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Team GolfWRX Fall Short in the 2014 Capitol Cup

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A seven-point deficit after Day 1 was too much to overcome for Team GolfWRX as it lost the second annual Capitol Cup to team DC Golf Tour. Two days of grueling match play, played out on two different courses, highlighted by perfect weather provided the headlines for the 2014 Capitol Cup.

Eighteen DC/Maryland/Virginia GolfWRX members battled 18 members from the local DC Golf Tour in a two-day Ryder Cup-style tournament. Day 1 took place on Saturday, at Worthington Manor Golf Club, consisting of a front nine scramble and a back nine shamble. After receiving heavy rain the day before, the course dried nicely, allowing for carts to scatter and keeping an acceptable pace of play. The course provided the perfect challenging layout of fast and firm greens with approach shots that required precise execution. The wind on Saturday should have been the first red flag for the GolfWRX team as it blew from a direction that most team members never played at the course with before. This wind did not provide the opportunity to go after some of the short par 4s and made the par 3s play a few clubs longer. A few choice pairings were able to secure early points for Team GolfWRX, but the team could not match the competitive experience the DCGT displayed. The day wrapped up with some great stories, some beers and a score in favor of DCGT 12.5 to 5.5.

Sunday’s course awaited the teams with a U.S. Open atmosphere. Clustered Spires Golf Club played host to a local U.S. Open qualifier just days prior, which flaunted rough more than 3 inches long that made finding the fairway off the tee a must. An opening nine of four ball matches followed by a closing nine of singles matches provided the teams with 27 points to play for on Day 2. With the heavy rain days prior, the greens were rolling true but slow, which allowed for plenty of scoring opportunities if you found the short stuff off the tee. Great handicap pairings from both team captains paved the way for very close one-up matches throughout the day. DCGT took advantage of the course conditions, taking all nine points out of the best ball matches, all but closing the door off the start. GolfWRX took home six points out of the 18 singles matches on the back nine, but it wasn’t enough to overtake a strong DCGT team. The DC Golf Tour retained the cup with a final score of 33.5 to 11.5.

The true beauty of this event was seen after the competitive matches were over. Having all the participants eating and drinking together, sharing their war stories over the past two days, is what the event was all about. Featuring 24 competitors in 2013, upping the ante to 36 in 2014, the Capitol Cup is helping to grow the game of golf locally in the Maryland area, introducing a new flavor of the game most do not see. For some, this was the first time faces were put to names, while others were catching up with close friends. The cup presentation and award ceremony concluded the weekend, congratulating most valuable players from both teams as well as presenting DC Golf Tour with the 2014 Capitol Cup.

A huge thank you to all of the sponsors and people who made the event possible, including the team captains, Ramesh and Bryan, DC Golf Tour staff, the GolfWRX Merchandise Store, Callaway Golf for supplying dozens of SR2 Golf Balls and player towels, Bridgestone Golf for supplying dozens of B330-RXS golf balls, Club Champion putter fittings, Worthington Manor and Clustered Spires Golf Clubs and various individuals that put a lot of time and energy into making this event run smoothly for the second year running. I am looking forward to an even bigger event in 2015.

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Ben is new to fatherhood and resides in Maryland. A sales manager by trade, he is a die-hard Arsenal FC supporter and is obsessed with golf! Follow him on Twitter @bmoregooner

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Pat

    May 30, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Big thanks to Ben for the write up/pictures and everyone behind the scenes for putting the event together.

    Also, BIG thanks to GolfWRX for the support and forum for us to organize the weekend.

    All around great experience, and I can not wait till next year!

  2. The Guy in the Cowboy Hat aka Tex

    May 30, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    Ben,
    You did amazing job on the write up. I have played in two man team match events before but the Capitol Cup was a completely different experience. You show up not knowing who you are playing with (golfwrx names only) and who you are playing against as well as courses that I have never played before. However, even with all of those uncertainties it was an amazing experience.

    For any Golfwrxers/golfers that have not had the oppurtunity to play in a competitve event yall should find one. The different emotions and mental aspects that happens such as: swing becoming too fast, hands sweating, and you start choking the crap out of every grip… such a whirlwind of different things and yet the ball ain’t moving, so why? Because golf is a many choice 4 letter words yet we all keep coming back.

    Hell of time and thanks for all of the swag from our sponsors Callaway, GolfwWRX, Bridgestone, Club Champion, Fore Leaf golf designs, and everyone else involved.

    Tex

  3. Alex

    May 30, 2014 at 10:19 am

    I was a participant for the DCGT team and would like to thank the organizers from WRX and the sponsors. The event was extremely well organized, and more importantly, a lot of fun. It was great to meet some WRX’ers in person for the first time and enjoy some friendly competition. Looking forward to next year!

