The Greater Cleveland Skins Game (GCSG) will open up the 2017 season on Thursday, April 13th at Fowlers Mill Golf Course. Five-time defending Champion Steve Blackburn Jr. will hit the opening tee shot at 4:45 pm.
All amateurs are welcome to participate. No pre-registration is necessary for any of the GCSG events. Simply show up 15 minutes prior to the start of the weekly events to get paired up with other competitors. The weekly entry fee is $32 plus the green fees (listed below).
The Thompson Cup is awarded annually to the season’s winner. The Greater Cleveland Skins Game was originally started in 1990 at Fairway Pines Golf Course and is now rotated at various courses in the Northeast Ohio region.
“This will be my first full season as Director of the Skins game going into our 27th year,” states the new Greater Cleveland Skins Game Director Mike Angie. “I am proud to lead the Skins Game into the next generation for the best amateur players in our region. We do everything we can to keep the traditional blue-collar roots of the game intact by keeping the green fees low in order to maximize the winnings for the players. We are grateful to the many courses and sponsors that have been instrumental in allowing for the Skins game to continue as it has.”
Again this year, Mulligan’s Tavern in Highland Heights has sponsored the Mulligan’s Cup with a generous donation of $500. Many of the courses have also provided sponsorship by reducing their green fees throughout the season and by providing end of year prizes for our players. “Thanks to all of them!” says Mike.
The big question for 2017 is whether or not anyone can stop Steve Blackburn Jr. from grabbing his 6th straight Thompson Cup. Mike Angie says, “Steve’s deal with the devil expires this year, so I’m expecting Mark Foss, Niko Anagnost, Dan Predovic or Dave Sotka to knock him off.”
Mike’s prediction could well be true, because the last few seasons have both come down to the last night in deciding the winner. Mark Foss added, “Even an underdog like Erron Gomez or Joey DiDonato has a chance if they hit the leaderboard early. With such delicious swings, I wouldn’t count them out.”
When asked about predicting this year’s front runners, DiDonato said, “No way. I’m staying outta that one!”
Whatever happens, the season will culminate at Fowlers Mill Golf Course on October 12th with a race to the finish. Throughout the season, we expect some great golf and even better company.
Under Mike Angie’s leadership, there have been some significant changes for 2017. The highlights include:
– all senior players age 55 or older will be allowed to tee off from the next forward tee markers on all holes (including par 3 holes);
– the 5 Handicap Rule and Double Down participation requirements have been scrapped;
– the GCSG is also going back to its amateur roots by axing professionals from participation;
– the Mulligan’s Cup calculations have been changed to a straight points system that includes points for participation (5pts), skins (3pts) and pins (1pt). No more seasonal point changes or bonus points to gum up the works for those chasing the Mulligan’s Cup throughout the season.
Additionally, the Labor Day “Shoot Out” has also been sent packing, but will be replaced with a Labor Day “Skins and Pins” game in combination with Madison Country Club’s best.
The schedule has also been expanded to include a few new courses on Cleveland’s west and south sides. See the full schedule below and throughout the season on the NEOHgolf.com Tournament Calendar.
2017 GREATER CLEVELAND SKINS GAME SCHEDULE
April 13: Fowlers Mill 4:45pm
April 20: Fowlers Mill 4:45pm
April 27: Little Mountain 5pm
May 4: Manakiki 5pm
May 11: Erie Shores 5pm
May 18: Madison 5pm
May 25 : Chardon Lakes 5pm
June 1: Legend Lakes 5pm
June 8: Fowlers Mill 5pm (Double Down $64 entry)
June 15: Manakiki 5pm
June 22: Chardon Lakes 5pm
June 29: Ironwood 5:30 pm
July 6: Fowlers Mill 5pm
July 13: Chardon Lakes 5pm
July 20: Madison 5pm
July 27: Sleepy Hollow 5pm
August 3: Ironwood 5:30 pm
August 10: Fowlers Mill 5pm (Double Down Event $64 entry)
August 17: Sweetbriar 5pm
August 24: Chardon Lakes 5pm
August 31: Fowlers Mill 5pm
September 4: Labor Day Skins & Pins Madison CC, Noon
September 7: Manakiki 5pm
September 14: Manakiki 5pm
September 21: Sleepy Hollow 4:30pm
September 28: Erie Shores 4:30pm
October 5: Little Mountain CC 4:15pm
October 12: Fowlers Mill 4:00pm (Double Down Event $64 entry + Trophy Presentation)
2017 Green Fee Rates
Erie Shores $17
Fowlers Mill $23
Chardon Lakes $22
Legend Lake Country Club $25
Madison Country Club: $20
Little Mountain $20
Sleepy Hollow $25
(rate shown is for league 9-holes w/ cart)
2017 Greater Cleveland Skins Game Rules
2017 Director: Mike Angie
1) Overview: The Greater Cleveland Skins Game (GCSG) is an amateur 9-hole skills-based season long event covering 27 weeks. Amateur golfers compete for winnings based on the number of golfers and paid entry fees each week. At the end of the season, the golfer with the highest total winnings will be declared the Greater Cleveland Skins Game Champion and be awarded the coveted Thompson Cup.
2) Entry Fees: The Greater Cleveland Skins Game is an amateur only scratch event and is normally played from the back tees. The weekly entry fee is $32 paid upon completion of the round. Green fees are set by the courses played and are a separate charge.
