Tag Archives: Golf

ELLT 2017: Looking forward to golf

happy to be heading back to this course this year

Cape Ann Golf Course

ELLT 2015 – Golf Preview

This year will we be playing the Cape Ann Golf course in Essex, the first town south of Ipswich (where we had lunch in 2014). Compared to Old Newbury, Amesbury, and Rowley, the course is flatter, closer to the ocean, and easier. So the actual golfers should post better-than-their-average scores. And everyone else can pretend for more than just 2 holes that they actually have a shot. I played the course today — just simply a lovely walk across 9.

1007986999 10019971011

ELLT 2012 – Golf

After lunch at Flatbreads in Amesbury, ELLT 2012 golf moved to Amesbury Country Club, no one’s home course, but a decent challenge for everyone.

1st Tom Gustafson

2nd Eric Marshall

3rd Gary Cavanaugh

HM Eric Lapham

I didn’t see as much as in previous years, in part because we sent one foursome out early to allow them to make a Little League game. Amesbury is also not conducive to jumping from hole to hole. Ma’lesh…it was a good day, with no rain and plenty of solid golf…(and I did manage to hit my father-in-law and my brother with one shot, a scorcher off the cart on the 2nd hole)

ELLT Pic of the Day

Chris prays before his first tee shot

2 Days and a Wake-Up: Time for the Overall Odds

Echoing last year, I’ve saved the overall odds for 2 days before the event, giving everyone plenty of time to lobby, but also enough time to adjust, as needed. A few words on “odds” and scoring.

  • these “odds” are informational only as the House is not actually taking bets. That $25 covers the keg and a shirt, not a bookie fee.
  • The Commissioner confirmed over the weekend that reaching the overall podium requires completing all four stages of the race. Appeals to The Commissioner can be made at any time (good luck with that)

Odds of winning 1st Place Overall in the 2012 East Luray Liars Triathlon

Dan Moore (2011 champion, 2008 3rd place) — 87-1: Danno remains in contention for rock climbing (since he didn’t come in 1st in 2011). His golf game still sucks, he is out of contention for mountain biking, as only one other racer has even been to Stratham Hill and no one has previewed the time trial. In hoops, he’ll have youth and quickness, which may create some solid defense…but not sure any one of the Granite Staters can sink a shot. A win on the rocks and placing in golf and hoops….maybe, but pretty unlikely he’ll be the first repeat champion.

Eric Shimp (2010 champion) — 30-1: Eric will very likely medal in golf (provided Lapham’s math skillz don’t hold up). He is unlikely to medal in climbing (although expectations for him are now low) and unlikely to medal on the bikes. He’s lost his wicked fast wing man in hoops. A first ever repeat champion seems unlikely….but…Eric does lead the field in “Diminishing Expectations Through Reporting Injuries,” including photos and notes from his doctors…..so, a 1st, a 3rd, a couple solid performances…who knows.

JP Ratajczak (2008 champion) — 30-1: The only difference between JP and Eric is golf. And slightly lower expectations on the rocks. And JP has been training on the bikes. And through the wonderful miracle of birth, JP now has the inner strength that comes with being a father (but he isn’t an old man, yet, so he doesn’t have Cavanaugh-like strength). It’s been many years since JP even stood on the final 3 podium… JP could be the first-ever repeat champion.

Ben Moeling (2011 2nd place)— 30-1: The “Herat Handicap” which may have helped last year has been replaced by higher expectations. Much higher. For Ben to repeat he needs to, 1) climb something no one else can; 2) beat Chris Roy on the bikes by more than double the margin Chris beat him last year; 3) set at least on decent pick in every game of hoops. He nails that trifecta and he’s on the podium again.

Eric Lapham (2010 2nd place) — 350-1: Eric will miss two stages, but one of those is a team event. And the two stages he’ll race — climbing and golf — he could potentially medal in, if not outright win (in 2010, he tied for 2nd on the rocks and won at golf). If Lapham is sitting on two 1st place finishes and the next two stages produce 6 winners without another stage win…we’ll still text him with a picture of the overall winners (unless The Commissioner has a change of heart)

Steve Otto (2009 2nd place) — 8-1: Otto got screwed in 2011 because the field slanted heavily towards the rock climbers and mountain bikers, stages that Otto did well in, but faced crazy steep competition. This year, the golfing will be tougher, but expectations for the rocks and bikes will be higher, too. With plenty of training and the return of his wingman, Otto could medal in climbing, golf, and mountain biking. In hoops…well…one of his teammates was on a champion team once. And that same teammate coached youth basketball this year. If he doesn’t depend on hoops, Otto will be well-positioned for a return to the overall top 3.

Steve Ball (2008 2nd place) — 10-1: Steve’s podium finish in 2008 came from the perfect ELLT strategy: low expectations, a strong liver, and good luck. This year he adds training, experience, and a year off to rest. He also increased his basketball IQ by coaching youth sports, although that may prove useful on his team. He’s done a minimal amount of pre-race whining about his physical condition…he has improved his mixing skills…his odds look really, really good.

Steve Schukraft (2011 3rd Place) — 35-1: Last year’s podium finished was based on exceeding expectations and maintaining a steady, consistent pace throughout the race. This year, expectations are higher and the one stage that really pushed him onto the podium – hoops – may be a liability this year. Steve would need to medal on the rocks and the bikes to have any chance. No question he has been training, just uncertain whether that will pay off.

