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[Read the Chocolate Bunny Game to understand this post entirely.]

On Thursday it rained several inches in Byron. The course was flooded. On Friday the owner and groundskeepers decided that carts could not go on the course. I did not find out until Friday night when I was setting up. I did what I could do. I told every player before they signed up that the course was too soggy for carts. Fortunately I had the lake on hole 1 as a convenient prop to make my point. Normally there's no water on hole 1.

Initially I was disappointed by the weak attendance. By the end of the day I realized we had as many as we could properly accomodate without carts. The far holes are just unreasonably far to walk out to without carts. With the small field, we could start everyone within two holes of the clubhouse.

Without carts, the Bunny Game required a little extra effort. Kira jogged the course before tee-off and covered 3/4ths of the holes. At the two minute warming I walked out and got the near holes she had skipped to go get the distant holes. Half way through the morning round, Kelsey and I walked the course to replenish the hoops.

We heard and saw many funny things: Terry Calhoun rushing to stop Sheila from putting out. "No! Don't throw at the basket" "What? Why not?" "There's a bunny right there." A pro asking his partner who would go first for the bunny on a 15 footer and his partner saying, "We are not here to play for bunnies. Make the putt." A guy missing a five foot putt and everyone exploding in cheering. He had collected the one bunny I thought no one would because it was so far from the basket.

The players seemed to like the Bunny Game. They liked the Darkside Forces in lieu of trophy discs. The deal with that was Tracy found out at the last minute that his trophy artwork was too low-res for the sign shop to cut. Tracy did not have the Photoshop skills to recover in time. I had the Darkside Forces. It was all cool.

The course was dry enough to run carts on the back ten for the final half-round. Don was o.k. with the pros also playing 8 of the front ten, and they played fast in the morning, so they teed off for a second round of 18 shortly after the last am card came in.

Every time I run a tournament on the golf course I am careful to explain to the pros in advance on pdga.com and on my flyers that the clubhouse is $10 or $15 from every player as greens fees and that therefore the pro payouts will suck. Every time there are pros who show up anyway and complain about this. Maybe I'm done offering pro divisions at Byron. Except Al Schack is always so gracious, win or lose. I'd hate to keep Al away.

I wanted to post the financials on this tournament. It would be easier if this website had a utility for tables, or if I had an html table generator. They don't. I don't. I'll do my best.

The Financial Plan

Pro Entry Fee: $35 per player
Pro Per player Expenses: $15 to house. $20 to Payout.
Pro Division Expenses: $20 for two trophy discs.
Pro Net: $20 loss, no matter what.

Am Entry Fee: $35 per player
Am Expenses: $15 to house. $7.50 for 15 Brass player pack. $10 for 20 Brass to payout.
Am Division Expenses: $60 for two trophy discs per division. $80 for the Bunny Game.
Am net: $2.50 per player minus the pro rated divisional expenses.

So here's the rub in being the TD. At that net, I need 56 Ams to break even, not counting gas and miscellaneous expenses. I had half that number. So I lost $90, plus 17 cents per player for printing expenses and a tank of gas and whatever Diana spent on baking cookies and desserts for consolation door prizes. That's why I always say, if you think i'm doing a good job, pay cash for a disc.

This is the other version of the financials, the way I do it at the course:

Income
Entry Fees
$280 = 8 Pros X $35
$980 = 28 ams X $35
$1260 = Total Income

Eagle Pool and Raffle In = Eagle Pool and Raffle Out

$540 = Greens fees: $15 X 36
$160 = Pro payout: $20 X 8
$210 = 15 Brass Player packs: $7.50 X 28
$280 = 20 Brass per lpayer to payout: $10 X 28
$80 = 8 custom dyed First Run forces, $9 for each disc and $1 per disc for the masking materials
$80 = Bunny Game supplies. I got the bunnies 1/2 off after Easter. We had about 30 bunnies.
$1350

Net: I lost $90. But I told Tracy I would donate the Bunny Game since it was my goofy idea and i've had a good winter with the disc selling. So, it felt more like a $10 loss.

I have not totalled up the cash sales. Cash sales on 36 players is going to be weak. However a young couple bought some 150 plastic for her, and I know they covered the $10 loss. I'm pretty sure I did not cover the $90 loss. Buried here at the end where no one will see it, I'd like to thank God for inspiring the purchase of the 150 stuff. Every now and then I get an idea out of the blue that makes no sense. I run with it and something good happens. Women don't play Byron. I don't need 150 stuff for Byron. I think God is in the blue.

The difference between running a 100% payout tournament at Byron and a 100% payout tournament at a public course is the $15 per player. If I had wanted to run a 100% payout tournament at a free public course, I had enough profit on 28 ams to B-tier the pros. So when your local TD runs a little C-tier with that kind of attendance with nothing added for anyone, he just took home the $540 I paid the clubhouse.

Finally, to the asshole whose post I deleted: I ran the last one just like this one. As you can see the trophies were added to the pro payout. Nothing was subtracted other than the green fees, which I promised in advance, and the $2 PDGA fees. Nothing was subtracted from the pros and given to the ams. Accordingly, you should feel banned from every tournament I run in the future. Sanctioned or unsanctioned. On every future sanctioning request I submit, under special conditions I will include that you are banned from my tournaments. If you are going to make up crap like that, I'm done with you.

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Comment by Tracy Glidden on April 7, 2008 at 7:18am
Well, other than a little light showing and too many new lakes on the course, the Grand Opening went great! I hope all who were in attendance enjoyed their time out in the country! The dark side forces turned out awesome! The baked goodies rocked, exceprt Aaron won them all! Thanks again to all who participated and especially to those who made the day fun, with their work behind the scene. A big thanks goes out to Diana, Kira, Kelsey, and Bruce. And as well a thanks to Don the course pro who allowed us to use carts the 2nd round!

Hope all were able to see the course for what it is and will bring others with them next time to enjoy the course also. Just give the course a call and make a tee time. The more people you bring with you the easier he can fit your 4,6, or 10-some into the books for a tee time! So give a call and enjoy the course 810 266 5721!!
Comment by Bruce Brakel on April 6, 2008 at 6:13pm
I checked last year's attendance, and not that many Michigan players went to the Hambrick. If 20 S.E. Michigan tournament playing ams go to the Hambrick, that leaves me hoping to get 100 of the other 300.
Comment by Chris Wojciechowski on April 6, 2008 at 5:55pm
Bruce - Thanks for an incredibly fun event. I came to Willow Brook over No Foolin' to experience a very fun tournament with some competition mixed in (as opposed to the opposite had I gone to Ann Arbor). I am happy to say that I received EXACTLY what I'd hoped for and more. I got to shoot a fantastic course, play golf with some great people (JD, Mark Ellis, and the Hunt bros.). Additionally we got to clean house on the bunny game, in the end we came in with six bunnies total (I'd thought it was five but I'd forgotten we'd eaten one immediately ha).

Seriously, we'd miss a birdie jumper and then instead of moping we'd react by planning out who goes for the bunny and who goes for the par putt. It was a good time. Mark Ellis decided to play spoilsport on us and made a sincere effort to block any bunny attempts we had (he took in four of them I believe). That made for a fun underlying layer to the competition.

Thanks for a great weekend I'll remember for a while. It sucks that, as I said on the PDGA site, the Hambrick is the same weekend in July I'm very disappointed that I can't make it up for that one. Best of luck with it!


-Chris.
Comment by Bruce Brakel on April 6, 2008 at 1:11am
My break even point was actually 64 ams. I forgot about the pro trophy discs.

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