (T9) 73-72-70=215
Terry Burke (WD) 77-76 (T14) 73-68-76=217
Tim O'Neill (T26) 75-75-73=223 (T19) 71-71-79=219
Will Shriver (T36) 79-71-76=226 (T22) 72-69-79=220
Tim Elliott (T48) 76-76-77=229 (T29) 72-74-76=222
Ray Sheedy (T15) 72-74-74=220 (T36) 75-70-78=223

All except Mr. Sheedy scored lower at Beechtree than at Mt. Pleasant. Of the 23 scores posted at Mt. Pleasant, only two were at even par, and Mr. Lombardi had two rounds of 69. No other golfer scored par or better.

In the Open, at Beechtree, the eight amateurs recorded nine under-par rounds, including Lombardi’s opening 66, and Mr. O’Neill added two rounds at level par. The average score of the eight golfers at Beechtree was 72.2, and their average score at Mt. Pleasant was 73.83, a difference of 1.62 strokes.

II. Two teams played in both the 2002 Baltimore Cup and the 2003 Baltimore Two-Man Team Championship. The Baltimore Cup competition was played on Caves Valley Golf Club on the first day, on tees having a slope of 135 and a rating of 73.1. Play concluded at Hayfields Country Club on the second day, with the course set up to play to a slope of 142 and a rating of 75.4. Both rounds of the Two-Man were held at Mount Pleasant Golf Club [slope: 119; rating: 71.8].

#3 Fairway#3 fairway and bunkers protecting green. (Click to expand.)

The team of Drew Devan and Jim Winner finished fifth in the Baltimore Cup with a better- ball score of 142 (three under par), four stokes behind the winning team. In the Two-Man at Mount Pleasant, Devan and Winner finished in 61st place, at 149, seven over par and 14 strokes behind the winning team. The team of Sheldon Kalish and Jimmy Rosenfield finished in a tie for 16th place in the Two-Man, with an even-par score of 142. That team shot 72 at Caves Valley and 75 at Hayfields. Their four-over score was good for tenth place, nine strokes back, in the Baltimore Cup competition.

III. A group of 13 golfers competed in both the 2003 Maryland Amateur Stroke Play Championship, held at Mount Pleasant Golf Club by the Baltimore Municipal Golf Corporation, and the 2003 Maryland Mid-Amateur Championship, conducted by the Maryland State Golf Association at Hayfields Country Club. The Amateur was played over three rounds, and the Mid-Amateur in two. Par at the Mount is 71, and at Hayfields, 72. Therefore, the following scores are given as an average for the respective rounds played, and in relation to par.

Golfer Mt. Pleasant Hayfields
Larry Storck +2.0 -1.5
Chuck Freedman +4.0 (2 rds.) -0.5
Kirk Lombardi -1.0 -0.5
David Knorr +3.33 +3.5
Kevin Moylan +1.66 +4.0
Pete Betzold +4.33 +4.0
Jeff Dwyer +7.5 (2 rds.) +4.5
Sheldon Kalish +2.33 +5.0
Phil Misey +1.3 +6.0
Mike Panos +4.33 +7.5
Greg Ruark +8.0 +8.5
Mike Zgorski +6.0 +8.5
Pete Ireland +7.0 (2 rds.) +8.5

The average score of these golfers at Hayfields was 76.42 (4.42 strokes over par), and their average score at the Mount was 75.00 (4 over par).

The posted numbers make the case. Any argument that the Mount holds up is superfluous, and gilds the lily.

NBC commentator Johnny Miller predicted that Merion Golf Club would be beaten senseless by modern bombers in the 2013 U. S. Open, and that someone would very likely shoot 59. [This bold prediction was made even in light of the fact that Merion had been lengthened 175 yards from when it held the 1934 U.S. Open.] Seduced by Merion's length (6,869 yards) into making this ridiculous statement, Miller watched in slack-jawed (but unapologetic) amazement as Merion vexed the best players in the world. A couple of golfers carded individual rounds of three-under, and nobody broke or even equaled par for the championship—Justin Rose won at +1—and the field that made the cut averaged 18 over par.

A thoughtful person might wonder what the scores would be at the Mount if somebody put in some fairway bunkers and set it up like the USGA advance team set up Merion for the Open.