Mike Graf – 15-1: Every year the Young Liars are convinced Me-Mike has a shot at 1st place overall, which means Mike is terrible at setting expectations low (at least with the younger crowd). This year, Mike’s got an improved hoops team, 4 years of experience on the rocks, and a properly-sized mountain bike. If he trims a couple minutes off his time trial and puts that length to use on the rocks…this could be Mike first trip to the overall podium.

Chris Doyle — 9-1: Returning from a couple years off, bringing mad mountain bike skillz and blessed with solid hoops teammates…even a crap golf game and less-than-expectations on the rocks probably won’t be enough to keep Fes off the overall podium (shorter: expectations are way high)

Eric Marshall — 8-1: Here is your 2012 Easy-Money-Lock Grey Horse contender, a true mudder. Rocks and hoops are question marks, but golf and mountain biking should not only be guaranteed medals, but improved over last year, which is always a significant factor in the overall standings.

Jason Madden — 15-1: By running the entire race this year, Jason’s odds improve significantly. He’ll be a rookie on the rocks (sometimes an advantage in the scoring) and I have no idea what his golf game is like. For hoops, he’s got the home court advantage. It comes down to the bikes — a better time trial and he could reach the podium.

Chris Heffernan — 15-1: Seriously, this could be Chris’ year. Low expectations for everything except hoops, but a basketball team that could cause trouble for the favorites. Improved golf skills. Always dangerous on the rocks. And coming off a magna cum laude performance.

Gary Cavanaugh — 80-1: Skipping climbing diminishes Gary’s chances, but I think The Commissioner would make a qualified exception if Gary wins golf and he medals on the bikes and his team pulls out an unimaginable hoops victory. Possible? Yeah, about 80-1 chance…

Chris Roy — 200:-1: Last year’s assessment is almost still all true — “Chris will only join us for hoops and his team is top-ranked in all the pre-season polls (again). He needs total chaos in the first three events to take first overall.” His hoops team is no longer top-ranked in the pre-season polls, but lowered expectations could help. Chaos on day one could help him.

Tom Gustafson — 150-1: Although a rookie (which usually translate to better-than-expected podium finishes), Tom is not climbing, skipping the first 2 stages of the race and severely diminishing his overall chances. Rumint says he is a better than scratch golfer and may topple both Lapham and Otto. His biking skills are based on 2am rides home from the pub. And he is rumored to play hoops like a skier. Just hope the green jacket fits him.

ELLT 2012 Golf – Foursomes

Every year the foursomes are decided in advance and then fate knocks it all off course. The first year, some of the cars got stopped at the Canadian border and we all showed up about an hour late for our team time. The second year, torrential rain screwed up the start. At Ould Newbury, Steve Ball’s 47 consecutive swings-and-misses on the first tee delayed the last two foursomes. And last year…actually, 2011 went as planned.

Having learned a few things over the years, we will not have the “elite” players start first, but will, as is the tradition at the Masters and elsewhere, have that foursome start last.

First Four: Doyle, Graf, Heffernan C, and Heffernan P (yes, that means everyone gets to watch us tee off, which should provide plenty of entertainment)

Second Four: Danno, Tom Gustafson, Steve Ball, Steve Schukraft

Third Four: Moeling, Marshall, Madden, JP

Final Four: Cavanaugh, Shimp, Otto, Lapham

I fully trust Moeling and JP to completely sabotage the group behind them.

Handicapping the ELLT 2012 Field: Gary Cavanaugh

No one brings more sweat, brawn, and old man strength to the East Luray Liars Triathlon than Gary Cavanaugh


  • Wisdom…as the oldest competitor, Gary has a depth of experience and wisdom and patience and all that old man crap
  • Mad skillz at golf…and probably close to a single-digit handicap
  • Mountain biking skills and speed fueled by Jethro Tull-like screaming
  • Court vision, Rondo-like passing skillz, and the willingness to strip down and use his sweat as a weapon
  • Home court…and home house, and home bed, and home touch on mixing Dark & Stormies (for others)


  • Fear of soccer and heights, which takes him off the pitch and the wall
  • a crappy old mountain bike
  • a home touch on mixing the Dark & Stormies (for himself)
  • and rumor has it a Bruce Springsteen cover band is playing at the Newbury Senior Center on Saturday night, so he may need to leave hoops early

Past Performances

As noted previously, Gary bailed after one hoops game in 2008 and went to see Mr. Dancing in the Dark. In 2009, Gary took on rock climbing and played well at Bradford Country Club. On the Saturday morning mountain bike ride, the woods were echoing with Gary’s yelps and screams and howls. He was riding an early 1990s no suspension made-of-lead-and-steel bike, but still tore up the single track, landing him in third. In hoops, his home court advantage was good for exactly 0 wins, keeping Gary off the overall podium. 2010 sucked. Gary got slide tackled by Owen Heffernan in soccer and never recovered, keeping him out of the rest of the race. In 2011, Gary put his wisdom and years to good use, excusing himself from soccer and climbing, joining the race for golf, where he came in 3rd on his home course. In hoops, Gary was part of the 2nd place team and had the defensive play of the day (highlighted here). Gary missed the podium in a year when the golfers were completely shut-out.

Expectations for 2012

Gary’s absence on the rocks diminishes his overall chances, but…he should medal in golf and hoops, where his team will have the advantage of a bench player. On the bikes, it’s entirely possible Gary could place in the top 5, which would position him well for a place on the overall podium…if…if he doesn’t leave early to go see the Springsteen cover band at the Newbury Senior Center.