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Individual Tournaments - Gross and Net Money

Can you guys shed some light on how the money is divided between gross and net divisions for individual tournaments? I've heard a lot of discussion among players and I was hoping the actual information could be put out there for the membership.

Specifically, after looking at all entries, how is it determined which percentage of the pot applies to each? Are players considered "gross" or "net" before the tournament based on their handicap? If so, what is the handicap range which is applied to each?

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Re: Individual Tournaments - Gross and Net Money

Thank You Robert for using the forum. We hope that this communication resource will prove helpful in providing feedback and have questions answered on a timely basis.

This topic is nothing new. As a matter of fact, it was discussed in great detail at a Spring General Membership Meeting a few years back. Because this topic seems to keep coming up recently and is a concern to a few members, I will explain as best I can as to how we distribute the payouts and the reason for doing it the way we do, as well as address some other related info.

When the tournament committee starts the process of creating a tournament, all envelopes are counted and a total number of players is then determined. From that total number, 1/3 of all players will cash. Then, the winnings are further broken down where 70% of the players will cash in the NET division and 30% will cash in the GROSS Division. Notice I said number of players and NOT Percentage of Prize pool money. As an example, let's say that 100 players participate in a tournament. Out of that 100, 33 players will cash. Of those 33 players, 10 players will be awarded gross and 23 players will be awarded net. Both divisions will pay the same amount per place in either division. In other words, 1st Place NET will be awarded the same amount as 1st Place Gross, 2nd Place NET is the same as 2nd Place Gross, and so on and so forth. In summary, the three criteria are as follows: (1) 1/3 of the field shall cash. (2) winnings are distributed to 70% Net Players & 30% Gross Players. (3) Both Divisions have the same payout per place. This payout structure has been in place for many years … long before most current board members were in office. In 2012, the actual payouts averaged 35% of the field cashed, 71% of Net players cashed while only 29% of Gross Players cashed. This document can be viewed by clicking Here

You asked if players are considered Gross or Net prior to each tournament based on handicaps. The answer is no. What some people may consider to be a Gross player, others may not. We are not in a position to determine what a Gross or Net handicap is. Some folks may argue that if you hold a single digit index, you must be considered as a gross player …. Well, if that were the case, as of last year's final revision, we would have had 126 “Gross” players out of a membership of 361, or 35% of all TGC members.

Let's talk about that infamous “No Man's Land” area of the 6-11 handicappers. By the way, our club has 110 golfers in this range. The chances of winning EITHER Gross or NET are substantially minimized. A very good round by this golfer may still not be good enough. Where do we put these golfers if there was a distinction between gross or net? – I would venture a guess that many would not enter tournaments knowing that they can only play either gross or net. By not making that distinction, everyone has a chance to cash in either.

It has been suggested by very few individuals that we either (1) Pay less Gross amounts per place. (2) Pay less Gross Players. I ask this question … Does the individual who wins first place gross deserve any less than an individual who wins first place net? This member pays the same dues and entry fees as does any other player. We feel, along with prior boards, that this 70 / 30 ratio is a fair one. It strikes a good balance between the accomplished player, along with the higher handicap golfer.

OK, so let's make it whereby a player can decide where to play. Upon signup, choose whether you want to play Gross or Net, or, if you want to pay double the entry fee, BOTH. This has been brought up as well.

This would require twice the work for each and every tournament. I will now explain how we create a tournament. First, we gather all the envelopes. If we are creating an individual tournament, we look for single entries (envelopes that are not stapled together) and form foursomes out of those. All envelopes are then opened and entry fees are verified. There are the occasional wrong amounts inserted, along with those 2 or 3 envelopes that are not legible due to bad printing, using nicknames instead of real names, etc. We attempt to resolve those issues. Next, we look at all envelopes to determine whether or not there is a special request for a tee time and make note of these. All envelopes are then put in order by pairings, and each name is entered into the system. Once all names are entered, an initial parings group is generated with starting times assigned by the computer. We then modify starting times based on special needs, etc. – Once done, reports are generated, website is updated and so on.