Skins Pot: $23
Pin Shots Pot (2): $7
Mulligan’s Cup: $2
3) Skins and Pins: The $23 per player skins portion of the entry fee is collected and totaled each night, then paid out based on the number skins won that night. If no skins are won on a night of play, the skins pot portion will be refunded to those players that paid the entry fee that night. The $7 per player pins portion of the entry fee is collected and totaled each night, then paid to the two pin shots won that night. The Mulligan’s pin shot is the hardest of the Par-3s and is paid out at a higher rate of $4 per player (see Mulligan’s Cup para). All pin shot winnings collected each night of play are to be paid out, even when only one green is hit. If both greens are missed (no pin shot won) the pin shot portion of the entry fee will be refunded to those players that paid the entry fee that night. If there are more than two Par-3s on the night of play, the pin shot pot will be adjusted accordingly.
4) Double Down Events: Three nights will be featured as “Double Down Thursday” nights where the $32 entry is doubled to $64. These special events will occur near the 1/3rd mark of the season, 2/3rd mark of the season and at the final night of the season. To encourage greater attendance, there are no longer any participation requirements to enter the Double Down events.
5) Greater Cleveland Amateur Qualification and Exemption: The ‘Top Five’ players on the GCSG winnings list as of 13 JUL 2017 may be eligible for exemption into the finals of the Greater Cleveland Amateur held in August. Only the ‘Top Five’ will be considered regardless of exemption through other means. The ultimate decision to accept GCSG exemption nominations are made by the Cleveland MetroParks (CMP) Golf Committee. Players are responsible for all CMP entry forms and fees by the appropriate deadlines.
6) Tees and Day of Play Rules: Conditions on the night of play will dictate which set of tees are used and if other rules (summer, winter, lift-clean-place, cart rule) are invoked. The decision will be made before play begins that night by a consensus of players at the course. Final decisions will be made by the GCSG Director.
7) Senior Rule: Players age 55 and older may choose to play from the next forward tee on all holes.
8) Handicap Rule: There is no handicap requirement for the GCSG.
9) ‘Pro’ Rule: Professionals cannot play in the GCSG. A ‘Pro’ is defined as either a player who has declared as a professional or any player that has entered a golf tournament as a professional (pro division) over the past 2 years. Players playing in such events as scrambles and other cash events deemed to be “amateur events” are not considered professionals for the GCSG. The only exceptions are the handful of players that have been grandfathered for helping establish the GCSG in the early 1990’s at Fairway Pines. These names are available upon request by asking the Skins Game Director.
10) Rain-Out Rule: Skins will be paid on a pro-rated basis on any weather-shortened evening. The entry would be reduced and total skins paid are based on the following rules:
a. Skins and pins are paid out based on the hole that the last group has completely finished playing that night. In such an instance, the skins pot is worth $2.50 per player for each hole that the last group played. For example, if the last group finished six holes when the night ended due to weather, it then becomes a six hole skins game and the normal $23.00 per player skins pot will be reduced to $15.00 ($2.50 x 6 holes) per person. Pin shots get paid the same way, where the entire field must play the Par-3 hole for the pin shot winner to be paid. The pin shot winner will receive $3.50 per pin shot. In the case where the entire field does not finish one or more of the Par-3’s, then there is no payout of the pin shot pot. Players will then be refunded this portion of their entry fee.
b. A determination of what constitutes a weather shortened night is made by a consensus vote of players participating that night. Final decisions will be made by the GCSG Director. A player is responsible for paying their entry fee even if they decide to leave the course early due to their own personal perception of the weather or course conditions.
11) Greater Cleveland Skins Game Champion – Thompson Cup: At the end of the 27 week season, the player with the highest total winnings will be declared the GCSG Champion and be awarded the “Thompson Cup” on the last night of play. The winning player is responsible for engraving their name and season’s winnings on the “Cup”. They are to preserve the “Cup” over the winter for safe keeping and ensure its availability for the first night of play the following year. The winner will have the honor of hitting the first tee shot to begin play the following season. If the final night or nights are cancelled, the player leading at that time is declared the Champion. Cancelled nights are not made up.
12) Mulligan’s Cup: The Mulligan’s Tavern in Highland Heights has been a long time sponsor of the GCSG. In honor of their sponsorship, a season long event was established where points are earned for participation, skins and pin shots. Points are tallied throughout the year and totaled at the end of the season. The Mulligan’s Cup is awarded to the points winner at the end of the season. Mulligan’s Tavern normally donates $500 to the Mulligan’s Cup pot and an additional $2 entry fee is collected by each player on each night of play. The Mulligan’s Cup pot is then distributed based on ranking to the top 10 players at the Mulligan’s Tavern on the last night of the season (12 OCT 2017).
Participation: 5 pts
Skin: 3 pts
Mulligan’s Pin Shot: 2 pts
Normal Pin Shot: 1 pt
Double Down Night
Participation: 10 pts
Skin: 6 pts
Mulligan’s Pin: 4 pts
Normal Pin: 2 pts
GREATER CLEVELAND SKINS GAME PAST CHAMPIONS
(Official records began in 2001)
2001 Paul Kish
2002 Jeff Bors
2003 Tom Evans
2004 Patrick Tyrrell
2005 Patrick Tyrrell
2006 Steve Blackburn Jr.
2007 David Sotka
2008 Steve Blackburn Jr.
2009 Steve Blackburn Jr.
2010 Eddie Neer
2011 David Sotka
2012 Steve Blackburn Jr.
2013 Steve Blackburn Jr.
2014 Steve Blackburn Jr.
2015 Steve Blackburn Jr.
2016 Steve Blackburn Jr.