  4. Bryan

    May 30, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Thanks for doing the write-up, Ben.

    It was a pleasure to organize, and truly amazing to bring together a great group of WRX’ers again this year. The response we had from the GolfWRX members, and the enthusiasm they all brought was just incredible. Many thanks to everybody who participated, and a huge thanks to all the sponsors who really helped make the event special. I can’t wait to see you guys out there again next year. We’ve got to get our act together and bring home the cup next time!

  5. Boogaloo_Jones

    May 30, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Ben, great write-up and pics! Great to see the Capitol Cup growing every year and hoping that I will be there next year to represent Team WRX!

  6. Puppetmaster

    May 30, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Really nice work on the write up and the pictures. I’ve yet to play in this, but I do know how much work the crew puts into and have no doubt how good of a time it is. It’s also great that GolfWRX, Calllaway, and DCGT are supporting this and contributing, and helping to give “serious recreational” golfers a fun competition to be part of every year.

  7. TheCityGame

    May 30, 2014 at 8:05 am

    Good write-up, Ben. Thanks.

    I’d like to apologize to the ENTIRE WEBSITE for team GolfWRX letting you down. Would you believe me if I said we were roping ’em in until we get some REAL prize money on the line?

  8. Bobby Muromoto

    May 30, 2014 at 7:15 am

    Hi I’m a golfwrx member and live in DC, How can I get involved?
    Bobby Muromoto

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Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

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The Wedge Guy: The 5 indisputable rules of bunker play

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I received a particularly interesting question this week from Art S., who said he has read all the tips about how to hit different sand shots, from different sand conditions, but it would be helpful to know why. Specifically, here’s what Art had to say:

“I recently found myself in a few sand traps in multiple lies and multiple degrees of wetness. I tried remembering all of the “rules” of how to stand, how much to open my club, how much weight to shift forward or back, etc. based on the Golf Channel but was hoping that you might be able to do a blog on the ‘why’ of sand play so that we can understand it rather than memorizing what to do. Is there any way you can discuss what the club is doing and why you open the club, open your stance, what you’re aiming for when you open up, and any other tips?”

Well, Art, you asked a very good question, so let’s try to cover the basics of sand play–the “geometry and physics” at work in the bunkers–and see if we can make all of this more clear for you.

First of all, I think bunkers are among the toughest of places to find your ball. We see the tour players hit these spectacular bunker shots every week, but realize that they are playing courses where the bunkers are maintained to PGA Tour standards, so they are pretty much the same every hole and every week. This helps the players to produce the “product” the tour is trying to deliver–excitement. Of course, those guys also practice bunker play every day.

All of us, on the other hand, play courses where the bunkers are different from one another. This one is a little firmer, that one a little softer. So, let me see if I can shed a little light on the “whys and wherefores” of bunker play.

The sand wedge has a sole with a downward/backward angle built into it – we call that bounce. It’s sole (no pun intended) function is to provide a measure of “rejection” force or lift when the club makes contact with the sand. The more bounce that is built into the sole of the wedge, the more this rejection force is applied. And when we open the face of the wedge, we increase the effective bounce so that this force is increased as well.

The most basic thing you have to assess when you step into a bunker is the firmness of the sand. It stands to reason that the firmer the texture, the more it will reject the digging effect of the wedge. That “rejection quotient” also determines the most desirable swing path for the shot at hand. Firmer sand will reject the club more, so you can hit the shot with a slightly more descending clubhead path. Conversely, softer or fluffier sand will provide less rejection force, so you need to hit the shot with a shallower clubhead path so that you don’t dig a trench.

So, with these basic principles at work, it makes sense to remember these “Five Indisputable Rules of Bunker Play”

  1. Firmer sand will provide more rejection force – open the club less and play the ball back a little to steepen the bottom of the clubhead path.
  2. Softer sand will provide less rejection force – open the club more and play the ball slighter further forward in your stance to create a flatter clubhead path through the impact zone.
  3. The ball will come out on a path roughly halfway between the alignment of your body and the direction the face is pointing – the more you open the face, the further left your body should be aligned.
  4. On downslope or upslope lies, try to set your body at right angles to the lie, so that your swing path can be as close to parallel with the ground as possible, so this geometry can still work. Remember that downhill slopes reduce the loft of the club and uphill slopes increase the loft.
  5. Most recreational golfers are going to hit better shots from the rough than the bunkers, so play away from them when possible (unless bunker play is your strength).

So, there you go, Art. I hope this gives you the basics you were seeking.

As always, I invite all of you to send in your questions to be considered for a future article. It can be about anything related to golf equipment or playing the game–just send it in. You can’t win if you don’t ask!

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