This whole process would have to occur twice due to the fact that there would be 2 tournaments; a Gross and a Net …... It would be simple if all we had to do is enter the names and with one click, let the computer generate the pairings and starting times based on blind draws. (In recent years any “BLIND DRAW” tournaments TGC held has had substantially lower member participation than any other tournaments run throughout the year. As a benefit to our members we limit the number of blind draw tournaments.)

In speaking with some area Men's Clubs, they run their tournaments much differently than we do. The majority of them are set up in a matter of minutes. Why? Because they blind draw them. Pretty simple process on the computer. Names are entered in and the computer generates the pairings and the starting times …. Done! Believe me, most clubs do not have the number of members (or tournament payouts) we do, which also adds to the time spent creating tournaments.

I would like to remind everyone that positions on this board are voluntary. Board members pay their dues just like everyone else. Any perks that may have existed years ago to prior Boards no longer exist, due to our efforts in keeping costs down for the good of the club.

Look, we get it, members enjoy forming their own groups so they can play with each other. That is why you staple envelopes together. Others have special requests from time to time as to a preferred starting time due to some function they must attend to later that day. We get that too, and we do everything in our power to accommodate them.

In conclusion, I would like to remind everyone that we hold a Board meeting every month during the golf season, and these meetings are open to any member who wishes to attend. If you have any questions or concerns, you will have an opportunity to address them. In fact, we urge members to attend. That is a privilege that very few members take advantage of.


On behalf of the Board Of Directors,
Best Regards,

Peter DeFazio

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Re: Individual Tournaments - Gross and Net Money

I would like to share this with our membership. The following table represents actual participation in all of our tournaments (Special Events Excluded) for 2012. Based on what some may argue that a single digit handicapper would be considered to be a gross player, the actual index of each player at the time of the tournament was used with a separation of (0 to 9.9) and (10+). These numbers have been fairly consistent over the years. Because of the “No Man's Land” factor (Those with a handicap between 6 & 11), a split of (70 Net/30 Gross) is used and is considered to be fair by The Timberlin Men's Golf Club Board Of Directors, along with many members of our club.

For a Larger View, Click On The Table Below



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Re: Individual Tournaments - Gross and Net Money

Pete, Thanks a lot for the response and all of the information. I think it's good that all of this is out there, I certainly learned a few things.

I've been frustrated in "no mans land" myself for a few years now and I'm surprised to see just how many people in the club fall into this category. Has there been any additional discussion on other ways to mitigate it? Maybe a 3 or 4 division system could be looked at for individual tournaments? I've had this same thought as a way to solve the yellow tees / white tees issue as well. Maybe a yellow tee division in individual tournaments for those seniors who qualify?

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Re: Individual Tournaments - Gross and Net Money

Hi Rob,

You're right. Even though this subject has been discussed at length during Board Meetings, as well as General Membership Meetings, to finally put it out there for everyone was long overdue. I thank you again for starting this discussion on the Forum.

We, as a Board, encourage suggestions and ideas from our members. I would ask that you attend the Spring Membership Meeting on March 18th so you can further explain your ideas to the membership. We certainly appreciate your thoughts on this and would love to hear them in greater detail.

Thanks again,
Peter

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Re: Individual Tournaments - Gross and Net Money

Pete, Thanks for the detail explanation regarding this issue. One thing you didn't address is the unfairness in this system of the low handicaps having a very real chance of cashing in either Gross or Net but the golfer with a high handicap only realistic chance of cashing in is Net. I think that is the root of the discord with this method.

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Re: Individual Tournaments - Gross and Net Money

Hi Jim,

That is exactly why we payout more than double the places in Net as we do Gross. Those low handicaps you are referring to are most often those golfers in that 6 – 11 range. On VERY rare occasions will you see a lower handicap (0-5) finish near the top of the Net division. On VERY rare occasions will you see a 6 - 11 handicapper finish near the top of Either Gross or Net. Net scores are net scores. If the net score of ANY player falls within a payout position, so be it. I've heard some say that “But we are a Net Club ….”. That is totally untrue. We are neither a Net Club or a Gross Club. We are a Golf Club that adheres to the rules as set forth by the USGA. We also use the GHIN handicap system. Handicaps are put in place so that everyone has the ability to be competitive as any other golfer, regardless of skill level.

As I mentioned in my explanation above, if we force the 6 – 11 handicapper to choose between signing up for Gross or Net, tournament participation will decrease and in turn, so will the entire prize pool.

