The Thought Bubble-The Domenic Invitational
The Domenic Invitational-A Real Golf Tournament
Following the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and it’s hugely successful team format was the European Tour’s Golf Sixes which also featured teams but added shot clocks, pyrotechnics and various other format tweaks to traditional golf. This begs me to ask the question, are we pushing the boundaries enough? We seem to continue to limit everything, what’s wrong with doing something totally “out of the box”? Nothing I say! So I present to you the Domenic Invitational, or whatever you want to call it, but make no mistake this could and maybe should be a real golf tournament. I am not trying to throw outlandish ideas out there and see what sticks. I have put serious thought into this and believe people would want to play in, watch and attend this golf tournament!
The format of my golf tournament would be points based. I am not talking about the Modified Stableford thing we are all familiar (or kind of familiar) with. This is straight up points. The par on a hole has little to no relevance to your total points. It is a performance based score which rewards great shot making and aggressive play while punishing your mistakes. You get points for hitting a fairway, points for hitting the green, extra points for the target green, negative points for out bounds, no points for hitting the rough, negative points for hitting into a bunker, points for making a putt, points for going at a par 5 in 2 and so on. I know it sounds a little weird and it may be complicated to grasp in it’s entirety but let me take you through 1 “hypothetical” hole so you understand.
Player 1 stands on the tee of a 420 yard par 4 dogleg left. He tees off and pipes it down the center of the fairway, that’s 2 points he gets for hitting the fairway. Player 2 stands on that same tee and aims a bit left (he wants to cut the dogleg) and he pounds it over the trees and through our X2 multiplier ring and into the fairway, that’s 2 points for the fairway but with the multiplier he now has 4 points! The ring I referred to wouldn’t necessarily be on every hole or in every fairway but it would add a really cool “video game” type feel. Picture a hula hoop at the top of a flagpole. For example, you could have a X3 multiplier ring on the ground in a specific location or perhaps hanging in the air over trouble forcing a player to choose whether to take on a hazard for the chance at extra points. Now we have 2 guys in the fairway and someone is already “winning,” how cool is that? Let’s say the green is 105 yards away for Player 1 and 85 for Player 2. This isn’t your regular green, it is a target green (think top golf) it is spray painted almost like a dart board. 40 foot ring (1 point), 30 foot ring (2 points), 20 Foot ring (3 points), 10 foot ring (6 points) and 3 foot ring (10 points). Player 1 hits his 2nd shot in the 30 foot circle (2 points…now has a total of 4). Player 2 hits it stiff to 3 feet (10 points…now has 14 points). They both make their birdie putts, which are worth 3 points. So now you have 2 Players who both birdied a golf hole expect one has 17 points and the other has 9 points (2 extra points for 30 footer putt). So the aggressive play and shot making of Player 2 is heavily rewarded, it would almost force Player 1’s hand to play more aggressive or almost “just for points”. But with the aggressive mindset the opposite is also true, if Player 2 had missed the X2 ring multiplier and hooked it out of bounds he would have gotten -5 points, a stiff penalty for being aggressive. Of course, in my format, there’s no penalty’s or a “re-teeing” just go to where it went out of bounds, drop and hit again for points. Except now just take dead aim at the flag and knock it in the 3 foot circle, right back in the game! There are obviously a lot more details within the points structure I just laid out but you get the sense of what I am talking about here.
My format would be a 9 hole round. Each round wouldn’t take more than a few hours. 18 is just WAY too many and too long and 3 or 6 holes isn’t enough time to make up ground if you are down like a million points. I think this kind of format has just an endless amount of possibilities.
Points are fun. You know what’s more fun? Playoff football, playoff basketball, playoff hockey that’s the atmosphere I want. Constant yelling and screaming, anything goes, no holds barred. I am not talking Ryder Cup here, or even Waste Management. I don’t want anyone to be quiet during a golf shot. No “shhshhing,” you can talk on the phone, take pictures, yell at a player, do whatever you want. Obviously, there are limits. We can’t have people cursing around a ton of kids, or getting totally hammered. It’s about the cheering, the fun, the rooting for your player to hit a huge hook through that X3 multiplier hoop inside that 10 foot circle for a huge chunk of points! Or your favorite golfer aiming at the water on the par 3 because if he can skip it across that water onto the green through that 100 point bonus hoop sitting just above the water he will vault up the leaderboard! And shorts lots of shorts, flip flops, backwards hats, barefeet, whatever. Players and fans alike, it doesn’t matter, wear whatever you want (but you can’t be naked…that’s like -10000 points). The possibilities are endless with fan/player interaction. There would be an autograph zone on the property, only kids 13 and under are allowed in. There is also a handshake/picture zone for adults (13 and up). You don’t need a signed hat, what the hell for?! Wouldn’t you rather show your kid a picture of you and Jordan Spieth and recount that time you two talked about donuts in Utah for 30 seconds!?
OK, so lastly, we have to look at location, right? Time of year, venue, length that type of stuff. I think ending a golf tournament on a Wednesday has always been a great idea. The event should be 3 days long…2 days (like with Golf Sixes) seemed a bit short and 4 days is so damn long especially with a full field Tour event and hours and hours of coverage on a very crowded sports weekend in television. Starting on Monday evening and going through Wednesday evening is perfect. Everyone is starting their work week, they’re tired, bored and always watching primetime television at that time. The goal would be to finish inside a 3 hour window from 4p-7p each night. Par on a course isn’t all that relevant to my scoring system and neither is the length of the golf course so there aren’t really any limitations on where such an event could take place. I do like hot weather though so let’s play somewhere it’s at least 75 degrees or hotter!?
This is all just scratching the surface of my idea…but wouldn’t you want to play in that event?! I know I would, in fact, I think we should all play in it…anyone want to start a charity event?!