By Rob Kiser
Golf can be a frustrating game — but it doesn’t have to be.
And nobody has perfected making the game fun like the MGA (Mediocre Golf Association).
And if you didn’t know it, Piqua has its own branch — formed by John Hampton and Ron Martin.
So, where did they get the idea?
“I heard it on the radio on 96,5,” Hampton said. “So, we thought we would go down to Beavercreek and try it. We tried to get other guys from around here to try it, but nobody wanted to drive that far.”
So, they brought it to Piqua — and have had a chapter for the last three years.
“We had 14 members last year and probably about nine that played on a regular basis,” Martin said. “We have five new members already this year, but we are always looking for more.”
So, if you think you might be interested, you can check out the tour at mgatour.com, go to the facebook page of the local chapter at piquamga or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
What It is About
More than anything, it is about having fun on the golf course.
“But, we do follow the USGA rules, with a few local rules as an exception,” Hampton said. “For example, we treat out of bounds as a lateral hazard — you can drop where you went out. That is just to keep things moving.”
And what are some of the standard MGA Rules?
1.1 — Must be a mediocre golfer capable of some very ugly shots .
1.2 — Must have a valid MGA tour card and online account to enter events.
1.3 — Must not have caused the MGA any embarrassment at the last tournament..
1.4 —Embarrassing yourself with your play is acceptable.
1.5 — Women are in! In fact, we like women so much, they can even play from the ladies tees in the tournaments, assuming that is what their handicap is based on.
1.6 — Significant others at tournaments are frowned upon. Very frowned upon.
1.7 — Players must have played in 3 regular season events to be eligible to qualify for the World Championships.
2.1 — Handicaps are used to bring good players back to mediocre scores. No one in the MGA gets strokes taken off, only added.
2.2 — All players with handicaps better than 18 will be given penalty strokes to compensate for their superhuman performance abilities.
2.3 — Your handicap can only be represented by the handicap feature on MGAtour.com
2.4 — The winner of each tournament will receive the following penalty. At the next event, they play, they must play from one set of tees further back than everyone else. If they don’t win that event, they will return to the normal tees at the next event. However, if they win, they will move back ANOTHER set of tees at the next event and end up two sets of tees behind everyone else! Stop being so #%*% good! If they don’t win that event, then they will return to normal tees at the next event.
2.5 — KEY TO THE RED TEE — The players with the highest gross score from each event will unlock the following award. At the next event they play, they are allowed to play from one set of tees further forward than everyone else. If they shoot the highest gross score AGAIN from those tees, they can move forward another set at next event. If they do not shoot the highest gross score from playing the forward tees, they will return to the normal tees and pass the key on to its new “winner”.
3.1 — Tournaments are to be played by USGA rules. If you don’t know them, get them — there is an app for that.
3.2 — GPS is allowed. We have decided that now that it’s so affordable on smart phones, why fight it. We suck at golf and need to know how far it is to the green from two fairways over. Don’t like this rule? Then don’t use GPS and give dirty looks to the guys who do.
3.4 — Everyone should have a scorecard and keep everyone else’s scores in each foursome. It is a lot easier to confront some loser about his cheating or terrible arithmetic skills if his score seems wrong to all three of you.
3.5 — If a player is caught cheating, he has to be humiliated and ridiculed until he either stops cheating or stops showing up. Both options are acceptable.
4.1 — The Gross Award is given to the player with the lowest gross score.
4.2 — The Most Mediocre Award is given to one special player who finishes in the middle of the tournament.
4.3 — The Meltdown Award is given to the player with the greatest meltdown differential.
And the Piqua chapter has plenty of similarities — of sorts — to the PGA Tour.
“We present them with a big check, just like they do on tour — for the fiver or six dollars they have won,” Hampton said with a laugh.
And the Piqua chapter plays eight tournaments with similar names.
For example the FU Open (it doesn’t stand for what you think it does) instead of the U.S. Open.
The tournaments are played on courses from Vandalia to Minster (south and north) and Greenville and New Carlisle (west and east).
“We try to keep it close by,” Hampton said. “And we don’t play any course more than once in a season. Other than international, Ohio has the second most chapters next to California. We have eight chapters in Ohio. Even Texas only has two.”
There is a Tour Championship event — The FORE! Championship — as well as a money list online so you can see where you stand.
This year’s tournaments begin on April 14 at Echo Hills.
So, why not put the fun back in golf and give the Piqua chapter of the MGA a try this year?