Again, if anyone has a better way to structure payouts, we would love to hear them. I cannot stress enough that ANY member is invited to ANY board meeting to discuss ideas, suggestions, etc. I hope to see you at the Spring Meeting on March 18th.

All The Best,
Peter

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Re: Individual Tournaments - Gross and Net Money

Pete,
I respect your opinion and you are far more knowledge than me on this subject. But saying there will be a decrease in tournament participation is no more than an assumption on your part. You make my point when you say there are double the Net places, the better chance a lower handicap places in the Net division. For years I was that golfer in the 6-11 range and know firsthand how difficult it is to place in either Gross or Net. This is why I think Rob’s idea of divisions is a good one. I say that without knowing if the logistics are too difficult to consider this a viable solution. I want thank you and all the board members for all the time and effort you put in. It is appreciated.

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Re: Individual Tournaments - Gross and Net Money

Jim,

Our club differs than most in that we collect lower dues, but require a minimum of $15 per tournament. Other clubs will collect all the money up front, extract their costs and then divide the remainder as prize money for the tournaments. That results in (a) much lower payout amounts, and (b) only a few places will cash. I know this first hand. You're right, in part I am making an assumption, but it is based on what I hear from other members in that handicap range knowing they would have "No Shot" at cashing at all. Especially out of town members who do not hold a season pass. Remember, we have over 100 of these.

OK, let's talk divisions .... What would be a criteria that would make it more fair, for lack of a better word?
Do we flight each individual tournament and create divisions based on handicaps? -- Who makes the distinction of what those ranges should be? ... History has proven that if your are toward the bottom of any flight, you stand very little chance of winning. Based on divisions, we now create multiple "no Man's Land" situations. Do we now take gross scores in each division since they are mostly comparable handicaps or do we use net scores?

These are questions that I personally have to address the idea of divisions and would love to hear more details. The Board is all ears when it comes to suggestions and concerns. I am glad that this thread was started, and will hopefully result in great discussion among all members.

ATTEND THE MEETING FOLKS !!!!!!

Thanks Jim !!!

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Re: Individual Tournaments - Gross and Net Money

I don't see where this perceived advantage to the gross player cashing in the net division starts from. If players have a true handicap, everyone should be on a level playing field. That's how GHIN works.

This is one reason why, as a board, and with the help of the Pro Shop, we are trying to get more tournament scores posted. You can see that on the schedule that is posted on our site. We are hoping some of the handicaps level out, so we don't get as many scores posted in the 50's and low 60's. It should be VERY rare for a player to shoot these scores, but we get them almost every tournament.

Also, I don't think that splitting up our 5 individual tournaments into 4 divisions is a good idea. I think, having been on the board for a number of years and a player at Timberlin for 20+ years, people will complain about prizes being cut by 25%. Instead of winning say $200 for first place, now that player wins $50? There will be lots of complaining.

Also, if we play our individual tournaments as a flighted tournament, with 4 divisions, won't these tournaments now be gross tournaments? Players at the back of each division will be looking for strokes so they can compete in their division. Like Pete said, there will now be 4 divisions of "no man's land".

I'm hoping we can get the handicap levels to where they really should be, as tournament scores weigh heavier than regular posted scores. A player in the 6-10 range should be competitive if all players were starting at the same level. Winning a gross prize? Yes, maybe at the end of the payout, but if you have a good round you should be cashing. Net prize? Yes, if you can shoot close to your handicap you should cash easily.

Even our senior members should be competitive in our tournaments if that player's handicap is correct. That is what GHIN is for, leveling the field so everyone is competitive on the same level. And that is what we, as a board, are looking for.

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Re: Individual Tournaments - Gross and Net Money

Glen and Jim,

I feel I need to disagree with you on a few of your points. The handicap system creates a level playing field only up to a certain point. As your handicap lowers, your consistency improves. This unfortunately is a double edged sword when it comes to competing in a net tournament. As Pete mentioned, lower handicappers actually have a very limited chance of cashing in a net individual tournament (especially tournaments with a large field). This is simply for the fact that their potential to "beat" their handicap is greatly reduced. I am an 8-9 HCP depending on the time of the year (and the year). My best round ever as Timberlin I believe is a 76, possibly even a 77. If I shot my best lifetime round at one of our tournaments, I'd wind up with a net 67. Now consider that these tournaments are often won in the Net 60-63 range, and sometimes even lower. When you compare this to a higher handicap player, they have a much greater potential for improvement. A 16-18 HCP player has the potential to have a great day and shoot 80 a couple times of year but it will be a cold day in hell before most 8 HCP players shoot under par.

I've thought about this a bit more and I have a suggestion for how the division system could work. 1 Gross, 2 Net, and 1 Senior Net. Please feel free to add any other ideas into the mix.

Gross - Anyone 5 HCP below is automatically competing in this divison. The payouts are based on the # entered. Anyone greater than 5 HCP has the opportunity to elect to compete for the gross prize. This could also be similar to the way the off weekends are run, if you'd like to enter both gross and net you pay twice.

Net - Split into two divisions based on the HCPs of those entered. It's still a net tournament, so the "level playing field" should be better provided the spread of handicaps is smaller than what we see now.

Senior Net - This division could be created for those who qualify for the old yellow tee rule provided there are enough members that fit this category to support it. Perhaps Pete can add if this is feasible.

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Re: Individual Tournaments - Gross and Net Money

Rob,

I would first like to commend you on attempting to be a "Part Of The Solution", as opposed to Part Of The Problem. Over the years, we hear through the grapevine that there are those who constantly complain about this, that or the other thing, but never bring anything to the table as far as ideas or possible solutions.

If I understand correctly, you are suggesting 4 separate tournaments. This would result in 4 different winners, and less places in each division. I am not saying that is a good thing or a bad thing. Just trying to wrap my head around this.

What I struggle with here is this. The Tournament committee would HAVE TO create 4 different tournaments in the computer system. Ok, not that big a deal so far .....

Here is where it becomes a nightmare. As I stated previously, there are those that enjoy playing with certain others and create their own foursomes. This may not be a possibility .....

(1) Those that are in a certain division should play with others in that same division

(2) This would mean a blind draw by division.

(3) To have players in a group play with those that are in other divisions would be extremely difficult to administer. Score cards are generally printed for the group as a whole. We would now have to increase our costs and print separate scorecards for each individual. Scorecards are not cheap. Next, we will slow play by having three players play from the whites, and one player from the Gold, for example. Creating starting times for the day would be next to impossible. This would all have to be done manually, adding hours to the setup of the tournament. We would have to have a rotational starting time system whereby, for example, All Gold Tee players would go first, then division A players, Division B Players And finally Gross players. Then, next time, Division A would tee off first, then B, Then Gross, Then Gold Tees ..... and so on and so forth.

(4) Historically, Blind Draws are not well received. For the last three years, we have had a NET Club Championship. Since this is a MAJOR, and winners get a trophy & their name on a plaque, we conducted it just like the regular club championship & the Senior championship. That means a blind draw tournament. I, along with the rest of the Board, was very disappointed in the number of participants all three years. It was dismal. And mind you .... This was strictly all NET .... 100% of the prize money going to NET. Realistically, there are 8 months in which we here in New England can play golf. That equates to approx 64 weekend days that one can play. Out of those possible 64 rounds, you mean to tell me that a member can't participate in a handful of blind draw tournaments? -- I find that mind boggling! In all honesty, we do not have this issue at all with the lower handicap player.

I only hope that the Spring Meeting is well attended so that we can get an idea for how the General Membership feels regarding this issue.

Thank you Rob ..... The Board appreciates your input!

Best Regards,
Peter

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Re: Individual Tournaments - Gross and Net Money

You guys on the board do a thankless job. I played at Richter Park for many years and switched to Timberlin because both the gross and net player are paid. After talking to players from other clubs and my own experience, we probably have the best mens club around! I would just like to thank the board past and present for all their hard work and look forward to another great year.

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Re: Individual Tournaments - Gross and Net Money

What about the Senior Gross division?

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Re: Individual Tournaments - Gross and Net Money

My suggestion for the senior division was to solve the divisive yellow tee issue. I'm not sure if a gross division makes sense for the guys who wish to play from the yellows as by definition they are all 10 HCP and above per the old rule. (Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.)

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